Thursday, December 03, 2009

Liturgy, Beauty and Truth

Zenit have an interview up with David Clayton, Liturgy, Beauty and Truth, which will no doubt be of interest to many NLM readers.

In that piece, he discusses Benedict XVI and beauty, the "Way of Beauty" programme at Thomas More College, and also draws in the lines of connection with the importance of the sacred liturgy.

Here are a few excerpts, particularly as they relate to the sacred liturgy:

Beauty has an important part to play in attracting people to the truth.

We have to state clearly what the truth is, but we must do so beautifully, otherwise people are less likely to be attracted to it.


I think that more important than persuading the artists, we should be persuading the patrons of the arts.

The artists will always do what they are paid to do. I think that we need enlightened patrons.

Part of this is training priests in seminaries to understand exactly what Catholic culture is. However, I think that as much, if not more, can be done by the laity -- really it comes down to us to demand better art and to come up with the money to pay for it... And of course, we have the Way of Beauty at Thomas More College. It rests on understanding our own culture and, very importantly, how it is rooted in the liturgy.


There is a saying that all the great art movements began on the altar. Catholic culture is always rooted in the cult that is central to Catholicism, that is, the Mass and the Divine Office.

If our liturgy is lacking in dignity and beauty, then Catholic culture will be too.

One of the great things that is happening in the Church now is a liturgical renewal. This is more powerful in creating a culture of beauty than anything else, and it is the current Pope who, more than anyone, is overseeing a restoration of liturgical orthodoxy.

This is the most powerful way to reach out to artists, and for that matter anyone else (if I can come back to your earlier question) that the Church has at its disposal. The reaching out is done by the Holy Spirit; it is a supernatural magnet!

Once we get the liturgy sorted out, everything else will fall into place.

Read the entire article on Zenit

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