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Re: [liturgy-l] Final Music

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  • James O'Regan
    ... The SLE (specifically liturgical experience) is a staged event. Nothing in it happens without direction or intention, even if such fail. So the SLE is
    Message 1 of 62 , Feb 28, 2008
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      Tom Poelker wrote and I snipped:

      > The only battle here is against passiveness and mediocrity in favor of
      > optimization of the specifically liturgical experience. ... Is that
      > the case with the song after the dismissal?

      The SLE (specifically liturgical experience) is a staged event.
      Nothing in it happens without direction or intention, even if such
      fail. So the SLE is indeed specific and it is an event - not a plan on
      paper. Because it is so, much can and does go right and/or wrong
      (whatever those may mean in any given liturgy).

      So the event question to ask is this: is it accurate to describe the
      song as happening after the dismissal? What is a dismissal and how
      does it actually work? How do you get 500 +/- people to leave a space?
      Who starts to leave? What kind of signal marks the leaving process? Is
      anybody embarrassed if they leave early or late? Do people like to be
      spotlighted leaving early?

      For a single person to say the words "Go in peace" (like or whatever,
      to quote my daughter) may not be enough of a cue since that person is
      still standing in front of the crowd. Who moves first? One thing is
      absolutely clear in large events: the crowd does not wag the dog. The
      assembly does not, en mass, initiate anything that can be
      characterized as a discrete movement or gesture. Such movements are
      always, always, a response to a stimulus. To expect, in the name of
      greater participation, that the assembly will take on a dismissing
      role is impossible from an event point of view. It is as entrancing,
      but as doomed to failure, as the wedding parties that insist on
      lighting the paschal candle "together using two candle to light one
      candle as a sign of unity" because fire don't work that way. Fire
      spreads. It does not concentrate. Just so, the assembly requires
      stimulus to move.

      There may be many ways for an assembly to dismiss. It need not be a
      hymn. But there must be something to start it and carry it through -
      beginning-middle-end.

      A hymn is one of the easiest, since it allows the discrete single
      ministers to get out of the way - more on that in a second - see pre/
      re-cession. And it has a discrete end, which can act as a sign for
      leaving. From an event perspective, that's it's job. From a
      theological perspective, there are lots of possible excitants that one
      may find and put to use: mission, harmony, etc. (which means I've run
      out of ideas on that).

      An alternative is for the discrete ministers to turn their backs and
      head to the (usually placed) sacristy behind them. Then both "sides"
      can turn from each other and split, with a clear stimulus to do so.
      This would not be my choice because it has other overtones that
      reinforce clericalization. But it can work, and work well.

      The pro/re-cession (with or without hymn) book ends the establishment
      of assembly. On the way in, procession through the assembly pulls
      focus and helps physically establish a single entity called assembly.
      It is part of the convening mechanism available to the event. On the
      way out, it physically pulls the assembly around to the exit and
      guides it out into the world. The assembly follows the procession out.
      It is classic stimulus-response and works very well.

      The hymn (or lack of it) then is not "after the dismissal" but a tool
      of dismissal. It is the dismissing itself. It is part of the
      dismissal. Any which way one puts it, it is definitely not "after" the
      dismissal.

      Having said all that. Even such a dismissal can work or not. It
      depends on what actually happens. Nevertheless, that is what I have
      sen it do (coming and going), therefore I know that it can work in
      those ways.

      James O'Regan
      oregan@...

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • James O'Regan
      ... The SLE (specifically liturgical experience) is a staged event. Nothing in it happens without direction or intention, even if such fail. So the SLE is
      Message 62 of 62 , Feb 28, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Tom Poelker wrote and I snipped:

        > The only battle here is against passiveness and mediocrity in favor of
        > optimization of the specifically liturgical experience. ... Is that
        > the case with the song after the dismissal?

        The SLE (specifically liturgical experience) is a staged event.
        Nothing in it happens without direction or intention, even if such
        fail. So the SLE is indeed specific and it is an event - not a plan on
        paper. Because it is so, much can and does go right and/or wrong
        (whatever those may mean in any given liturgy).

        So the event question to ask is this: is it accurate to describe the
        song as happening after the dismissal? What is a dismissal and how
        does it actually work? How do you get 500 +/- people to leave a space?
        Who starts to leave? What kind of signal marks the leaving process? Is
        anybody embarrassed if they leave early or late? Do people like to be
        spotlighted leaving early?

        For a single person to say the words "Go in peace" (like or whatever,
        to quote my daughter) may not be enough of a cue since that person is
        still standing in front of the crowd. Who moves first? One thing is
        absolutely clear in large events: the crowd does not wag the dog. The
        assembly does not, en mass, initiate anything that can be
        characterized as a discrete movement or gesture. Such movements are
        always, always, a response to a stimulus. To expect, in the name of
        greater participation, that the assembly will take on a dismissing
        role is impossible from an event point of view. It is as entrancing,
        but as doomed to failure, as the wedding parties that insist on
        lighting the paschal candle "together using two candle to light one
        candle as a sign of unity" because fire don't work that way. Fire
        spreads. It does not concentrate. Just so, the assembly requires
        stimulus to move.

        There may be many ways for an assembly to dismiss. It need not be a
        hymn. But there must be something to start it and carry it through -
        beginning-middle-end.

        A hymn is one of the easiest, since it allows the discrete single
        ministers to get out of the way - more on that in a second - see pre/
        re-cession. And it has a discrete end, which can act as a sign for
        leaving. From an event perspective, that's it's job. From a
        theological perspective, there are lots of possible excitants that one
        may find and put to use: mission, harmony, etc. (which means I've run
        out of ideas on that).

        An alternative is for the discrete ministers to turn their backs and
        head to the (usually placed) sacristy behind them. Then both "sides"
        can turn from each other and split, with a clear stimulus to do so.
        This would not be my choice because it has other overtones that
        reinforce clericalization. But it can work, and work well.

        The pro/re-cession (with or without hymn) book ends the establishment
        of assembly. On the way in, procession through the assembly pulls
        focus and helps physically establish a single entity called assembly.
        It is part of the convening mechanism available to the event. On the
        way out, it physically pulls the assembly around to the exit and
        guides it out into the world. The assembly follows the procession out.
        It is classic stimulus-response and works very well.

        The hymn (or lack of it) then is not "after the dismissal" but a tool
        of dismissal. It is the dismissing itself. It is part of the
        dismissal. Any which way one puts it, it is definitely not "after" the
        dismissal.

        Having said all that. Even such a dismissal can work or not. It
        depends on what actually happens. Nevertheless, that is what I have
        sen it do (coming and going), therefore I know that it can work in
        those ways.

        James O'Regan
        oregan@...

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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