Saturday, 20 July 2013

The dangers and limits of liturgical archaeologism

"Of course, today we know that what scholars 50 years ago thought was the liturgy of the early Church is not necessarily what scholars hold now. The clearest example of this is the so-called Eucharistic prayer of Hippolytus, which was assumed to be the earliest example of a Roman anaphora and was accordingly used as the basis for the creation of Eucharistic Prayer II promulgated by Paul VI. Today scholars recognize that these assumptions were inaccurate, which is embarrassing to say the least. So too the assumption that the early Church celebrated the Eucharist “facing the people” in the manner that became popular in the 20th century has been shown to be false. These are the dangers and limitations of archaeologism—as opposed to respecting the organic development in the liturgy in history."

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