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The Gospels As Liturgy

Properly speaking there is only one true Liturgist: Jesus himself! He is the “liturgist in the Holy Places, in the True tent that the Lord set up, not man.” He is “the High Priest who offers (prosphero) gifts and sacrifices.” (Hebrews 8:1-3) This means that Jesus himself is the actual liturgist at every Eucharist the church celebrates. That is not ...

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The History Theology And Practice Of Christian Worship - Part 6

Once again the discussion was lively last week. When a person who has been praying the church's liturgy his whole life, looks under the hood so to speak, his amazement and appreciation of Christian worship is trebled.  We have started each class with the order of Responsive Prayer I (p. 282) or Responsive Prayer II (p. 285). Take the time to look at those, and to pra...

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A Liturgical Reading Of Saint Mark's Gospel

What does it mean to assert that Scripture is, first, a liturgical text: and not a catalog of doctrines as it is so often conceived of? It means that the Gospels were written for the church, to be read by the church, to the church, in the church. It means that the Gospels are not only information about our Lord's earthly mission, and the world's salvation -- they...

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What Are The Gospels?

This is a question I keep coming back to, what exactly are the four gospels? Why were they written? Or said another way: how were they meant to be utilized? And, how were they actually employed by the church when the ink first dried? Are they simply the "memoirs of the apostles" as Justin Martyr once referred to them? Are they biographies of Jesus? Or a larger story / ac...

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The History Theology And Practice Of Christian Worship - Part 5

It was our intention to learn about the Salutation and Collect last week, but we got side-tracked into a fruitful discussion about Eucharistic Sacrifice instead. We will visit that subject again when we get to the Liturgy of the Sacrament.  Speaking of which let us take a moment to remember that there are two major divisions in Christian worship. The earlier part of ...

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The State Of The Sacrament

It seems to me that the most embattled doctrine of the Christian religion is not the Divinity of Christ, the Cross, Baptism or Justification By Grace, but the Eucharist.  There is a reason. "THIS CUP is the New Testament." The celebration of the Eucharist constitutes the practice of the holy Christian religion. Apart from joining in it the Faith is but head knowledg...

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The Donkey

The traditional Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent is the Palm Sunday Gospel Mark 11:1-10. What do they have in common? They are both about Jesus coming. Jesus delivering himself into evil, to deliver us from it. The occasions are different, but the mission the same. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief." (1 Timothy 1:15). Yet,...

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A Retake Of 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Here is my translation and explanation of the Epistle for Sunday. 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and (our) Lord, Jesus Christ. 4 I make Eucharist to my God always on your behalf because of the grace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in all things you have been made rich in him, in every utterance and all knowledg...

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The History Theology And Practice Of Christian Worship - Part 4

Last week we did get an audio recording of the class, but the quality was low, so we'll pass on that idea for now. Last week we discussed the various names of the Sunday assembly. Most Protestants call it The Service, or The Worship Service. Lutherans in recent years have changed their terminology and call it Divine Service, or The Divine Service. Rome calls it The Mass, ...

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Collect For The Last Sunday Of The Church Year

O God, absolve your people from their offenses that, from the bonds of our sins which by reason of our frailty we have brought upon ourselves, we may be delivered by your bountiful goodness: through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.   The Collect is a prayer peculiar to Western Litur...

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