“The Liturgy is a Living Organism, not a Museum Thing” Warns Francis

During an audience with members of the Italian Association of Liturgy Teachers and Culturators, the Pontiff addressed the topic of the liturgy.

Newsroom (01/09/2022 9:30 PM Gaudium Press) On Thursday morning, September 1, Pope Francis received in audience the members of the Italian Association of Teachers and Culturators of Liturgy. The meeting took place in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican on the occasion of the Association’s 50th anniversary.

In his address, the Holy Father stated that the liturgy is the work of Christ and the Church and, as such, is a living organism, not a monument of marble or bronze, not a museum thing. The liturgy is alive like a plant and must be cultivated with care.

The liturgy is joyful

He further explained that the liturgy is joyful, with the joy of the Spirit, not of a worldly feast. “That’s why you can’t understand, for example, a funeral theology: it doesn’t work. It is joyful because it sings praise to the Lord,” he stressed.

According to the Pontiff, nowadays, more than ever, it is necessary to have an elevated vision of the liturgy, one that is not reduced to examining rubric details. A liturgy that is not mundane but that raises the eyes to heaven. At the same time, a liturgy with its feet on the ground, not distant from life. Therefore, the two things together: to turn one’s gaze towards the Lord without turning one’s back on the world.

Going back to the roots does not mean going backwards

Francis also explained that progress in understanding and liturgical celebration must always be rooted in tradition, which always leads one forward in that sense that the Lord wants. And he warned against a spirit that is not that of true tradition: the worldly Spirit of regression, which thinks that going back to the roots means walking backwards.

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“If you go back to the roots, the roots take you upwards, always. Like the tree that grows from what comes from its roots. Going back to the roots, because tradition is the guarantee of the future. We are not people who walk backwards,” he clarified.

Theology is done with an open mind and on one’s knees

Concluding his audience, the Pope taught that the most important thing is “that your study of the liturgy be imbued with prayer and living experience of the Church that celebrates so that the liturgy thought out can always flow, as from a vital lymph, from the liturgy lived.”

“Theology is done with an open mind and at the same time on one’s knees. This holds true for all theological disciplines, but even more so for yours, which has as its object the act of celebrating the beauty and grandeur of the mystery of God who gives himself to us, the Pontiff concluded. (EPC)

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj



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