The November Issue of Worship

Summary of the November 2018 issue of Worship

Worship is a peer-reviewed, international ecumenical journal for the study of liturgy and liturgical renewal. Founded in 1926 by Virgil Michel, OSB, and the monks of Saint John’s Abbey, Worship is published six times a year in Collegeville, Minnesota. Subscribe to Worship here.

Salvation through Water? 1 Peter 3:20-21 in the Ancient Latin Tradition Jonathan P. Yates (Villanova University)

1 Peter 3:18-22 has been described as the clearest statement in all the New Testament of how the earliest Christians viewed baptism and its effects. This article seeks to elucidate the role that a portion of this passage played in the theological and sacramental thinking of early North African Christianity.

Outside North Africa, verses 20-21 generated comment from westerners such as Irenaeus, Hilary of Poitiers, Filastrius of Brescia, Jerome, Rufinus of Aquileia, and Pseudo-Rufinus. These two verses were also repeatedly referenced by two (or three if one includes Pseudo-Cyprian) of North African Christianity’s most important writers: Cyprian and Augustine. Cyprian invoked these verses a handful of times in at least three letters and Augustine referenced them no less forty-five times in more than twenty different compositions—including his Letter 164 to his fellow North African bishop, Evodius of Uzalis.

Questions that this article pursues include: How did these authors (esp. Cyprian and Augustine) understand the claim that salvation comes “per aquam”? How did they understand the explicit link Peter made between baptism and the Noah story? How do contemporary baptismal rituals reflect these texts?  

The Ritual Poetics of Christina Rossetti Timothy P. O’Malley, PhD (Director, Notre Dame Centre for Liturgy, Institute for Church Life)

This essay situates the poetry of Christina Rossetti within the Tractarian’s concern with the renewal of the Christian imagination at the beginning of the English Enlightenment. In the first part, the poetic theory of the Tractarians is developed with careful attention to both reserve and analogy in John Keble. In the second part, the ritual poetics of Rossetti are analyzed, through an analysis of literary theory’s treatment of the genre of the lyric. In the third part, Christina Rossetti’s own ritual poetics is examined through careful attention to her poetic collection on the liturgical year. In the conclusion, the author suggests that Rossetti’s ritual poetics may serve as an icon for the renewal of the liturgical imagination in a secular age.  

An Analysis of Selected Homilies of Ælfric of Eynsham and Aelred of Rievaulx Shawn Strout PH.D. Candidate, Catholic University of America (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Stevenson School for Ministry Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

The Second Vatican Council’s decree on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, makes it clear that the  homily is of central important to the proclamation of the Word in the liturgy. What is the nature of the homily, however?  The Latin word exponuntur, used in this decree, could mean to expound but can also mean to make manifest. This essay analyzes select homilies of Ælfric of Eynsham and Aelred of Rievaulx to show how their homiletical methodologies exemplified both understandings of exponuntur, centuries before the decree was written.

The Feast of the Nativity and the Christology of Yves Congar Innocent Smith, OP Ph.D. Candidate, Universität Regensburg

Yves Congar frequently acknowledged the importance of the liturgy in his theology, while admitting the difficulties attendant to distilling liturgical texts and experiences into theological formulations. This article explores Congar’s liturgical methodology by providing a close reading of Congar’s “theological meditation” on the feast of the Nativity, showing the significance of Congar’s use of liturgical sources and the importance of his Dominican liturgical experience for his broader theological work.


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