Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Tidbits from the Workshop
Here’s a taste of some of the points made in the “Mystical Body, Mystical Voice” workshop. These points are from Session I: The Word Made Flesh:
The Mass is Essentially Sacramental
In other words, external and perceptible signs and symbols in the Mass make present some internal and otherwise undetectable realities. This is why we take a sacramental approach to the liturgy: the words themselves are sacramental.
What is a sacrament? “An outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace.” The words of the liturgy carry a reality: Christ. In him and in his Mystical Body, the restored dialogue of love resonates in the world today. The ultimate reality of the Mass is Jesus himself. Jesus is not only the Son of the Father, but is his Word.
The words of the liturgy are sacramental signs of the Word. To speak, hear, sing, and pray the words of the Mass is to encounter the Word, Jesus Christ.
In his book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Romano Guardini notes that:
The liturgy wishes to teach, but not by means of an artificial system of aim-conscious educational influences; it simply creates an entire spiritual world in which the soul can live according to the requirements of its nature. The difference resembles that which exists between a gymnasium, in which every detail of apparatus and every exercise aims at a calculated effect, and the open woods and fields. In the first everything is consciously directed towards discipline and development, in the second life is lived with Nature, and internal growth takes placed in her. The liturgy creates a universe brimming with fruitful spiritual life, and allows the soul to wander about in it at will and to develop itself there. (p 66)
The liturgy has much to teach us about Jesus, and the words that we use in the liturgy are very important in conveying the “hidden” meaning of the Mass. Sacramental language comes to “say” this reality not by virtue of committee decisions, but from the sources of creation, human culture, the Old Covenant, the Person and work of Christ, and Heaven.
The Church has developed a liturgical language able to “sacramentalize” and make present the Word.
There is much to be said on this topic! If you are interested in learning more, ask your pastor to schedule a “Mystical Body, Mystical Voice” workshop for your parish. Contact Stephanie Swee at 541-550-0832, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.