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Verbum et Ecclesia

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

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.32 no.1 Pretoria  2011 



Liturgical singing as ritual symbol



Coenie Calitz

Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa





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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Coenie Calitz
PO Box 5539
Kockspark 2523
South Africa

Received: 01 Sept. 2010
Accepted: 05 May 2011
Published: 17 Aug. 2011

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