Re: [liturgy-l] Another shoe drops
- JMT wrote:
<< The very fact that it exists in both places says to me that there is
a very healthy acknowledgement of who we are and who God is for us in
Christ--and that we don't take it for granted at all.>>
I'm on board with not taking it for granted, but I would suggest that
the "it" that exists in both places is generically a response, but the
content of the western and eastern responses are substantively
different. The "Dominus non sum dignus. . ." draws attention to the
"ego" (yes, double entendre there) and seems to fraction the assembly
into a group of individual responders. The eastern response to "Holy
Things are for the Holy" seems to me more of a communal response that
suggests that we are bold to take this sacrament only because we are
now, by the grace of God and the operation of the Spirit, the Body of
Christ. Again, this is a phenomenological statement, not an axiomatic
Gregory Holmes Singleton, Ph.D., CSF
Community of St. Francis, Chicago
St. Francis Virtual House of Studies
Ecumenical Catholic Communion
Professor of History, Emeritus
Northeastern Illinois University
RESIDENT OLD CURMUDGEON
In All Venues
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."
Charles Darwin, DESCENT OF MAN
- In my experience, a great many people do confuse show and liturgy.
Tom has accepted James' preaching that liturgy is indeed performance,
and thinks he is better for that understanding.
The word "show" was deliberately chosen for my statement because of two
of its connotations.
A show is something done for other people to experience, through sight
and sound usually. A liturgy is is not an experience created by a few
for the appreciation of an audience. Liturgy is a group action of all
present. It is not show and tell.
A show is common name for any entertainment. Liturgy is prayer,
something entirely different from entertainment.
Also, please accept the cited statement in the context of this earlier
statement in this same thread.
" I had not previously heard the Kierkegaard citation.
I am amazed that he had his own version of what I have long taught and
have mentioned previously on this list.
"In liturgy, the assembly is the star of the show. The various
liturgical ministers are supporting actors. They should not do anything
to upstage the star."
I might add that neither should the set or ushers."
This is the way liturgy relates to show for me, by analogy.
In addition, there is this material on a parallel thread.
"I am back to wondering, as I have on other threads, how much less
difficult good liturgy would be and how much less MCing would [need to]
be done [during the service] if
clergy put even a large fraction of the time and thought and
memorization into the liturgy, which should be central to their
ministries, as professional actors do [rehearsing] for even the best
It seems to me that much of what I do as an MC, especially during the
service, would be totally unnecessary if liturgical ministers were well
trained, then well rehearsed. It is almost as if the only professional
in the liturgy is the MC, as if the stage manager were the only
professional ever used in a theater, except for those who install
In conclusion, I would say that
Liturgy is always a performance.
Liturgy is often, but not always drama.
Liturgy is not entertainment.
Liturgy is not a show.
I might even be willing to say that liturgy is theater, but I would
prefer to avoid saying that because it seems to make theater a higher
category than liturgy.
Liturgy has a big element of high culture but the culture ought to be
subordinate to the liturgy.
For these reasons, please do not equate liturgy with shows.
In respectful disagreement,
St. Louis. Missouri
/-- Do all the easy nice things you can.
It?s nice to see people smile,
and it?s good practice. --/
James O'Regan wrote:
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> The statement below requires a great deal more explanation to be taken
> as useful. Shows and liturgy are precisely the same, even identical,
> on 99.9 (not quite) per cent of the logistics involved in the doing of
> No one gets confused between a play and a liturgy. To make the claim
> below, one mist unpack what is a show and what is a liturgy. What is
> the actual difference?
> Ergo, it is simply not useful to make such a claim as that below. If
> any liturgical minister were able to take advantage of the vast
> powerhouse of theatrical approaches to event, liturgy as common prayer
> would be much richer, more full and capable of building up community.
> Once again - no one gets confused between liturgy and theatre. Yet,
> the same logistics of speech apply to both. Liturgical theologians
> have for almost ever simply presumed that speech works in liturgy.
> This is not always the case, and most often not the case. When it is
> not the case, the storehouse of theatrical approaches to speech comes
> in handy. No theatre lasts without speech that is heard. Lots of
> liturgies last despite speech that is not heard. The difference is
> box-office versus will to overcome, on the part of congregations, the
> collossal ineptitude of those tasked with liturgical speech.
> So, please, please do confuse show and theatre. Guardini himself uses
> Schauen (show) not Sehen (see) when he speaks of what it takes to
> enter the life of liturgy.
> All the best,
> James O'Regan
> oregan@... <mailto:oregan%40jamesoregan.com>
> On 2010-01-17, at 8:51 PM, Tom Poelker wrote:
> > Please, please, do not confuse liturgy with a stage presentation.
> > It requires performance skills from the ministers, yes, but it is not a
> > show.