Thursday, January 21, 2010

Liturgical Creativity?

Creativity in liturgy seems to be the rule of the day. We have forgotten that Liturgy is something which the Church received from the Lord. We have lost sight of the humility which is required of all who approach the Sacred Liturgy. To the mind of many ministers, liturgy is simply a vehicle for self-expression. We have forgotten that we are not lords of liturgy but its servants.

"Man cannot simply 'make' worship. If God does not reveal himself, man is clutching empty space. Moses says to Pharoah: '[W]e do not know with what we must serve the Lord' (Ex. 10:26). These words display a fundamental law of all liturgy. When God does not reveal himself, man can, of course, from the sense of God within him, build altars 'to the unknown god' (cf. Acts 17:23). He can reach out toward God in his thinking and try to feel his way toward him. But real liturgy implies that God responds and reveals how we can worship him. In any form, liturgy includes some kind of 'institution'. It cannot spring from imagination, our own creativity - then it would remain just a cry in the dark or mere self-affirmation. Liturgy implies a real relationship with Another, who reveals himself to us and gives our existence a new direction."

J. Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, 21-22.

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