The 2013 conference, titled Sacra Liturgia, explored questions of liturgical art, architecture, music, the ars celebrandi, the importance of ritual in human psychology, truly pastoral liturgy, the place of the older liturgical rites in the New Evangelization, liturgical formation, liturgical law, the role of the diocesan bishop in respect of the liturgy, and more.
“The Sacred Liturgy is not a hobby for specialists. It is central to all our endeavors as disciples of Jesus Christ. This profound reality cannot be over emphasized. We must recognize the primacy of grace in our Christian life and work, and we must respect the reality that in this life the optimal encounter with Christ is in the Sacred Liturgy,” explained Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, France, in his opening remarks at the conference.
More than 300 delegates from over 30 countries took part in the event to hear presentations given by 20 leading liturgists, cardinals, bishops and other scholars. Among the experts invited were Cardinals Burke and Ranjith, Archbishop Alexander Sample, Bishops Mark Aillet and Peter Elliott, Abbot Christopher Zielinski, Father U.M. Lang, Don Nicola Bux and Professor Tracey Rowland.
“The New Evangelization must be founded on the faithful and fruitful celebration of the Sacred Liturgy as given to us by the Church in her tradition – Western and Eastern,” Bishop Rey said.
Editing the book is Dom Alcuin Reid, a monk of the Monastère Saint-Benoît in Fréjus-Toulon, France. He has lectured and has published extensively on the Liturgy, including The Organic Development of the Liturgy with a preface by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, and The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described.
Sacred Liturgy: The Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church, which is the fruit the 2013 conference, is a resource in ongoing liturgical formation for clergy, religious and laity. It makes a significant contribution to the renewal promoted in the Pontificate of Benedict XVI: a renewal which embraces the riches of liturgical tradition as valuable treasures, seeks to read the Second Vatican Council according to a hermeneutic of continuity, not rupture, and is in no doubt that, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger once wrote, “the true celebration of the Sacred Liturgy as the center of any renewal of the Church.”