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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Spirit Of The Liturgy: Chapter 5 (Part Two, Chapter 2)

Even in the Old Testament, the synagogue in the time of the Temple was never simply a place of instruction that was intellectual only; everything that took place evoked the Temple and its worship. Facing toward the east meant toward the Temple in Jerusalem.

As they came together to worship, to sacrifice, they were always the people redeemed and set apart by God. Because of God's determination to be present with His people, their place of worship could never be merely functional; the liturgy bore witness to God's saving acts. Therefore, the church building of the New Testament doesn't serve the people meeting, as such. Rather, it serves the liturgy, which is the proper response to what God has done and said.

Facing east in the New Testament indicates an expectation of the return of the risen Lord. The "seat of Moses" becomes the bishop's throne, and all draw near to the Holy of Holies, the Eucharist upon the altar.

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