Lost Holiness?

Making the Holy Eucharist the normative worship service in Episcopal churches has created a challenge of retaining the Eucharist’s profound sense of holiness, says Dr. Patrick Malloy at GTS.

HT: The Living Church News Service

Making the Holy Eucharist the normative worship service in Episcopal churches has created a challenge of retaining the Eucharist’s profound sense of holiness

4 comments

  1. This reminds me of a discussion at my place recently. I suggest that the Liturgical Renewal Movement sought to move away from a fundamentally Eucharistic piety to a Sacramental piety that balanced the pieties of Baptism and the Eucharist. Unfortunately, in the current Episcopal context we seem to be utterly focused on the Baptismal to the loss of the Eucharistic…

    Recovery of the Daily Office is essential for fostering a properly balanced liturgical life within the Anglican system.

    1. Too true, too true.

      The emphasis we’ve placed on baptism has had tremendous benefits for our theology of ministry and ecumenical relations, but often enough I’ve seen that overshadow the fostering of an authentic Eucharistic spirituality. The sad thing is that we have an incredibly rich tradition of Eucharistic theology and spirituality — one that developed largely in the time when weekly (much less daily) access to the Eucharist was impossible — that isn’t being tapped for what it’s worth.

      And yes, we’ve lost the rhythm of the Office, and its power to shape our conception of the passing of time and the expressing of our human desire for God. My fear is that our choral tradition, developed around (but certainly also beyond) the chanting of the psalms will, in the long run, suffer as well. Balance, yes — without sacrificing either the Office or the Eucharist.

  2. As someone who prayer the divine office on a quite irregular though not infrequent basis, I bemoan the fact that most modern Catholics do not consider that there is another way to worship God that is not a mass. One has to go very far in my area of Connecticut to find a church that celebrates Sunday vespers, the office of readings before Christmas midnight mass, morning prayer during triduum, etc. Obviously, these can never take precedence over the Eucharistic liturgy, but they are a ritual that is sadly almost completely lost to the faithful.

  3. My experience has been that when folks are introduced to The Liturgy of Hours they accept it readily and fall into the movement quickly. The other part of my experience is that “Father” won’t allow it or won’t encourage it or is scared of it and probably has appointed one of his buddies to make sure the ribbons in his breviary are at the right place when he dies. The same “Father” has plenty of time and energy for a myriad of private devotions because (I think) he can be the star.

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