Liturgy is the produce of faith. It is the craft of believers reaching together toward the Divine in collaborative witness of things not seen. Well, that's what I posted on Facebook last night before turning in. The responses were pretty passionate. There's such profound disappointment in the Church, in our privileging of liturgy over all the other work to which the Body of Christ is called. Even I wrote of "fetishizing" the Eucharist. Likely I'll pay for that comment at some point.
I have been reading Liturgy And The Arts by Albert Roulet. It's a beautiful book...the ideas are clear, their articulation succinct, and I wish I had written it. Alas, it's not to be. The good bishop beat me to it. The French do that. Ha!
Roulet's desire is to reacquaint art and liturgy. His argument hinges on the assumption that somehow liturgy stopped being about art, that the Church stopped being a benefactor of creativity and instead became a clearing house for doctrine. He's hoping to help dismantle this movement by the Church and explore what it might mean for art and faith to come together again. So, he focuses on the Liturgy itself as an art form.
The Liturgy is an art form that employs other art forms. "Art," he writes "is an action." One paints. One sings. One sculpts. One writes. Communities sing, sculpt, paint, write, pray, dance, love, serve, etc...Liturgy is a craft asking for our best. Liturgy is an art form that can be beautiful, evocative, and profoundly heartbreaking.
I'm slowly finding my own way through similar lines of thought. Until then, I would love to know your thoughts. What is the purpose of Liturgy? Can you imagine Liturgy as a worthwhile art form? Let me know.