Externals in the Pews and at Home

A previous post asked about externals and adiaphora and ceremony in worship. Externals and ceremony always exist, and not just with the guys wearing funny clothes up front either.

What are the externals and ceremonies the laity do? Do you sit attentively at church? Do you moan and groan and sigh when you have to stand? Sit? How do you dress and why? When you walk forward for communion how do you do it? Sauntering and strutting like a jock at high school graduation or overly pious, thinking about all the eyes that are on you and wanting to look holy? Or neither?

What about the externals of your life when you go home? Does the TV go on immediately and what sounds are filling your home? What kind of images are on your walls and in your bedroom and under your eyelids? What do you do the first thing upon waking? Do you make the sign of the cross or do you make another sign at your alarm clock or grab your phone and look at Facebook (this I do all to often, to my shame!). Tertullian, writing at the turn of the 2nd Century wrote, “At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign.”

How do we live and move and have your being, knowing in Whom we live, in Whom we move and in Whom we have our being? (Acts 17:28)

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