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Worship Without Words: The Signs and Symbols of Our Faith Paperback – October, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Paraclete Pr (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557252572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557252579
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,933,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Patricia Klein has put together an immensely useful handbook for all elements of Christian worship. Using drawings, definitions, and brief historical explanations, she maps out the large landscape of liturgy with clarity and brevity. Chapter 1, for example, moves from the most obvious starting point (the church building itself, including explanations of the terms cathedral, basilica, and oratory) through monastic architecture, the interior and exterior spaces (buttress, cloister, apse, chancel) and then into church furnishings (ambo--"a raised desk from which the Gospels or Epistles were read or chanted") and liturgical furnishings (processional cross, alms basin). Subsequent chapters explore the altar, the cross, the liturgical year, liturgical worship, music, sacraments, vestments, as well as church dogma (the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed). A delightful book for browsing and reference, it can get positively addictive for anyone with an interest in the outer forms of the inner faith. --Doug Thorpe

From Booklist

The Christian church has amassed a dauntingly large vocabulary over the millennia. Or should one say vocabularies? Klein's classified dictionary of church terminology contains many pictures of physical artifacts, from church floor plans to symbols of the faith, as well as words. Thus, it defines both verbal and visual signs; hence, vocabularies. The emphasis is on signs that originate in Roman Catholicism, which, after all, predates Orthodoxy and Protestantism. Each of 12 chapters deals with a different set of terms. The first, "Sacred Places, Sacred Spaces," contains architectural and furnishing terms. Subsequent chapters focus on physical features (the altar, vestments), public and private worship, the sacraments, church offices, the liturgical year, and the words of belief. Each chapter is appropriately subdivided, with the index providing a complete alphabet of defined terms. Interestingly, Klein has low-church roots but believes knowing the names of the old ways removes practical barriers between varying Christians and enables them "to lose [themselves] in the Presence of God"--that is, to truly worship. Consider reference as well as circulating copies. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael H. Charles on May 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent start for those investigating liturgical worship in the Christian Church. It does tend to be slanted toward the Roman Church omitting several Anglican similarities. For example, Rosary is listed as specifically Roman even though it's use is widespread in the Anglican (Episcopal) Church. Under the heading Books of Worship, the breviary is listed as used in the Roman Catholic Church omitting the Anglican Breviary as well as the Anglican Missal. In the procession, the boat boy (boy who carries the unburned incense)is not mentioned and under clergy there is no mention of a Canon who is fairly common in the Anglican Church. There are other omissions and not much detail about the Orthodox tradition, however, most major subjects have been covered and provide a begining for those interested.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Now in an expanded second edition, Worship Without Words: The Signs and Symbols of Our Faith is a solid quick-reference guide to terms, symbols, clothing, titles, and more used in Christian liturgical worship. From dictionary-like sections that spell out definitions with visual aid from simple black-and-white pictures, to the cycles and holidays of the liturgical year, to lessons and books of worship, the concept of the body of Christ, vestments, and more, Worship Without Words is an excellent primer for anyone new to liturgical worship whether through conversion or rediscovery. A reader-friendly, highly accessible resource. Also highly recommended is author Patricia S. Klein's "A Year With C.S. Lewis".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. Wiese on November 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Paraclete Press sent me a complimentary copy of Worship Without Words: the Signs and Symbols or Our Faith. It explains the symbols that you find in churches that have some kind of historic architecture as well as words used during the service. The author is Roman Catholic but she covers Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches as well. I found the section on architecture to be the most helpful. I'm always getting words like chancel, sanctuary, nave, and narthex confused in my head. This book has some very helpful diagrams. One is an overhead shot diagramming the various parts of a church with a cruciform floor plan. Another gives a view from the nave looking towards the sanctuary. In many Protestant churches when people talk about the sanctuary they are referring to the area that people sit in but this is really the nave. As the book points out "nave" is the Latin word for ship and "In ecclesiastical art, the Church is represented as a ship sailing toward heaven. The ship's "passengers" are the parishioners who sit in the main part of the church." This isn't the type of book you are likely to read all the way through but it's an excellent reference.
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Format: Paperback
I have found much useful knowledge in this book! I am very encouraged by its' content. I highly recommend it to those searching for knowledge on religion.
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