The Direction of Christian Worship
Christian worship is oriented to the East from which the Sun of Righteousness will return with "healing on his wings." The east is the direction of Christian worship, Christian hope and Christian joy. It signifies the resurrection of the body and life everlasting … in short all that our Lord obtained for us by his death and resurrection, and gives to us in this holy house. If the church building itself is not so situated as to face the east, then whatever direction God's people
face becomes for them the liturgical east. This is not difficult since in holy worship the time and space that exist outside these walls are suspended. Things are "on earth" as they are "in heaven" where these is no time, and where all worship is directed to: Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb.
In keeping with this worship schematic the south side of the altars known as the epistle side, and the north side as the gospel side. This is because traditionally Israel's enemies invaded from the north, which then came to represent a place of danger. And so the church reads the gospel lesson, the blessed words of our Lord Jesus Christ, which ward off all sin, death and danger, from the north. This is why in our present chapel the pastor moves from the south, where he reads the Old Testament and Epistle; to the north for the reading of the gospel. It is a beautiful and ancient tradition. Further, in the celebration of the Sacrament, the church liturgically moves towards her returning Lord, even as he moves towards her. (Romans 13:11). Thus the people, led by their pastor, turn towards the Lord together.
More in Pastor's Blog
April 21, 2023Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
April 7, 2023Hermeneutics
February 1, 2023What Is The Book Of Hebrews - The Complete Work Of Christ