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Philip Garside Books

Liturgies from Below - Print

Liturgies from Below - Print

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Liturgies from Below: Praying with People at the End of the World.

Cláudio Carvalhaes.

Soft cover 376pp.
ISBN 9781791007355.
Abingdon (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

It’s been said that prayer is the vocabulary of faith. This book offers a wealth of resources from forgotten places to help us create a new vocabulary for worship and prayer, one that is located amidst the poor and the major issues of violence and destruction around the world today.

It is a collection of prayers, songs, rituals, rites of healing, Eucharistic and baptismal prayers, meditations and art from four continents: Asia-Pacific Islands, Africa, Americas, and Europe.

Liturgies from Below is the culmination of a project organized by the Council for World Mission (CWM) during 2018-2019. 100 people from four continents worked with CWM, collaborating to create indigenous prayers and liturgies expressing their own contexts, for sharing with their communities and the rest of the world. The project was called “Re-Imagining Worship as Acts of Defiance and Alternatives in the Context of Empire”.

The author and others spent weeks living in each of four communities for several weeks/months, getting to know the people, and then facilitating the people’s own creation of prayers and liturgies. The author, other scholars, pastors, artists, activists and students all came from radically different ethnicities, races, sexualities, churches and Christian theologies. The people in each location were poor, living in very challenging communities, living in oppressive and seemingly hopeless situations. After some time, they wrote prayers and stories of their experience trying to live the Christian faith in utterly abandoned places.

What we have here is an immensely rich and varied collection of liturgical sources from various communities dealing with issues of: violence, immigration/refugees, drugs, land grabbing, war on the poor, attacks on women, militarisation, climate change, and other topics.

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