Reading music in liturgy:\ud Ecclesiology in a music-making church
Flipse, Adriana M.
This study explores the liturgical expression of the church’s identity through the lens of music. It engages with questions about the nature of liturgy, music and church in order to come to a better understanding of the ways in which they are connected. Its main focus is on the methodology that will facilitate the study of the ecclesiology of music in worship.\ud Liturgy can be understood as foundational to the various activities in which the church finds its fulfilment in relation to the world. When the church’s music is studied as an integral part of the liturgy, it can be shown to be a way for the church to establish, express and affirm its identity and calling.\ud Liturgical music is a multi-faceted phenomenon that can be approached from various angles. There is no single method of studying liturgical music-making in all its various forms and functions. Both an inductive and a deductive approach are needed.\ud Two different approaches to liturgical music, both from a Roman Catholic perspective, are Mary McGann’s and Joseph Ratzinger’s. McGann’s is an ethnographical study based on thorough examination of the musical tradition in a particular context, whilst Ratzinger seeks to establish general rules about the nature and use of music on theological grounds. These give cause for reflection on the way different perceptions of worship and different models of the church shape our thinking about music in liturgy. \ud A thorough study of a particular congregation and its musical practices can help our understanding of its identity as a church. An understanding of the role of music can also be instrumental in shedding light on the nature and vocation of the church as well as its internal and external relationships.
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