My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Exploring the eucharistic practice of one’s own church is a wonderful undertaking; exploring that of another Christian denomination can be very informative not only about the church denomination being studied, but also one’s own eucharistic theology.
This book explores the praxis and theology of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a particularly American Christian denomination that sprang up in the mid 17oos, and traces the development in that praxis and theology until the relatively recent area. The author, Gerard Moore, brings his own expertise to the task of examining prayers, practice and theology contained in the practice and worship resources that have been part of that particular denomination’s life.
I found this quite small book quite engrossing and intriguing, and raising some questions about the Catholic understanding of eucharistic theology and praxis. Exploring the understanding of the Disciples has much to offer the understanding of any other Christian denomination within which the eucharist worship plays a part.
From the dust cover:
The Disciples at Table! The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is about to enter its third century of worship, evangelism and Christian worship. This book is a snapshot of their Table practice: its origins, forms, prayers, and ecumenical development. Single-minded pioneers and advocates of Eucharistic Table fellowship each Sunday, the Disciples forged a unique experience of worship within the restorationist paradigm.
What did this worship look like? A free tradition, explicitly “non-liturgical,” these Christian communities were open to the directives of the Scriptures and the inspiration of the Spirit. There were no official texts. Yet there was a plethora of worship books and aids, in effect unofficial texts, operating to guide, inform and develop the Disciples’ understanding of the Lord’s Table and their worship. For the first time these devotional books have been uncovered and studied, revealing something of the deeper influences behind Disciples practice, the common lines of thought and ritual that unknowingly bind the communities, and the difficulties that have emerged in light of ongoing ecumenical worship and research.