The White House with Red Shutters: Liturgy, Narrative, and Incarnation in the Everyday
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The primary goal of this project is to understand the ways in which formal liturgical worship and narrative theory interact with and inform one another. I achieve this in three ways. First, the application of narrative theory to liturgy reveals that liturgy, at its most basic form, is the reenactment of various stories. Each piece of liturgy may be understood as a depiction of a particular narrative that relates either to our understanding of God or the Church body. Second, it follows that the practice of liturgy should promote and inspire the creation of further narratives as a form of creative response. The creative works of Madeleine L’Engle and Wendell Berry display this principle well, and analysis of their works punctuate the conversation throughout as a means of displaying various elements of liturgical theology through story. Lastly, I engage both narrative and liturgy in my own creative pieces. These short works of creative non-fiction move through the spaces of my grandparents’ home, viewing them through the lens of basic liturgical structures. In doing this, I hope to show not only that narrative may enhance our understanding of liturgy, but that liturgy can also help us to clarify and reimagine our own narratives.