Monday, June 26, 2006

9th CIEL Colloquium, 2003: Liturgy, Participation and Sacred Music

As I've mentioned here in the past, and more recently in my Oxford fundraising campaign, CIEL (the International Centre for Liturgical Studies) is an organization who hosts an annual international colloquium on the sacred liturgy which brings together some of the finest liturgical thinkers in the Church today.

In addition to the international colloquium, some national delegations are also able to host their own national conference, the best example being those hosted by CIEL UK in the spring months of each year. Eventually, this would be a goal for CIEL Canada and CIEL USA, though I cannot presume to speak on behalf of CIEL USA of course. Nonetheless, it would seem desireable that, as in the United Kingdom, the local (i.e. North American) work of CIEL should not simply remain on the front of the distribution of the proceedings and the promotion of the same, but eventually find a national face in addition, more congruent with the character of CIEL as a liturgical studies organization.

Returning then to the topic of the international colloquium, each colloquium has its proceedings published. These are then made available to the public for sale and ultimately a fundamental aspect of CIEL's vision is to send a copy of these proceedings to the bishops of that country in hopes that the research found therein might help foster a deeper appreciation of the treasures of the Roman liturgy – of course, such a project is entirely dependent upon financing. In terms of CIEL Canada, at the present our work has been focused upon the promotion of CIEL and its work, in an effort to give it a greater presence within in Canada and the United States.

While distribution of the proceedings to the hierarchy is deemed a primary goal, ultimately, the modus operandi is not necessarily set in stone and may be tailored according to local circumstance. CIEL Canada has determined it to be of greater priority at present (within Canada) to aim to send copies of the proceedings to theological libraries and seminary libraries in an effort to get this scholarship into the hands of young seminarians and clergy who would be more open to its research, thus helping to promote the new liturgical movement amongst new generations of priests and liturgists.

The publication of the CIEL proceedings are an important annual event which brings to bear the fruits of CIEL's scholarship, often supplemented as well by inspiring photographs of the liturgies celebrated in the course of the colloquium. Recently due to some practicalities, the 2003 proceedings were delayed in production. However, they are now finally available. The theme of the 2003 colloquium was Liturgy, Participation and Sacred Music.

Amongst only some of the interesting topics and speakers are to be found:

Elements of a Theory of Participatio Actuosa in the Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, by David Berger

Active Participation and Pastoral Adaptation, by Alcuin Reid

Josef Pieper and Participatio Actuosa, by Dr. Guido Rodheudt

Active Participation in the Liturgy in accordance with the Prescriptions of Mediator Dei, by Fr. Bernard-Marie Lainsey

Participation in the Holy Liturgy by Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Estevez

Do we need a New Liturgical Movement? by Alcuin Reid

Besides these papers are a number of others of great interest. The papers listed above represent less than half of those found within this volume.

The importance of the work of CIEL cannot be underestimated. In purchasing the proceedings you not only get essays from amongst the finest liturgical thinkers in the Church today, those who truly care about our liturgical patrimony, you also assist CIEL in the greater task of its apostolic work in spreading this information abroad to the clergy and bishops.

I would heartily recommend that individuals whom are looking to learn more about the sacred liturgy, begin with the CIEL proceedings.

Copies of the 2003 CIEL Proceedings may be obtained either by contacting CIEL USA or CIEL UK. Moreover, if you wish to consider purchasing any of the previous CIEL proceedings, these too are available via CIEL UK.

For more information on CIEL generally, as well as the specific contents of the past CIEL proceedings, please visit my CIEL Canada site.

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