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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Absorbing the Liturgy

Chittister shows  how absorbing the liturgy throughout the year makes one a better Christian.  This is a deep, thoughtful and philosophical book about the importance of the liturgy and its history.  It is well-worth reading.

Do you go to sleep during readings and sermons?  Do you know whether its Lent or Advent?  Reading this book will help you if you do! The Liturgical Year shows the importance of the different spiritual times of the year, for example, the sacrifices and fasting of Lent and the candles and decorations of Christmas. Chittister studies the origins of these periods of the year and their connection with the story of Christ.  She even goes into the different colours of the church decor of these times, for example, purple for Advent.

She writes that the symbolism, the readings, and the drama of the liturgy all correspond with Christ's life.  If we follow them and absorb them, this will help us become better Christians.

 This book is written from an extremely Catholic perspective.  Chittister grew up with colourful Catholic processions and all of the drama of Catholic traditions.  I was raised an Anglican so I didn't find this hard to understand because the Anglican church retains some of these traditions. I also like the colour and drama of Catholicism.  However, this aspect of the book could annoy many Protestants who don't attach much importance to symbolism.

 The problem that I had with this book is that it is inclined to be vague and heavy-going.  I will keep it because it is a book that requires re-reading.

NB This was sent to me as part of the Book Sneeze blogger program.  My opinion of it is entirely my own.

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