Saturday, October 15, 2016

Book: Reading the Liturgy: An exploration of texts in Christian worship

This is a unique contribution to discussions within churches about the provision of suitable words for liturgical worship and to debates among scholars about liturgical hermeneutics, as well as offering a new methodological paradigm for liturgical studies to inspire students and researchers.  By combining insights from literary and linguistic studies with those from historical and contemporary liturgical studies, Juliette Day investigates the nature of a text in relation to unscripted speech; how authors and worshippers make use of genre, narrative and other texts; how the textuality of the liturgy as well as its ritual context affect the sort of language used in worship and what implicit meanings are conveyed in the way liturgical texts are printed in books. 
Day discusses the history of liturgical texts and their function, as well as liturgical genres and narratives. She examines the function of language in liturgical worship and emphasizes its meaning for readers, worshippers and speakers. Day applies insights from literary and linguistic studies to liturgical texts in a comprehensive fashion, making it accessible to a broad readership.

What others are saying about Reading the Liturgy!!
Craig Stephens (preferred Amazon Reviewer)
Day investigates the myriad elements of the textuality of liturgies. While expositing the concrete literary aspects of liturgical texts, Day highlights the uniqueness of the worshipful, communal and liminal natures of liturgies that set them apart from other writing and speech.
In addition to the details of the written text, Day highlights the relationship between the author’s intended meaning and the liturgy’s significance for participants. She elaborates on the processes of liturgical production, revision, acceptance and interpretation. The liturgical narratives can serve as guiding forces in helping a person join his or her narrative to the narrative of Christ and the story of salvation. Liturgy reinforces this redemptive experience at every worship event. Day asserts, “The liturgy is where my narrative and God’s narrative meet.” This is why the liturgical narrative is of fundamental importance to Christian worship and mission.
Day addresses the changes in culture and worship styles that effect the meaning and efficacy of liturgy including a decline in Biblical literacy among people. The author is aware of the increase of spontaneous worship and innovative styles that might preclude the performance of liturgical worship. Similarly, she responds to objections that some Christians have toward repetition in worship.
For Day, the liturgy creates shared prayer and shared worship that connect salvation history, present participation and future potentiality. The liturgical texts facilitate divine encounters with the timeless Lord for all sincere participants.
This is a book for readers who take liturgy and worship seriously and who want to get behind the text of liturgy to its roots. Day demonstrates a keen understanding and familiarity with the many aspects of liturgical text and worship.

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