Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Sacred Liturgy in Detroit -- and this Summer's Latin Liturgy Association Conference in Detroit

When driving across the Ambassador Bridge from Canada into the city of Detroit, Michigan, one of the first sights one is greeted with is a 15 or so storey building that would date from the earlier half of the 20th century -- formerly Detroit's main train station. As I recall it architecturally, it represented that more handsome style of high rise where tradition and modernity met. There is only one issue: when you look closer, you see that building has no windows, or what windows it might have are merely remnants of windows; the building, in short, is now abandoned and derelict.

It is something of a surreal sight, and yet for many it may well serve as an archetypal image of the modern city of Detroit. Yet, there is another "first sight" one could equally denote: the lofty spires of St. Josaphat's Catholic church. Detroit may well be known for these other issues, but what it may not be as well known for is the fact that it is a city which is packed with a seemingly endless supply of large and ornate Catholic churches -- a testimony to the former prosperity of this city.

I have had the opportunity to visit a number of these churches, but a new one was brought to my attention yesterday evening, that of St. Joseph's. St. Joseph's is clustered with the parish of St. Josaphat's, which is one of the churches where the usus antiquior is regularly offered in the city -- and on this front, I would note it is not the only one, and this is further not inclusive of the reform of the reform activities that I am told are taking place in a number of Detroit parishes.

More images here: St. Joseph's Blog

* * *

While we are speaking of the beautiful churches of Detroit, and some of the liturgical activities that are taking place there in utroque usu, I would like to make note of a forthcoming liturgical conference which is being held there from July 16th-18th.

The conference is being hosted by the Latin Liturgy Association.

The conference will include papers and seminars on the sacred liturgy, Gregorian chant, sacred architecture and art; an organ recital, vendor exhibition and an organized bus tour of Detroit's historic churches.

Liturgically the conference will include liturgies in both the usus antiquior and the modern Roman liturgy -- in a reform of the reform context of course. Amongst them, a Solemn Pontifical Mass in the usus antiquior, celebrated by Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry, and Sung Vespers on Friday and Saturday evening.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Alcuin Reid author of The Organic Development of the Liturgy on the topic of "Summorum Pontificum Three Years On."

Other speakers will include:

Alex Begin: How Metropolitan Detroit Became a Center for Latin Liturgy
Dr. Steven Ball: The History and Role of Bells in the Life of the Church
Jeremy de Satgé: England’s Association for Latin Liturgy
Dr. William Tortolano: Bach and Gregorian Chant
Shawn Tribe: The New Liturgical Movement

Do take a look at the conference flyer for more detailed information:

Detroit LLA Conference

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