liturgy, Christian

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liturgy, Christian

[Gr. leitourgia = public duty or worship] form of public worship, particularly the form of rite or services prescribed by the various Christian churches. In the Western Church the principal service centered upon the Eucharistic sacrifice, but with the Protestant Reformation, the reformers generally rejected the idea of sacrifice and shifted toward the sermon as the focus of formal worship. They also adopted vernacular speech. The liturgy of the Roman Catholic, the Orthodox Eastern, and some other groups centers upon the EucharistEucharist
[Gr.,=thanksgiving], Christian sacrament that repeats the action of Jesus at his last supper with his disciples, when he gave them bread, saying, "This is my body," and wine, saying, "This is my blood." (Mat. 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; 1 Cor. 11.
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. In the Roman Catholic ChurchRoman Catholic Church,
Christian church headed by the pope, the bishop of Rome (see papacy and Peter, Saint). Its commonest title in official use is Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
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 there are nine rites with distinctive liturgies (in various languages). The Orthodox Eastern ChurchOrthodox Eastern Church,
community of Christian churches whose chief strength is in the Middle East and E Europe. Their members number some 300 million worldwide. The Orthodox agree doctrinally in accepting as ecumenical the first seven councils (see council, ecumenical) and in
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 has several liturgies. The ancient liturgies of the East are classified as Antiochene or Syrian (with modern liturgies in Greek, Old Slavonic, Romanian, Armenian, Arabic, and Syriac) and Alexandrine or Egyptian (with liturgies in Coptic and Ethiopic). The liturgies that arose in the West are classified as either Gallican (including the Celtic, Mozarabic, and Ambrosian) or Roman, both using Latin. In the 8th cent. the Gallican was largely superseded by the Roman, which is the principal liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church today. The language was Latin until the vernacular liturgy was introduced following the Second Vatican Council. In a broader sense, liturgy includes the divine office (given in the breviary) and also services other than the Mass. In the 20th cent. there has been a movement, called the liturgical movement, for purification and renewal of liturgy. Most of its demands were met in the Roman Catholic Church by the liturgical reformation directed by the Second Vatican Council, including the use of vernacular languages in the Mass, participation of the laity in public prayer, and an emphasis on music and song. In the Protestant churches a similar liturgical movement has gained much ground, urging the formulation and reform of service and wider awareness of the value of form itself.


See E. B. Koenker, The Liturgical Renaissance in the Roman Catholic Church (1954, repr. 1966); J. A. Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite (1959); D. Attwater, The Christian Churches of the East (2 vol., rev. ed. 1961); T. Klauser, A Short History of the Western Liturgy (tr. 1969).

References in periodicals archive ?
s book will remain a most valuable companion for the study of early Christian liturgy for a long time to come.
Introduction to Christian Liturgy would be very useful as a basic textbook, in an adult forum, or for church musicians, other worship leaders, and lay folk who would like to deepen their understanding of worship.
Second, York rightly desires to highlight the formative power of Christian liturgy.
She is equally at home in the sixteenth-century English Reformation and its aftermath in setting the stage for her thesis in the rise of flee prayer and the rejection of Christian liturgy and its attendant ritual practices.
It was not until Anton Sandor LaVey wrote an extremely well written and researched book called The Satanic Bible that a workbook was produced for would-be Satanists, drawing on Christian liturgy such as the Missale Romanum, and the work of intellectuals such as Baudelaire and Huysmans.
Nor does their attention on worship in one tradition lose sight of the wider Tradition of Christian liturgy.
Azariah at Dornakal, where Hindu and other traditions were incorporated in new indigenous forms of Christian liturgy, architecture, and life.
According to the group's constitution, the academy's purpose is "to engage in research, publication and dialogue concerning the Christian liturgy .
Peter Galadza, Kule Family Professor of Eastern Christian Liturgy at St Paul's, concurs: "I would insist that anyone chosen to stand before a community to give voice to its faith in melody is bound to be an enfleshment of its fundamental convictions" (p.
The fact that the Last Supper was a Passover meal has faded into the background in Christian liturgy.
Following chapters discussing the influence of architecture on music, and music on architecture; the relationships between liturgy, acoustics and architecture; developments in sacred music in the Christian liturgy since the Middle Ages; the authors then present an acoustical characterization of places of worship.
It goes back to the very earliest days of the Christian church, and would make the Cathedral in its plan an expression of the very best modern theology and ideas of Christian Liturgy of the present day .
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