Thursday, 24 March 2011

Great is the Mystery of Faith

How many times have you heard the priest say those words, inviting the congregation to respond 'Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!' Where do they come from? Why have they found a home at the heart of the new Eucharistic prayers and why didn't Cranmer know about them - or did he? If you don't know the answers to those questions, you need to buy Paul Ferguson's new book! Paul is Archdeacon of Cleveland in North Yorkshire and a former Precentor of York Minster. One of the few people I have met who can rise from the dinner table to illustrate an obscure piece of Gerald Finsey (a Harrogate born-composer), by ear, at the piano! And also one of the few archdeacons I know who can make even a lecture on Common Tenure sound interesting. So get him on the topic of worship and how our worship helps us in our growth as Christian disciples and you have something worth reading!  

The Ven. Paul Ferguson, Archdeacon of Cleveland

His new book is a great resource for those who lead or participate in worship Sunday by Sunday (or day by day) and who would like to understand a bit more about the root of some of the texts we take for granted, texts which, one might argue, will shape the English of the future perhaps not quite as extensively as the King James Bible but, undoubtedly, to a degree.  The book also explores the theological and liturgical significance of many of the things we say in worship and would be a good basis for a short course of study or a Lent group. Reading it will help to deepen our relationship with the worship moulds us.

Great is the Mystery of Faith; Exploring Faith Through the Words of Worship Paul Ferguson, Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2011 ISBN 978 1 84825 055 0

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