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Jeff...great video, although it is sad how few Catholics truly realize this essential reason for worship. We only have to look at the design of many of our parishes to see where our priorities have been placed. It's only through the vertical relationship with God that any horizontal relationship with each other can be sustained in faith.


Oh my gosh!  You do get the irony, right?   Please say that you do!

This is an impressive video, and I suppose it reaches a lot of people where they are.

Of course, it's shaped by the current youth movement and the style of music called "praise and worship". That is often good music, well performed; with a style of secular origin, and it can find a place in the Church in non-liturgical settings: in bible studies, prayer groups, evangelization events.

In a sense, this moving video leaves a gap unbridged: it's right to say that worship is not about having certain feelings; about having an exultant crowd experience, supported by waves of music from a guitar band. Yet the video still leaves us with a focus on Jesus-and-me, where what I do is worship.

That misses the central ideas of Catholic worship: first, that Jesus does it. That He is the prime actor in the liturgy, and not only a recipient of our adoration. And that the community gets to take part in this worship thing that Jesus does, and that Catholic worship is "logike latria" -- adoration shaped by the Word, and by rationality; that it is not amorphous, but has a consistent structure, in the daily prayers of the Divine Office and in the Liturgies of the Sacraments: above all, the Holy Mass.

I used to be involved in the charismatic movement, playing their particular styles of music, which were largely borrowed from analogous Protestant trends; attending largely amorphous prayer meetings and healing services. The current "praise and worship" musical style is really a continuation of that musical and stylistic borrowing. P&W became a big thing through the work of minister/musician/professor John Wimber in the Vineyard denomination in the 1980s. Catholic charismatic prayer groups used to borrow a lot of his and colleague Carl Tuttle's songs. Wimber was apparently a great guy, but he spent a lot of years in Quaker fellowships, and he didn't believe in structured worship services, and that was his approach in leading Vineyard congregations.

So if P&W seems to be the latest thing, let's remember that it's about 25 years old, and it's connected with a movement that really doesn't "get" what Catholic communal liturgical worship is at all. So it can only get Catholics so far in building a sound concept of worship.

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This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on November 11, 2008 10:52 AM.

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