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Summary

Ancient Faith has produced a fresh update and redesign of a book cherished by a generation of seekers. Written in an accessible manner for the average lay person, Orthodox Worship offers insights into the Orthodox liturgy. Early Christians preserved a continuity of worship from the Old Covenant to the New, employing elements from the Jewish Temple liturgy, the synagogue liturgy, and the rituals of the Jewish home. The book shows how divinely revealed Old Testament worship is not only continued but also fulfilled in the Orthodox liturgy. A line-by-line explanation of the liturgy is included.

©2018 Benjamin D. Williams and Harold B. Anstall (P)2019 Ancient Faith Publishing

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  • Wordsmith
  • 04-12-19

The Divine Liturgy: When Heaven and Earth are one

As an Evangelical preacher's kid, Sunday worship was this: three drum-and-electric guitar and keyboard pop-rock songs, pulsing stage lights and haze from a smoke machine, a sermon and the quarterly, rushed and self-served "communion" of oyster crackers and grape juice. Then, I attended Divine Liturgy at an Eastern Orthodox church. I was inundated by the flickering light of candles, incense, icons, vestments, chants and singing, ancient prayers -- true reverence that engaged all the senses -- and stirred the spirit. In "Orthodox Worship: A Living Continuity with the Synagogue, the Temple, and the Early Church," co-authored Benjamin D. Williams and the late Harold B. Anstall, I learned it was all that . . . and much, much more. I experienced this work as Ancient Faith's newly updated, audiobook format (https://store.ancientfaith.com/orthodox-worship-audiobook/). At just under 6 and a half hours long, it was the perfect devotional companion for my daily walks. Striding down forested trails flanked by meadows and streams, I was easily able to immerse myself in the history of how today's Orthodox Christian worship as a continuation, and fulfillment, of the Jewish temple and synagogue liturgical practices Christ's first disciples and apostles knew from their childhoods. Deacon Kenneth Timothy's engaging and passionate narration conveys both authors' deep faith, as well as his own. In this way, the book becomes something more than words on a page or eBook reader; it is a conversation with a friend and spiritual brother. This is a book aimed at the layperson, but no less complete in its theological exploration or attention to details of the Divine Liturgy's content and ancient symbolism and rituals, culminating in Holy Communion, the mystical yet real joining of heaven and earth in true worship. Divine Liturgy, at its inspired and best, is not a spiritual spectator's sport. To merely listen, occasionally make the sign of the cross, get in line for Eucharist and then leave unchanged within, is a tragic waste. The blessing comes with participation, Williams and Anstall stress. Given the invitation for a foretaste of the Kingdom of God, along with the saints and angels, why would we not?

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  • L.Lovelace
  • 30-05-20

Very helpful

This book is really for catechumens or people inquiring into the Orthodox Church. It is well written and supported contrary to what another reviewer wrote. It will not satisfy cynics because that's not who the book was written for. It does explain Orthodox worship quite well at a popular level. check it out.

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  • McConnell
  • 02-04-20

Pick a different one.

Pick a different one, mostly just opinions and claims without real support. If all of the claims had been supported or omitted, it would have been alright, and a lot shorter.

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  • Good News
  • 14-03-20

A good thorough review of the liturgy.

If you’re looking what the liturgy consists of in an Orthodox service look no further.This book traces each step within the divine liturgy. It also mentions some of it’s historical changes. One thing I would’ve appreciated more is a Fair analysis of differences between Orthodox beliefs and Roman Catholicism. Having studied Roman Catholicism I am in favor of the Roman catholic point of view and feel that this book is lacking in its defense of orthodoxy being the one holy and Catholic and apostolic church.

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  • doubleanorris
  • 03-03-20

Not What I was Looking for

The details were great; however, I felt as if I were listening to doctrines contrived by man about worship instead of taking what is known in Scripture and expanding on it.

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  • Azzurro Rosso Lx3
  • 23-01-20

Thr narration as well as the story were great

I totally loved this audiobook and highly encourage anyone willing to learn about the divine liturgy to obtain it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-12-19

"Relevant" Worship

What did worship in the early church look like? Which modern church reflects that worship the most closely? If Judaism is the mother of Christianity, why does so much modern Christian worship bear no resemblance to Jewish worship? At what point did things change so drastically? For that matter...what's the purpose of worship at all? Modern Christians are either falling away from the church in droves or they are fighting tooth and nail to find their way back to a faith that looks more like what the Apostles experienced. Their struggle is often fuelled by the questions above.  If you have questions like these, the book "Orthodox Worship: A Living Continuity With the Synagogue, the Temple, and the Early Church" is the text you are looking for.  In this book, Benjamin Williams and Harold Anstall explain how closely early Christian worship was intertwined with temple and synagogue worship, and they paint a picture of the early church. They flesh out the Gospel account of Jesus' worship as an observant Jew and describe how the Apostles and early disciples would have continued to practice their Jewish faith with the illumination or faith in Christ.  Because early Christian worship was so intertwined with Jewish worship, they observe, it was liturgical in the same way, and Jewish liturgical  worship was revealed by God in the Old Testament as a reflection of heavenly worship. That leads us to the purpose of worship, its critical importance, and the root of a modern problem: the majority of modern Christian worship no longer follows a liturgical format, and it has thus lost its root as a reflection of heavenly worship. If liturgy is so important, where do we turn? To the only church that has remained stubbornly faithful, throughout history, to its liturgical tradition: the Eastern Orthodox church. This church looks strange to many Western Christians, having grown out of a culture foreign to us. But it shares its culture and history with Christ and the Apostles themselves. In part one, the book explains how the Orthodox Divine Liturgy we see today developed from the original Old Testament liturgical worship, through the worship of the early Christians. In the book's second part, Williams and Anstall write a useful guide to the origins, format, elements and meaning of the oldest liturgy in Christendom, and show it to be unalterably relevant, as the inheritance of that heavenly liturgy first revealed by God to the Jews. Listen to this book and you will learn, in fact, how it is that liturgy includes not just the purpose of worship, but the meaning of life itself.

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  • Jason Streit
  • 23-12-19

Great book on Orthodox history and theology

Note: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for a review This book was a fantastic read. In the first part of the book the authors show the historical development of the Divine Liturgy and how it grew out of liturgical Jewish worship. While I knew that Jewish Temple worship was liturgical I did not know that synagogue worship was. It helped me see Jesus, and later the apostles, preaching in the synagogue in a new light. The second part of the book is an in-depth breakdown of the Divine Liturgy. The authors show how each part developed historically and what the spiritual significance of the part is. For instance they discuss why the Creed was developed and how it was inserted into the liturgy as an assent to the core doctrines of the Church before Communion. I also enjoyed their description of the liturgy being a journey from earth to the throne room of God and how we are are transformed along this journey. It really helped show me how the liturgy and our participation in it transcends time and space. In conclusion I would highly recommend this book. Whether you are an inquirer, catechumen or born Orthodox you are sure to gain valuable insight from it.

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  • Jen
  • 17-12-19

A solid resource for understanding the Liturgy

This is a well-paced, clear and accessible resource that draws extensively on the historical context and the personal experience of worship, to connect both the historic Jewish and early Christian forms of worship to contemporary Orthodox liturgics. Its style and performance make it possible to be understood by a wide variety of listeners.

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  • Julie
  • 17-12-19

Great resource on the Orthodox Divine Liturgy.

This book made it easy to learn about and understand both the history and order of Orthodox Divine Liturgy. I really appreciated that the authors made the effort to lay out the history separately and before the order of the service. I think mixing the two together would have made the book longer and more complicated. I couldn't give it 5 stars because I felt there were times that the authors were making an appeal to change parts of divine liturgy that came across as political rather than informative. Narrating was a bit monotone but after I bumped the speed a bit it was better. I am inclined to purchase a hard copy because I would revisit some of the explanations and its easier to do that in print form. I would highly recommend this for anyone just learning about Orthodoxy as well as those who are already orthodox. Disclaimer: I received a link for the audiobook from Ancient Faith in exchange for an honest review.