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Friday, April 15, 2011

WONDROUS and COMMUNAL

One conclusion which I would draw from the lists of things we want from Sunday Mass is that I see two main lines of thought which are mislabeled to call them traditional and progressive. Though these labels are commonly used, they do not express very well the desired objectives or approaches to Roman Catholic liturgy.

WONDROUS: If one thinks that the sole or even the main objective of liturgy is to evoke and worship the divine as distinct from the human, then one forms or judges a liturgical service with certain characteristics. These favor expressing and supporting what is wondrous in the liturgy.

COMMUNAL: If one thinks that the sole or main objective of liturgy is to gather together Christians for instruction and strengthening, then one forms or judges a liturgical service with other characteristics. These favor expressing and supporting what is communal in the liturgy.

Each attitude mis-characterizes the other to label them progressive or traditional. Granted that both sides are sincere about the many values of liturgy, one does not merely want constant “progress,” nor does the other merely want some particular “tradition”.

Each attitude is taken to the extreme when it entirely rejects the values of the other in favor of focusing exclusively on its own priorities.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. The sacred or the profane.

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