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Christian liturgy is profoundly physical. From the physical nature of our bodies to the physical elements of water, bread and wine, our worship is always embedded within our physical world. We recognize that, at every turn, we depend upon the stuff of creation to shape our worship. Without grain and wine we cannot know Christ's body and blood in communion. Without water we cannont be immersed into our new life in Christ. What difference does embodiment make to the way we worship?
This is not new teaching. The Didache, from the second century, already connected our eating and drinking to our becoming the body of Christ in this eucharistic prayer: "As this broken bread was scattered over the mountains, and when brought together became one, so let your Church be brought together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom." Our becoming one in the church depends on our eating and drinking together. As we experience Christ's body at the eucharist--the body of Christ "in, with, and under" the elements and the church as body of Christ--we understand ourselves in new ways. Our very bodies become a sacramental presence as they are gathered and located in the assembly and sent out for others.
This year's Institute will explore the many facets of embodiment in our liturgical life. What does it mean to include our whole selves, physical, spiritual and intellectual upon the ways we worship? How can we acknowledge our physical nature and presence in ways that build up the body of Christ? These questions and more will engage our conversations and discussions. We invite you to join us for these days of refreshment and engagement.
Financial support provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism