Rituals and Worship

Trinity Sunday: a day to focus on the triune nature of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Many denominations also include services for special days such as New Year's, Christian Unity (to pray for reunification of the Christian churches), World Communion, Reformation Sunday (the Sunday on or before October 31, which is the date Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the castle door in Wittenberg), Thanksgiving Day, and Days of Civic or National Significance. Denominations also mark special events in their own particular histories.

Note that, while the secular calendar makes no distinctions about quality of time (each unit of time is equal, and of equal significance), the liturgical calendar ebbs and flows with different levels of celebration and mourning. Periods of special sacredness cluster around Easter and Christmas, but these are times of greater attention and devotion, not greater proximity to the divine. Thus sacred time is not homogeneous, but gives shape and pattern to the annual cycle.

Study Questions:
1.     Why do various Protestant traditions have different understandings of sacred time?
2.     What is the focus of Protestant worship? What does it teach?
3.     What is the liturgical calendar? How does it transform time?
4.     Describe some of the events on the liturgical calendar. Are they celebrated by all denominations?

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