In Signs of the Holy One, Uwe Michael Lang addresses crucial questions which are just now coming to the fore concerning the sacred liturgy. His point of departure is that the Catholic liturgy is a synthesis of elements, far more than just its texts—gesture, motion, architecture, art, music—and that these elements are integral to the solemn liturgy and not just incidental. They are aspects of the non-verbal language of the sacred; they are what makes the liturgy beautiful.
His consideration of the beauty of the liturgy poses the problem that the modern notion of beauty is subjective, which makes it difficult to articulate criteria for what is beautiful. But sacred beauty has criteria for each of its principal elements; these are the subject of extended discussion of architecture, art, and music, showing why and how they contribute to the total
Pope Benedict XVI, who wrote extensively about the liturgy, said, “The greatness of the liturgy depends – we shall have to repeat this frequently – on its non-spontaneity". Modern man needs to learn that banality and repetitious "novelty" are no substitute for the sacred and are unable to induce any sense of meaning, purpose and peace. The yearning for the Transcendent is always felt within the human psyche and is rarely far from the surface, especilly among young adults. A Church that forgets this is heading in the wrong direction.
POINTS OF INTEREST
• Addresses many important questions regarding the sacred in Christianity and discusses its forms of expression in architecture, art, and music destined for the Catholic liturgy
• Covers wide variety of topics on the expression of the sacred that have not have received a similar treatment in other books
• Author is widely regarded as an expert on the sacred liturgy and liturgical prayer, and has written extensively on the liturgy
Praise for Signs of the Holy One:
“In this wonderful new book, Fr. Uwe Lang seeks to explore the beauty of sacred symbols and actions in the Catholic liturgy and to explain why their rediscovery is important in our modern age. This book deserves to be widely read.”
– Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy
“This is an original synthesis, based upon a sound grasp of modern anthropological and theological foundations, showing the intrinsic connection between the beautiful and the sacred.”
– Prof. William P. Mahrt, Stanford University