Sunday, January 10, 2016


A commenter on Althouse strongly recommended The Valley of Vision, a collection of puritan prayers. (Edited by Arthur Bennett--there's another book of the same name; not that one)

I figured it had to go on my to-read list, and I ordered it. It is not something to sit down and read in one sitting. Last night I read this one. "Forbidden follies and vanities" could be an expansive notion in some hands--and probably should be for many of us. But the line that bit was "to leave the world before I enter the church."

I tend to bring it with me, and ponder it often.

Maybe it helps to have clear boundaries around the service, or even entering the sanctuary, as some more liturgical churches do. I remember the woman exiting the Orthodox church in Geneva, stepping backwards and crossing herself at every step (I changed my mind about playing tourist there).

But I suspect that any ritual can become automatic. Grass on the other side of the fence, and all that.

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