Thursday, April 28, 2005

Small points when Understanding Alternative Christian Traditions

Part of my steps to being inclusive is to try and understand other Christian traditions more aptly, instead of writing them off. This search isn't because Im unhappy with the branch of Christianity most modernists would associate me in, but because I dont want to have a mind or heart towards other Christians that says "yep thats great for you, but my ways better" part of the "not having the monopoly on truth" as was mentioned. Click here to Read the Rest of "Small points when Understanding Alternative Christian Traditions" I was looking at Monasticism and was intrigued, impressed, blown away, bemused, by this wikipedia point about the days of a Rule of St. Benedict Monk The monk's daily life revolved around the 8 liturgical hours, 8 times a day liturgy would be performed: The day would begin at midnight with the service of matins, followed by that of lauds at 3am. Before the advent of wax candles in the 14th Century this was done in the dark or with minimal lighting and monks were expected to memorize everything. These services could be very long sometimes lasting till dawn but usually consisted of a chant, three anthems, three psalms, and three lessons, along with celebrations of any local saints days. The monks would retire for a few hours of sleep and then awake again at 6am to wash and attend the service of prime. They then gathered to receive orders and directions for the day as well as other judicial business. Then came private mass or reading or working until 9am when the office of terce was said, and then high mass. At noon came the office of sexts and then dinner. After a brief period of private time for relaxation the monk could retire to rest until the office of nones, at 3pm afternoon service. This was followed by work in the gardens and other maintenance until after twilight, vespers at 6pm, then compline at 9pm and off to blessed bed before rising soon again for matins. I was also asking Arlen for a couple of simple definitions on the term lectionary which I felt I didnt understand it clearly enough and here they are for anyone who might be interested: Me: I was wondering if you could give me a short description of the definition of "lectionary" I know roughly what it is but I was interested to hear it from someone like you who is not necessarily a dictionary compiler but actually has a heart in line with those things. Arlen: "Lectionary" comes from the latin word lectio which means "to read." There may be other churches that use a lectionary, but basically the lectionary is simply scripture readings for every day of the year to accompany and be read at the mass in Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, (though of course one can simply read them on one's own as well). Often, the priest's weekly homily (sermon) will follow the lectionary reading. Also--I just thought of this--I think many Lutherans use a lectionary as well, though they don't do "mass" of course. Me: so is it like a (excuse me bringing down what is maybe quite sacred) like a word for today or more like the bible in a year? eg. is it selective or complete? Arlen: It is selective; it is not complete, but I tough I can't explain to you the difference exactly, I think it is not like a "word for today" or "bible in a year." I think it serves a slightly different function than those. Although the Lectionary can certainly be used devotionally on an individual basis (and I in fact often use it this way), as I understand it, its primary purpose is in worship/liturgy, in community, where "the hearing of the word" is taken to mean that a part of the liturgy/service is that we listen to chunks of scripture. The Lectionary functions as the guide to this. It also means that all churches that use the Lectionary are "on the same page", so to speak, on the same day/week/year, in the Word.


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