Music of the Liturgy and New Evangelization
By Gabriel M. Steinschulte
Music as non-verbal communication was part of humanity since its beginnings; celebrating or mourning without music is unthinkable. Every text that is connected to music is linked to the effects of its music. That is the reason why faith and music correspond to each other according to the old proverb lex credendi – lex orandi, as it is also shown throughout Church history.
Whoever wants a New Evangelization to happen, needs to take on a new and adequate musical e_xpression, since the modern expression of music seems to be linked to a de-evangelization and a musical relativism. The history of the earlier Church can serve as an example for this development.
We need to return to the wise principles of the Second Vatican Council, to its texts and given priorities, not to the alleged intentions. The New Evangelization with its respective music presupposes a chance for a different consciousness in the formerly Christian regions of the secularized West, a re-thinking for all those who are co-responsible for the modern state of things.
There is a need for a new offensive in the area of education regarding musica sacra, especially for all priests and religious in their theological, historical, ethnological, psychological and obviously artistic formation: Cantare amantis est (St. Augustine).
Ars Celebrandi in the Sacred Liturgy
By Most Rev. Peter J. Elliott
The Eucharist as Sacrifice and Sacrament takes absolute priority over the liturgy. This principle derived from Sacramentum Caritatis, covers the ars celebrandi, qualified by Pope Benedict XVI as “the proper celebration of the liturgy”. However a Cartesian approach separating externals from inner spirit undermines the integration of a_ction and priestly interiority. Practice and experience must be based on understanding and knowledge, both of the whole rite and its details. The continuity of our tradition spans both ordinary and extraordinary forms when the ars celebrandi is understood as a craft that is passed on across generations. The priest should be a good liturgical craftsman, an artisan of the worship of God. Reflecting on the Christian East highlights problems in the West, derived from the Enlightenment: didacticism, idealism and theatricality. Requiring beauty in the setting for liturgy and all its details supports the ars celebrandi, which has a strong pastoral and evangelistic dimension.
Responding to the Synod on the Eucharist in his Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, Pope Benedict continued the eucharistic project that characterized the last years of Blessed John Paul II. I believe that Sacramentum Caritatis, may be expressed in a guiding principle: the Eucharist as Sacrifice and Sacrament takes absolute priority over the liturgy. This provides a timely corrective to an understanding of “liturgy” in the Western Christian traditions, that is, through a rather Cartesian distinction between the visible “externals” (rites, rituals, ceremonies, music, symbols, etc.) and the inner spirit of worship.
Having reflected on the Eucharistic Mystery in the opening chapters of Sacramentum Caritatis, the Pope emeritus developed the liturgical dimension of the Eucharist around action, hence the expression ars celebrandi, meaning the “art of celebrating” or, as he qualified it, “the art of proper celebration”. As an auditor at the 2005 Synod I heard bishops welcoming these words.
Under the heading of the ars celebrandi he presented the bishop as liturgist: “The bishop, celebrant par excellence”, the one whose example, particularly in his cathedral, sets the tone and standard for the liturgies of a particular Church.2 He repeated this message in an allocution to French Bishops.
In Sacramentum Caritatis the Pope emeritus called for respect for the rites handed to us by the Church, so “The ars celebrandi is the fruit of faithful adherence to the liturgical norms in all their richness…..” That theme was already evident in his writings as cardinal. The liturgy is “given” to us, a gift of God, a gift of the Church. Moreover God gathers us for worship; we do not gather ourselves for some activity we control or even manipulate. While the liturgy is deeply influenced by human cultures it is not subject to culture.
Professor Tracey Rowland
This paper will examine the value of the Usus Antiquior as an antidote to the sterile rationalism of the culture of modernity and as at least a partial answer to the hunger of the post-modern generations for an immersion in a liturgical tradition which is oriented to God and eternity. If Christianity is the moment when the now meets the forever, the Usus Antiquior offers an especially intense participation in that moment. The author begins from the premise of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI that the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite should be mutually enriching, and seeks to highlight the richest elements of the Usus Antiquior. In so doing reference will be made to the seminal work by Catherine Pickstock – After Writing: On the Liturgical Consummation of Philosophy.
The Early Christian Altar – Lessons for Today
Msgr. Stefan Heid
With its liturgical reform and the necessary changes, the Second Vatican Council wanted to bring the sacred space of the church back to the norma patrum of the early Christian ideal. That is the reason why in the aftermath of the Council seemingly definite results in the study of the Fathers and research into Christian archeology gained great importance.
Along these lines also the altar was in the center of attention; it was now supposed to stand freely. Demand arose for a celebration versus populum. It was claimed that Christianity did not use an altar, but only profane dining tables for the Eucharist. The foundations for these demands and thesis are to be examined and critically analyzed using the norma patrum. A central role is taken by the comparison of “table” and “altar”.
The thesis is that already St Paul used a sacred table or altar for the supper of the Lord, which was analogical to the holy altars of antiquity. Christians developed their own type of altar from this sacred table, which seemed to be what was best for the sacrifice and which cannot be derived in form or in function from an ancient dining table.
The Sacred Liturgy as the Foundation of Religious Life
Abbot Jean-Charles Nault OSB
The specific practice of monastic liturgy can help us to grasp better the importance of liturgy in all evangelisation. The temptation to “instrumentalise” liturgy is still a reality. But is it not precisely the fact that it “has no use” that it may uncover itself to be of the greatest “utility” in the new evangelisation?
Starting from what the liturgy evokes as the realisation of the Pascal Mystery, and from the link that can be made between the rites of the monastic profession and those of the Christian initiation, this investigation wishes to expose how baptism, as a participation in the Pascal Mystery, introduces the baptised individual to a certain dependence towards God, a dependence which is lived in the long term and is the place where one accepts salvation as pure grace.
The Sacred Liturgy and the New Communities
Bishop Marc Aillet
In this talk on the sacred liturgy and the new communities, I will first of all examine the riches of these new communities that were founded in the wake of Vatican II and the impact that they had. At a turbulent time in the Church’s history they were able to preserve certain practices that were being disregarded and used them in their successful apostolate. Since the liturgy is such an essential part of a successful evangelisation, I will then tackle the liturgical question and will try and to give some indications that may enrich still more the life of these new communities and their apostolate. The final part will conclude with some considerations on the necessity of interior renewal not only for these communities but also for us all.