Friday, February 05, 2010

SCL 2010 Conference Report

St. Mary’s Parish in Greenville, South Carolina, was the site of the 2010 General Conference of the Society for Catholic Liturgy (SCL), held January 28-31. This year’s conference theme was “Munera Liturgica: Liturgical Roles and Responsibilities.” SCL president Fr. Paul J. Keller, O.P., and St. Mary’s pastor, Fr. Jay Scott Newman, welcomed approximately fifty SCL members and guests to the conference just prior to the keynote address given by Bishop Arthur Serratelli (Paterson, N.J.), chairman of the U.S. bishops’ conference Committee on Divine Worship. Bishop Serratelli explained the theological and scriptural framework of sacred liturgy. He then spoke about the meaning, value, and proper manner of fulfilling various liturgical roles, dwelling especially on the lector’s role in proclaiming the Word of God, but not neglecting to mention certain widespread abuses such as the use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion when circumstances do not warrant their help.

Other conference speakers included Fr. Robert Pesarchick of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia (“Contrasting Perspectives on the Participation of the Laity in the Priestly Ministry”); Dr. (Cand.) Richard Bulzacchelli of Aquinas College, Nashville (“The Bridegroom Typology and the Male-Only Priesthood”); Dr. Robert Fastiggi of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit (“Lay Participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice”); Dr. Michael P. Foley of Baylor University, Waco (“Male Subjection and the Case for Reserving Instituted Ministries to Males”); Dr. Daniel Van Slyke of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis (“The Acolyte’s Ministry in Historical Perspective: Rites of Ordination or Institution”); Sr. Madeleine Grace, C.V.I., of the University of St. Thomas, Houston (“Liturgical Roles and Responsibilities in the Early Church”); and Fr. Gerald Dennis Gill, director of the Office for Worship of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (plenary address, “The Munera in Chapter III of the IGMR 2002 Read through the Lens of Sacrosanctum concilium and Lumen gentium”).

Additional information about these presentations, the various pastoral workshops, and the conference in general, will appear in the SCL's journal Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal and Adoremus Bulletin; see also the SCL website. Some of these talks will eventually be published in their entirety in Antiphon.

Conference attendees participated in exemplary liturgical celebrations at St. Mary’s Church, a Gothic structure consecrated in 1904 and beautifully restored in 2002. Lauds and Vespers were sung. The Mass on Friday the 29th was a sung, concelebrated ordinary-form Mass (the Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart), the Ordinary of which was chanted in Latin, with the orations chanted in English. The Mass on Saturday the 30th (in honor of the B.V.M.) was a sung, concelebrated ordinary-form Mass entirely in Latin except for the Scripture readings (chanted in English). All Masses were celebrated ad orientem.

SCL board member Dr. Edward Schaefer and the Florida Schola Cantorum offered a moving concert of sacred music on Saturday afternoon – the last “official” event of the conference (because of the weather). On Sunday the 31st, attendees had the choice of assisting at a Maronite Divine Liturgy (in St. Mary’s Parish Hall), one of the parish Latin-rite Masses (ordinary form), or an extraordinary-form Mass at Prince of Peace Church in Greenville.

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