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Archive for category Ritual Studies

Scientific Research: Worship Is Healthy

“Our findings support the overall hypothesis that increased religiosity – as determined by attendance at worship services – is associated with less stress and enhanced longevity.”

Cuthbert Johnson, OSB, RIP – UPDATED 1-19

Abbot Emeritus Cuthbert Johnson, a key player in the “translation wars”, has died

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When a Stranger Offends the Liturgical Aesthetic

“The service was over, but the ritual was not. Jim had unexpectedly entered the ritual space and interrupted the silence with his signs and voice. His soiled clothing was adding unwanted shades of grey to the color palate that was otherwise dominated by the hues of golden candlesticks, red marble pillars, velvety green banners, and warm brown pews. Plus, he was getting the ritual completely wrong. Unlike others in the space, he did not direct his petition to God. Instead, he was begging from the people around him.”


My Organ Caught on Fire

What do you do when ritual is interrupted?

Antonin Scalia & the “Last Rites”

In case you are as frustrated as I am with the glib reporting of “last rites” being administered to Antonin Scalia many hours after his death, or you have your friends asking you about this, here is a quick map from Paul Turner’s website, of the complications surrounding the “last rites”: Send to Kindle

Faith’s Archivists

There can be few places more different from Timbuktu – geographically, culturally or spiritually – than Collegeville, Minnesota.  


The Domestic Holy Supper and Tradition

The ‘Holy Supper’ originated as an agrarian feast, an opportunity to mark the winter solstice as the beginning of the increase of light and to wish good health and fortune, and a rich harvest for the households in a neighborhood.

A Course on Liturgy and Justice

In this course, we look at the implication of liturgical practice for the practice of justice in the various times and cultures of Christian experience. The course focuses on Western / North Atlantic Christianity. I would welcome suggestions for readings outside that ambit as well as comments on the course in general.

January 7: A Convergence of Feasts

Liturgy was preceded by a few carols, the choir usually sang well, and after liturgy, the choir would gather at the rectory for two hours of caroling and festive foods prepared by my grandmother and mother. We agreed that “Ukrainian” Christmas was the “religious” observance of the holiday.

A Homely Reminder of How Rote Ritual Is

So much of the analysis of liturgy remains focused on the words in the books or even the words recited or repeated in assemblies, and this with an uncritical, unarticulated assumption that the discursive content of those texts impact/shape the ideas or imaginations of most of the participants. The individual performances and ongoing practices of a rite/ritual/liturgy are so much more and most often a matter of non-discursive, semiotic (if you will) patterns …