Wednesday, August 23, 2017

God's words and liturgy's echo

From Christian Century-

The historian of liturgy Hughes Oliphant Old once observed that “prayer, particularly Christian prayer, uses biblical language. . . . The Bible contains a vast number of paradigms for prayer and a thesaurus of words to handle the unique experience of prayer.” The Book of Common Prayer is a paradigmatic instance of the use of biblical language in prayer. If you are familiar with that tradition of prayers, you know more Bible than you realize.

Indeed, at a Sunday Eucharist in the Episcopal Church, words of scripture are almost the first words we say. After an opening hymn, the priest and the congregation exchange a greeting. During the season of Lent, that greeting is “Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures forever.” During the season of Easter, it’s “Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.” 
During the rest of the year, the greeting is “Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen.”

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