Liturgical worship has at times been controversial within parts of the Christian tradition. This article uses phenomenology—especially the thought of Paul Ricœur, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Gabriel Marcel—to analyse, evaluate, and respond to five common objections to liturgy by those who reject it: (1) the absence of freedom and spontaneity, (2) the absence of authenticity, (3) the use of symbols to mediate the divine, (4) the use of the liturgical calendar, and (5) liturgy’s repetitive nature. This article concludes that those who practice liturgy have something to learn from each objection, but that none of the objections invalidates liturgy. On the contrary, what phenomenology teaches us about the human condition suggests that liturgy is more suitable than forms of worship that try to do without it.
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