Edited By Vahan Hovhanessian
Grand Entrance: Entrance into Worship as Rhetorical Invitation and Liturgical Precedent in the Older Testament (Edith M. Humphrey) 79
• E D I T H M . H U M P H R E Y • Grand Entrance: Entrance into Worship as Rhetorical Invitation and Liturgical Precedent in the Older Testament Not a temple made by hands, but the opening of the heavens, the world transfigured into a temple, all life into the liturgy—such is the foundation of the Christian lex orandi.1 n these poignant and universal terms, Fr. Alexander Schmemann describes the church as a praying body, invited by the living God to enter into a reality, company and action far beyond our thought or imagination. Entrance into the heavens is the basis for Christian prayer. Some might consider Fr. Schmemann’s words to be overly expansive, an overstatement born of the Eastern Christian tradition and of a poetic mind. However, recourse to the historic liturgies and hymnody of East and West confirms that the motif of “entrance” is remarkably pervasive. Indeed, developed in various ways through the centuries, the theme is foundational both in a theological and a historical sense. In particular, worship as entrance finds an august place in the scriptures of the Older2 Testament, from which it is carried, transformed by Christ, into the New Covenant Tradition, so that its distinct mark is made in the New Testament and sub-apostolic writings, as well as in the liturgies. This study represents the first stage in a project that addresses controver- sies concerning worship in North American ecclesial communities. My work- ing hypothesis is that the Western “worship wars” must...
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