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Reformed Liturgical Practices

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Chapter Summary

The sweeping theological reconsideration of the Eucharist offered by John Calvin and others in the reformed tradition led to a profound, highly visible transformation of liturgical practices. The celebration of the Lord's Supper in the Reformed tradition encompassed a rich array of ritual practices. The liturgical practices bore testimony to the primacy of Word and accentuated the eucharistic celebration as a communal event in which the members of a true church, distinguished by their beliefs and behavior, actively participated. The entire community of faith shared the sacral meal on a regular basis. Men and women prepared together with catechism lessons and penitential rites. Lay members of the ministry provided the critical elements of bread and wine, which all ate and drank in common. This most basic of Christian rituals steadfastly underscored the fundamental principal of communal harmony and strengthened the spiritual identity that flowed from the sacrament.

Keywords: Christian rituals; John Calvin; Lord's Supper; reformed liturgical practice



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