11. Juli 2008

Liturgietheologisches "must read"

Alcuin Reid im britischen Catholic Herald zu "Worship as Revelation", dem neuen, gerade erschienenen Buch von Laurence Paul Hemming. (via The New Liturgical Movement):

Today we seek to comprehend and explain and decide what we do in our churches but it is utterly questionable as to whether our people experience the liturgical revelation of Almighty God.

In fact, let's drop the adjective "liturgical" and use Hemming's words which assert that the liturgy is nothing less than "the ordinary and continual revealing of [God's] truth". If this is so, it cannot be a forum for our own self-expression. It cannot necessarily be within our immediate comprehension or subject to our didactic commentary. It must be experienced, indeed lived, as worship of Almighty God - as opposed to being "enjoyed" as a form of Christian activism - in order to begin to grasp something of what is being communicated in it: the very life of God Himself. (...)

Hemming is no ideologue, nor is he an antiquarian. Catholic worship is indeed a revelation. It is a live epiphany. It is tangible theology. It is the very heart - indeed the "source and summit" - of our faith. That, of course, is why we tamper with the liturgy at our peril. That is why Pope Benedict XVI has placed the reform of the Sacred Liturgy so high on the agenda of this pontificate. And that is why this book will provoke the liturgical establishment, for Hemming does not accept that the apotheosis of all Christian liturgy may be found in the forms produced following the Second Vatican Council, or indeed in the manner in which these forms have been celebrated in the subsequent years.

The role of Sacred Scripture in the life of the Church is another area in which his liturgical theology makes serious and important claims. In short, he points out - and at last someone has had the courage and clarity to do this - that "the liturgy is the proper ground of Scripture (and not the other way round, ie the false view that the liturgy derives from Scripture)," or, put more simply, in the modern understanding of the relationship between the liturgy and scripture, "scripture has lost its ground".

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