Laminar Liturgy

Before I go to church, so that I don’t give the impression that I’m thinking about any particular service:

The point of worship is worship. The point of taking pains about liturgy — well, I can think of several. One point involves trying to say what we mean, liturgically, rather than our services just mumbling. (Despite my sympathy for the Motu Proprio permitting wider use of the Tridentine Mass, I admit that this gesture may convey both an imprecise retrograde nostalgia and, more importantly, the revival of gravely problematic liturgical antisemitism.)

The other point I had in mind involved the action of worship, when clumsiness and confusion call attention to the goings-on as something other than fluent praise of God. Turbulence distracts; coordination facilitates. (Yes, it’s possible to make an idol of hyperprecise liturgical fussiness; on the whole, I observe a great many more situations in which careless confusion is shrugged off as inconsequential than I observe situations in which fastidiousness interferes with worship. That fits a more general U.S. ideology of casualness, and of theological topics not mattering much.)

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