Attempts to an Oriental Ritual
The Roman Ritual (referring not the book but to the body of rites) apparently comes from a very Western paradigm. Even inculturation, when evaluated, is assessed from a markedly occidental perspective, as seen in the treatment of the Mateo Ricci inculturated rite that was vehemently opposed at first but later on accepted when in time they saw, not only the necessity but the wisdom of its adaptations to achieve effective evangelization, of this part of the world.
A simple question for example is about what proper postures are to be observed during liturgy in chapels that have an Oriental design (here onwards I use the term Oriental, not in the general sense of 'what is not Western' but referring specifically to Southeast Asia) with a low altar table and rugs instead of chairs--or even, whether such a design is at all compatible with the Church's worship.
My contention here is not to establish a new rite, which is never formulated or contrived by a single or even a group of persons, but spontaneously and organically formed by a believing community. My hope, rather, is to find and point a possible way of celebrating the liturgy in a manner that is at once deeply Roman but profoundly Oriental, not only for effective evangelization but for authentic worship that at once expresses the unity of liturgy in the Church universal, while accomodating the peculiarities of the Oriental way of relating with God, focusing especially on the Oriental manner of worship.
We shall begin by studying the Li Chi, one of the five Confucian classics dealing on rites. Not only will we look at the rubrics and ceremonial but look into the philosophy behind these instructions and norms to see the Oriental way of perceiving these ritual elements, and then see how they relate with the 'Roman' way of doing and understanding ritual and then apply them to the present pastoral situation.
Hopefully, you who encounter this blog will help me by your questions, comments, criticisms, insights and suggestions, as well and most importantly, by your prayers for this project.
Featured Art: Sadao Watanabe, Christ and the Samaritan Woman