Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Second Week of Lent - Monday

Last year:

I've been doing a little reading about the similarities between the Jewish and Christian form of liturgical worship, and I've found it rather fascinating. I'm not sure, but there may be a good book out there that discusses the similiarities between the two. It seems that (naturally) early Christians took the Jewish form of liturgical worship (readings, responsorial psalms, public participation by responses to the priest, etc.) and adapted it to suit the purposes of Christians. This is the way Christ worshipped in the 1st century, and it was brought into the Church. One of the best ways to see it in the Bible is to look at the Book of Revelation where the activities going on in Heaven are much like a Catholic service today. I havn't been to a Jewish worship service (and I have heard that they differ from place to place), but a Catholic friend of mine was telling me that he went to one here in Morgantown and was really shocked by the similarities in worship. It's really a neat historical look at how Christian worship has developed over the years (although of course many Protestants since the 16th century or so have begun to reject the liturgical form of worship, and that's a whole historical study in and of itself that is very interesting!) Anyone seen any good history books on the evolution of Christian worship from the basic Jewish forms in the 1st Century to the broader Protestant movements of today? Feel free to recommend them if you have.

I found two books since this post and read them.  The first is Mike Aquilina's "Mass of the Early Christians".  The other is Scott Hahn's "The Lamb's Supper".  Both I would highly recommend because they explore the links between the liturgy and what the early Christians did as well as Sacred Scripture.  I still have not found any that dealt purely with the Jewish/Christian liturgical similarities, but it has been hinted at in many of the Holy Father's writings.  

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