chapter  9
When stories meet: liturgy as transformation and healing
Pages 15

When the narrative spaces for God and people are found, the divine and human stories can be told and can meet in the liturgy. We will now explore what happens when these story worlds meet; this meeting may even lead to transformation and healing in and through Christ. We have argued that at the horizon of suering is healing. Suering and healing are two sides of the same coin. The focus in this book is on suering, but the treatment of the topic is not complete without – however briey – including a discussion of healing. John Swinton aptly states: “Sin, evil, and suering are undoubtedly realities in the world, but they are secondary realities, intruders into the goodness of the world.”1 Therefore, our study cannot close with a full stop after discussing how liturgy addresses suering. The liturgy itself, insofar as it addresses suering, does not stop there. Apart from this basic dialectic of suering and healing, our research has pointed to at least three other reasons to address the topic of transformation and healing. First, healing is a signicant topic for the participants in worship. Second, the literature on liturgy and suering that we studied for the purpose of the previous chapters does virtually always mention the transformative nature of liturgy. Third, healing and the transformative nature of liturgy are grounded in imagination – the narrative counterpart of remembrance.