History & The Liturgy

Is history alone the central focus of celebration during the liturgy?  No, for what the liturgy makes present is the encounter of a person who dialates the history of salvation into Himself.

Precisely because our faith anchoring events are historical, they cannot be repeated or reenacted.  What happened once passes over into mystery.  What the Paschal Mystery celebrates is mystery not history, the reality of anamnesis not mimesis.

Joseph Pieper once remarked that the human capacity for festivity arises from the ability to affirm all creation as good, from the ability to embrace in one resounding ‘yes’, the length, breath and depth of our experience of living in the world.  The liturgy is a time for intensified consciousness, finely tuned awareness, awakened memory.  A charged metanoia.  In a word:  renewal.


About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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