Presidential Address: The Study of Liturgies - Ancient and Modern - of the Christian Church

Rev Dr A Stewart Todd, St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen

Begins with a critique of the Society, which he says is not articulating its aims and objects. Nevertheless much done, but the study of the ancient liturgies has been neglected, without which we lose contact with reality. Recent research has advanced understanding; now perceptions, motifs and sequences of thought may be quarried for the benefit of worship in the present day. Didache chapter 10 is instanced, as are the Aposotlic Traditions and other early liturgies, and the two dominant motifs of thanksgiving and anamnesis noted. Another feature of ancient prayer, neglected today, is adoration, which is now explored. If apophatism is feared, let us learn from the Liturgy of St James and the Anaphora of Cyril of Jerusalem who avoid this danger by an emphasis on God the Creator. This is a theme much neglected in our worship, a theme to which contemporary science directs us.

Volume 02 Autumn 1982, p3