Next up is the 14th session of the four-day conference, given by Professor David Fagerberg of the University of Notre Dame in the USA. His paper, entitled Doing the Word Liturgically: Stewardship and Creation and Care for the Poor, was the third in a trilogy of more theologically demanding papers, though it was delivered in quite a light style.
He began by setting the context in terms of a question, or rather two questions: Is there a connection between liturgy and social justice, especially care of the poor and stewardship of creation? Could anyone actually object to such a connection? Continue reading “Sacra Liturgia: Day 4, Hughlights 2”→
Friday was Day 4 of Sacra Liturgia 2016, as full as the previous days which had taken their toll on many of us. It has been a densely packed programme, and London has been mercifully dry but unmercifully muggy. These highhughlights are a little late in coming as Friday ended with a stirring pontifical Mass in the Ordinariate Use at Warwick Street, after which Mgr and Mrs Newton kindly hosted a drinks’ reception. Then it was a lovely supper for me with a wonderful crew, all younger than me, many of whom provided such sterling service in the conference liturgies. While Lucas is already a seminarian for the diocese of Worcester in Massachusetts, from the other young chaps I expect to see a vocation or two in the next few years.
Yes, there is a typo in the title. But on reflection I have decided to leave it in. It reflects well what I am eager to affirm: that these summaries are distinctively mine, reflecting my priorities and level of fatigue, as well as the capabilities of my memory, intellect and attention span. Please do not equate these little highhughlights with any sort of truly comprehensive summary.
The third day of Sacra Liturgia 2016 will probably prove to have been the most gruelling of the conference. Five talks were packed into the day, which began at 9am and finished well after 5pm. The general impression is that business conferences tend to be company-paid holidays surrounding a few talks or seminars. Not so for liturgiophiles: it is very much a full day and value for money. It comes a a little cost for the more delicate ones like me, as a headache saw me on the hot, crowded tube heading home, to decorously collapse, a trip which saw me squeezed between similarly stressed people who were a little taken aback at the sight of a Benedictine habit.
The five talks today covered a disparate range of topics, and some of them stretched the bounds of my learning quite substantially. As a result, the summaries to follow will probably be bettered by others.
As you can begin to tell, today was a busy day at Sacra Liturgia.
The next paper was by Professor Peter Stephan of the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, who teaches architectural theory and art history. His paper was entitled The Vicissitudes of Liturgy and Architecture shown in the Example of Berlin’s Cathedral of St Hedwig. Not surprisingly Professor Stephan’s paper had a strong visual component which is impossible to reproduce here.
On the tube back from a lively supper after Cardinal Sarah’s important speech last night, it struck me that perhaps the conference had peaked already. Certainly in terms of an immediate and practical legacy, last night’s speech is unlikely to be bested.
However, the proceedings today were a salutary reminder that Cardinal Sarah’s vigorous and specific exhortation—for a return to the centuries-old tradition of priest and people sharing a common orientation to the east and to the Lord during the Liturgy of the Eucharist—is itself the fruit of recent scholarship and pastoral reflection on the reforms implemented in the wake of Vatican II and which claim the Council as their warrant and justification. It was just such scholarship and reflection that we were treated to today.
It was a late night and the eyes hang a little heavy this morning. But it is good to be here, to quote the apostle.
After yesterday’s landmark address by Cardinal Sarah it is hard to avoid a precipitate sense of having been present at something important. It is perhaps the sort of day that one might look back on and say “I was there when…”.
One striking thing about Cardinal Sarah’s address was the humility with which he spoke, even when he was speaking with passion. During the several rounds of applause be kept his head bowed, milking nothing from the applause, not even a shy smile. He was there for the message not the glory.
Now, for Dom Alcuin Reid’s paper to open the day. He is speaking on the debate on liturgical reform in the Council floor.