New word of the month: Liturgy

I often look up words as I’m writing, just to check if I’m using them in the correct context however, it’s rare to come across a word so brand spanking new, that I need two or three unique sources to define it. Most of the time I can guess a word by how it’s used in context.

This probably means that I’ve not gone venturing out on new waters vocabulary wise, sticking with what feels comfortable and familiar. However, recently I’ve taken up some college-level courses. Yay, for academic English. (No seriously, I want to do a little happy dance)

So to no further ado the new word of the month, to build your vocabulary is:

Liturgy

Liturgy is a noun.

Word Web, defines this word to mean:

A rite or rites prescribed for public worship
or
A Christian sacrament commemorating the Last Supper by consecrating bread and wine.

Even my Concise Oxford Dictionary seems to take this stance. However, when I check my reference books this definition seems somewhat inept.
The Lexham Bible Dictionary uses the word “liturgy” several times, in quite different uses.

E.g. under Concretion of Bishops, they state
“the order of liturgy that followed the consecration of bishop”
A bunch of things people did during the consecration ceremony follows this.

Thus liturgy is a set of rituals followed in Christian religious service or ceremony. However, I then came across this definition, which seems much more applicable.

When we speak of liturgy, we are speaking of a set of rituals and words used in public worship, usually in a Christian church’s worship service. However, any set of practices becomes a liturgy when it plays a significant role in shaping our identity. Secular institutions are liturgical because they provide a matrix of practices and rituals that inculcate a certain (un-Christian) vision of the good life.

Ashford, B. R. (2015). Every Square Inch: An Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians (pp. 130–131). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Liturgy is a set of practices and rituals we perform that define our identity.

For example, we want to be more like the pretty people in the TV ads; therefore, we put on nice clothes and makeup and go out to buy more clothes and makeup to become just like them. In this scenario, the pretty people on TV become the ideal we aspire to be. Taken to extremes, we build our personality around it. We thus idolise these pretty people and do a bunch of stuff to be just like them.

I’m sure you can form your own ideas from here, as to the term, Liturgy.

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