Summary of the October 2021 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 quarterly in Collegeville, Minnesota. Subscribe to Worship here.
THE AMEN CORNER
Liturgical Theology in Crisis–Twenty-First Century Version
Rahner and Chauvet on Sacrament as Symbolic Mediation: A Preliminary Study
Rahner and Chauvet explore the notion of symbol to explain the revelatory and efficacious nature of the church and the sacraments. To do so, they make use of two other notions—bodiliness and mediation. Their treatment of these themes yields the conclusion that human subjectivity arises through the mediation of otherness which is preeminently linguistic. This sets the stage for understanding sacrament as a language event in which God’s self-communication in Christ and the Spirit mediates Christian identity. The specific mode of symbolic mediation is one in which, to quote Chauvet, “the expression, insofar as it is manifestation, effects what it signifies.” This is also Rahner’s theology of symbol or mediated immediacy in a nutshell. The lover’s love is no less immediately present for the beloved for being mediated through bodily words, gestures and actions. Similarly, God’s love is both revealed and actualized through the words, gestures, actions of Christ, of the church as the body of Christ, and of the sacraments as gestures of the body of Christ.
The Sacraments and Liturgies of the Street
Cara L. Anthony
The church is the distinctive sign of the reign of God within the world, but the church’s boundaries are porous. Ad hoc communities that arise during times of change often create public rituals that function in proximity to the church. Christians can recognize those rituals, or liturgies of the street, as analogically sacramental. Further, the porosity of the church-world boundary is mutual: the church receives from ad hoc communities much-needed elements proper to its own life. In the current context of rapid disaffiliation from religion, Christians must be present where the reign of God is unfolding outside church boundaries – not only as witnesses to the reign of God there, but also to continually re-orient church sacraments toward their fulfillment in ethical action.
Of Pandemics and Divine Mysteries: The Lex Orandi of Roman Church Dedications
The coronavirus pandemic has challenged Christians across denominations to encounter God’s eucharistic mystery in new and not always encouraging ways. It has raised issues of liturgical access and reception, while spurring ecclesial reflection across the board. Not least among the questions is how to understand our church buildings – the places we dedicate to God as God’s house, the places where we gather for worship. Are they temples? Are they meeting houses? Can we limit the transcendent God? Fascinatingly, the evolving tradition of church dedication prayers in the Roman Rite struggled with precisely this tension even until the Second Vatican Council. This study will trace this tradition. It will examine how the Conciliar reformers enriched the euchology of church dedication in accordance with scriptural and patristic ideals. And finally it will suggest that both the ancient and renewed forms of this church dedication euchology provide a possible path of theological reflection – in the wake of the great pandemic of our time – for the churches who seek to understand how and why they worship the limitless God in space and time.
“Participation”: A Rich Vein, Still Asking to Be Mined
George Wilson, SJ
In the reform agenda of Vatican II, one of the most memorable changes was the call for participation in the liturgy. The notion is a leitmotif running all through Sacrosanctum Concilium, the conciliar decree on corporate worship. Like so many other themes in the conciliar corpus the expression has become a commonplace in our church conversation. What does the conciliar text say about participation? What does the call for participation actually require of us, whether we are laity or clergy?
Michael Driscoll reviews Gottesdienst auf eigene Gefahr?: Die Feier der Liturgie in der Zeit von Covid-19 (Worship at your own risk?: The Celebration of the Liturgy in the Time of COVID-19). Edited by Hans-Jürgen Feulner and Elias Haslwanter. Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2020. 916 pages. €66.90. ISBN:978-3-402-24740-2.
Benjamin Durheim reviews Transubstantiation: Theology, History, and Christian Unity by Brett Salkeld. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2019. 270+xv pages. $29.99. ISBN:978-1-5409-6055-9.
Thomas A. Krosnicki, SVD, reviews Worship and Church: An Ecclesial Liturgy—Essays in Honor of Gerard Austin, OP. Edited by Sallie Latkovich, CSJ, and Peter C. Phan. New York/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2019. 351+viii pages. $39.95. ISBN: 978-0-809-5424-1. E-book ISBN: 978-1-58768-916-3.
Scott M. Lewis, SJ, reviews John: An Earth Bible Commentary: Supposing Him to Be the Gardener, by Margaret Daly-Denton. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017. 247 pages. $84.60. ISBN: 978-0-5676-7451-7.
Joseph Mudd reviews Virtual Communion: Theology of the Internet and the Catholic Sacramental Imagination by Katherine G. Schmidt. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield/Lexington Books, 2020. 175+xv pages. $90.00. ISBN: 978-1-9787-0162-5.
The Rev. Canon Lizette Larson-Miller reviews The Eucharistic Faith by Ralph McMichael. London, Norwich, UK: SCM Press, 2019. 280 pages. £25.00. ISBN: 978-0-334-05659-1.
Paul Turner reviews Baptismal Ecclesiology and the Order of Christian Funerals, by Stephen S. Wilbrecht, CSC. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2018. 210+xii pages. $21.95. ISBN: 978-1-61671-443-7.
Bridget Nichols reviews Authentic Liturgy: Minds in Tune with Voices by Nathaniel Marx. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2020. 266+xiii pages. $34.95. ISBN: 978-0-8146-8469-6.
Michael Witczak reviews Speaking with Aquinas: A Conversation about Grace, Virtue, and the Eucharist by David Farina Turnbloom. Foreword by Bruce T. Morrill. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press/A Michael Glazier Book, 2017. 165+xxxii pages. $29.95. ISBN: 978-0-8146-8780-2.