Ritual

Jesus Eats First

At the church I pastor, we have four servers who distribute the communion elements to the congregation, and I distribute the elements to those in the foyer and nursery. The servers and I do not partake of the bread and wine until the congregation is served first. As this has developed, the servers eat while […]

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Holiness, Ethics, Ritual

Leigh M. Trevaskis’s 2011 monograph, Holiness, Ethics and Ritual in Leviticus, is an outstanding contribution to the study of Leviticus. His main thesis is directed at the world of Old Testament scholarship, in which there is a consensus that the ritual laws of Leviticus 1-16 come from a school and time period different from Leviticus 17-27. […]

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The Calf of the Purification Offering

On the eighth day of the rite of “filling the hand,” Aaron began his service at the altar. His first offering was a “calf” (Heb. `egel), which served as a purification offering for himself and (apparently) his household (Leviticus 9:2, 8). This is striking for a couple of reasons. First, Leviticus 4:3 requires that priests offer […]

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Jesus’ Baptism Into Priesthood

As I noted in an earlier article in Rite Reasons, the Church Fathers Tertullian, Ambrose, and Augustine all claimed that baptism inducts the baptized person into membership in the royal priesthood of the church, and Thomas Aquinas said that baptism, by imprinting an indelible “character” on the soul, confers a share in the priesthood of Christ. […]

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Gordon Wenham on Ritual

In a brief article entitled, “The Theology of Old Testament Sacrifice,” Gordon Wenham, expanding on a comment about ritual from anthropologist Monica Wilson, states: We resort to ritual when we want to express our deepest feelings. Consider the rituals used in greeting people in our society: a nod, a handshake, a kiss, or a hug. […]

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