Father Tomasz Kwiecień:
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Granice liturgii
Father Tomasz Kwiecień: "The Limits of Liturgy"

Author(s): Jakub Żmidziński
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Stowarzyszenie Czasu Kultury
Keywords: Modern Christian liturgy: a ritual which has become too over-verbalised; flexibility of liturgical forms in relation to local cultures; people of the 21st century and the liturgical reforms after the Second Vatican Council; importance to Christians of com

Summary/Abstract: Jakub Żmidziński talks to the Dominican priest, Father Tomasz Kwiecień Christian liturgy holds an important position in the study of cultural anthropology. According to Dominican priest, Father Tomasz Kwiecień, the modern rites of the Christian Church focus too much on the word leaving behind the significance of the gesture. However, people who have a natural need for rituals express themselves not only by means of words, but also through non-verbal communication. Gestures, on the other hand, may be associated with the risk of being misinterpreted since they can often be ambiguous. It is, therefore, necessary to maintain a balance between complementary words and gestures. History shows that Christian liturgy has always assimilated itself into local cultures. Of course, there have always been limits to its flexibility which cannot be exceeded, such as those in relation to the symbolic meaning of wine and bread: “One cannot celebrate the Eucharist with sake and rice cakes,” says Father Tomasz. Nevertheless, there has always existed a certain elasticity of liturgical forms and the best evidence of this can be found in analysing the main Western European Catholic rites, i.e. the Roman, Milanese and Spanish. Today the Catholic Church is facing a serious problem. The modern cultural model of western society does not fit in with the liturgical reform after the Second Vatican Council. Father Tomasz believes that it is necessary to turn back to our medieval roots in a way similar that in which the Christian rites in Africa, India and the Far East draw from local traditions. It is very difficult to relate the rites of the Church to contemporary western society which comprises basically of people who “feel they have lost their roots, are uncertain of their future and are the products of two world wars and two totalitarian systems.”

  • Issue Year: 2004
  • Issue No: 02-03
  • Page Range: 19-25
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Polish