June 06, 2017

Public Reading of Scripture

Responsive readings in the liturgical church service came from a Book of Common Prayers, a denomination hymn book, and a bulletin insert. In order to participate worshippers followed along with 23 different elements such as The Decalogue, the Doxology and The Prayer of Obligation — all located in different places and on different pages. In stark contrast, when it came time for three Scripture readings, one from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament, no one consulted a Bible. Certainly there is no right or wrong way to hear and read the Word of God. However, I was struck by the fact that worshippers appeared to be active participants with the extra-biblical content, yet passive participants as the Bible was read aloud to them.

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