The Lament (MJ?)

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Theo | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Jul 14 2020 7:56 PM

My students have asked for a proper Christian's response to the Covid-19 situation.

I have studied and found the lost art of "the lament" seems to be the best way forward in this case. 

The problem I am facing is there seems to be no comprehensive step-by-step guide to incorporating "the lament" back into one's life individually or even corporately into one's ministry in the church or it's fostered groups in youth's, men's, single's, women's, etc. fellowships.

I can find plenty on the justification of "the lament" and the history of why it fell off the radar in most traditions within Christianity, but I find little in a pathway toward actual implementation.

Is it in the works and yet to be published? 

Is it available in Logos? Will it be?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 14 2020 8:03 PM

Let me think about this for a bit ... but in the meantime think of the beautiful settings of Lamentations for Tenebrae services - a no longer official service that lay peope keep alive.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2020 12:20 AM

Removing the Rose-Tinted Glasses  is an interesting study of Brueggemann's concern about the lack of lament in contemporary worship music.

A Time to Weep deals with laments in Reformed worship.

De Profundis: Lament in Worship is on an ecumenical site I think.

In short, there is a fair amount of material bemoaning the absence of lament and suggesting ways to add it back into worship.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 289
Theo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2020 12:30 AM

MJ. Smith:

 

 suggesting ways to add it back into worship.

Is what I am mainly after as I keep running into the former.

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2020 10:41 AM

I have run into countless introductions to prayer by monks, friars, and the like that have spent hours meditating on the Psalms that speak of how it is a gift to them to be able to pray Psalms of all moods no matter the season or their own mood. And Laments are a vital part of this.

At the very least Ps 137 says that God can handle it when we feel like we want to bash our enemies babies' heads in - even if our "cultured" side looks on those feelings with horror. But they remind us that Christian Prayer, these are not left alone, but are rather wrapped up into the whole Christian story with the Gloria Patri (traditional) or the more recent Psalm prayers - and indeed in the book of Psalms itself in Ps 1 where the ideal man spoken of in the opening is Jesus himself - who invites us to join with him in praying the Psalms.

In particular, I want to thank the Brothers of St. Gregory's Abbey in Three Rivers, MI where I have been lucky enough to hear them speak of these things.

I would also include St. Athanasius's Letter to Marcellinus, and a few works of that obedient rebel - Martin Luther, namely his Large Catechism (esp. introduction and 1st commandment) and his Simple Way to Pray

None of these works really is a detailed explanation of how Laments work or how to do it. But rather are simply invitations to pray the Psalms... And what has struck me from reading any of them the authors just kinda throw of as "of course" statements that are obvious to them simply because their piety has been so enriched by praying the Psalms - which we often gloss over.

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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