Christian storytelling is rooted in the ancient Jewish tradition of telling stories. In telling the story, its reality and power are made present to the hearers, so that by entering into the story they experience its significance and power to shape their perspectives and the living out of their own stories of faith.
The liturgy of the West Syrian churches derives from Antioch, although some elements are believed to have come from the Jerusalem church of which James, the brother of Jesus, was the head. The tone of the liturgy is optimistic, and different parts anticipate the triumphal return of Christ.
The East Syrian Christians engaged in widespread missionary activity across the Asian continent, but the rise of Islam reduced their communities to small remnants. The liturgy of these churches is doxological in character, filled with expressions of praise and emphasizing the fulfillment of Christian hope in the kingdom of heaven.
Although the New Testament offers several versions of Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist, common themes emerge. In observing the Lord’s Supper, the church puts the worshiper in contact with the redemptive death of Jesus—the act that has brought the church into being as one body, the eschatological new covenant community.