Monday, October 15, 2007

Too many potential titles for this one

Someone mentioned today that the routine of the Catholic liturgy makes worship monotonous and "boring". The diversity of worship styles among various Christian denominations can make the Catholic Liturgy seem repetitive, however the Catholic liturgy is as old as the Church itself, and traces its roots all the way back to the Upper Room on the eve of our Lord's Passion.

Think of it this way: every sport has its own guidelines, its own parameters, and its own routines; And yet no two games are exactly alike. Likewise, just because the mass follows a set pattern does not doom us to monotony. Instead, if you learn the rhythm of the mass and keep an eye out on the details then it becomes a living process in which we each have a role to fulfill.
To best understand how the diversity of worship styles evolved we took a quick look at the Christian family tree. The farther one moves away from the Apostolic Church (which "subsists" in the Catholic Church) the more divergent one finds the worship styles to be.
Once you move beyond the Protestant Reformation the denominations are governed by a principle of Sola Scriptura, that is, "Scripture Alone" is the source of authority. Therefore the worship services are going to be much more centered on preaching and even take on a "Bible Study" format in some cases.
Sola Scriptura is, in fact, an impossibility, because scripture does not stand on its own. To "study" or preach on scripture requires that one employ both hermeneutics and exegesis - which when separated from Apostolic Tradition is really nothing more than the whim of the preacher.

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