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From the Greek word λειτουργια, which can be transliterated as "leitourgia," meaning "the work of the people," a liturgy comprises a prescribed religious ceremony, according to the traditions of a particular religion; it may refer to, or include, an elaborate formal ritual (such as the Catholic Mass), or a daily activity such as the Muslim Salats (see Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, p.582-3). The unprogrammed meeting of Quakers in The United States is an example of a non-liturgical service because there is no minister or structured order of events.

Methods of dress, preparation of food, application of cosmetics or other hygienic practices are all considered liturgic activities of various religions.

In the Christian church, liturgical churches are those that use a well-defined liturgy, where many of the words and music used are identical each time the service is conducted. Most Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches are liturgical while most others are not. Non-liturgical churches usually do follow a common worship sequence from one service to the next, but identical elements are few.

See also


  • Bowker, John, ed. (1997) Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192139657.

External link

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