From the Revd Wealands Bell
Sir, - The words of the Revd John Whittaker concerning the
desirable relationship between the altar table and the service of
the world (Letters, 19
September) will have resonated with many. Indeed, some may have
been reminded of St John Chrysostom's question: "What good is it if
the [altar] is overloaded with golden chalices when your
[neighbour] is dying of hunger?"
It is, of course, true that any worship offered with a heart
closed to the world's suffering is no more than a deceptive,
self-indulgent rigmarole. Equally, a Church devoted only to gritty
service, with no time or energy left for the sacred spaces in which
we join the angels in praising our all-holy God, is diminished.
The canons on seemliness and good order exist precisely to help
us keep the mean between these two extremes, and we should not
lightly cast them aside.
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