A Sacramental Worldview

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Sacramentality is a worldview, a way of looking at life, a way of thinking and acting in the world that values and reveres the world. Sacramentality acts as a prism, a theological lens through which we view creation and all that is on this good earth as revelations of God’s presence and action among us here and now. The premise of sacramentality means that in fact we do not live in “two different worlds,” the sacred and the secular, but that we live in one graced world named “good” by God in Genesis 1:3. At the same time, this principle admits that there are moments of particular sacrality in the liturgy that enable us to experience the divine in the human and on this good earth by the use of things and actions from daily life, such as dining and bathing, to worship God. Sacramentality is a worldview that invites us to be immersed fully in the here and now, on this good earth, and not to shun matter or avoid the challenges that such earthiness will require of us, even as we pray through liturgy and sacraments (and other means) to enter into heaven when this earthly pilgrimage has ended. Since the human being is the pinnacle of God’s creation (Gen 1:26-27), part of what is called “dominion” (Gen 1:18-19) is to value and revere the things that God has created and to see human beings as part and parcel of that created world who carry particular responsibility to care for the world and all that dwells in it. The liturgy, the theology of the goodness of creation and of human beings in light of the incarnation is reflected by the fact that we “use” them as the very “stuff” of the liturgy. Created human beings use other aspects of the created world to worship the God of creation, the God of the covenant, and the God of redemption. It is all of a piece and is a continuum.

Kevin W. Irwin, The Sacraments: Historical Foundations and Liturgical Theology (New York, NY: Paulist Press, 2016), pp. 210-211. ISBN: 978-0-8091-4955-1.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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