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This article is taken from PN Review 13, Volume 6 Number 5, May - June 1980.

R. J. Zwi Werblowski
Even outsiders and onlookers like myself have long been aware that the Anglican Church has embarked on a course similar to that taken by some other churches-with the big difference that the C. of E. has more to lose. Future students of Comparative Religion will write seminar papers on the total loss of sensibility in the Anglican Church, on the demise of the sense of what liturgy is about, and on the time-serving (mis)conceptions regarding what constitutes 'relevance'. I spend much time explaining to my students that the definition of today's relevance is tomorrow's antiquated irrelevance. Of course this obvious fact also has serious theological implications, e.g. the necessity that Holy Scriptures may have to be translated anew in every generation! But this holds true for purposes of 'reading', with the commentary included as it were in the reading of the text. Liturgical use is a different matter altogether. Of course most authors of sacred texts (except in cases of deliberate archaising) wrote the colloquial koine of their day. The big secret is that really great and inspired writing becomes 'classical' and remains so! Bach's fugues, though written in the musical colloquialisms of his day, are classical for ever. The same can be applied, mutatis mutandis, to religious and liturgical literary composition. The secret of liturgy (and of Scripture in liturgical use) is its ability to become classical, quite apart from the fact that liturgical language is always a language of quotations. The heaven is full of satellites, spaceships, and distant ...


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