Zeek: Ecstatic Pentecostal Prayer Services Derive from the Jewish Siddur

Some articles are so content-laden that they ought to be books.

Such is the case with, "How the Jewish Prayer Service Resembles Pentecostal Worship," by Sharon Alexander in the Zeek e-zine. Alexander says a lot in the article starting from the premises:
...The most visible example of congregational ecstatic experience is presently found in Pentecostal, charismatic, evangelical, or gospel Christian churches. “Praise,” “worship,” and “glory;” most Jews would identify these terms as coming from the Christian worship service and would not associate the concepts with Jewish services. In fact, however, there are interesting similarities between the Pentecostal and Jewish modes of worship. Though the experience of a holiness, Pentecostal, or charismatic Christian worship service may not overtly resemble that of a typical Jewish service, the underlying structure of the Christian service is actually based on the framework of the earlier form. During the course of her ministry of a Pentecostal church in East Jerusalem, Reverend Ruth Heflin developed a deep sense of the spiritual order of that Judeo-Christian worship service as a path of ascension, designed to evoke a profound mystical experience. This understanding led Sister Ruth to develop her simple yet revelatory recipe for raising the congregation to a group experience of ecstasy: “praise” to “worship” to “glory.” This model fits well into the structure of the Jewish Shacharit service....
The author goes on to explain some of the initial details of this comparison.

We want to hear much more about this topic and look forward to the author's book on the subject, which we hope is in the works.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, and yes it is. I would be happy to hear from potential publishers.

Sharon Alexander