ACU academic appointed to National Liturgical Commission

Australian Catholic University (ACU) liturgy expert Dr Jason McFarland has been appointed to the National Liturgical Commission.

Dr McFarland teaches Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology at ACU and is Assistant Director of ACU’s Centre for Liturgy. He is the author of the influential book Announcing the Feast: The Entrance Song in the Mass of the Roman Rite, which has informed liturgical practice in many parts of the English-speaking Church.

The National Liturgical Council is an advisory body established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, advising the Bishops’ Commission for Liturgy on matters pertaining to Catholic liturgical worship.

In announcing the appointment, the Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Liturgy Archbishop Pat O'Regan cited the appreciation of the Commission for Dr McFarland’s fine work as an Editor at the International Commission on English in the Liturgy Secretariat at Washington DC, his scholarly publications, and his dedicated work as a lecturer at ACU ‘s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy.

“This appointment is an acknowledgment of your widely recognised contribution as a liturgical scholar, musician and educator both in the United States of America and Australia,” he wrote to Dr McFarland.

Dr McFarland moved to Australia in 2016 to join ACU. He previously spent seven years as Assistant Editor at the Secretariat of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, the body that facilitates the translation of liturgical books into English, three years with the US Peace Corps in China, and a short time as Assistant Professor of Ritual/Liturgical Studies at St Norbert College in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Dr McFarland said he was heartened to have have the accomplishments of a rather unusual career recognised in this way by the Bishops of Australia.

“I look forward to offering my assistance and expertise to the Bishops Commission for Liturgy as they continue their important work of helping the liturgical life of the Church in Australia to flourish. Liturgy, our public worship, has been disrupted by the pandemic, and this experience of disruption has brought many important practical and theological questions to the table.

“The work of the Commission for Liturgy is critical in ensuring liturgical celebrations are of high quality and suited to the Australian context.”

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