In This Issue: Worship, December 2015

Here are abstracts from the November issue of Worship as well as the list of books that were reviewed. For more information on Worship, or to subscribe to the journal, please visit its website.

Kevin D. Magas: “Issues in Eucharistic Praying: Translating the Roman Canon”

Recent liturgical scholarship reveals a renewed appreciation for the Roman canon missae as a venerable testament to authentic Roman eucharistic praying. Nevertheless, pastoral liturgists face a number of difficulties in translating this growing scholarly consensus into the living experience of liturgical assemblies. In addition to problems posed by the structural and stylistic features of the Canon, translation has been further complicated by the operative guidelines for liturgical translation found in Liturgiam Authentica used to translate the third edition of the Roman Missal. This article examines the current translation of the Canon in light of the history of translating the Canon into English. It surveys the period before the Second Vatican Council, translations produced by ICEL in response to the postconciliar Consilium, ICEL’s later shelved re-translation of the Canon, and the period ushered in by Liturgiam Authenticam. While many liturgists may feel justifiably angry and hurt by an ecclesial situation aggravated by recent translation guidelines, a patient historical, theological, and liturgical assessment and comparison of translation principles offers a solution more attuned to Christian charity.


Kimberly Baker: “Proclaiming a Dynamic Understanding of Grace: The Spiritual Foundation for Sacramental and Liturgical Catechesis”

This article explores the thought of Augustine for a robust doctrine of grace that can inform and renew liturgy, spirituality, and pastoral practice today. It begins with consideration of the contemporary American context, particularly the religious perspective of young Americans, and the signs of an impoverished notion of grace. Next it turns to Augustine’s view of grace that integrates the Incarnation, sacraments, and acts of Christian love as God’s engagement in human life opens the way for Christians to participate in God’s own life. It concludes with suggestions of concrete ways that pastoral ministers can draw from Augustine’s dynamic doctrine in preaching and liturgical catechesis to give fuller witness to the grace-filled life in Christ. Throughout, the article emphasizes that grace transforms life as God reaches into human experience, revealing its sacramental character as human experience bears the potential for encounter and shared life with God.


Daniella Zsupan-Jerome: “Virtual Presence as Real Presence? Sacramental Theology and Digital Culture in Dialogue”

What does it mean to be present in our digital culture? In this cultural context where our presence is increasingly mediated through the screens of our electronic devices, mediated presence becomes an everyday experience, and merits our pause and deeper consideration. This essay considers this question of digitally mediated presence by drawing on the sacramental and liturgical theology as a conversation partner, where mediated presence is an essential concept for understanding Christian worship. The phenomenological approach of Louis-Marie Chauvet and the philosophical work of Jean-Luc Marion are especially important voices in this conversation, emphasizing presence as relational and encounter as its necessary context. Presence as relational and the importance of encounter are both invaluable lessons for the emerging shape of authentic communication in our digital culture.


Joris Geldhof: “Ritual as Involuntary Impediment to Interreligious Encounter?  A Phenomenological Exploration in Conversation with C. Verhoeven”

There seems to be something peculiar with regard to rituals in the context of interreligious encounters. Apparently, rituals have a hard core which is difficult to share, if there is no downright opposition or reluctance towards sharing it. Both guests and hosts experience the limits of hospitality and solidarity when it comes to communicating about and, above all, concretely participating in the rituals of their respective religious communities. Beyond their own intentions, they regularly experience uneasiness and behave inappropriately. This paper seeks answers to the question why this happens much more intensively in ritual contexts than in other areas of religion. Clearly, there is something at hand with rituals which distinguishes them from belief contents, ethical ideals, and (mystic, or affective) experiences. The Dutch philosopher Cornelis Verhoeven is called upon as a guide to lead us through this complex set of questions. His fine phenomenological observations help understand the specificity of rituals as actions of a certain kind, whose origin and meaning ultimately lay beyond any rationalizing grasp.


The Amen Corner: Paul Turner, “Misal Romano: A Tale of Two Translations”

This issue’s Amen Corner compares the new Misal Romano of Mexico with the revised English translation. Differences in the book’s layout, content and translation are evident.


Book Reviews

  • The Word of God at Vatican II: Exploring Dei Verbum. By Ronald D. Witherup, PSS. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014. Pages, 85. Paper, $10.95. ISBN: 978-0-8146-3556-8. Reviewed by Normand Bonneau, OMI.
  • Anglican Confirmation: 1662–1820. Liturgy, Worship and Society Series. By Phillip Tovey. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2014. Pages, xi + 201. Hardcover, $104.95. ISBN 978-1-4724-2217-0. Reviewed by John W.B. Hill.
  • What Are They Saying about Q? By Benedict Viviano, OP. New York: Paulist Press, 2013. Pages, 111 with bibliography and index. Paper, $14.95. ISBN: 978-0-8091-4839-4. Reviewed by Michael Patella, OSB.

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