Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Liturgy as Epiphany

The whole liturgy of Holy Eucharist -- both Word and Table -- is an epiphany. Each of the actions, the prayers, the scriptures, the bread, the wine, etc. is sign offered to the Holy Spirit to manifest the Kingdom of God and to unveil the reality of what is happening in heaven.

Right now, this moment, Jesus is in heaven in the true sanctuary/tabernacle offering himself to the Father with all the saints of God who have gone to be with him in triumph. That liturgy is the true and full liturgy. Our liturgy is a shadowed means by which the Holy Spirit draws us into the heavenly liturgy -- where the Kingdom of God exists in its fullest reality.

The liturgy is where heaven and earth meet until the day that there is a new heaven and a new earth and the glory we now see dimly --as an epiphany -- will fill and infuse all of creation and we will no longer see through a glass darkly.


+ simonas said...

I sense strong philosophical links with Platonism (it's the real deal in heaven, our liturgy is a shadowed means). I would hesitate to call them "real" constructs. I would be more cautious and call them "attempts" to explain the reality. Don't you think?

Peter said...

I veer from calling them attempts because I see the liturgy as an actual participation in the reality.

+ simonas said...

My problem is not so much with participation. That does happen – "Lift up our hearts // We lift them to the Lord." My problem is with the understanding of "shadowing." Why shadow, if one participates? Help me understand. It's the real deal here too. Perhaps it's harder for us to see that reality, but it's none the less real. Do you see where I'm going with this?

When I read your post, images of projection rather then participation came to mind.

Perhaps I'm shifting focus here. I think I'm getting what you are saying better now.

Peter said...

I am using shadow in the Epistle to the Hebrews sense not the Platonic sense. The signs/liturgy participate in the in the heavenly realm but are not the full revelation of the reality. That comes at the eschaton.