The thought behind the liturgy

A liturgical example of the multiple purposes of the Law, and of the thought which is behind the liturgies we use, too often thoughtlessly:

In the Lutheran context, the Commandments were usually read as preparation for the confession of sin, thus serving one of the functions of the law: to convict us of our sins so as to open our hearts to confession and God’s forgiveness. Similarly, up to the modern era the Anglican Book of Common Prayer has called for the repetition of the Commandments by the priest while the people would respond to each commandment with β€œLord, have mercy.” While the Reformed tradition did not worry too much at first about where the Commandments belonged in the liturgy, because they were understood to function primarily catechetically, Calvin and other Reformed leaders came to have the Commandments sung or read after the confession of sin and the words of absolution, as a guide to living according to God’s instruction.[1]

[1] Miller, Patrick D. The Ten Commandments: Interpretation: Resources for the Use of Scripture in the Church. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. 11

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