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Liturgical Movement

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1 Liturgical Movement on Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:21 pm

The Liturgical Movement began as a movement of scholarship for the reform of worship within the Roman Catholic Church. It has grown over the last century and a half and has affected many other Christian Churches including the Church of England and other Churches of the Anglican Communion, and some Protestant churches. The Liturgical Movement has been one of the major influences on the process of the Ecumenical Movement, in favor of reversing the divisions which began at the Reformation.
The movement has a number of facets. First, it was an attempt to rediscover the worship of the Middle Ages which was held to be the ideal form of worship. Second, it became a scholarly exercise in examining the history of worship. Third, it broadened into an examination of the nature of worship as a human activity. Fourth, it became an attempt to renew worship in order that it could be more expressive for worshippers and as an instrument of teaching and mission. Fifth, it has been a movement attempting to bring about reconciliation between the churches on both sides of the Reformation.
At the Reformation of the sixteenth century, while the new Protestant Churches abandoned the old Latin Mass, the Roman Catholic Church reformed and revised it. The split between Roman Catholic and Protestant was, in part, a difference about beliefs regarding the authority of the Bible and was exacerbated because, with the development of written European languages, a Latin service would be something one would primarily see and secondarily hear, a vernacular service, one in the language of the worshipper, would be one which the worshipper was supposed to understand and in which to participate. Language was only one issue. The revision of the Roman liturgy which followed, and which provided a single use for the whole Western Church, restated, in opposition to the Reformers, the sacramental principle and in particular a doctrine of the Eucharist, which expressed its sacrificial nature. The Liturgical Movement, which began as further attempt to restore the liturgy to its ancient principles, resulted in changes that have affected both Roman Catholics, and Protestants. For different reasons, frequent communion was unusual and both sides sought to remedy this.

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