Archive for February 21st, 2019

Exodus 40:1-31Liturgy

Thursday, February 21, 2019

I smile as I read about selvages, alternating bells and pomegranates, gold beaten into fibers that are then threaded through fabric, ring fasteners, and even the situating of the breastplate at the proper point in relation to the belt . . . and all of this by God’s command.  There must be fashion in heaven, and it must be important!

I have taken an interest in vestments lately with the arrival of our new pastor – who is tall and slender and carries flowing robes well.  His stature is so different from the former pastor who was short and round.  This new priest brings with him an understanding of liturgy and how it helps to both call and form us.  He knows that it is so much more than ritual.  He understands that as we participate we prepare ourselves for a greater, deeper, and more intense relationship with God.  Liturgy prepares us for heaven.

As I re-read this description I am recalling something I read in the November MAGNIFICAT (the 19th) written by Father Simon Tugwell, O.P., and it is entitled: The Temple is for Liturgy.

Liturgy is essentially something given, and in this expresses a fundamental feature of all prayer.  Its sublime lack of of concern for our personal moods is a forcible reminder that when we come to God, it is not to force our moods or our interests on to him, but to receive his interests and to let him, in a sense, share his moods with us . . . It is far more central to prayer that we should let ourselves become involved in God, in his great enterprise of giving himself, and all the various interests and concerns that form part of this.  It is therefore a positive advantage that the liturgy does not just reflect our own concerns and interests, but confronts us with definite moods of its own . . . The liturgy, faithfully celebrated, should be a long-term course in heart-expansion, making us more and more capable of the totality of love that there is in the heart of Christ.  It is not the immediate feeling that is important; that may or may not come.  What matters is that we should be, slowly and quietly, molded by this rehearsal for and anticipation of the worship of heaven.  It is a schooling for paradise.

We have reflected on Nehemiah’s re-building of Jerusalem and the temple as his participation in the greatest enterprise of all – God’s enterprise.  Today we read the description of the temple vestments and pause to reflect on the importance of worship in our lives.  Liturgy is more than merely gathering to pray together.  It is more than dressing up or dressing down, arriving early or arriving late.  It is more than recitation, singing, spontaneous praying.  It is, as Father Tugwell so well writes . . . an education, a discipline for our ultimate relationship with God.  As we gather our moods, our concerns and ourselves in a holy and sacred place, so do we also practice and refine our role in God’s great enterprise.

A favorite posted on November 29, 2011.  

Images from: http://www.ourladylovesyou.org/communities/southtexas/blogger/2009_10_01_archive.html

Cameron, Peter John, Rev., ed. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 19 November 2010: 273. Print.

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