Reading music in liturgy:\ud Ecclesiology in a music-making church

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Flipse, Adriana M.
  • Subject: BR | M1

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.
  • References (23)
    23 references, page 1 of 3

    4 Frank Burch Brown, Good Taste, Bad Taste, Christian Taste: Aesthetics in Religious Life (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2000), p. 183.

    5 cf. for example Jeremy Begbie's extensive work on music's contribution to theology (Begbie 2000a, 2000b, 2007); Don Saliers' writings on music and theology (Saliers and Saliers 2005; Saliers 2007) and worship (Saliers 1994); works on music and worship, e.g. Kroeker (Ed.) 2005, Leaver and Zimmermann (Eds.) 1998; works on theology and the arts, e.g. Viladesau 2000; the work of authors concerned with the practicalities and rationale of church music, such as those represented in Darlington and Kreider (Eds.) 2003.

    6Sven-Erik Brodd, 'Ecclesiology and Church Music: Towards a Possible Relationship', International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, 6.2 (2006), 126-143 (p. 139).

    7 Brodd, pp. 138f.

    9 Nicholas P. Wolterstorff, 'Thinking about Church Music' in Music in Christian Worship: At the Service of the Liturgy, ed. by Charlotte Kroeker (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2005), pp. 3-16 (pp. 11f.).

    10 Thomas G. Long 2001, as quoted in Richard Geoffrey Leggett, 'When will you make an end?' in Worshipshaped Life: Liturgical Formation and the People of God, ed. by Ruth Meyers and Paul Gibson (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2010), pp. 88-105 (p. 99).

    11Jeremy S. Begbie, Theology, Music and Time (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000a), p. 20.

    12Mary E. McGann, Exploring Music as Worship and Theology: Research in Liturgical Practice (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2002), p. 39.

    13 McGann describes her method at length in Mary E. McGann, Exploring Music as Worship and Theology: Research in Liturgical Practice (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2002).

    14 Lawrence A. Hoffman, 'A Holistic View of Liturgy' in Primary Sources of Liturgical Theology: A Reader, ed. by Dwight W. Vogel (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2000), pp. 78-86 (p. 78).

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