In this article the fundamental liturgical question as to the motive and intention of worship is
addressed within the framework of four related liturgical tensions, namely between being and becoming,
between time and space, between awe and expression, and between laughter and lament.
In order to do this, some classical voices from the past are listened to, for instance, Schleiermacher,
Kierkegaard, Moltmann, Tillich, Otto, Bakhtin and Buber, but more contemporary views are also
considered. These four tensions are described in the light of the key terms: ‘already’ and ‘not yet’,
and some implications for present-day liturgical practices are drawn.