Liturgy (Greek: Λειτουργία) is the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions.
The word, sometimes rendered by its English translation "service", may refer to an elaborate formal ritual such as the Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy (Greek: Θεία λειτουργία) and Catholic Mass, or a daily activity such as the Muslim salat and Jewish services. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy is a communal response to the sacred through activity reflecting praise, thanksgiving, supplication, or repentance. Ritualization may be associated with life events such as birth, coming of age, marriage and death. It thus forms the basis for establishing a relationship with a divine agency, as well as with other participants in the liturgy. Methods of dress, preparation of food, application of cosmetics or other hygienic practices are all considered liturgical activities.
Famous quotes containing the word liturgy:
“You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion.... Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cats meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.”
—Aldous Huxley (18941963)
“My liturgy would employ
Images of sousing,
A furious devout drench....”
—Philip Larkin (19221986)