Liturgy is 'where everything comes together' for Catholics, says priest
Published: October 1, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Liturgy sometimes suffers from being too wordy, according to a liturgical expert who says the celebration of the Mass would benefit from fewer hymns and more silence. "Part of taking part (in liturgy) is listening, silence and being awestruck at what is going on," Msgr. Kevin Irwin said Sept. 28 in a talk on the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. "That is what makes liturgy tremendous and mysterious." Often, the liturgy is celebrated without enough emphasis on transcendence and "the amazing grace of God," Msgr. Irwin said. The priest is former dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America and currently holds the Walter J. Schmitz chair of liturgical studies at the school. He spoke at the university's symposium on "Reform and Renewal: Vatican II After 50 Years." The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, also known as "Sacrosanctum Concilium," emphasized that the liturgy should build the full, conscious and active participation of the faithful. For Msgr. Irwin, "Participation is not a sop to extroverts. There is an earthiness to our liturgy," he said, noting its use of elements of creation such as water, light and darkness, as well as manufactured items such as bread, wine and chrism. Emphasizing the role of such signs helps to provide an encounter with God's action, he said.
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .