Journal for Christian Theological Research


This essay looks at the Church's liturgy using the metaphor of hospitality. The following assumptions will guide its development: (1) that the Church's practice of hospitality is both a reflection and an extension of God's own hospitality (Reinhard Huetter); (2) that there is a participatory identity between Christ and the Church, with this connection implying that liturgical hospitality forms the primary shape of God's gracious hospitality in our world, specifically as that hospitality is mediated by the Church through the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments; (3) that liturgical hospitality cannot function properly without regard for boundaries, and consequently, some basis for exclusion. Upon the basis of these three assumptions this essay describes four practices of liturgical hospitality: evangelical, baptismal, Eucharistic, and penitential hospitality, noting their benefits and dangers.