Wednesday, January 26, 2005 +

Guardini: Looking as a Liturgical Act

From A Letter from Romano Guardini on the Essence of the Liturgical Act (1964):

The liturgical act [public prayer] can be realized by looking. This does not merely mean that the sense of vision takes note of what is going on in front, but it is in itself a living participation in the act. I once experienced this in Palermo Cathedral when I could sense the attention with which the people were following the blessings on Holy Saturday for hours on end without books or any words of “explanation.” Much of this was, of course, an external “gazing,” but basically it was far more. The looking by the people was an act in itself; by looking they participated in the various actions.

Our problem is to rise above reading and writing and learn really to look with understanding.