Beyond Smells and Bells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy

Mark Galli, Author . Paraclete $16.95 (142p) ISBN 978-1-55725-521-1

At a time when magazines and journals are documenting the upsurge of interest in liturgy and ritual, a book from the senior managing editor of Christianity Today would seem well-timed. Unfortunately Galli, trying to cover all the bases from Eastern Orthodox to Presbyterian in exploring how liturgy helps to cultivate God's people, speaks too broadly and generically for an audience that is just discovering and trying to fathom formal worship traditions. Galli thoughtfully addresses the way in which liturgy shapes us in general, by changing our focus, sense of time and culture. But the lack of specific examples (in an effort to be inclusive) leaves readers with theory that may be difficult to translate into Sunday morning worship. However, Galli's love of the liturgy is clear, and his own stories of the way it has engaged and changed him over time are informative. The book's three appendixes (a glossary of common liturgical terms, a comparison of the order of worship in various traditions and a description of the seasons of the Christian year) will be helpful to newcomers to church traditions. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/11/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
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