Liturgy lacks imagination

In the August 27, 2007, issue of America, Cardinal Godfried Danneels writes about liturgy 40 years after the Council. The entire article is deserving of a careful read, but here are my favorite lines:

How many celebrants consider the homily to be the climax of the liturgy and the barometer of the celebration? How many have the feeling that the celebration is more or less over after the Liturgy of the Word?

Too much attention is also given to the intellectual approach to the liturgy. Imagination, affect, emotion and, properly understood, aesthetics are not given enough room….

Liturgy is neither the time nor the place for catechesis….

Nor should liturgy be used as a means for disseminating information, no matter how essential that information might be. It should not be forced to serve as an easy way to notify the participants about this, that and the other thing. One does not attend the liturgy on Mission Sunday in order to learn something about this or that mission territory….

The church fathers, too, adhered to the principle that mystagogical catechesis (in which the deepest core of the sacred mysteries was laid bare) should come only after the sacraments of initiation. Their pedagogical approach was “sensorial”: participate first and experience things at an existential level in the heart of the community, and only then explain….

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