The Bible and the sacraments go together as the cornerstone of Christian identity. Wherever Christianity is practised in traditional ways, converts are baptised and bread is broken together. Countless books have been written about the theological significance these events, but their strictly human meaning and value as ways of helping people to make sense of themselves and enjoy their lives together has sometimes been overlooked. The sacraments are first and foremost signs of belonging, to God and with one another. They are sacramental not only because of the circumstances surrounding their origin, but also because of their function in incorporating the personal belonging to which they point. Roger Grainger explores the human side of sacrament -- the emotional hunger which it addresses, and what this means from a theological point of view; and what it still means for us today, despite all the changes which have taken place over the ages in the world in which we live.
By looking at the way human beings relate to one another we can begin to see the amazing relevance of these traditional ceremonies -- their God given ability to heal our personal woundedness and bring to the forefront the reality of belonging together in community. The significance of sacramental worship for human growth and development is examined in some depth, using the insights to be gained from the anthropological study of religion, while its contribution to psychological health and the establishment of individual identity through personal relationship is identified as the basis of our sense of belonging. This book proceeds from its author's conviction that a better understanding of the dynamics of our belonging would contribute to the Church's mission within a fragmented society.
Roger Grainger is the author of a number of books, including The Language of the Rite (Darton, Longman and Todd); The Message of the Rite (Lutterworth); and The Drama of the Rite (published by SAP in 2008), the final book in the trilogy. He has also written about therapeutic theatre, group spirituality, and bereavement; and combines parish work with his practice as a Chartered Counselling Psychologist. His latest book is Nine Ways the Theatre Affects Our Lives.
Prologue; Distance & Relationship; Relationship & Belonging; Past & Present; The Movement to Higher Ground; Symbolizing Commitment; Rite & Sacrament; Launching Out; Travelling Onwards; Reaching Outwards; Epilogue.