08 January 2010

A book review...

The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister.
As a complete neophyte, I read with interest Miss Chittister's explanation of the various events leading up to Christmas and Easter as well as the Ordinary Times.
As one who has never attended a liturgical type of church I have had much curiosity about what the liturgy of a church was all about.
I think some of us who attend less formal, non-denominational churches sometimes feel that informality brings us closer to God.
In some ways this may be true, but I think
something can certainly be said for the liturgical way of following God.
It is all so new and seems so complex to an outsider that I think I will have to read the book more than once to grasp it all.
I was surprised to learn how down-to-earth and scripture centered many of these liturgical events are and, to my way of thinking, they help to draw us back toward God and the real meaning of Christmas and Easter.
As she explains, "The liturgical year, then, is a panoply, an array of events designed to shape us into being what we say we are-followers of Jesus, disciples of Christ, the Christian community. It is a yearlong sojourn through the life of Christ to that ultimate point of self-giving, to that last breath of teaching, to that total surrender to the will of God, to that glorious new life that comes when we put this one at its service."
I was inspired to read more on the subject.
I wrote this review as a Book Review Blogger for Thomas Nelson Publishers.


  1. Hi Lisa,
    I was raised in a Lutheran church where liturgy reined supreme. I really enjoy Kathleen Norris' writing. She sheds some light on what I was so used to.

  2. Lisa, I (raised Baptist) have been attending an Anglican church with MIL because she can't yet drive there. It has been a moving experience. Last Sunday was "instructed Commmunion." The priest went through each section of the service and explained the history and significance of each. He pointed out how much Scripture makes up the liturgy. He talked about the "seasons" of the church and why the colors for each change--about how his stole represents "being yoked with Christ," and robes are not "magic" but are merely a decision that the priests would continue to dress in the day-to-day garb of the early believers--a continuum in honor of those who have gone before us. I loved it! As someone who has come from a very "protestant" background, leaning toward free worship, etc., liturgical churches looked constricted to me from the outside. I have nto found it to be so, but find that God has moved greatly in me through these services. There is something mystical about the connection with history...thanks for this post. C

  3. I found the subject of this book fascinating, but it is a little to textbook or lecture like. I'd like to read something more like what you mention, C, where they tell you more details about how services are done, maybe a book that actually lists scriptures and their meanings, etc. I loved "Facing East" because it was more about how orthodoxy looks in a person's real life.

    I'll have to check out Kathleen Norris. Thanks, Pom-Pom!