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WHAT IS LITURGY? Date - 18/07/2004 WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LITURGY?

Where does the word liturgy come from and what does it refer to? Like many other churchy words that we use, liturgy comes from the language used by the early church in its worship and writings Greek. It derives from the Greek word leitourgia which was used to refer to any public service or function exercised by the people as a whole. A more common word that is close in meaning to liturgy is worship. But there are a number of descriptors that need to be added to make it equivalent to what we understand liturgy to be. Worship is prayer, praise and worship directed towards God. The prime reason for our praise and thanksgiving is for the gift of our salvation in and through Christ. But while worship can be a private act, liturgy is always a communal activity. Individual worship is best referred to as private prayer or devotion. It is not liturgy. The people who do the work of liturgy, are the people of God, all the baptised the Church. In the Catholic Church, we have inherited forms and patterns of worship that have developed during the Churchs 2000-year history. Those who prepare liturgical celebrations do not begin with a blank sheet. Each day of the year falls into a particular place into the churchs liturgical calendar. There are certain scripture reading and prayers that are assigned for use at Mass on particular days. The celebration of the rites of baptism, marriage, funerals, and so on are set out in the Churchs ritual books. So a working definition of liturgy that I find helpful is The official, public worship of the Church. Celebrations that fall under this definition are: all the sacraments, funerals, Liturgy of the Word (with or without communion), Liturgy of the Hours (usually celebrated as morning or evening prayer), and benediction. By the way, there is no such thing as a paralitugy, as far as I know, anyway. Something is either liturgy or it is not. I think the term paraliturgy was used in the past to refer to the liturgy you were having when you werent having Mass. But as the list above indicates, liturgy encompasses far more than only the eucharist. Prayer is not liturgy if it is spontaneous, unstructured, informal, private, or not addressed to God. In fact, in the latter case, it is not even prayer! All prayer is addressed to a deity.
Liturgy is a rite or system of rites prescribed for public worship; a customary repertoire or repetition of ideas, phrases, or observances.

Liturgy is always an action, something we do. It is a public action, a ritual action, and a symbolic action. It is in the proclamation of the word that God speaks to us; it is in the breaking of the bread that we recognise Christ. We

participate in the action of the liturgy by responding, singing, listening and joining in the gestures. Not only does the Churchs prayer of praise and petition rise to God in the liturgy but the rich blessing of the Spirit also descends upon the Church and its assembled members. In its sacramental signs, the Church takes part in the passage of Christ from suffering and death to life and glory. Music
An often-cited definition of music, coined by Edgard Varse, is that it is "organized sound" (Goldman 1961, 133). The fifteenth edition of the Encyclopdia Britannicadescribes that "while there are no sounds that can be described as inherently unmusical, musicians in each culture have tended to restrict the range of sounds they will admit." A human organizing element seems crucial to the common understanding of music. Sounds produced by non-human agents, such as waterfalls or birds, are often described as "musical", but rarely as "music". Additionally, Schaeffer (1968, 284) describes that the sound of classical music "has decays; it is granular; it has attacks; it fluctuates, swollen with impuritiesand all this creates a musicality that comes before any 'cultural' musicality." Yet the definition according to the esthesic level does not allow that the sounds of classical music are complex, are noises, rather they are regular, periodic, even, musical sounds. Another writer says, "My own position can be summarized in the following terms: just as music is whatever people choose to recognize as such, noise is whatever is recognized as disturbing, unpleasant, or both" (Nattiez 1990, 4748). (see "music as social construct" below) Musical language Many definitions of music implicitly hold that music is a communicative activity which conveys to the listener moods, emotions, thoughts, impressions, or philosophical, sexual, or political concepts or positions. "Musical language" may be used to mean style or genre, while music may be treated as language without being called such, as in Fred Lerdahl or others' analysis of musical grammar. Levi R. Bryant defines music not as a language, but as a marked-based, problemsolving method such as mathematics (Ashby 2004, 4).

Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch (which governs melody andharmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic qualities oftimbre and texture. The word derives from Greek (mousike; "art of the Muses").[1] The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of music vary according to culture and social context. Music ranges from strictly organized compositions (and their recreation in performance), through improvisational music to aleatoric forms. Music can be divided into genres and subgenres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to individual interpretation, and occasionally controversial. Within "the arts", music may be classified as a performing art, a fine art, and auditory art. There is also a strong connection between music and mathematics.[2] To many people in many cultures, music is an important part of their way of life. Ancient Greek and Indian philosophersdefined music as tones ordered horizontally as melodies and vertically as harmonies. Common sayings such as "the harmony of the spheres" and "it is music to my ears" point to the notion that music is often ordered and pleasant to listen to. However,

20th-century composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, saying, for example, "There is no noise, only sound."[3] Musicologist Jean-Jacques Nattiez summarizes the relativist, post-modern viewpoint: "The border between music and noise is always culturally definedwhich implies that, even within a single society, this border does not always pass through the same place; in short, there is rarely a consensus ... By all accounts there is nosingle and intercultural universal concept defining what music might be."[4]