The secular, the cheap, the inferior and the inartistic are not meant to cross the threshold of God’s temple.
Jesus Christ has chosen the Church for his Bride. In nuptial love, the Bride of Christ
looks into the eyes of the Bridegroom and calls out: “Splendor and majesty are in his
presence; power and beauty are in his sanctuary.”1
The Wedding Feast of the Lamb described in the Book of Revelation actually
describes the Sacred Liturgy of the Church.2 In the climax of her heavenly worship,
the Bride reflects the image of the Bridegroom – the image of the Word-Made-Flesh,
who is Beauty-Incarnate.
For the world, the maxim, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,”3 is a subjective
statement. For the Bride of Christ, this is a concrete reality of the Incarnation!
Sadly in our own times, the banal and vulgar have invaded our sanctuaries, following
“a misguided sense of creativity.”4
Nothing, therefore, is more important today than
the restoration of the beauty of the Sacred Liturgy, the restoration of the sacred.
Hans Urs von Balthasar, the 20th century’s most notable writer on the theology of
beauty, said: “We can be sure that whoever sneers at Beauty’s name…can no longer
pray and soon will no longer be able to love.”5
In order celebrate the Sacred Liturgy with due reverence and beauty, the Church must
be able to “distinguish between the sacred and the profane.”6 When false types of
“inculturation” pollute liturgical worship we must be mindful that “all is not valid; all
is not licit; all is not good.”7 The secular, the cheap, the inferior and the inartistic “are
not meant to cross the threshold of God’s temple.
RESTORING BEAUTY IN THE LITURGY
Rev. Scott A. Haynes, S.J.C.
The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius
SanctaMissa.org free pdf dowload