In Signs of the Holy One, Uwe Michael Lang addresses crucial questions which are just now coming to the fore concerning the sacred liturgy. His point of departure is that the Catholic liturgy is a synthesis of elements, far more than just its texts--gesture, motion, architecture, art, music--and that these elements are integral to the solemn liturgy and not just incidental. They are aspects of the non-verbal language of the sacred; they are what makes the liturgy beautiful.
His consideration of the beauty of the liturgy poses the problem that the modern notion of beauty is subjective, which makes it difficult to articulate criteria for what is beautiful. But sacred beauty has criteria for each of its principal elements; these are the subject of extended discussion of architecture, art, and music, showing why and how they contribute to the total liturgy.
Pope Benedict XVI, who wrote extensively about the liturgy, said, "The greatness of the liturgy depends - we shall have to repeat this frequently - on its non-spontaneity." Modern man needs to learn that banality and repetitious "novelty" are no substitute for the sacred and are unable to induce any sense of meaning, purpose and peace. The yearning for the Transcendent is always felt within the human psyche and is rarely far from the surface, especilly among young adults. A Church that forgets this is heading in the wrong direction.