Sunday, February 11, 2018

Liturgy of the Ordinary

"The passing of peace is placed where it is in the liturgy for theological reasons. Before we come to the Eucharist, before we take the body and blood of Christ, we actively extend peace to the members of the body of Christ right around us. It's a liturgical enactment of the reality that we cannot approach the table of the Prince of Peace if we aren't at peace with our neighbor. This practice of passing the peace has been part of the Christian worship since the dawn of the church...

"'Passing the peace' in every way we can, in the place and sphere to which God has called us, is neither a 'radical' practice nor an 'ordinary' practice; it is merely a Christian practice, one that each of us must inhabit daily.

"Because we are broken people in a broken world, seeking shalom always involves forgiveness and reconciliation. Paul tells the Corinthians that 'Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.' This is not easy.

"In the Anglican liturgy the passing of the peace comes after confession and absolution, on the heels of our reminder that we are forgiven. This too is no coincidence. Our forgiveness and reconciliation flow from Christ's forgiveness of us. Out of gratitude over the enormous debt our king has forgiven, we forgive our debtors. Receiving God's gift of reconciliation enables us to give and receive reconciliation with those around us.

"In the end, God is the peacemaker. It is not simply 'peace' that we pass to each other. It is the peace of Christ, the peace of our peacemaker."


Excerpts from Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, by Tish Harrison Warren.


"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." 
John 14:27

Have a blessed Lord's Day,


Photo: One of my favorites from York Minster Cathedral
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