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Verbum et Ecclesia

versão On-line ISSN 2074-7705
versão impressa ISSN 1609-9982


CALITZ, Coenie. Liturgical singing as ritual symbol. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.32, n.1, pp.1-7. ISSN 2074-7705.

Liturgical singing is more than text and melody; it is also symbol and ritual. It is part of the ensemble of rituals within the worship service. As a ritual symbol, it is closely connected to the culture or subculture where it is conducted. Meaning is not only immanent in the text (lyrics), but assigned on a continuous base and differs from culture to culture. As a ritual symbol, liturgical singing does not only point to another reality, but presents the other reality within the cultural context of the worship service; within ritual the music and melody are more important than text and lyrics. Liturgical singing as a ritual symbol is never static, but in a continuous process of change.

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