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Re: [liturgy-l] The Gospel Twirl!

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  • Scott Knitter
    Far worse ? Are we being bad people if we stand and watch while the Gospel book is simply carried to the midst of the people? In what way is that not
    Message 1 of 73 , May 2, 2007
      "Far worse"? Are we being bad people if we stand and watch while the
      Gospel book is simply carried to the midst of the people? In what way
      is that not participating? What I think would be terrible is
      manufactured exuberance. If the exuberance is real, fine. But not
      dancing and twirling certainly doesn't mean we're dour, uncaring,
      frozen, or hostile. Maybe reverent.

      On 5/2/07, Janet Roth <jproth@...> wrote:
      > On May 2, 2007, at 6:25 AM, The Rev'd Fr. Kendall Reimer wrote:
      > > I think I was okay right up to the applause.
      > Had I been there I think I might have applauded just from sheer joy
      > of the idea of dancing with the gospel! My own feeling is that it
      > is far worse for the congregation to just sit and observe in silence
      > than to participate in some way. --- certainly far harder on the
      > congregation.
      > I have always wanted to dance with the gospel or the whole Bible in
      > liturgy (or be in a place where this is done) --- not every week, but
      > sometimes.
      > Janet Roth
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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      Scott R. Knitter
      Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois USA
    • asteresplanetai
      +xb+ ... in general we christians have always faced east in church. if you think about it, if you put the deacon in the middle of the congregation, or even a
      Message 73 of 73 , May 6, 2007

        Re: The Gospel Twirl!, Ormonde Plater writes:

        > I'm not sure I understand why the deacon faces east while
        > proclaiming the gospel in the midst of the people. Is the church
        > saying that the gospel is equivalent to prayer?

        in general we christians have always faced east in church. if you
        think about it, if you put the deacon in the middle of the
        congregation, or even a bit behind the middle, it would make no
        particular sense to have him face west, since the majority of the
        people (at least when it's a full house and there aren't just a
        handful standing in the back) would then be behind him. As it is,
        they surround him, and he has to face *some* direction. The whole
        purpose is to put the deacon in the middle, where he can be heard by
        the max number of people. So when reading, he faces east just like
        everyone else. But the point is that he does so from the midst of the
        people, so they can hear him.

        facing west makes sense only if he's to the east of those to whom
        he's reading.

        the same arrangement is used traditionally in synagogues, by the way.
        The reading desk is in the middle; the building and its people
        generally face jerusalem, although during the reading of the torah
        they might face the torah.

        > Posted by: "Tom Poelker" TomPoelker@... tapoelker

        > Gee! an elevated place in the midst of the assembly so
        > everyone can see and hear! What a good idea!
        > Isn't an elevated place called a bema?

        depends, i suppose. In the orthodox tradition, the bema is the area
        behind the altar, where the bishop has his throne and where he stands
        for the reading of the gospel. But i think others, including the
        jews, call the platform in the middle of the church a 'bema',
        although i may be wrong about this; i have some idea that they may
        term the elevated area where the ark is, the bema, and they may call
        the reader's desk the ambon. I forget. But for us, we call it the ambon.

        > What if we put it so that it faced east and people faced it
        > on three sides? Why should only the deacon use it and only
        > at the gospel?

        that's what we do, at least. The reader doesn't actually stand on the
        platform-- it is strictly reserved for the bishop, except for the
        deacon when he is reading the gospel-- but the reader reads the
        apostolic reading from in front of it. (old testament readings are
        read either from there also, or from the chanter's stand). I suppose
        if the platform has steps, he would read from the steps.

        But the whole point is that people hear it on all *four* sides. Only
        the deacon uses the bishop's platform, because only the gospel, which
        he reads, is the words of Christ.

        there's an interesting related rubric regarding standing and sitting
        for the readings, even if part of it is seldom observed in america:
        For old testament readings, everybody sits, because baptism has made
        us a nation of kings, priests, and prophets. For the apostolic
        readings, the clergy sit, because they are the successors of the
        apostles, but the people should stand attentively (in america they
        sit, but this is not correct). For the gospel, even the bishop
        stands, head uncovered, because no one is equal to christ. This same
        distinction is reflected also in the place of the reading.

        > We could put the lectern for all the readings and for the
        > preaching (ambo we sometimes call it) against the west wall
        > and the altar in front of it and everybody can see and hear
        > and respond to everything while the priest faced east, if
        > that is really important.

        no, the altar goes to the east because that is the direction of
        prayer, and the congregation as a whole is offering the Intemerate
        Sacrifice to God, who is "east" of us ("in light inaccessible", as
        the apostle puts it).

        But the readings are for instruction, so for that reason the fathers
        arranged that they should be done from the middle of the nave, so the
        max number of people could hear them.

        > We could have the altar on the west wall and the east wall
        > blank with the ambo at the foot of it and people on two
        > sides, even!

        heh heh. i think you're getting carried away with your ideas, yes?

        regards from warm kampala,

        john burnett
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