How Thomas More College has captured the essence of a Catholic education through its guilds and the promotion of creativity in art, music and literature.
I recently read a book by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI that I would recommend to all (h/t Stratford Caldecott for telling me about it). It is called A New Song for the Lord – Faith in Christ and Liturgy Today. The publisher, Crossroads, decided to put the following quotation from text prominently on the cover: ‘How we attend to the liturgy determines the fate and faith of the Church.’ This last part is what drew me to it particularly. I wanted to know more because it seemed to support my understanding that it is the liturgy that forms most powerfully the worldview of the believer and that, in turn, is what shapes the culture most powerfully.
It was written in 1996, before his classic book on the liturgy, the Spirit of the Liturgy. There is greater discussion in this book than in the later one of the connection between the person of Christ and the liturgy; and also, happily for me (as the title suggests), about the general connection between liturgy and culture. He talks in depth, for example, about the the forms of music appropriate for the liturgy and how important the connection between this and contemporary culture is. In regard to this, he gives a critique of modern music forms (displaying a surprising degree of knowledge about them – even differentiating between rock and pop!) and explaining why they are, for the most part inappropriate for the liturgy and in many cases not good in any other situation either. He then goes on to say that the response to this cannot be simply a recovery of past forms. We must always also be creative and produce new forms that connect with people today. Rejecting what is new simply because it is new is not an option.
He says (p127): “The level of a culture is discernible by its ability to assimilate to come into contact and exchange and to do this synchronically and diachronically. It is capable of encountering other contemporary cultures as well as the development of human culture in the march of time. This ability to exchange and flourish finds its expression in the ever recurring imperative ‘Sing the Lord a new song’. Experiences of salvation are found not only in the (Read More)