Focusing on the questions "What is the purpose of worship?" and "Why are the arts an irreplaceable part of good liturgy?" Bishop Rouet, in Liturgy and the Arts, maintains that the arts should disclose holiness within the ordinary. The role of the arts in Christian life and in liturgy is to illustrate God's presence and to release the sacramental potential of the world. He stresses that in order for that to happen, liturgical artists and Church leaders must dialogue and cooperate in providing a faith community with a liturgical environment that leads to meaningful worship.
For Bishop Rouet, the arts are indispensable to human existence; they are necessary for the incarnation of faith. Indeed, as he puts it in his introduction, "Faith is not simply an individual thought process, nor personal opinion; nor is it only the public witness of a person. Faith produces a way of living, therefore culture, and thus, art."
Readers of Liturgy and the Arts will experience a genuine joy in contemplating this thoughtful Catholic bishop's convincing argument that the Church cannot do without the arts.
Chapters cover liturgy and art forms such as music, sacred space, and dance. They are: "The Arts and Liturgy," "Artistic Expression in the Church," "The Shepherd of History: 'The Times That We Create'," "Ecclesial Space," "Dance and Faith," and "A People Baptized for the Work of Praise."
Albert Rouet is bishop of the Diocese of Poitiers in France.