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Re: [liturgy-l] basilicas/functions

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  • asteresplanetai
    ... don t get me wrong about all that i said concerning the royal dimensions of liturgy. I absolutely *do not* envision mediaeval-- still less, modern--
    Message 1 of 62 , Aug 4, 2008
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      +++

      > Posted by: "Tom Poelker" TomPoelker@... tapoelker

      > As you say, Americans do not understand royalty etc. as the terms were
      > used centuries ago. I'd NOT say that the problem therefor was with US
      > Christianity BUT with how we preach and translate the Word.
      >
      > A nation of multi-cultural immigrants never led by hereditary rulers
      > or
      > titled nobility needs translations and interpretations which teach the
      > meanings behind the analogies of nation, royalty, lordship.


      don't get me wrong about all that i said concerning the 'royal'
      dimensions of liturgy. I absolutely *do not* envision mediaeval--
      still less, modern-- notions of kings and courts here, and agree that
      pageantry imported from these milieux *can* be a real obstacle to a
      correct vision of liturgy, if that's what all you see in them. It is,
      then, mere "pageantry".

      that said, i don't think a congregationalist democracy was ever what
      the bible had in mind.

      but what I was referring to when i wrote of "royal" imagery in the
      liturgy was the **biblical** imagery of God as king. I have no doubt
      that this *biblical* understanding would in many ways counteract the
      pretensions of mediaeval western kings and byzantine emperors. The
      biblical imagery is very specific. We get it from psalms, kings, the
      prophets, chronicles, the gospels, revelation-- and from
      intertestamental sources related to these-- not from 14th century
      italo-franco-germanic or byzantine court life. And the latter are
      *not* simply a "newer" version of the same, in more "recent" dress!
      However, again, the mediaeval can and often does express the primary
      data and attitudes. Only just, of itself, it does not replace them.

      acquiring a full understanding of the *biblical* dimensions of
      kingship in the liturgy would require serious study. But in any case
      we need to begin by cultivating an appreciation of such themes in
      scripture and by noting when and how the traditional forms of the
      liturgy intersect and foreground them.

      I have been studying the gospels very methodically for the past year
      or so. I have come to see that matthew really is different from mark--
      they are telling completely different narratives or stories. What is
      more, to 'hear' the Gospel-- to get its full impact-- we really have
      to grasp each of the *gospels* in its particularity. To get the grand
      Narrative, we have to thoroughly 'get' the distinctive little
      narratives that our canonical story-tellers tell. Otherwise, we miss
      their particular messsages and blend them all into one "general",
      "harmonized" story-- which necessarily is one of our own manufacture.
      We do this all the time. The same is true in the liturgy. We really
      have to see what the underlying stories are. The last supper narrative
      is one of them, but not the only one. Given the hypertropy of other
      themes and practices, vatican 2 was right to re-emphasize it. But now
      it is time to return to the other dimensions we've tended to overlook
      in doing so.

      regards,

      john burnett
    • Frank Senn
      I don t recall any evidence of rubrics indicating posture. But here s an additional consideration. When Eucharists were separated from banquets early in the
      Message 62 of 62 , Aug 9, 2008
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        I don't recall any evidence of rubrics indicating posture. But here's an additional consideration. When Eucharists were separated from banquets early in the 2nd century (Emperor Trajan had banned supper clubs), and the synaxis occurred in the morning rather than in the evening (e.g. Letter of Pliny to Trajan), would the posture for receiving the bread and cup be the same as at a reclining banquet? Maybe people just stood around. By the third century Christians were celebrating Eucharists on the graves of their martyrs and other faithful departed, in the style of the Roman refrigeria. Did these celebrants sit at the mensa? It seems to me that there were several postures for receiving Communion in the early centuries: reclining at banquets, standing in someone's main room or courtyard, sitting around the grave mensa, walking to stations in the basilicas.

        Frank C. Senn

        Douglas Cowling <cowling.douglas@...> wrote: On 8/9/08 1:12 PM, "Frank Senn" <fcsenn@...> wrote:

        > Since one could rent banquet halls, one could probably also rent couches.
        > There may have been some wealthy people in early Christian communities who had
        > spacious villas like Cicero. I suspect that there were seldom more than a few
        > dozen people in most Christian house churches. If there were more they could
        > rent banquet halls, like Greco-Roman supper clubs did.

        In "The Shape of the Liturgy", Dix assumed that in the pre-Nicene eucharist
        people reclined and shared the bread but stood to take the cup. He states
        that the readings and prayers were spoken standing up.

        Although it's a little dated in its details, I still think that his
        description of a pre-Constantinian eucharist if it had taken place in 20th
        century London is a delight and a perfect stimulus for discussion at an
        adult education session on the liturgy (Shape, pp.142-144)

        I wonder if the 4th century little old ladies complained when they moved to
        the basilicas and there were no couches for them ...

        Doug Cowling
        Director of Music
        St. Philip's Church, Toronto






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