Summary of the July 2021 issue of Worship
Worship is a peer-reviewed, international ecumenical journal for the study of liturgy and liturgical renewal. Founded in 1926 by Virgil Michel, OSB, and the monks of Saint John’s Abbey, Worship is published quarterly in Collegeville, Minnesota. Subscribe to Worship here.
THE AMEN CORNER
Instilling the Word
Long Division Ever Divisive: A Lament
Roc O’Connor, SJ
Today’s divisions in the U.S. Catholic Church reveal an inner divisiveness at work within each of us who study, teach, and uphold the Vatican II liturgy. Therefore, let us grieve our personal and corporate incapacity and unwillingness to live out the teachings of the Constitution which we have espoused. For we have divided the Body of Christ with hardened, resentful hearts, blind to the log in our own eyes.
We protect our vulnerability by constructing impermeable bunkers within which we store up arms for battle, remaining unawares of motives or repercussions. How can such highly defended persons encounter Christ in liturgical praying? How available are we to Communion?
Engaging the Triune God through liturgical praying with growing awareness that Christ already inhabits that place of terror of vulnerability we roundly reject could open a path for the conversion of defiant, fearful, angry, and divisive mortals like you and me.
Liturgical Considerations of the Word ‘Heaven’
Examining classic liturgical texts shows the word “heaven” to have three different meanings: (1) the sky, or one of the three tiers that make up the universe; (2) the abode of God, or a circumlocution for God’s name; and (3) the destiny of the saved after death. Lectionary texts, the liturgical year, church art, sermons, and hymn texts each contribute to a composite picture of what heaven is. Liturgists are called to differentiate the explicitly Christian uses of the word from the popular sense of heaven as a blissful afterlife granted immediately and naturally to nearly all humans.
A Specious Experience: Theodor Adorno, Commodification, and Evangelical Catholicism
Evangelical Catholicism continues to gain prominence in the United States. The infusion of capitalism into the Catholic ethos has resulted in a transformation of Catholic worship. This essay applies Theodor Adorno’s critique of the culture industry to Seek2019, a popular Catholic youth conference. Drawing upon the influences of advertising and commodification, this analysis serves as a reminder of the forces at work within the Evangelical Catholicism movement.
Public Liturgies of Remembrance and Activism at a Time of Post-Truth
The Presidential election in Brazil has echoed a phenomenon on the rise in different parts of the world. Through intensive use of manipulated news stories on social media, extremist groups have influenced large sections of society, often resorting to scientific skepticism, religious fundamentalism and intolerance, relying on information based on fear and prejudice, shared without any proof of veracity, in a phenomenon often called as fake-news and post-truth.
This phenomenon has had two distinct liturgical responses on Brazil: on one hand, there are several churches leading worship services that reinforce manipulation, fear and prejudice; on the other hand, certain ecumenical Christian groups are challenging this message of fear and reinstating the belief in historical truth and naming the evils of violence, liturgically.
In this paper, I examine some cases where liturgy was a key component in either reinforcing or challenging post-truth narratives. Then, I emphasize prayerful liturgy as a way of avoiding the flux of death-giving information and letting the people of God know the truth through an intimate relationship with the Trinity. Finally, I argue what the role of anamnesis is, in creating sacred and subversive memories that continue to bring the power of the gospel in ways to elucidate history and challenge the lies and dangers of our present political life.
Medieval Encounters with the Propers of the Mass
Innocent Smith, OP
Medieval hagiography, liturgical commentaries, and theological treatises contain valuable evidence for understanding how medieval Christians understood the meaning of the chanted propers of the Mass. This essay explores the liturgical insights found in the work of various medieval writers including Praepositinus of Cremona, Sicard of Cremona, Jordan of Saxony, Bartholomew of Trent, and Thomas Aquinas. These writers drew on common interpretive traditions while each offering their own unique insights into the tradition, and their writings give indirect evidence for the liturgical exegesis that may have been preached to the laity. Although these writers are generally classified either as liturgical commentators, hagiographers, or theologians, these classifications have limited value in light of the interpenetration of theology, liturgy, and hagiography in the Middle Ages.
John F. Baldovin, SJ, reviews The Epiclesis Debate at the Council of Florence, by Christiaan Kappes. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2019. 394 + xxii pages. $65.00. ISBN: 978-0-268-10637-9.
Michael G. Witczak reviews Suspicious Moderate: The Life and Writings of Francis à Sancta Clara (1598-1680), by Anne Ashley Davenport. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2017. 668 + xv pages. $75.00. ISBN: 978-0-268-10097-1.
Catherine E. Clifford reviews When Bishops Meet: An Essay Comparing Trent, Vatican I, and Vatican II, by John W. O’Malley. Cambridge, MA/London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2019. 223 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 978-0674988415.
Ruth A. Meyers reviews Gathering Together: Baptists at Work in Worship, ed. Rodney Wallace Kennedy and Derek C. Hatch. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013. 194 + xii pages. $25.00. ISBN: 978-1-61097-758-6.
Vincent M. Smiles reviews Christian Understandings of Creation: The Historical Trajectory, by Denis Edwards. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017. 312 pages. $24.00. ISBN: 978-1-4514-8287-4.