Liturgy gathering will model Church’s worship, prayer

The organisers of next year’s National Biennial Liturgy Conference say the gathering will examine how the Church’s evolving liturgical practices can help make Christ present in the world.

The meeting, which will be held in Parramatta in March, has been held regularly since the mid-1990s. It provides liturgical education and training and opportunities to participate in various forms of liturgical prayer.

Seminars, workshops and keynote speakers are also part of the program, which is designed to attract those involved in parish, school, diocesan and other liturgical contexts.

National Liturgical Council chair Bill Griffiths said the way Catholic communities worship “is critical to sustaining their capacity to contribute to the mission of the Church”.

“The term ‘liturgy’ encapsulates both the energy and dynamism of our active worship week by week, as well as the long history, the traditions and practices of our Catholic worship heritage across many generations and cultures,” Dr Griffiths said.

“The Biennial Liturgy Conference provides a couple of days where we can step out of the flow, take stock perhaps, look at what has changed and also at what should change, in the way we worship God – how we celebrate the richness that is our Catholic liturgy.”

American priest Fr Paul Turner, former president of the North American Academy of Liturgy and a member of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, will be the meeting’s keynote speaker.

He has written books, journal articles and other material on a range of topics, including preparing for and celebrating the sacraments and guides on celebrating and participating in the Mass. He provides weekly commentaries for parish bulletins.

In his two presentations, Fr Turner will take up some of the themes under development for the Plenary Council 2020 and reflect on what Pope Francis has said about the liturgy.

Bishop Patrick O’Regan, chair of the Bishops Commission for Liturgy, said the conference will provide the chance for delegates to learn by doing and observing.

“The conference will include the celebration of the Eucharist – the source and summit of the Catholic Church’s sacramental worship – plus Morning and Evening Prayer, forms of prayer that help sanctify different hours of the day by priests, religious and laity together as members of the local Church,” he said.

“It’s hoped that the liturgies will provide sources of inspiration for participants in terms of modelling effective approaches to liturgical prayer and ministry.”

Dr Griffiths said the program “has something for everyone: those who are expert; those who ‘know what they know’; those who are active in the preparation of liturgies week after week; and those who participate as the most important group at any liturgy – the assembled faithful, the gathered seekers who yearn to hear the Word of God calling them to action in the world”.

Click here for more details on the National Biennial Liturgy Conference.