Missional Concern in the Liturgy of the Word of the Fourth-Century Jerusalem Church


Han, Chae Dong

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The study is concerned with missionary nature observed in the liturgy of the Word performed in the late fourth-century Jerusalem church, concerned with Christian genesis of the liturgy of the Word. The study assumes that the liturgy of the Word has a genuinely Christian origin, a missional concern to the world. This assumption is not meant to preclude other possible views on the origin and features of the liturgy of the Word, but to bring into focus that less acknowledged aspect. The central claim of the study is that the Jerusalem liturgy of the Word in the end of the fourth century is a paradigmatic model for that aspect. The paper is divided into two major sections. In the first, the author sketches three assumed origins of the liturgy of Word: eucharistic context, Jewish synagogue worship, and Christian missional concern. Though all three elements together may have constituted the original Christian liturgy of the Word, the author assumes that the last one is more crucial than others, at least to understand the unique Christian nature of the liturgy of the Word, as in Jerusalem of the late fourth century. The author’s argument is not to be conclusive. The intention is a framework for the next section. In this, the author analyzes features of the liturgy of the Word in the late fourth-century Jerusalem Church, described in Egeria’s pilgrimage report, features characterized primarily by the indiscriminative mixed assembly, on the one hand, and the catechumen-centered liturgy, on the other.


I. Introduction
 II. Two Popular Assumed Origins of the Liturgy of the Word
  1. The Eucharist Context Assumption
  2. Jewish Synagogue Service Assumption
 III. Kerygmatic Concern As a Unique Origin of the Liturgy of the Word
 IV. Kerygmatic Feature of the Liturgy of the Word in the Fourth-Century Jerusalem
  1. Indiscriminative Liturgy Open to All
  2. The Catechumen-Centered Liturgy
 V. Conclusion


  • Han, Chae Dong Korea Nazarene University


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