The 2,000-year history of Christian worship and its varied manifestations in the contemporary world are explored by scholars of religion and history. They emphasize corporate worship, predominantly celebrated in cathedrals, parishes, and other congregational settings, though they do give some attention to monastic communities. The presentation are largely descriptive, considering concrete performances and liturgical texts within a particular cultural context. The arrangement is chronological, with geographical detours when necessary to keep moving in the same approximate direction. Entry-specific bibliographies list secondary sources that are likely to be accessible and available to non-specialists. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Completely revised to incorporate new scholarship and many important developments in liturgical renewal, this standard text remains an essential tool for students of theology and liturgy. It treats the development of the liturgy historically, beginning with Jewish antecedents, then covering the New Testament, Patristic, Medieval, and Reformation periods, and concluding with the increasing interest in liturgy in all churches today. The text deals definitively with the five central rites of Christian worship: Initiation, the Eucharist, Ordination, the Daily Office, and the Calendar. A special section on liturgical settings examines in detail the historical importance of music and singing in the liturgy and the role of hymnody in Christian worship. Reflecting the continuing trend towards ecumenism, the editors represent the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Protestant traditions, while the Orthodox tradition is represented by the team of contributors, which includes many of the best-known liturgical scholars.
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