Liturgy Is For God


“There were practical reasons for the fact that [the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy] was the first [of Vatican II]. Yet looking back, we have to say that this made good sense in terms of the structure of the Council as a whole: worship, adoration, comes first. And thus God does….The Constitution on the Church, which then followed as the Council’s second text, should be seen as being inwardly bracketed together with it. The Church derives from adoration, from the task of glorifying God. Ecclesiology, of its nature, has to do with liturgy. And so it is logical, too, that the third Constitution talks about the Word of God, which calls the Church together and is at all times renewing her. The Fourth Constitution shows how the glory of God presents itself in an ethos, how the light we have received from God is carried out into the world, how only thus can God be fully glorified. In the period following the Council, of course, the Constitution on the Liturgy was understood, no longer on the basis of this fundamental primacy of adoration, but quite simply as a recipe book concerned with what we can do with the liturgy. In the meantime many liturgical experts, rushing into consideration about how we can shape the liturgy in a more attractive way, to communicate better, so as to get more and more people actively involved, have apparently quite lost sight of the fact that the liturgy is actually ‘done’ for God and not for ourselves. The more we do it for ourselves, however, the less it attracts people, because everyone can clearly sense that what is essential is increasingly eluding us.”

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