The four interpretative keys in liturgical ritual

Pontifical Liturgy Institute

The four interpretative keys
in liturgical ritual

Taught byDaniel McCarthy
I serve as a liturgical consultant for building and renovating churches.

Course offered in Italian: 94516 (3 ECTS)
This page has been prepared for the Spring semester 2020.

Brief description

photo of Fr Daniel P McCarthy OSB

The four interpretative keys are: mimesis (imitation) and anamnesis (memorial: consisting of the ritual programme and narration of the saving works of God); epiclesis (invocation) and presentation of ourselves before God for who we are and wish to become; eschatology (the fulfilling, the filling full) and moral behaviour in society; theosis whereby we share in the life of the Triune Divine Persons by becoming fully human persons with the exercise of personal freedom in the mutual exchange of love. These are intrinsic to every liturgical rite but in ways proper to the symbols, rituals and texts of each rite celebrated in its artistic and architectural context. This seminar provides an interdisciplinary consideration of these interpretative keys both through an analysis of prayers, ritual expression, artistic programme and architectural design. The student applies these keys to a rite celebrated in a church both of the student’s choice. 

Aims:

By the end of this seminar the student will be able to …

  1. describe the theory behind each of the four interpretative keys,
  2. explain the four interpretative keys in liturgical texts, ritual narrative, artistic programmes and architectural designs,
  3. interpret the particular expression of the four interpretative keys in a rite celebrated in a church both of the student’s choice,
  4. develop a critical facility for interpreting the role of the four interpretative keys 
  5. develop an ability for developing the ritual narrative in a particular church so that the four interpretative keys may be more fully expressed.

Structure of the Seminar

The four interpretative keys are: 1) anamnesis (memorial) consists of two elements: the ritual programme and the narration of the saving works of God; 2) epiclesis (invocation) and the presentation of ourselves before God for who we are and who we hope to become; 3) eschatology (the fulfilling, the filling full) and moral behaviour in the present life; 4) theosis (sharing in divine life) which consists in becoming a full human person, like the three persons of the Divine Trinity, by coming to the exercise of personal freedom in the mutual exchange of love. These are based on the work of Enzo Lodi and then Prof. Renato De Zan, and then further developed and organised into these groupings by Prof. James Leachman and the instructor. 

These four interpretative keys will be presented in prayer texts, ritual narrative, artistic programmes and architectural design. Their different syntheses will be presented in terms of the bones: after the resurrection there are no bones in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem; Peter’s bones remain in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome; there originally were no bones at Hagia Sophia, Constantinople. The absence, presence or lack of bones effects both the anamnetic and eschatological character of the liturgies celebrated in each of these three basilicas as well as liturgy’s epicletic and theotic dimensions. 

Students have regular opportunity to discuss these interpretative keys and to apply them to a chosen rite celebrated in a church of one’s choice to develop a critical examination of the rite and to develop recommendations for further developing the ritual narrative in its artistic and architectural context. 

Learning activities

Lectures by the instructor, followed by discussion among the students who then apply the principles to a ritual celebrated in a church both of the student’s choice. 

Schedule

Martedì, febbraio 18, 25, 2019
Martedì, marzo 3, 10, 17, 24, 2019

ore: 15:30-18:50

Primo periodo: 15:30-16:15
Pausa: 16:15-16:20
Secondo periodo: 16:20-17:05
Pausa: 17:05-17:15
Terza periodo: 17:15-18:00
Pausa: 18:00-18:05
Quarto periodo: 18:05-18:50

Office hours

Si prega di non telefonare l’istruttore. Mandalo un email, invece, a: danielmccarthyosb AT mac DOT com.

L’istruttore è disponibile fuori orario per appuntamento.

Bibliography:

♦ McCarthy, D.P. – J.G. Leachman, Come into the LightChurch interiors for the celebration of liturgy, (DREI, Liturgiam provehens architectura : Architecture Promoting Liturgy) Canterbury Press – The Tablet, Norwich – London 2016.

Transition in the Easter VigilBecoming Humans, ed. J.G. Leachman – D.P. McCarthy (Documenta rerum ecclesiasticarum instaurata, Liturgiam aestimare: Appreciating the Liturgy) St. Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough, England 2011.

Appreciating the CollectAn Irenic Methodology, ed. J.G. Leachman – D.P. McCarthy (DREI, LA : AL) St. Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough, England 2008.

♦ McCarthy, D., “Seeing a Reflection, Considering Appearances: The History, Theology and Literary Composition of the Missale Romanum at a Time of Vernacular Reflection”, Questions Liturgiques / Studies in Liturgy94 (2013) 109-143.

♦ Leachman, J.G., “A Liturgical Study of the Proper Prayers for St Charles of St Andrew Houben, C.P.: (1) The Opening Prayer,  Questions liturgiquesStudies in Liturgy92 (2011) 29-45

Examination:

Attending the sessions and participating in the discussion accounts for 50% of the final mark. The other 50% is for the final paper in which the student applies the principles learned to the ritual celebrated in a church of one’s choice and gives a critical appreciation and even suggestions on how to develop the ritual and its artistic and architectural context. 

Academic program

The program of studies, course descriptions and calendar for the academic year 2019-2020 is available for download here.

Place

This course is offered in English at the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy housed at:

Sant’Anselmo
Piazza Cavalieri di Malta, 5
00153 Roma, Italia

See map below.

Schedule in detail

Prepared for academic year 2019-2020

Encontro 1: 18 febbraio 2020

Encontro 2: 25 febbraio 2020

Encontro 3: 3 marzo 2020

Encontro 4: 10 marzo 2020

Encontro 5: 7 17 marzo 2020

Encontro 6: 14 24 marzo 2020

Materials continued

You may purchase our books from Sr. Sylvia or the English desk at:

Pauline multimedia
via del Mascherino, 94
00193 Roma
Tel. 06.6872354
Fax: 06.68308093
S.ga Sylvia: Inglese@paoline-multimedia.it
General enquiries: centro@paoline-multimedia.it
www.paoline-multimedia.it

Map:

© 16 July 2019 by Daniel McCarthy