During the ordination, the bishop delivered to the priest the bread and wine with the phrase: "Receive the Holy People offers the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Understand what you will do imitate what you celebrate […]». Hence the need to know the need anthropology of ritual

- the angle of historical memory -

DURING THE SACRED ORDER THE BISHOP IN DELIVERY priest BREAD AND WINE WITH THE SENTENCE: "GET OFFERS OF THE HOLY PEOPLE FOR EUCHARISTIC SACRIFICE. YOURSELF OF THIS ACCOUNT THAT WILL MAKE imitate what you celebrate […]». HERE NEED TO KNOW THE NEEDS OF THE RITE Anthropology

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Today, We can ask ourselves rightly the desecration - operated in various ways - in many places of Catholic worship, implemented not by enemies of the faith, but by the very people that these places should instead keep them, enhance them and use them in the right order? Here is the failure of so many liturgies that is being sent exclusively to the intellectual leadership, eventually be, in the best cases, of small schools, in the worst, instead, endless and overhead - often unbearable - talk priest!

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Author
Paolo Milani

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PDF version fomato Press

 

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'Receive the Holy People offers the Eucharistic Sacrifice. make yourself aware of what you do imitate what you celebrate. conform your life to Christ mystery of the cross ladies' [the rite of ordination of priests]

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ancient Egyptian ritual of embalming

With this new article I reflect Readers with de The island of Patmos on the ritual dynamics, not by a proper liturgical point of view, but first of all historical and anthropological.

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In the last decades, especially in the sixties and seventies of the last century, inside the church, there has been a demolition derby of ritual and ritual, tant’è vero che anche a livello linguistico — che è sempre una spia interessante dei mutamenti di prospettiva e di visione delle cose — i termini stessi come “rito”, "worship", "ritual", They have assumed a negative tone, if not openly disparaging. even today, in recent backlash of the fashions of the seventies - and, as we know, often the last shots are the most rabid, feeling now near the end - the ritual dimension is regarded as unnecessary in the Christian life, but even harmful and misleading. For this I will try to explain to the readers of our Island of Patmos, as the ritual is rather a constitutive part of human life.

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Studies in the History of Religions showed, from an anthropological visual, the necessity of ritual dimension in any religious group, in every time and culture. And trying to define what were the key factors in the "religion" in a generalized sense and enlarged, it was possible to grasp how the "ritual" element is essential.

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Roman rite of burial

The word "ritual" has its origins in the vocabulary Indo; rta It is found in Rig - The oldest of the sacred books of India - and indicates the immanent order of the cosmos, in a very near term dharma, the fundamental law of the universe. "Rite", then connects to the sense of cosmic order, and consequently moral, as opposed to disorder, the chaos, and therefore also to the moral evil.

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The ritual is a gesture, or a series of gestures, usually collective - but there may also be individual rites - which are put in place in the perspective of an action that goes beyond the pure immediate empirical dimension. It lies within a precise coordinated human, which it is the symbolic dimension.

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Among the various definitions of man we can remember, such as the rational animal, political animal, social animals, Perhaps the most appropriate and inclusive of all other aspects is to animal symbolicus. It is precisely from this symbolic capacity that man differs from other animals, and it is able to live all those dimensions properly human, how culture, the religion, arte.

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Hindu rites on the island of Goa

The findings of paleoanthropology, starting as early as the fifties and sixties of the twentieth century, They have revealed this essential element, native to, which has also been defined as "the man's identity card". The symbolic capacity, which it pertains to the ability to grasp and live the "sacred", It is not a secondary or derived quality. So the ritual is symbolic act par excellence: through the use of empirical realities, materials, belonging to this world, It is trying to get in touch with what is beyond this world, This is also experienced in the celebration of the sacraments in Catholicism: material elements, like water, oil, bread and so on, They are used to signify and actually realize the active presence of God.

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The first traces of rituals in human history, You can be identified in the funeral rites; Although not always easy to interpret. The prehistoric burials provide much material for an investigation into the rites, They are the sure sign of a careful care for the dead. The presence of symbolic signs refer to a certain belief in a life after death, or a possible return to life. After the funeral rites, We trace of religious rites in the eighth millennium BC; appear the two key symbols, the bull and fertile woman, symbols of fertility life, which then give rise to the worship of real gods. From the fifth millennium BC, we find many divine representations of praying and images, with the typical position of the arms or hands raised to the sky.

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The rite It lies in the experience existential man, It means searching for a contact with a transcendent reality, operating a passage from the sign being. All religions, know the rite; Although, in some, part of the ritual is reduced to a minimum, or in other, on the contrary, It is greatly amplified. There is no religious phenomenon, without ritual expression.

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African tribal rituals

Who celebrates a rite It intends to live a meaningful act for their lives, ie put a gesture which has and give a sense, vehicles that message and act the consequences, consequences not only immediate but which go beyond the moment. The rite, as you can be seen in all religious experiences, is always a, or more goals, that may be the most diverse, For example: praise the gods, get a good harvest, win over enemies, recover from an illness, save his soul and so to follow. Just to be in the Catholic world would be enough to look at the index of the Missal for the Masses to different, with all the richness of intentions that the experience of God's people expressed.

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According to scholars of History of Religions l’conscientious It refers to an original archetype, a celestial archetype; in a language closer to the great revealed religions we could say that refers to God's transcendent Reality. Through the ritual action man tries to realize on earth the heavenly archetype and seeks also to refer to the primordial time, archetipico, all’this time.

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The ritual plays the crucial function of making present the myth always - intended to use the terminology of historians of religions, ie the set of beliefs, the doctrinal content of a particular religion -, expresses how well the expression of Prosper of Aquitaine: The law of prayer is the law of belief. Therefore there is a very close connection between what you believe and what is celebrated, and also as it is celebrated.

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For the Catholic, the saving action of Christ, It is made contemporary and effective precisely through the sacramental action. In addition to, the ritual, also it plays the decisive role of compaginare and hold together, orderly and correctly oriented the entire community of believers.

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ancestral rite of the ancestors in Korea

To perform a rite it is also necessary that there is a sacred space, that stands out from the rest. For 'conscientious space is uneven: There is a sacred space and a secular space. The profane space is chaos, litter, of no significance; the sacred space is the ordered space, with a sense, an orientation. There may be a wide variety of spaces consecrated: a cave, a circle of stones, a tree, un semplice tappeto, fino alle manifestazioni più evidenti che si manifestano nella costruzione dei Templi, nelle grandi civiltà.

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Il Tempio intende essere una riproduzione sulla terra di un modello trascendente, diventa il luogo santo per eccellenza, luogo di santificazione e di orientamento per il mondo. Testimonianza di ciò in campo cristiano, e cattolico in particolare, è tutta l’edilizia sacra che ha letteralmente ricoperto i nostri territori di cattedrali, basiliche, churches, oratori … spesso veri e insuperabili capolavori d’arte. Un investimento di personale, denari, energie, che ha attraversato i secoli.

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Today, We can ask ourselves rightly the desecration - operated in various ways - in many places of Catholic worship, implemented not by enemies of the faith, but by the very people that these places should instead keep them, enhance them and use them in the right order?

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Il rito occupa e deve occupare un posto fondamentale nella vita cristiana. Un cristianesimo senza ritualità, significherebbe l’amputazione di una dimensione appartenente alla stessa esperienza umana; senza rito ci troveremmo di fronte ad una esperienza non pienamente umana, in quanto si ridurrebbe la fede cristiana alla sua sola dimensione morale o intellettuale. Una fede irrituale sarebbe un’espressione anti-umana e, for this, sarebbe non cristiana, because, with the Incarnation, The Word became flesh [cf. GV 1, 14], assumendo — eccetto il peccato — tutto ciò che c’è ed appartiene all’esperienza umana [cf. Within 2, 5-11].

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line strano! Non è un rabbino che celebra il The Pesach Seder or the Tefillah di Shabbath, è un prete cattolico che celebra per una comunità neocatecumenale un rito che dovrebbe essere il Sacrificio Eucaristico della Santa Messa

Ecco dunque il fallimento di tante liturgie che si sono indirizzate solo verso la direzione intellettuale, eventually be, in the best cases, of small schools, in the worst, instead, endless and overhead - often unbearable - talk priest!

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Non si può impunemente andare contro la natura dell’uomo, perché una volta dimenticato o trascurato il vero culto, si finisce inevitabilmente per ricorrere a dei surrogati: quante laiche o profane liturgie hanno sostituito il culto divino! Ogni cambiamento arbitrario, improvvisato, immotivato, inventato di sana pianta, porta con sé delle inevitabili conseguenze sul piano della dottrina e della vita comunitaria. Il rito deve, by its nature, essere ripetitivo, deve cioè godere di una determinata stabilitas, una continuità nel tempo e nello spazio. Quando invece il rito è continuamente manomesso, in vari modi, come purtroppo abbiamo potuto constatare in casa cattolica, soprattutto a partire dal post-concilio, le conseguenze, a medio e lungo termine, sono devastanti. La dottrina cattolica, in the long run, It ends up being denied, forgotten or at least adulterated by the instability of the liturgical action.

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The life of the Christian community is disrupted, failing balances landmarks; and I say this even from a point of view of anthropology. Of all this it is sad and tragic testimony to the steep fall in participation in the sacraments in general, and the festive Mass in particular. Certainly, Also within Catholicism, You can live the rites of reforms, but precisely of re-forms, ie return to the original shape, but not to the de-forms understood as the deformations of the revealed truth, or worse parodies of it.

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… yet we know well what the results of the line strano and destruction of the fixed structure, unalterable and universal sacred rite, the result is the empty churches.

The killing, or serious injury of the rite ha portato all’agonia di molte comunità cristiane; for some time, even decades, he lived "with the hay in the barn" previously accumulated, but now the stocks are low!

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Christianity You can not be exhausted only in ritual dimension. This is clearly stated, in particular against certain voids of ritualisms lace & laces that engage in the pathology of rituals, that do not support a life oriented to the Gospel and to Charity. However, without ceremony, the Christian faith is in danger of losing its vertical dimension and run toward a vague moral, no longer be fed from the top, It is reduced to sterile human effort, inevitably flattened on fashion of the moment in the moral world.

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Novara, 6 February 2019

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