Monday, May 18, 2009

The Liturgical Moment

I came across a statement on the web today that genuinely both troubled and resonated with me: 

"All liturgy is pastoral." 

Really? This caused me to ask: Is the liturgy for me (and the ones for whom I am breaking forth the Word and the Cup), or is the liturgy for God? On the one hand, it seems axiomatic that the liturgy is for the shaping of those who practice it, while on the other the liturgy is also easily understood to have God as subject and not object.

Perhaps the both/and answer is the best: both approaches being intended and important. The liturgy, then, is both for God and for us? 

Well, yes and no. I would say it this way, the liturgy's focus has God as subject, and we offer him the sacrifice of praise in the practice of the liturgical moment because he is worthy, and we are consequently (and mysteriously) shaped by the liturgical work, over time, to be more like the subject of the "people's work."