In the west, we tend to think of life and time as being linear. The east tends to be much more circular in their thinking. Literary scholars are quite familiar with circular narrative as many stories throughout history--from Beowulf to To Kill A Mockingbird--end in much the same manner as they began.
In our sanctuary at church we sit in a circle. Three rows of church surround the central altar. As we worship we are aware of the community we worship with--not just by the back of someone's head, but by their faces. When we sing The Lord's Prayer together we often hold hands in three concentric circles, the middle circle moving in the opposite rotation from the other two circles around the table. We get to see each person present as we move and worship.
Because of entrance points at each end of the room, the circle of chairs are really two semi-circles. They look like parenthesis in retrospect. And in many respects, our gathering for worship or in other circles is largely parenthetical. It brackets our daily routines as a beginning and end. Our circles frame who we are during the week--not workers but servants and followers.
And so we come back each Sunday and sit in our chairs for worship--not in rows. We are, after all, the people of the circle.