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Worthy Worship

Loader, W. (2009) Worthy Worship. In: Burns, S. and Monro, A., (eds.) Christian Worship in Australia: Inculturating the Liturgical Tradition. St Pauls Publications, Strathfield, NSW, pp. 109-116.

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“Worthy is the Lamb that was Slain!” (Rev 5:12). These words of heavenly worship according to the Seer of the Apocalypse symbolise for me much of the paradox and power of worship. I cannot read them without Handel’s great chorus taking me beyond mere words to music. They engage far more than my intellect. Their very sound, then, apart from their content, moves me, and that, in a particular direction. They become for me a vehicle of the inarticulate response of awe and gratitude to the one I still call “God”, who emerges above all the busy qualifications which my mind rightly insists belong to such a word. My mind is not thereby disengaged. It knows the background of the paradox embodied in the acclamation, that this is not about sweet little lambs, but about a figure of human brokenness in compassion and ultimate vulnerability right at the heart of God. In the tokens of the eucharist this nourishes my soul and grounds my humanity. My experience is mirrored by many in similar terms and by many others whose cultural indulgences take them far from Handel, not just in Australia but across the continents.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: St Pauls Publications
Copyright: 2009 St Pauls Publications
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