Christ In Me: A Contribution to the Definition of Actual Participation
The twentieth century saw a great deal of upheaval in the liturgical practices of the Catholic Church. Many of the changes that were made to the liturgy were on account of what liturgical theologians called “active/actual participation.” Despite this term’s centrality to many of the Church’s liturgical reforms, the term was never explicitly defined. Consequently, participation in the liturgy fell under much confusion and quickly was swept up in many post-modern ideas of participation. With that in mind, I wish to contribute to a definition of active participation in light of a broader historical and theological context so that it can be resituated in the tradition of the Church. Following the theological thought of St. Maximus the Confessor, with particular attention to his theological anthropology and theology of participation, active participation in the liturgy can be seen as fundamentally Christo-form. In being Christo-form, participation ends up being most truly human, for Christ most fully affirms man’s created identity and final end.