N THE SEVENTH of March this year I sat down in the parlour of Blackfriars, Cambridge with my friend Fr Dominic White op, to do a research interview for my studies. During the course of the interview, it became apparent that his wisdom should be shared more promptly and prominently than in the appendix of a thesis that is several years from completion. With his permission, and that of his superiors, we are pleased to offer you some edited highlights of our conversation as an article.
Fr Dominic studied Classics at Pembroke College, Cambridge before completing a PhD in Civil Engineering (History of Science) at Imperial College, London. Having joined the English Province of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), he studied theology at Blackfriars, Oxford, and the Institut Catholique in Paris. Having previously been a chaplain of Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, and the arts officer at St Dominic Priory, Newcastle, Fr Dominic is now bursar of Blackfriars Cambridge and a research associate at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, part of the Cambridge Theological Federation. He is a composer and cofounder of Cosmos Dance, alongside being a patron of Eliot Smith Dance. In amongst all of this, he finds time to pop into the school at which I teach to celebrate Mass, hear confessions, and (as one of the teenagers put it earlier this year) be “proper wise”.
He is the author of the critically acclaimed volume The Lost Knowledge of Christ: Contemporary Spiritualities, Christian Cosmology, and the Arts (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2015). His next book, How do I Look: Theology in the Age of the Selfie, grapples with the impact of digital technology and smart phones on our gaze, on the impossible standard of beauty set for ourselves and others by the phenomenon of Instagram, and the consequent low self-esteem and even dysmorphia – and more positively sees the Christian teaching of being made in God’s image and restored to His likeness by Christ as changing our self-perception and the power of our gaze on others.
Fr Dominic’s theology is developing in dialogue with his practical experience of being a university chaplain and pastor, so I hope that the way he speaks will be challenging for our readers. He is not afraid of to express the Catholic Faith in his authentic voice. It will become apparent to careful readers that, although he has a wealth of scholarship at his intellectual fingertips, he does not hide the faith behind safe theological language. Rather, his experience as a priest working with musicians, artists and dancers, gives him a vocabulary that challenges us to integrate our faith with our experience of what we do.
I wondered if you could tell me a bit about your musical history.
I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember and I’ve always had a sense of the presence of God in music, to the extent that long before I had a sense of my religious and priestly vocation, I never doubted that I was called to be a musician and a church musician. Indeed, that’s become very much part of my priesthood and religious life and in many ways has deepened it. Since I was about eleven, I’ve always written music and that’s always been very important to me. After graduating and moving to London I was a freelance organist and when I was twenty-four I was invited to apply for the position of director of music at St Dominic’s Priory, North London with its famous Willis organ. It was from there that I joined the Dominicans.
Can you tell me about your composing?
I have a very strong sense of the presence of God in the cosmos. As a theologian, I’m very interested in Early Christian Cosmology and its spirituality of the Cosmos. It’s something which tends to be neglected in the Western Christian tradition, though it’s strong in Eastern Catholicism and Orthodoxy with their theology of music, and is often found in non-religious spiritualities. I very much have a sense that when I write music, it’s somehow pre-existent in Heaven. Joscelyn Godwin, the American musicologist and hermetic philosopher, has an idea about people hearing “secret harmonies” and I can identify with that. When I’m redrafting a composition, it’s trying to get together what I’ve already heard in Heaven. It’s not like I’ve heard the whole piece and I just have to transcribe it, but there is a germ which has to be realised somehow in the final version. The final version has to be true to that seed, it must be its fruition. Like everyone else, there are forms of music that inspire me, and there are extra-musical inspirations, so composition is using my interests, my inspirations, my gifts and limitation. You get the inspiration and you’ve got to do it really otherwise you just get frustrated, annoyed and depressed. I just always wanted to do it, but when inspiration that won’t let me go, I compose because I have to. Ravel famously said that when he got an inspiration for music he always started to feel mildly unwell and he just had to get through the process.
For example, today I was looking at a poem by Sister Ann Catherine Swailes OP. Somehow the music was starting to form in my head but I do have a sense that it’s there in Heaven already. To understand that, you have to understand that in early Christian cosmology, the Heavens are not “up there” or “out there”, as if the Heavens are some sort of parallel universe like in sci-fi, but in fact, they are the depths of reality, the depths of now. The angels are all around us, it’s just that they are deeper in the heavens than we are, so we can’t see them.
So how do I access that deeper reality as a composer? Sometimes it’s that there’s just something there I can sketch down straight away, but more often I need to go into prayer. I need to set aside time for music and when I’m really composing, something very interesting happens. In Dominican life we make a distinction between contemplation and action: we hand down to others what we’ve contemplated and so it follows that unless you’ve done some contemplating, you won’t have anything to hand down. But when I’m writing music, I sense that the contemplation and action are one thing, they are happening at once. For me, composing requires listening out for those “secret harmonies” in Heaven. That gives me a great freedom. It’s not like a dictation or that God is a puppet master up there. I’m not just being the scribe or even the slave, but rather, God is actually asking me to be free enough to work with that inspiration, to dance with it.
I’ve worked a lot with dancers and with movement and there can be no dance without freedom, just as there’s no good music without freedom. Take Bach for example. He is a master of technique and his music is all the more remarkable because of his extraordinary freedom. Bach can write the most bizarre harmonies that defy description, which are just perfect and don’t sound wrong at all, and that propels the music forward. Yet a composer like Telemann, who might be a lot more disciplined and “by the book”, produces music that’s fine, but which lacks the wonder that Bach has.
I’m particularly passionate about preaching to the unconverted, the non-Catholics, the non-Christians, the “don’t tell me about God” people. I’m aware that art in all its media is able to start a conversation with people who don’t want to hear the Word, because words come out of the art. Yet at the same time, music has an extraordinary capacity to reach a level beyond words. I’m inspired by the contemporary Anglican theologian Catherine Pickstock, who has written on the problems Jacques Derrida raises about whether language refers to specific things, so a word would necessarily mean one thing and not another. Pickstock rejects that. For her, language gestures towards things and opens out into praise. Music carries the language and when music carries language into praise, then God gives it back to us with more meaning, and so the words mean more when they’re sung. I certainly think Pickstock, who is herself a musician, is right about that: music has an extraordinary capacity to give language back with a greater meaning and a connectedness language doesn’t otherwise have. Therefore, it comes from Wisdom which is the One who connects, the One who joins together. Wisdom makes us “at-one” us with God, each other, language and creation. Music really has meaning beyond what can be said, so for me it’s become an increasingly important way to preach.
There’s an ethical dimension to it too. At the moment, I’m working on a new setting of the Advent hymn Conditor Alme Siderum, which has quite frightening words: “grieving that the ancient curse should doom to death a universe” and “Thou whose coming is with dread to judge and doom the quick and dead”. I realised I had to do further with that text, but I don’t want to terrify people. I talked to my spiritual director about it and I played some of it to her and she said it was okay.
Are any of your compositions intended to be heard in the liturgy?
I’ve written a bit for the liturgy. For example, just after the new translation of the Missal came out in 2010 there was a real need for congregational mass setting, so I wrote one for the University Chaplaincy in Newcastle, which later got used in the parish. That setting was inspired by early English music, by English folk music, and also by Russian Orthodoxy, which has the gift of an eminently singable style of liturgical music. I hate dumbing down. Why should people have music that is on roughly the same level of transcendence as “The Wheels of the Bus Go Round and Round”? What does that say about us if we are adults who are singing kindergarten music in church? What does it say about our spiritual maturity? I believe in the highest common denominator.
For any music, but congregational music in particular, you do need tunes. I start with a cell, so the “Lord have Mercy” will give me the building blocks which I’ll use to build the Gloria. Sometimes that will help build the Sanctus as well, or sometimes I’ll use a new tune there, but that will also bring back from the earlier movements to give people a level of security.
I’ve also written some choral music for the liturgy, for example a very short communion antiphon for Palm Sunday because we needed it for here at Blackfriars, Cambridge. I’ve written an Ascension Day introit as well, and also music for the Anglican Liturgy, for example quite a big festal setting in eight parts of the Evening Canticles. I find that for my Anglican friends, music is for them as the rosary is for Roman Catholics: it’s an essential and core part of their spirituality. That makes it a lovely way to preach to Anglicans and we can connect on that level.
And what about the music enables that?
There’s a chapter in my last book which looks at music at its most basic level: sound. Music is sound waves and those waves are “good vibrations”, though equally you can have bad vibrations. Bad vibrations are the ones that demolish bridges, which is why soldiers have to break step when they cross the bridge. But a good sound, a godly sound, a sound which is sung with the breath who is the Spirit is the music of the Logos, the Word of God. Logos in the ancient world meant much more than “word”, it’s the story, it’s the structure, it’s the account, it’s what holds together. Pope Benedict XVI writes beautifully on this in The Spirit of the Liturgy  and Sing a New Song to the Lord , and the Eastern churches really understand this.
I had an amazing experience once with a Maronite priest, Father Shafiq Abu Zaid who looks after the Maronite and Melkite Catholic communities in London. He’s an amazing cantor, he doesn’t have a big voice, but it has an extraordinary penetrating effect that makes your whole body and even the building vibrate. It’s the kind of music that you don’t just listen to with your ears. You realise something has changed. The Word of God is really becoming flesh.
By contrast, we’ve all heard choirs who’ve sung perfectly but there’s a coldness, and we’ve also heard people who’ve sung with great passion and no ability. That reveals a certain lack of maturity, a lack of engagement, a lack of willingness to undergo a spiritual discipline in order to shake the flame, in order to clear away the false images of God. Music in the liturgy is not all about me expressing myself. Maybe we should understand it as the Logos singing through us, since each of us is the unique image of God. It’s at the limits of what words can express, but I think that’s what’s going on in music.
What would you hope the effects on the singers of the music are? And is that different from the effects you’d hope for the listeners to your music?
I would hope that singers and listeners together would have an encounter with God. I realise they may not all be able to consciously relate their experience to God, but I would hope that they would experience something different. I hope they experience something that touches them, something that their memory might work with and that might take them on a journey closer to God and more into who they are. It might be healing for them. The New-Age movement has got the idea of the “healing sound”, where the sound waves heal you.
One of the things I really long for in the Church is that singers recover a sense of their ministry. The Evangelicals have understood this: the “music ministry”. Their style of music is rather different from what I write and from what I like, but I would hope that music is recovered as a ministry in the Church. Music is sacred because it connects us with God. God connecting with us is a healing power, so music is a real ministry of praise: leading the congregation and singing on behalf of the congregation. A ministerial priest sings some parts of the liturgy (such as the Creed) with the whole congregation creed, and some things he does on the congregation’s behalf. He represents and mediates Christ speaking on behalf of his people to his Father in the Holy Spirit, as St Augustine says “I am a Christian with you; I am a priest for you”. In a different way, music does the same thing: there is a real ministry going on. Music which is mediating between God and humankind, and between humankind and God. In the Armenian Orthodox Church they talk about “ordaining” musicians and they are given liturgical robes. We would call it “minor orders”. We perhaps are not so far away from that in our robed choirs and how we talk about “lay clerks”.
We’ve moved beyond a clericalist idea of ministry in the Church, but in a half understanding way, I think the medieval desire to have clergy singing went back to the idea that music was a real ministry. In the Talmud (the great corpus of Jewish law, oral law and tradition), we read that when the Levites (who the pre-cursors of the Christian deacons) sang, they sang the atonement and the atonement was in the song. Given that that is what is happening in Judaism, then a fortiori, it is happening in Christianity too. Otherwise, we are not the spiritual descendants of the Jewish people: the people of the Messiah. I think we need to recover a sense of that in the Church. When I do choir retreats, I find that some participants are the pious who don’t know why they’re singing and some of them are singers who don’t understand why they need to be religious. What we need in our choirs are the people who fall in both bits of the Venn diagram.
What is your experience of those retreats? What do they involve?
They must involve singing and always do. One retreat I remember was with our choir in Newcastle when the Dominicans had a church there. Music in the parish had been kept going by a heroic cantor, but the choir was severely neglected. We spent a lot of the retreat on chant because there was a practical need for us to get better at singing chant. I really tried to go into the spirituality of chant and explore questions like “what happens when we breathe?”, “what happens in our bodies when we sing?” In Western thought, we’ve got this misconception from Aristotle that the soul and body are a binary. That’s not Christian. Christianity talks about body, soul and spirit. The spirit gives life and breathes. It actually binds the soul and the body together and manifests in the body. Our spirit is breathing and you can’t sing if you don’t breathe. The retreat involved traditional things like Eucharistic Adoration as well, but I really tried to bring that together with the experience, the somatic experience of singing.
Is there any music that you think isn’t appropriate or wouldn’t be right for the liturgy?
This is a very heated question. I try to refrain from style wars or even from trying to create theologies of style because we tend to create theologies for the styles we like. We get inner-worldly theologies rather than ontological understandings of what liturgical music is. It can become a little bit a posteriori. I am very well aware that worship music get a lot of young people going and they feel part of it and they don’t feel they’re participating if they’re not participating in a bodily way. But one can ask the question of whether they’re just participating in the way they would in a pop concert. There’s always been Christian popular music: Christmas carols were dances that were developed by the Franciscans in the Middle Ages, but they weren’t part of the liturgy. I think traditional liturgical music has an absolute transcendence to it that is glorious and uplifting: chant, polyphony, a lot of the great classical Western canon, of course Eastern Orthodox chant, much Anglican music.
We have to set the test “by their fruits you shall know them”. If music is just cerebral and cold, and it is just an entertainment for intellectuals, it’s hard to see how it connects us with God. As a pastor I have to say I’ve found music that is a total emotional overload can be very emotionally harmful to people who are emotionally sensitive already. If liturgical music is purely entertainment, if it isn’t fruitful, if it’s infantilizing, or if it’s just completely esoteric, then I don’t think it’s suitable. I suspect the answer in the end is going to be a balance.
Can you tell me about the role of music in the Dominican house in Cambridge?
We’re first and foremost a Dominican priory so we sing the Divine Office together. We are very blessed to be singing something distinctive within the family of Gregorian chants: Dominican chant, which is very limpid, and quite fast. Unlike the Benedictines who pray in order to pray, we are praying in order to go off and preach. I am very impressed by the way that the brethren, sisters (who join us for vespers and Mass) and lay people really engage with the Dominican chant. Among us there are those who are better singers, but everybody makes an effort. I’m really happy about the way that our lay people, for example at the Sunday eleven o’clock mass, have really embraced chant and really sing it.
I am delighted to see that among the Dominicans, in a totally un-precious way, music has approached a centrality that is more normal in the Anglican church. Like in the Anglican chapels, music here is done with love and care, and that’s really beautiful to see. That’s always been one of my struggles as an English Catholic, that culturally I’m probably closer to the Anglicans, but then belief wise I’m very much a Catholic.
Why is it so important to you, that particular form of Gregorian chant, to use Dominican chant like that?
I think there are two reasons. In terms of looking backwards, these are chants that have been handed down from generation to generation. For example, at Vespers and Compline we sing the Salve Regina, which goes back in its present form probably to Humbert of Romans who was the generation after St Dominic. It is also sung when a brother is dying, Our Lady being the protector of the Order. But we’re not in museum-ism, so we responded to Vatican II better than many religious orders. We kept singing chant, but we started writing English chant. Some melodies are completely new and they have become classics. There is an ongoing revision of the chant books at the moment, so along with Fathers Matthew Jarvis, Bruno Clifton and others, I am part of writing new chants for that. I love that chant is very much a living tradition for our province. It is a stability in a very changing world, the very unstable world that we’re in at the moment. We are clearly at the end of an era and the beginning of a new era, and we don’t know really what’s going on. So chant is stabilizing, it has an objectivity, but it is in no way fossilized.
Can you tell me more about the Salve Regina?
I certainly remember singing it at funerals. It just happens spontaneously at the graveside. It’s also sung at key moments like a profession and ordination so they’re liminal moments in a brother’s life. At a deathbed or funeral, it anchors us. We are praying to Our Lady for her motherly intercession, her blessing. It helps us through, helps us forward. That’s the key to understanding tradition: the French Dominican theologian Father Yves Congar taught that tradition is a force which propels from the past into the future. It gets us through those huge highs and lows of life, those liminal stages.
What is the importance of congregational singing in church, in the liturgy?
Again, I think this is a complex question. Pope Francis is perhaps the first pope to have articulated the different ways people belong to the Church. For example, if somebody is lapsed, it doesn’t mean they’re no longer a Catholic, they’re still part of the Church. They may still believe, but they may be going through a crisis; or they may have been put off; or they may have been scandalized; or they may have been abused. Equally, if people come to church, sometimes the best way of welcoming them is noticing them, smiling, making eye contact, but then just seeing what you get back. It may be that at a particular moment in someone’s life, the best way to welcome them is just to let them be so that they can have the head-space they need. My late uncle, who later returned to the practice of the Christian faith, said his spiritual home was a bathroom because it was the only place where he could be alone. Sometimes people find that place in church and so we shouldn’t expect everyone to be singing all the time.
That said, I think because we are embodied creatures, it is very appropriate for us to sing. Some people can’t sing, some people don’t like singing, but I would be sorry if there were no congregational singing at all. We need people to be active in parish, we need people to help, and there are many things that laity do far better than clergy, and I’ve noticed that if people are actively singing, they tend to be more happy to volunteer and get involved and may even take the initiative.
Following Father Louis-Marie Chauvet, I think that it would be rather self-indulgent if people were to come to mass with the specific intention of attending a church where nothing is expected of them and they can just have their own phantasmagoria. You might have a one-off amazing rush of gnostic experience, but there’s no engagement with what it’s really about and certainly no engagement with the rest of the body of Christ around me. On the other hand, as Pope Benedict pointed out, you can sing along but actually not be engaging with what it’s about: you might think to yourself “that was a good sing” but not engage in the content of what you were singing.
Congregational singing is important, but I think that silence is important too. One of the most beautiful things is the silence after the end of a piece of music. I would like a bit more spaciousness in our liturgy, rather than a feeling that we just have to get through as if the liturgy were a production line or machine for producing the Eucharist. This could be achieved by balancing congregational singing with music to aid reflection. You see that authentically in the liturgy already, for example in a Responsory, there are lines sung by cantor alone and lines sung by the congregation.
Equally, it might be a motet. Last night I was at Fisher House for a Lenten meditation to which I had contributed a setting of a poem by Sister Ann-Catherine Swailes OP. The congregation didn’t really do anything apart from join in the final prayer, but I’ve never seen such rapt attention. Many of the students stayed to pray quietly after, when (being a Friday night) they could have just piled into the bar. They had really participated. Sometimes music which is carefully chosen and sung with spirit, and logos, and techne, can be uplifting and enable true participation.
What do you understand by the term “active participation”?
This is a huge question which raged at the Second Vatican Council. There were those who pointed out that the congregation weren’t participating, they were just kneeling there saying their rosaries. Does “active participation” mean people saying the responses? Does it mean people singing? Does it mean people being on the parish council? Does it mean them doing the readings? Does it mean them being catechists? Does it mean them preaching? What’s the end point? I think that our understanding of the nature of active participation needs to be anthropological. The liturgy it must engage us as God created us: body, mind and spirit.
I can sing along, but not be engaged at all with the mass because I like the tune or a particular choral setting, I can disengage from what’s happening and just listen to the music itself. I think it’s harder to listen to spiritual music and totally disengage yourself from its reality. Pope Benedict XVI has given real insight into the role of Plato in this question. When we, in Western thought, say something like “may we have a part in your resurrection” we run into a problem with our language. It’s as if there’s a big cake called the Resurrection and we all get a slice: “there you are, sorry it’s a bit of a small slice but we needed to make sure there was enough for everybody else”.
No. Participation in the Lord’s Resurrection means being risen by grace. The difference between our own resurrection and the Lord’s is that we rise by virtue of his grace rather than by virtue of being God. That participation in grace is active participation. If you participate in a choir, you could be one of eight or twenty or a hundred singers, but you are singing just as much as everybody else is. If there is a real participation in the Divine Nature present in the liturgy then we are, by grace, being taken up into the liturgy. Of course our earthly liturgy, is not something we do to impress God, it is a participation in the heavenly liturgy as St John saw in Revelation. St Thomas Aquinas understood that liturgical participation is about being divinized. He is remembered as one of the earliest theologians to work with Aristotle, but he worked just as much with Plato and his doctrine of participation. Which in Greek is often “symmetochi” (συμμετοχη): a weaving together***I think symploke. The most common word is methexis (meta + echo), but he does use symploke too. I think that if we rebooted the whole question of active participation around the concept of theosis, our participating in God, we might get better practical results.
Theology is not just something we do because we feel like it. It’s always meant to be at the service of the Church and of the logos of God. Theology is speaking the Word to people, and particularly it’s speaking in answer to their questions. As a theologian, I try to be practical.
Is Catholic theology yet capable of talking about music?
I think a lot of theology has tried to be very much a science in the modern sense. Faith has suffered a complete onslaught from scientific rationalism. Since the seventeenth century theologians have often tried to beat the scientists at their own game. The phenomenologists had to ask how we see things before they could look at anything. What “glasses” are you seeing through? What presuppositions and projections are you making? Following continental philosophy, I want to question some of the basic assumptions.
One way of doing that is the Radical Orthodoxy school of thought. I do not think it is a coincidence that people like Professor Catherine Pickstock are very happy to work with music, poetry and literature. There is a basic thing at work: experience. Hermetic philosophy, with which Christianity has engaged in a critical dialogue, treats spiritual experience as raw data. If somebody says they have seen an angel and there’s no reason to suppose they’re lying or that they are mad, then hermetic philosophers have no problem with that spiritual experience and instinct as a starting point for enquiry. We can say “okay, let’s start there”. That allows you to work more phenomenologically and that is how I would like to work with music.
I think that our theology risks becoming dry, and even falling very easily into accusations of a pseudo-science if we don’t make it more holistic. A scientist is a subject too: “there is no view from nowhere” as the American analytical philosopher Thomas Nagel says. We always have perspectives and some scientists have a metaphysic which excludes God and the spiritual a priori. There is a risk in theology that we try to use the same methods and I don’t think those methods are human in the end. I think that theology needs to understand its place in relation to God’s word to humankind, reflected in humankind’s response to God, and that can only be done in a human way. Which must embrace the whole of our lives.
What we need instead is a “constructive” theology. We can’t understand music theologically if we just have a system that we impose as if it’s a cookie-cutter which leaves loads of material outside. The “New Materialism” in theology tries to go back to material things, including our experience or art or of living together in community, or people’s experience of poverty and oppression. Vatican II was, in many ways, a great council, for example in its ecumenical work and its Christo-centrism. When it comes to music it says some quaint things about music adding beauty to the liturgy, and dignity and glory and it’s a bit like saying that “a cake is nicer when it icing on it”. Music isn’t just the icing on the cake. I would say that actually music is much more one of the basic ingredients because it’s so fundamentally human which is why you find it in every culture.
St Thomas Aquinas says that all knowledge comes to us through the senses, but he’s not just making a realist proposition that a table is a table because I can see and feel that it’s a table. Actually when you apply his thought to music, you can see that St Thomas is saying something much more profound. Marie-Joseph Lagrange OP, one of the great founders of modern biblical theology, wrote that though he prized academic journals and the scholarship they contained, when he heard the Gospel sung by the deacon with incense, a level of meaning came to him which he never found in all his learned studies. We are not anti-intellectual, rather we have to incorporate more than just the intellect into our theology. Following the approach presented by Pope Benedict XVI in The Spirit of the Liturgy and A New Song to the Lord, I think part of my work as a theologian is among those who are working to “round” theology by incorporating experience.
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
 Joscelyn Godwin, Harmonies of Heaven and Earth: Mysticism in Music from Antiquity to the Avant-Garde (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1987), p. 41.
 Catherine Pickstock, After Writing: On the Liturgical Consummation of Philosophy (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), Chapter 1.
 Dominic White OP The Lost Knowledge of Christ: Contemporary Spiritualities, Christian Cosmology, and the Arts (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2015)
 “The idea of the music of the cosmos, of singing with the angels, leads back again to the relation of art to Logos, but now it is broadened and deepened in the context of the cosmos. Yes, it is the cosmic context that gives art in the liturgy both its measure and its scope.” Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy trans. John Saward (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius, 2000). p. 154.
 “Liturgical music leads the faithful straight to the glorification of God, into the sober intoxication of the faith. The emphasis on Gregorian chant and classical polyphonic music was therefore ordered to both the character of the liturgy as mystery and its character as Logos, as well as to its bond to the historical word.” Joseph Ratzinger, A New Song for the Lord: Faith in Christ and Liturgy Today (Chestnut Ridge, NY: Crossroad, 1996), p. 174.
 St Augustine, Sermon 340
 “Song invalidates the sacrifice, the words of R[abbi] Meir, but the Sages say, it does not invalidate. What is R[abbi] Meir’s reason? The verse says, and I gave the Levites to Aaron and his sons from the midst of the Children of Israel, to work the service of the Children of Israel in the Tent of Meeting, and to atone for the Children of Israel.” (The Babylonian Talmud, Arakhin 11a). This means that “a sacrifice requiring a wine offering is invalid if not accompanied by the Levite’s song.” (The Jerusalem Talmud: Tractates Ta’aniot, Megillah, Hagigah and Mo’ed Qatan (Mašqin), [De Gruyter: 2015], p. 136, fn 89). Guggenheimer elaborates that “Since the Levites had three biblical obligations in the Sanctuary, viz. to carry the Tent, to be its watchmen, and to sing. Since only the third can be classified as ritual service, it must be what is referred to as atoning.” (The Jerusalem Talmud: Tractates Pesahim and Yoma, [De Gruyter: 2013], p. 127 fn 22). The Tractate on the Tra’aniot explains: “From where is the song called atonement? Henena, the father of Bar Nata in the name of Rebbi Anaia: and to atone for the Chldren of Israel, that is the song. From where that the song invalidates? Rebbi Jocab bar Aha, Rebbi Simeon, in the name of Rebbi Hanina, and to atone for the Children of Israel, that is the song.” (The Jerusalem Talmud: Tractates Ta’aniot, Megillah, Hagigah and Mo’ed Qatan (Mašqin), [De Gruyter: 2015], p. 136)
 Matthew 7:20
 Congar quotes the Catholic philosopher Maurice Blondel approvingly: “Looking lovingly towards the past, where its treasure is enshrined, tradition advances towards the future, where its victory and glory lie.” Yves Congar, The Meaning of Tradition (Hawthorne: 1964), p. 31. Congar himself writes that “Tradition comprises two equally vital aspects, one of development and one of conservation”, it “is not merely memory. It is actual presence and experience. It is not purely conservative, but, in a certain way, creative”. Ibid, p. 100 & 113.
 “Mass is not meant to favor an intimate relation to God – in that case it might be better to follow Mass on television. It is a church action. It is lived as a church, a church made up of men, women, and children who are sinners but who fare to acknowledge themselves as the ‘holy church’ of God… ‘It is great, the mystery of faith!’ Before it applies to the Eucharist, this expression applies to the concrete assembly as church. Here there is both mystery and scandal.” Louis-Marie Chauvet, The Sacraments: The Word of God at the Mercy of the Body (Pueblo: 2001), p. 38.
 “One of the principles of the Council’s liturgical reform was, with good reason, the participation actuosa, the active participation of the whole “People of God” in the liturgy. Subsequently, however, this idea has been fatally narrowed down, giving the impression that active participation is only present where there is evidence of external activity… Listening, the receptive employment of the senses and the mind, spiritual participation, are surely just as much “activity” as speaking is. Are receptivity, perception, being moved, not “Active” things too? What we have here, surely, is a diminished view of man which reduces him to what is verbally intelligible.” Joseph Ratzinger, Feast of Faith: Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy trans. Graham Harrison (Ignatius: 1986), p. 123.
 Calling Plato’s dualistic approach to the body and soul “something of a theologian’s fantasy”. Joseph Ratzinger, Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life, 2nd edn, trans. Michael Waldstein (CUA: 1988), p. 90.
 For more detail see Religious Experience and New Materialism: Movement Matters, ed. by Joerg Rieger and Edward Waggoner (London: MacMillan, 2016).
 Summa Theologica I.84.7
 “J’aime entendre l’évangile chanté par le diacre à l’ambon, au milieu des nuages d’encens : les paroles pénètrent alors mon âme plus profondément que lorsque je les retrouve dans une discussion de revue”, in Revue Biblique (1892-1940), Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1892), p. 2.