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Durham e-Theses
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The incorporation of an individual into the liturgical action of the church of England

Dewes, Deborah (1996) The incorporation of an individual into the liturgical action of the church of England. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The question central to this thesis is: how the 'incomer' experiences the liturgy of the Church of England. The discussion focuses mainly on the occasional offices of baptisms, weddings and funerals, and their impact upon the mission of the church. Part One examines some of the dynamics which operate within communities, and within the church community in particular. Determinative for the incomer's perception is the church's self- understanding as presented through the liturgy, whether it is an open or closed community, and what conception of God it offers. Of particular importance is the way in which ritual, symbol, language and story help to create community, as also more explicit as also more explicit concepts such as the Trinity and the body of Christ. Part Two then turns to a more detailed consideration of the impact of the occasional offices upon the incomer. Rites of passages are discussed. The chapter about weddings includes an examination of the service in the Alternative Service Rook 1980. and a discussion of co-habitation and the re-marriage of divorcees. In the chapter about funerals there is discussion about the pastoral care of the liturgy and ritual, about cremation and the lack of appropriate imagery in present liturgy , about life-centred funerals (sacred or secular) and about the assumed faith status of the dead. In the chapter about baptism the tensions between baptism as a rite of passage and/or initiation are explored, catechesis as part of the baptismal rite is discussed, and changes are suggested to reclaim baptism as the rite of initiation by a process of welcome, education and nurture. Part Three examines some of the less verbal messages in the liturgy and the missiological implications of the bridge or barrier which weekly worship constitutes to the incomer. Attention is paid to care of the individual through worship, in particular through using shalom as a model for personal and corporate wholeness. There is a discussion of the elements of worship in functional and phenomenological terms. In ch 7 elements of worship in a Sunday service and their effects on the incomer arc examined through the focus of story. The use of the bible and lectionary, prayers, and the role of music in services is discussed. There is a brief examination of participation in and mingling of stories, particularly related to the catechumenate. My conclusions are as follows: 1) It is time to enrich the liturgy.2) There is a need for greater participation and inclusion in liturgy.3) It is time to allow for greater honesty in liturgy.4) The church needs to take mission seriously in its liturgy. The mission of the church in worship should be consistent with the mission of the church in proclamation, social action and pastoral care. If worship is not shaped and informed by the perceptions of modem thinking as well as historical accuracy it will become irrelevant.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1996
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:52

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