Sunday, 3 January 2016

The Heresy of Worshiptainment

I saw a link on Facebook to an article called The Heresy of Worshiptainment, along with a comment by a Catholic saying that it was good as far as it goes, given it is written from a Protestant perspective.

I partly agree. The emphasis on entertainment in liturgy is a corruption, and many attempts at stimulating participation fall foul of this. But even from a Protestant perspective I think it a bit lacking.  From a Catholic perspective, of course, it lacks a great deal. 

At the heart of Catholicism is the imitation of Christ. Christ, of course, included reading the scriptures, but also singing the Psalms. He taught us to adore, He taught us to pray the Our Father, and He taught us to invoke the Holy Spirit.  He told us to offer the bread and wine that become His Body and His Blood, and He offered the sacrifice of His life to the Father. He instituted and consecrated the Catholic apostolic priesthood to continue this Saving Work.

Not unnaturally, the Catholic Mass includes all of these elements, and any Protestant service, however full of worship, is lacking at the highest and deepest levels: adoration, the Sacrifice of Calvary made present, and the Real Presence received in Holy Communion.

Christ also ratified, through the Incarnation, the principle that our bodies, as well as our minds, hearts, and souls are important. So the bodily, or even sensory, aspects of our religion are also important. That is why  sacred music has always been an essential element of Catholic liturgy and sacred art an important part of our ecclesiastical buildings. We are not, after all, puritans - and perhaps that is the other error implicit in this article.

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