Orans on Roman Mural

Principle 2: Liturgical acts are not things to be done during prayer, but are themselves prayer

We all instinctively know when a hug is genuine, when a kiss is perfunctory, when someone is just “going through the motions”…

The second principle, above, comes from Celebrating the Eucharist by Patrick Malloy (The first principle is here).

A person at prayer does not always feel the emotions that would lead to … an authentic gesture. But the believer, trusting in the presence of God even when God seems absent, retains an attitude of reverence and wonder even when the immediate feelings are lacking. …”fake it ’til you make it.” At times in the liturgy, the feelings that ideally would accord with the gesture will escape us. That is when the gesture must emerge from a deeper and more enduring place: from a carefully nurtured attitude….

To pray with one’s body requires imagination. What are we doing when we are walking down the aisle? Is it just getting from here to there, or is it a snapshot of the march to the kingdom of God…

Likewise, the orans position is not merely aping of an ancient posture but can be a way of opening oneself in trust before God…

When the presider, the other liturgical ministers, and all the members of the assembly pray with the body and do not merely do prescribed bodily gestures while praying with the voice, an authenticity shines forth… (page 20)

Once again, this is very much the approach in my book Celebrating Eucharist, and a good example is in the chapter on posture and gesture.

Today is the Forty-eighth day of Easter.

Principle 1: The entire assembly celebrates the liturgy

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