Liturgy: Let Us Touch

Person-to-person contact at the average American church service is almost as rare as it is in a movie audience. Parishioners begin to nod drowsily as the minister begins the sermon; collective prayer and singing masks the reality that most worshipers are atomistically locked in their own private thoughts. Worried about this failure to interact, a few avant-garde theologians are experimenting with new, nonverbal techniques as potential ways of restoring some sense of community in worship. A striking example of this trend took place at the recent assembly of the World Council of Churches in Uppsala, Sweden, where Wilbert...