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Posted March 14, 2008

Book: Misa, Mesa, y Musa: Liturgy in the U.S. Hispanic Church
Compiled and edited by Kenneth G. Davis, O.F., Conv.
World Library Publications. 3708 River Road, Suite 400. Franklin Park, IL. 2008

An Excerpt from the Preface:

This book is a pleasant balance of theology and practice, historical insight and contemporary challenge, examples of saints of the Americas and suggestions for adapting essential elements of the Eucharistic liturgy. To be sure, it is not the last word on inculturation of liturgy for Spanish- speaking people in the United States, nor is it meant to be. And not having the last word is a good thing — it reminds us that inculturation is such a critical area of study and practice that we ought never be finished with it; we can always learn and implement more, we can ever find fresh ways to encounter our God in all the majesty of mystery, compassion, and love.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Mestizo liturgy: The goal

Simply stated, mestizaje is the blending and mixing of different realities. Hispanic mestizaje is a rich, diverse experience of life. In the century, when the Spanish and indigenous worlds came together in a violent religious and cultural clash. This clash resulted in the birth of a new mestizo people. It was the first of two conquests. The second occurred when the United States government annexed parts of Mexico and therefore its citizens into a “new world.” The clash between different religious and cultural worldviews persisted. The present day continues to echo these experiences as both ecclesial and national institutions wonder about how to integrate the Hispanic world and their own. Though many doors have opened, a great deal of work still remains in truly welcoming the Hispanic community with the gifts of its culture and religious expression.

The Hispanic community has learned how to blend, to adjust to a given situation without losing its identity, specifically through maintaining the practices of popular religion. These practices adjust to the economic, geographic, climatic, urban, or rural situations in which they are practiced. These celebrations not only maintain but also nourish a Hispanic worldview. For this reason they are so valuable and resilient. The Hispanic way of prayer clashes at times with the normative way of prayer in the Roman rite when the latter is identified also with the majority white community.

With some qualification, we can say that the Hispanic people confront a “one way attitude” of life. This one way usually means a white majority way. Liturgy reflects life and therefore becomes a prime venue for these two attitudes to meet face to face. The Hispanic asks the question “Why?” “Why do things have to be done in this way?” “Why are these feasts celebrated in this pattern?” Some people often misinterpret these questions to mean “my way or your way.: they see them as either/or, win/lose moments. The mestizaje approach is neither my way nor your way but a third, fourth, or fifth way that yields to “our way.” Mestizaje is a creative blending of different approaches that includes parts of all to form a new way.

Table of Contents:

1. Hospitality

Mestizo liturgy: a mestizaje of of the Roman and Hispanic rites of worship

The kiss of peace: a Hispanic understanding

2. Liturgy and devotions

Latino/a spirituality and the universal call to holiness

Carlos Manuel: apostle of the new evangelization and sanctity of the laity

3. The liturgical year

Christ comes to meet us in the liturgical year: the Christmas cycle

Christ comes to meet us in the liturgical year: the Easter cycle

4. Music

Liturgy to live — live for liturgy

Liturgical music in Hispanic Catholic assemblies of the U.S.

5. Preaching

Preaching in Spanish: symbols and Satos

The theology of Guadalupe: an introduction for preachers and pastoral ministers

6. Specific populations

Liturgy from the periphery: a farm worker’s liturgy

Hispanic youth: evangelizers and messengers of hope


Bilingual liturgical vocabulary