Thursday, August 9th, 2012
9 August 2012
Environment and Art in Catholic Worship (EACW) was the worthy predecessor document to BLS.
§ 9 § In the United States, the committee statement Environment and Art in Catholic Worship was published by the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy in 1978.6 This statement has had a profound impact on the building and renovation of parish churches in the United States. Parish communities have studied, discussed, and disagreed about the document; many liturgical design consultants have utilized the text in parish education programs; and architects have tried to transform the underlying principles and theology into brick and mortar, stone and glass. Twenty-two years after the publication of Environment and Art, the bishops of the United States present a new document on church art and architecture that builds on and replaces Environment and Art and addresses the needs of the next generation of parishes engaged in building or renovating churches. Built of Living Stones reflects our understanding of the liturgy, of the role and importance of church art and architecture, and of the integral roles of the local parish and the diocese that enter into a building or renovation project.
BLS is a much heftier document, well more than twice the length of its 1978 predecessor. BLS rather understates the study/discussion/disagreement experience with EACW, which was wildly controversial in some communities. EACW gets a bad rap for the impression it was iconoclastic. But my sense is that photography of Edward Sovik’s work that accompanied many editions rather tilted the impression of the document in a certain way.
That said, there was great value to be found by many parishes that took formation with the document seriously, and delved deeply into the principles of the liturgy. As we’ve already read, the formation process itself is so important. With their pastors, liturgical leaders, and building professionals, communities can experience personally and socially a kind of construction. One pastor I worked with in grad school who was assigned to a new parish often preached that it was important for the people to form community first. The building would come once the community was formed.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
9 August 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Liturgy
, Parish Life 1 Comment
Posting may be somewhat sporadic the next three days. The campus ministry staff is leading a retreat for our fourteen peer ministers and coordinators at our diocesan retreat house. It’s rather strange to pull myself out of the retreat, even if I’m not so much in a reception mode. But maybe a few insights will hit. I’ll be praying as often as I can in the next few days.
One of the practices I picked up years ago from RCIA and liturgy conferences was to place a sign-up list for roles and encourage conference attendees to jump in as lector, psalmist, presider at the Hours, or such. With a community of eighteen, that’s small-scale compared to a professional workshop. (But big compared to two years ago when it was only four student peer ministers.)
But I like spreading the liturgical roles around a good bit. There is some trepidation about the “presider” role. But most all of these students will be in a position with their peers or in the parish to lead prayer. It’s a quality every lay person in any kind of leadership should be able to do: parent, committee chairperson, small group leader, and the like. It’s the kind of thing that I think helps point people in the direction of a religious or priestly vocation. How many seminarians or deacon candidates have actually led liturgical prayer as part of their discernment for the ordained life? Probably a lot, but I suspect it’s not universal.
9 August 2012
In 1966, bishops were asked to ponder and prepare to discuss the mission apostolate:
2. Episcopal conferences are invited to propose to the Holy See as soon as possible more general questions pertaining to the missions which can be dealt with in the coming meeting of the Synod of Bishops. (Ad Gentes 29)
And the laity were also tasked with “prayer and sacrifice.” I suspect the intent was not only donations of material wealth:
3. To increase the missionary spirit among the Christian people, daily prayers and sacrifices are to be encouraged so that the annual mission day will become as it were a spontaneous expression of that spirit. (Ad Gentes 36)
Bishops or episcopal conferences should prepare various invocations on behalf of the missions to be inserted in the Prayer of the Faithful at Mass.
On this last point, I’d say the composition of prayers for the mission apostolate has probably not landed with the bishops. Pastors and liturgists, then: how often do you suppose the prayers at Mass should be for the missions? I remember a high school friend in the 70′s, who was “known” for his spontaneous prayer at Mass and in homeroom, always praying “for the missions.” I don’t know that many of the rest of us understood just exactly what he was saying.
How often should prayers for missionary activity be placed into the daily and Sunday prayers at Mass? What does your community do?