Worship & Culture 11

Nothing is more traditional among faithful Christians, says Anscar Chupungco, than the constant inculturation of the liturgy, including the resultant spread of the creative assimilations. Somebody started to anoint the newly baptized or clothe them with a clean white garment. Somebody began to light candles at evening prayer or light a fire at Pascha. Somebody started to use an Advent wreath or a Christmas tree. The original stories are complex, partly hidden, but they involved cultural practices. And they have spread nearly everywhere.

—Gordon Lathrop, “Every Foreign Country a Homeland, Every Homeland a Foreign Country: On Worship and Culture,” in Worship and Culture: Foreign Country or Homeland?, ed. Gláucia Vasconcelos Wilkey, page 17

Worship & Culture 6

The “cultures” that are so mixed are not simply ethnicities—though they are also that!—but they represent all the ways people specifically teach their children to order and navigate the world, all the locally specific languages and symbols and habits we use to organize human life.

—Gordon Lathrop, “Every Foreign Country a Homeland, Every Homeland a Foreign Country: On Worship and Culture,” in Worship and Culture: Foreign Country or Homeland?, ed. Gláucia Vasconcelos Wilkey, 13

Sojourners

Christians are not distinguished from the rest of humanity either in locality or in speech or in customs. For they do not dwell off somewhere in cities of their own, neither do they use some different language, nor do they practice an extraordinary style of life…But while they dwell in the cities of Greeks and barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow the local customs, both in clothing and food and the rest of life, the constitution of their citizenship is nevertheless quite amazing and admittedly paradoxical. They dwell in their own countries, but only as sojourners; they share all things as citizens and suffer all things as strangers. Every foreign country is a homeland to them, and every homeland is a foreign country.

Epistle to Diognetus 5:1-5 (translated by Gordon W. Lathrop in “Every Foreign Country a Homeland, Every Homeland a Foreign Country: On Worship and Culture” in Worship and Culture  Foreign Country or Homeland? (ed. Gláucia Vasconcelos Wilkey),  10-11