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Liturgical Press

Hearing Our Prayers

An Exploration of Liturgical Listening

Juliette J. Day

Hearing Our Prayers SEE INSIDE
Hearing Our Prayers
SEE INSIDE

ISBN: 9780814669419, 6941

Details: 240 pgs, 6 x 9 x 1/2
Publication Date: 03/05/2024
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How do we hear our prayers? In the words of philosopher Gemma Corradi Fiumara, there can “be no saying without hearing, no speaking which is not an integral part of listening, no speech which is not somehow received.” Therefore, hearing should be considered an essential aspect of participation in Christian worship. However, although almost all studies of Christian worship attend to the words spoken and sung, almost none consider how worshippers hear in the liturgical event.

In Hearing Our Prayers, Juliette Day draws upon insights from liturgical studies, philosophy, psychology, acoustical science, and architectural studies to investigate how acts of audition occur in Christian worship. The book discusses the different listening strategies worshippers use for speech, chant, and music, as well as for silence and noise: why paying attention in church can be so difficult and how what we hear is affected by the buildings in which worship takes place. Day concludes by identifying "liturgical listening" as a particular type of ritual participation and emphasizes that liturgical listening is foundational for the way in which we pray, and think about God, the church, and the world.

Juliette J. Day is university lecturer and docent in church history at the University of Helsinki.

ISBN: 9780814669419, 6941

Details: 240 pgs, 6 x 9 x 1/2
Publication Date: 03/05/2024

Reviews

"Contra Macbeth’s view that life is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, in worship sound—spoken, chanted, individual or communal, as well as ritual gestures and silence—signify everything. In this widely researched book, Juliette Day discusses contemporary understandings of sound and aurality, illustrated from different Christian traditions, and from her wide knowledge of the history of liturgy. This study fills a glaring academic void, and it should be read and heeded by all those who study liturgy, and those who both plan and lead worship."
Bryan D. Spinks, Bishop F. Percy Goddard Professor Emeritus of Liturgical Studies and Pastoral Theology, Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School

"This original and compelling study of the phenomenon of sound in Christian worship invites its readers into a world much more complex than song, sermon and vocalized prayer. Juliette Day's multi-disciplinary approach to the way worshippers hear and are themselves heard draws on the physics of sound as well as physiological, ritual and architectural accounts of the way sound is created and received, as well as (most importantly) attending to the marking of sound by silence. Participating in the liturgy will not be the same again for those who let this book guide future listening and hearing."
Bridget Nichols, author of Lively Oracles of God