Contemplating God Through the
Ritual Gestures of the Liturgy:
An Introduction and Overview
Thanks to the gracious action of God in and through our history, the Church is able to encounter the living God by means of very human actions employing very physical 'things.' Bread, wine, oil, water, wood, and stone become vehicles for this encounter.
For example, the Church does what Jesus did at the Last Supper. We take the bread, give thanks and praise to God, break the bread, and share it out among the members.
So, it is true that very human beings use very physical 'things' sacramentally to encounter, worship, and be sent on mission by the living God.
On Liturgical Contemplation Part One:
In the "Existential Approach to Liturgy" I quoted Kathleen Hughes, who said this:
Paying attention, then, involves the continual practice of discerning the presence of the mystery of God in Christ as disclosed to the members of the worshiping community in and through the ritual actions of liturgical prayer.
One way to promote a more profound conscious participation in Liturgy, then, is to foster a deeper capacity for paying attention in the members of each worshiping community.
The wager here is that "full, active, and conscious participation" depends upon the ability of worshipers to grow in their capacity to meditate upon the prayers, ritual gestures, and symbols of any sacramental rite of the Church.
How can Liturgical Contemplation aid the worshiping assembly? It can do this by these several means:
How? That is the next step.
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