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quod pro nobis traditum est

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Liturgical Correctness

Originally posted at BOC Online:

Often the use of "liturgical correctness" in describing how a congregation practices worship is a criticism. What really is "liturgical correctness"? Such terminology is often left to perception since there are a variety of liturgical practices even among those who otherwise are quite close in their practice of the liturgy. This means that a charge of "liturgical correctness" in the negative sense may be raised based on a perception toward one practice or many practices or on a variety of factors.

Such a charge also undermines any attempts at catechesis or instruction in the meaning of, or theological basis for, a practice or practices. Thus what is given in support of the faith and in passing on the faith in the liturgy may be seen in the opposite light, that is, as something which is actually opposed to the faith.

When one is charged with "liturgical correctness" it is best not to take personal offense. The traditional practice is that of the Church. This is the real target of the charge. While there is always the possibility of misunderstanding in liturgical matters the charge of "liturgical correctness" is really not an acceptable charge. Rather than question the motives of those who make such a charge it is best to take the opportunity to show how the traditional liturgy leads one to worship that is humble, orderly and reverent of the Holy Trinity in Christ Jesus our Lord. The liturgy is the connection point between God and His people, the Body of Christ. Liturgical tradition focuses on Word and Sacrament, which are gifts of God for the forgiveness of sins, and which lead people away from focus on our own personal likes and dislikes to a right focus on Who is truly acting correctly toward us in the holy liturgy of the Church.

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