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Occasional Services

(2,258 words)

Author(s): Pfatteicher, Philip H. | Neidhart, Walter
1. Development The church’s “occasional services” are called such not because they are used infrequently but because they are rites that have been developed for specific occasions. The term is thus comparable to the variety of poetry called occasional verse. Occasional services are often seen as a special form of ordinary worship. Instead of assembling because of the weekly rhythm or the cycle of the church year, the congregation meets because one of its members is crossing a threshold from one stage of life to another. As it does for…


(5,012 words)

Author(s): Marshall, Paul V. | Adam, Adolf | Theodorou, Evangelos | Pfatteicher, Philip H. | Berger, Teresa
1. Term and Development 1.1. Term In the pagan world, “liturgy” (Gk. leitourgia, from leı̈tos, “concerning the public,” plus ergon, “work”) originally had an entirely secular use, connoting the service owed to the public by persons of means; in addition, philanthropists took on additional service, also called liturgy. The basic meaning was thus “service for the people.” A secondary, cultic usage developed for the term, perhaps because ultimately the public was to benefit from the service rendered to the gods. This cultic meaning was adopted in the LXX and in Hellenistic Judaism …