Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Liturgy, Fatherhood, and Secularism

Pr. Sawyer is leading us through a study of the liturgy on Sunday mornings. It is a Power Point presentation with video. Sunday morning we watched a Shabbat in a Jewish home. The most striking fact of it was how it was the *head* of the household, the *father*, who lead the prayers, and conducted the catechetical meal. It was all quite mindful of Luther's instructions regarding the use of the Catechism, "As the head of the family teach his household..." Liturgy begins in the Divine Service where the Holy Spirit has called and gathered the household of God the Father, the ecclesia, to be taught by the Living Voice of His Son, Christ. But it doesn't remain there. The Liturgy of the Divine Service becomes the service of vocation, Christ in service to neighbor. This is the ecclesia sent out by the Holy Spirit in their daily lives.

With all the hoopla of "Batman" lately, here is a perspective worth noting. It describes well what has become of the sacred office of fatherhood when it is taken outside of God's sacramental use of marriage and the home, and thus in Christ. Alexander Schmemann wrote, “Just as Christianity can– and must–be considered the end of religion, so the Christian liturgy in general, and the Eucharist in particular are indeed the end of a cult, of the ‘sacred’ religious act isolated from, and opposed to, the ‘profane’ life of the community.” Secularism, then, is the end of Christianity.

1 comment:

Thursday's Child said...

That link hit the nail on the head. No matter what else, that little girl no longer has her daddy. No amount of rave reviews for him will help her there.