Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

Evangelical or Eschatological


“I don’t think a lot of the criticisms of the Western Rite (which ought to be distinguished in some important ways from the liturgical practices of the West prior to 1054) have to do with its lack of beauty, but with its artificiality. I don’t believe one can be principally opposed to historical-critical “restorations” of the Liturgy and also for the active, artificial construction of a liturgical form by way of the same methods (though, perhaps, with less precision and a lot more synthesizing). It’s also difficult to take the Western Rite “movement” at face-value because a lot of the justifications for it are so flimsy. The absolute worst thing I can think of for the liturgical life of the Church is to “Protestantize” it by endorsing—on any level—the view that worship ought to be evangelical rather than eschatological.” – from a blog comment

The writer above is responding to a blog post about beauty of Gregorian chant and plainsong and the complexity of Russian music. In fact, the original post quite unfairly compares chant with the choral music of composers. But this is useful, in that it illustrates the point: when someone makes an aesthetic judgement about these things in the first place, what ensures them that their attitude is fundamentally an orthodox aesthetic – it seems to be an assumption.

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December 27, 2007 - Posted by | Western Rite Questions | , , , , , , ,

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