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RE: [liturgy-l] Liturgical

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  • Andrew Doohan
    By the time I joined the conversation I d already completed all my Sunday Masses - and only had Evening Prayer to come. One of the benefits of being closer to
    Message 1 of 42 , Feb 1, 2009
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      By the time I joined the conversation I'd already completed all my Sunday
      Masses - and only had Evening Prayer to come. One of the benefits of being
      closer to the International Date Line I guess :-p


      From: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com [mailto:liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of Tom Poelker
      Sent: Sunday, 1 February 2009 18:47
      To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [liturgy-l] Liturgical

      I find it very interesting that today has shown more activity on the
      list than most of the rest of the week. Hmmmm. Could there be a bit of
      homily writing procrastination going on here?

      Tom Poelker
      St. Louis. Missouri

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Thomas R Jackson
      John, I guess I would turn the question around and ask you what you mean by liturgical . If I understand you correctly, then you are ascribing a certain
      Message 42 of 42 , Feb 1, 2009
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        John, I guess I would turn the question around and ask you what you mean by

        If I understand you correctly, then you are ascribing a certain objective
        reality to liturgy, something pre-existing and not able to be "invented".
        While the definition of liturgy is a perennial argument, on this list and
        elsewhere, the perspective you describe is truly a novelty to me and more
        than a bit puzzling.

        Some liturgy christian communities certainly consider as divinely ordained.
        Eucharist, for example. Most would consider this as being instituted by
        Jesus. On the other hand the form that the celebration takes certainly has
        been variable and has certainly changed over the centuries, regardless of
        what some enthusiastic supporters of one rite or the other would prefer to
        believe. Thus liturgy changes, and at some points, lots of material that
        was previously not liturgical, became liturgical. This is simply a
        historical reality.

        Ok, that covers form of liturgy. What about actual rites? Well, again, some
        "liturgies" are regarded as having some sort of divine institution:
        Eucharist and Baptism are more or less agreed upon. Most would expand this
        with a list of Sacraments/Mysteries etc. Well this doesn't really challenge
        your concept too much, because the arguments get centered on the idea of
        some pre-existing divine origin or objective reality. Agreement even in
        disagreement. How about the Office? Well, we can trace the idea of the
        Office back to the early church, and before. What about specific hours?
        That might be a bit more of a stretch. Do we exclude the night office known
        as "Matins" (as opposed to the morning office of Matins/Lauds)? Terce,
        Sext, None? Prime? Prone? And of course, what is included in the Office
        varies a great deal over the centuries, from area to area, from community to
        community, monastic versus non monastic, and even within single

        I won't presume to offer a comprehensive definition, but in Catholic usage,
        liturgy is a public prayer, public, in the sense of being an official act of
        the Church. Sometimes the distinction seems arbitrary. A cleric saying his
        office by himself, or even a small group gathered together to sing office is
        engaging in liturgy, while a thousand people together singing the Rosary are
        not. Celebrating the Office is liturgy, but saying the Angelus is not, even
        though it is linked to time, and involves scriptures and prayers and the
        like. Weddings sometimes have been liturgical, sometimes not, and their
        form changes. Death rites show a lot of variation and malleability. Is a
        wake liturgical? Well, sometimes, but sometimes not. But if it seems a bit
        arbitrary, that is because it is, and, I would argue, always has been. It
        doesn't always seem that way because a lot of the changes get made over
        longer periods of time, or were done so long ago that the novelty has faded.

        Some "private devotions" take on larger significance over time and get
        included in the liturgy. Blessing of throats, blessing of ashes, new
        celebrations on the calendar, different processions. There was serious
        consideration during the post Concilar liturgical reform of including the
        Rosary as liturgy. One could make a pretty good case for it, considering
        the place that the rosary has developed in Catholic worship, even if this
        doesn't square with many Catholic liturgists sense of aesthetic. In the
        end, it was felt that the rosary would remain a devotional exercise.

        There is a logic in including Exposition and Benediction as liturgical.
        There has been an effort to connect all liturgy to the Eucharist. The
        Office is the "consecration of time" and is considered to both continue and
        prepare for the Eucharist. Baptism, and Confirmation are rites of
        initiation into the Eucharist. Penance: reconciliation and preparation to
        the Eucharist. Holy orders: establish Eucharistic offices. Weddings are a
        bit clumsy this way, but the effort is made. Sacramentals, such as
        dedication of a Church or altar are connected to Mass. In this model,
        Exposition of the Eucharist has pretty obvious connection to the Mass, as
        does Benediction.

        So, different churches and communities have different practices. What else
        is new? So, some liturgies are "necessary" and others aren't. What else is
        new? Some liturgical practices change. What else is new?

        Which brings me back to turning the question around. How do you define
        liturgy and "liturgical". I will expand the question to others a bit,
        because this always hits a nerve, with folks claiming that such and such is
        liturgy, and such and such is not, but not always being clear about why,
        other than their own personal preferences and aesthetic, or that of some
        like minded group. Some use quite different definitions than others. For
        example, many on this list and elsewhere, don't like to think of a private
        Mass as "liturgy", while others will be insistent that public rosary with a
        large group can never be. Others will consider any sort of public prayer by
        any community to be liturgy.



        From: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com [mailto:liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Of asteresplanetai
        Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2009 1:02 AM
        To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] 40 Hrs or Benediction

        what does it mean, "liturgical"?

        Clearly, benediction started as a private devotion. i remember when
        Paul 6th or was it JP2 declared benediction to be "liturgical", but
        i've never understood what that meant. How can something be "declared"
        liturgical when it wasn't already?

        What was/is the effect of calling it liturgical?

        And having now been declared "liturgical", what is the effect that the
        rite now has, which it didn't have when it wasn't liturgical?

        these are actually serious questions, because i really am baffled by
        the way the term is being used, and i don't understand it. Isn't
        declaring something "liturgical" akin to declaring something
        "literary", or "physical"? I mean, either it is or it isn't-- no one
        could declare independence, for example, "gaseous". So on what basis
        would one declare a private devotion "liturgical"?

        Hosts (er, sorry) of similar questions in fact intrude: if something
        is now liturgical, which was never apostolic and is not universal--
        was the church somehow deficient until benediction was invented or
        rather, even until it was declared to be "liturgical"? Would those
        churches which don't and never have practiced benediction be
        considered, for this very reason, deficient? Is benediction necessary
        to the very being of the Church, like baptism is?


        john burnett

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