Public Lecture: A Liturgical Reform in Peril? Sacrosanctum Concilium Sixty Years On 

  The ACU Centre for Liturgy was delighted to host Fr John Baldovin, SJ at ACU's Melbourne Campus for a free public lecture on 3 December 2023.

The modern liturgical movement reached a highpoint with the promulgation of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1963). But promulgation is one thing, reception another. Fr Baldovin's lecture addressed how the Constitution was received, whether the vision of the reform is indeed in peril, what remains to be done and how Pope Francis has moved the reform of the liturgy forward.

John F Baldovin SJ is Professor of Historical and Liturgical Theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He received his BA from the College of the Holy Cross, an MDiv from Weston School of Theology, and MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University. Fr. Baldovin has taught at Fordham University, the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA (1999–2008). He served on the advisory committee for the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy of the USCCB (1989–1993) and on the advisory committee of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) (1994–2002). He is past president of the North American Academy of Liturgy (which presented him its Berakah Award in 2007), Societas Liturgica. and the International Jungmann Society for Jesuits and the Liturgy (2019-2022).

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Public lecture: "Liturgy’s Imagined Futures: Beyond Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy "

 On 6 November 2023 the ACU Centre for Liturgy had the pleasure of hosting Professor Teresa Berger from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School in the USA 

Taking as a starting point the upcoming 60th anniversary of the promulgation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy on December 4, 1963, this lecture asked about the possible futures of Catholic liturgy beyond the vision of Sacrosanctum Concilium. It probed ways in which liturgical life into the 21st century will be – and will have to be – different from what both the Council and the post-conciliar liturgical reforms were able to imagine.

About Professor Berger

Teresa Berger is Professor of Liturgical Studies at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School in New Haven, CT, USA, where she also serves as the Thomas E. Golden Jr. Professor of Catholic Theology. She holds doctorates in both theology and in liturgical studies.

Recent publications include an edited volume, Full of Your Glory: Liturgy, Cosmos, Creation (2019), and a monograph titled @ Worship: Liturgical Practices in Digital Worlds (2018). Earlier publications include Gender Differences and the Making of Liturgical History (2011), Fragments of Real Presence (2005), and a video documentary, Worship in Women’s Hands (2007).

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Public Lecture "Women deacons and the Synod: what happens now?" online, with Dr Phyllis Zagano.

On 7 August 2023 at 10am AEST, the ACU Centre for Liturgy was pleased to host Dr Phyllis Zagano for a public lecture.

Australia and New Zealand made their synodal wishes known: the Church can and should restore women to the ordained diaconate. The historical facts of women deacons are well known. They ministered in different ways in different places during differing eras. In 2016, the International Union of Superiors General asked Pope Francis why, given that so many women were already performing diaconal ministry, women could not be ordained as deacons today. Since then, two commissions presented private reports to the pope. The Instrumentum Laboris for the Synod on Synodality reports: "Most of the Continental Assemblies and the syntheses of several Episcopal Conferences call for the question of women's inclusion in the diaconate to be considered. Is it possible to envisage this, and in what way?" What are the arguments for and against women ordained as deacons? What will happen in October?

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Public Lecture "I am what I ritualise: identity, theology, and liturgy in a secular context" an online public lecture by The Rev Canon Lizette Larson-Miller.

 On 8 May 2023 the ACU Centre for Liturgy had the honour of hosting Dr Lizette Larson-Miller, Canon Precentor of the Anglican Diocese of Huron, for a public lecture on this very relevant topic.

There is no such thing as an un-inculturated liturgy because all liturgical events are shaped by cultures of the past, present, and anticipated. Those celebrating belong to overlapping cultures of language, geography, ethnicity, age, gender, generation, and more. For many Christian generations the church and the dominant culture were synced (at least outwardly), but now in Australia, Canada, the US, the UK and elsewhere, they are not. There have always been communities for whom Christianity's inherited patterns and their own culture have never aligned. But beyond the loss of a so-called Christendom, there is now a lack of alignment between the domestic church (the household or family) and the official church, often resulting in a lack of reinforcement and continuity, popular religiosity shifting from an extension of the official liturgy to a parallel expression of ritual desire, and a tendency to turn on its head the notion that rituals shape us, as the online world enables us to shape or curate our own ritual expressions. Who are we? What does theology have to do with it? And do our liturgies and rituals need to adapt or resist these changes?

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Public Lecture "Does the Catholic Sacrament of Marriage Have a Future?" an online public lecture by Professor Julie Hanlon Rubio

 On 10 October 2022 10am AEDT the ACU Centre for Liturgy was delighted to host Professor Julie Hanlon Rubio (Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University USA) for a public lecture on this important topic.

Marriage rates are falling, fewer couples are marrying in churches, many more people agree that marriage is becoming obsolete. Catholic teaching on lifelong sacramental marriage seems a relic from another time. A Catholic understanding of marriage is distinct. It asks couples for depth of intimacy, fruitfulness, and contribution to the common good, and insists on the presence of grace in this most ordinary of human relationships. It pushes against a private view of marriage, calling family a "school of deeper humanity" and the "first cell of society." How might this demanding vision still resonate? Could Pope Francis's efforts to welcome and affirm a diversity of families make room for more Catholics to see sacramental marriage as something they can strive for? How can Catholic institutions both uphold this vision and support the diversity of families they serve?

Julie Hanlon Rubio is the Shea-Heusaman Professor of Christian Social Ethics and Associate Dean at Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California. Before coming to Santa Clara, she taught at St. Louis University for nearly two decades. Her research focuses on Catholic social thought and family. She has authored six books, including the award-winning Family Ethics: Practices for Christians and Hope for Common Ground, both from Georgetown University Press. Recently. she co-edited a collections of essays called Sex, Love, and Marriage: Catholic Perspectives (Liturgical Press in 2020) representing new work in the field of family ethics, which she helped define. Her new book, Can You Be Catholic and Feminist? will be published by Oxford University Press in 2023.

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Public Lecture "Celebrating Catholic funerals in the face of secularism, COVID and other challenges" an online public lecture by the Reverend Dr Paul Turner

On 18 July 2022 10am AEST the ACU Centre for Liturgy was very pleased to host Fr Paul Turner for a public lecture exploring the challenges our changing world poses for how we celebrate Catholic funerals.

 Over the past several decades, the Catholic Church's Order of Christian Funerals has not changed, but the culture surrounding funerals has. For example, people are thinking differently about cremation, the timing of the funeral, the nature of the service, the location of the funeral, and the final disposition of remains. This presentation reviewed key points from the funeral tradition to engage ways to make it more meaningful.

Fr Paul Turner

Fr Paul Turner is Pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri US and Director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St Joseph. He holds a doctorate in sacred theology from Sant' Anselmo in Rome. He is a former president of the North American Academy of Liturgy, a member of Societas Liturgica, and the Catholic Academy of Liturgy. Fr Turner is the recipient of the Jubilate Deo Award from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and the Frederick McManus Award from the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. He serves as a facilitator for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. His publications include Ars Celebrandi: Celebrating and Concelebrating Mass (Liturgical, 2021), New Church, New Altar A Commentary on the Order of Dedication of a Church and an Altar (Liturgical, 2021), Light in the Darkness: Preparing Better Catholic Funerals (Liturgical, 2017) and dozens of other titles.

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Public Lecture "Ars Celebrandi: it's everyone's responsibility" by the Very Rev Peter G Williams, AM

On 9 May 2022 the ACU Centre for Liturgy had the pleasure of hosting Fr Peter Williams for a public lecture offering a new take on an important issue relevant to all who celebrate the liturgy today.

 In the light of the recent publication of Traditiones Custodes those in the liturgical academy and pastoral practitioners of the liturgy are charged with responding to the on-going challenge of liturgical renewal in a post COVID environment. This lecture explored the Ars Celebrandi through a different lens, using a social scientific methodology to investigate the point of view of the liturgical "user" rather than the liturgical "provider" and advanced a fresh approach to liturgical catechesis that equips everyone to celebrate the liturgy well.

The Very Reverend Father Peter G Williams AM. BA (ANU), BTheol (ACT), BEd (La Trobe), MTheol (Sydney), MA (Liturgical Studies) (CUA). In 2014 Peter was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from ACU and in 2022 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Catholic Church and tertiary education. Fr Peter currently serves as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia and Director of Liturgy for the Diocese of Parramatta and has held appointments in many parishes in the Diocese including Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral Parish in Parramatta (2004-2006). Fr Peter was Executive Secretary of the National Liturgical Commission (2000-2011), Chair of the National Liturgical Music Board (2005-2016) and is a member of the National Liturgical Art and Architecture Council (2010 -). He teaches at the Catholic Institute of Sydney and lectures and runs workshops on liturgy.

This lecture was recorded and the link will be available shortly.

Public Lecture "Ritual bodies as 'Reasonable Worship': Putting Liturgy in Proper Ethical Perspective " by Bruce T. Morrill, S.J.

 On 18 October 2021 the ACU Centre for Liturgy had the privilege of hosting the celebrated sacramental theologian and liturgical scholar Fr Bruce Morrill, SJ, as he explored the vital connection between ethics and our physical enactment of liturgy.

Biblical and early church authors describe the entire Christian life as the worship of God, what Paul identifies as "your spiritual worship." Liturgy as ritual worship is meant to empower Christians to be 'living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God' (Rom 12:1). This lecture will propose that accepting the disruptive challenge that the theological rhetoric of sacrifice, holiness, royal priesthood poses to the contemporary church promises to illuminate rather than obscure the essential connection between liturgy and ethical living.

Bruce T. Morrill, S.J., holds the Edward A. Malloy Chair in Roman Catholic Studies at Vanderbilt University, where he is Professor of Theology in the Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion. His latest book is Practical Sacramental Theology: At the Intersection of Liturgy and Ethics (Cascade, 2021), while previous titles include Anamnesis as Dangerous Memory (2000), Divine Worship & Human Healing (2009), Encountering Christ in the Eucharist(2012), and The Essential Writings of Bernard Cooke (2016). He has held visiting chairs, received fellowships, and lectured widely in North America, Australia, and Europe.

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Public Lecture "Composing for a Church at Prayer " by Fr J Michael Joncas

 On 19 July 2021 (10-11:30am AEST) the ACU Centre for Liturgy was delighted to host Fr J Michael Joncas for this public lecture which, while particularly relevant to all those who compose, perform or participate in liturgical music, was of great interest to attendees involved in liturgical ministry generally.

One of the premiere ways in which many people experience full, conscious, and active participation in the liturgy is through the music they sing, play, and hear during worship.

This presentation explored the theory and practice of one composer in creating liturgical music over the last half century. Fr Joncas explored 1) the texts sung in the context of liturgical worship; 2) the music by which they are sung; and 3) the ritual(s) for which they are intended. He addressed these with particular reference to his own compositions, giving insight into what factors entered into their composition and how they have been received both by worshiping communities and various critics.

Ordained in 1980 as a priest of the Archdiocese of St Paul-Minneapolis, MN, Fr (Jan) Michael Joncas holds degrees in English from the (then) College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, and in liturgical studies from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN and the Pontificio Istituto Liturgico of the Ateneo S. Anselmo in Rome. He has served as a parochial vicar, a campus minister, and a parochial administrator (pastor). He is the author of six books and more than two hundred fifty articles and reviews in journals such as Worship, Ecclesia Orans, and Questions Liturgiques. He has composed and arranged more than 300 pieces of liturgical music. He is currently Artist in Residence and Research Fellow in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Public Lecture "Liturgy and Sacraments in a COVID World: Renewal not Restoration" by Monsignor Kevin Irwin

Kevin Irwin.On 17 May 2021 (10-11:30am AEST) the ACU Centre for Liturgy had the honour to host Msgr Kevin Irwin as he gave this important and topical online lecture.

In the face of restrictions on gathering for public worship, parishes have attempted to keep their congregants attached to the Eucharist by use of technology such as streaming video. However, this has underlined some of the problems with liturgical practice as it has developed in the decades since Vatican II. Streamed liturgies have no 'live' congregations and often only a single priest in the sanctuary, which skews the roles of congregation and presider. The celebration of other sacraments has been no less affected, as they've been 'streamlined' for the sake of expediency and observance of social distancing rules. Vatican II's emphasis on scripture whether through the expanded lectionary used at Mass or through the inclusion of readings in the celebration of every sacrament, has often been overlooked and is sometimes lost in practice. The increasingly sloppy application of norms has led to bad liturgies that betray a basic lack of understanding of the meaning of the liturgy itself. Rather than return to 'business as usual' post-COVID, Kevin Irwin urges us to use this 'break' as an opportunity to revisit the liturgical reform and truly implement it.

A member of The Catholic University of America Theology Faculty for over thirty years, Msgr Irwin held the Walter J. Schmitz Chair of Liturgical Studies from 2000-2015 and was the Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies from 2005-2011. Currently Ordinary Research Professor at CUA, Msgr Irwin is the author of over twenty books and seventy journal articles. Prominent in his research are liturgical-theological method and the role of creation in liturgy and sacraments. Msgr Irwin's most recent books include A Commentary on Laudato Si' (Paulist Press, 2016), the revised and expanded edition of his classic text Context and Text: A Method for Liturgical Theology (Liturgical Press, 2018), Pope Francis and the Liturgy: The Call to Holiness and Mission (Paulist Press, 2019), and Liturgy and Sacraments in a COVID World: Renewal not Restoration (Paulist Press, 2021).

This online lecture was not recorded. Those interested in this important topic are referred to Msgr Irwin's book of the same name.

Public Lecture "Liturgy, Prayer, Pastoral Care and Pandemics"

Sr Prof Julia Upton, rsmOn Monday, 12 October 2020 the ACU Centre for Liturgy hosted Sr. Prof Julia Upton, RSM, a member of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, who gave an online Public Lecture entitled "Liturgy, Prayer, Pastoral Care and Pandemics". Applying her expertise in liturgy and her education and interest in Public Health, Dr Upton's lecture was received with gratitude and great interest by all those who attended.

Sr. Prof. Julia Upton, RSM, Ph.D. (Fordham) is Provost Emerita and retired Distinguished Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John's University (NY), where she has taught for 40 years. She is a member of the Liturgical Commission of the Diocese of Brooklyn since 1978 and served as an advisor to the United States National Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Divine Worship (1978-1981; 2007-2010). Dr. Upton is author of Worship in Spirit and Truth: The Life and Legacy of H. A Reinhold and is currently writing a biography of Adé Bethune, a liturgical artist, consultant and social activist associated with the Catholic Worker. In 2019 Dr. Upton completed a Master's Degree in Public Health and now devotes her time to writing and consulting.

Watch the lecture here

References used in the Public Lecture can be found here

Public Lecture "The Challenge of Intercultural Liturgy in the Era of Pope Francis"

Rev Prof Mark R. Francis CSVIn July 2020 the ACU Centre for Liturgy hosted Rev Prof Mark R. Francis CSV, author of Local Worship Global Church: Popular Religion and the Liturgy and Shape a Circle Ever Wider: Inculturating the Liturgy in the United States.

In addition to the online Public Lecture on 20 July 2020 entitled " The Challenge of Intercultural Liturgy in the Era of Pope Francis" Professor Francis also taught an online one-time-only special studies unit, THEL620: Liturgical Inculturation through the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy on 6, 7, 9, 10 July. The unit was offered as a professional learning seminar available to liturgists, clergy, pastoral associates and all with an interest in the fascinating and pastorally relevant area of Liturgical Inculturation.

Watch the lecture here

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