23 May 2013

Why Liturgy (& how we do it) Matters - pt. 1

via Uncut Mountain Supply

The following is a syllogism I put together as en explanation for Liturgical worship (really, for a taxis--or order--in worship) and for why it must be faithful to certain forms. I wanted to post it first, then take some time to expand and explain.

Major Premise:

A symbol is prototypically-constituted, manifesting (revealing & allowing participation in) the prototype.

It Follows That:

A symbol faithfully conforms to the prototype in order to manifest the prototype

Conclusion 1:

In order for a symbol to faithfully conform to the prototype, the form of the symbol must be prescribed by those with direct apprehension of the prototype.

It Follows That:

A symbol is constituted objectively rather than subjectively.

Conclusion 2:

A symbol cannot change contextually.

My initial remarks are that the ‘soft symbology’ of language (that which stands in place of something that is absent) differ from the ‘hard symbology’ of liturgy (that which truly reveals & makes present a prototype). Because of this, language can certainly change, but the liturgical symbols (largely) may not. There may be disagreement as to what, in the Symbol, constitutes faithful conformity to the prototype, this is Conclusion 1’s importance: it is not a speculative exercise, but one born of direct apprehension, and handed down  in the context of tradition (with the hope of facilitating direct apprehension by others). From here we depart the utility of argumentation and enter an experiential dimension--the question becomes ecclesiological.

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