Table Manners: Liturgical Leadership for the Mission of the Church by Simon Reynolds (192 pages)
This is a book I have only recently discovered. It follows an approach similar to my own. Simon Reynolds, a parish priest serving in the Anglican Church, tries to go beyond partisan eccentricities to underlying principles of liturgy – whatever the context or style.
In my own teaching on liturgy (on this site and elsewhere) I have often used the metaphor of liturgy being like a (symbolic) language. There are grammar guides which focus on rules, and there are those grammar guides which go deeper to the underlying principles of writing and speaking. When it comes to worship, this book, Table Manners, is of the latter kind.
Chapters explore enchantment or entertainment; tradition in transition; the possibilities and limits of language; symbolism and gesture; liturgical environment; and shaping a liturgical and presidential instinct.
I encourage the purchase and reading of this book – both by those who lead and those who see themselves as being led. I am considering a series of posts in dialogue with these chapters of the book.
I also encourage you to watch the following lecture of mine if you haven’t already, and read the free online book Celebrating Eucharist which, as I have indicated, has a similar approach:
- The Hour That Changes Everything
- Worship Environment
- Make Preparation
- Worship Rules?
- Negotiating With A Liturgist