Liturgy! The very word breathes Life and Breath into the lives of the faithful as they breathe. Liturgy, however, is not mere words, but words in combination
Few figures have had greater influence on the development of liturgy than Eduardo della Vaticano della Compostella de Santa Maria della Santa Fe de Christo Jesu e La Apostolos (fl. c. 657 AD). Eddy Compost,3 as he was known to friends, family, and indeed, God, took a leading role in formalising the linguistic structure of liturgy in the 7th century. Eddy’s two principles were well known.4 Firstly: a unit of liturgy should be minimally composed of a complete proposition, i.e., strings in which at least the predicate and all necessary arguments are lexico-
The second principle speaks for itself:6 liturgy should be holy. It should elevate (even if it obfuscates) and enlighten (even if it frightens). This principle was known as the ‘holy principle’ or in Italian il principio santo.
Although subsequent developments in liturgy have deviated from these principles (it is now common to hear single lexical utterances, e.g., ‘Amen’, and/or responses that take some or all of their semantic structure from previous strings, e.g., ‘And also with you’), Eddy’s approach to liturgy remains an important contribution to the field and worthy of sustained scholarly interest. Should the reader wish to learn more, one’s local library, as well as reputable internet sources, are widely available; readers should search using the term most commonly associated with the Compostellan liturgical principles (albeit in a slightly anglicised version): Santa Clause.
1 The etymology of the term ‘syntax’ should be of interest to the faithful: the ‘syn-’ element also appears in the term ‘synoptic gospels’ meaning ‘seen together’. Thus ‘syntax’ means ‘taxed together’ and emerged as a term used in 7th century Sicily when the Church taxed people who spoke too much on the basis of the grammatical complexity of their utterances.
2 It is also known as ‘syntax’ in both amateur and professional linguistic octagons, dodecahedrons and isosceles triangles. However, by linguistic squares, it is known as ‘the combinatorial properties of lexeme or lexeme-
3 He was also an allotment plotholder and owner of a large stables.
4 The reader should be aware that some historical evidence suggests that Eddy attended the Holy Cross School for Boys around 635, a school which operated under a joint-
5 Soon after the implementation of this principle (mid-
6 Not literally of course; that’s why we’re writing on its behalf.
|SpecGram Vol CLXXXVIII, No 3 Contents|