10 April 2014, The Tablet

Two kinds of acting

by Daniel McCarthy

When we participate in the Easter liturgies, our sense of the drama of the events commemorated is particularly acute. But this is why we must recall we are taking part not in drama, but in liturgy – and to understand the difference What is the difference between liturgy and drama? A stage designer might detail the ­similarities of the stage, set, characters and costume. The distinction between them, however, is especially important during Holy Week when the liturgies lend themselves to dramatic re-enactment. By discerning the difference between a dramatic re-enactment and liturgy, the celebrations may become more prayerful.Many of the dramatic elements of Holy Week liturgies were developed during the fourth century in Jerusalem where the liturgy was celebrated at the holy sites
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