Creating Rituals for Worship and Life, Dorothea
McEwan, Pat Pinsent, Ianthe Pratt and Veronica Seddon
Canterbury Press 2001; ISBN 1-85311-440-5; Canterbury
Press Norwich, St. Mary's Works, St. Mary's Plain, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 3BH,
Review by John Wijngaards
A new phenomenon can be observed throughout Western countries, a
phenomenon that may well have long-lasting consequences for the future of the
Catholic Church. Everywhere small groups, predominantly of women, but also of
men and women mixed, have begun to create and celebrate their own relevant
forms of worship.
The liturgies are startlingly fresh and original, deeply Christian while
being relevant to our own time, Catholic in their abundant reliance on
colourful symbols, and highly conducive to maximum participation by all - the
very thing that Vatican II was dreaming of. This is a development from the
grassroots up, a real sign of vitality in the faith community.
Making Liturgy is an eminently practical book. It provides
guidance and ideas. In the first section, leaders are given valuable hints as
to what goes best for small groups, or conversely for large ones, how best to
integrate symbols and dance and what music to choose. Here one finds an
introduction to street liturgies and the creative use of space. All through,
principles are involved but also the sharing of what works, and waht not, based
on decades of experience.
The second part offers outlines of actual liturgies that have been
enacted. There are samples for all seasonal feasts and on common themes. There
is a special series of liturgies to reclaim women's unique roles in society and
the Church. The outlines provide the substance elements for each liturgy:
suggested symbols, poems, readings, songs and prayers: enough material to keep
an active group going for a year, but also plenty of inspiration for local
groups to start designing their own imaginative celebrations. The book,
successfully, aims at sparking off and sustaining living liturgy.
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