Worship Without Words: The Signs and Symbols of Our Faith

by Patricia S. Klein. Paraclete Press, 2007.

While medieval Christianity was mostly visual, today large numbers of Christians are not literate in the signs and symbols of their faith. Author Patricia Klein provides a guide to the symbols of church architecture and worship space, with in-depth explorations of the alter and the cross. In addition, she studies the liturgical calendar, worship, music, sacraments, and creeds.

Each section of 'Worship Without Words' provides background on historical and Biblical roots, explanations of current usage, and a glossary of relevant terms. Here are a few of the book’s many examples: the rood screen which often separates the nave from the chancel has an open pattern to signify the gates of heaven; two candles, one on either side of a cross, represent Jesus' two natures—divine and human; and the lily symbolizes the Resurrection because its flower emerges from a seemingly dead bulb.

This book will prove to be a valuable reference for all who seek to deepen their understanding of Christian tradition and symbolism. It may be particularly useful for those joining or returning to liturgical churches and for those who worship in a variety of churches, locally and abroad.