The fourth annual St Bede Liturgy Lecture
was given by the Rt Rev. Alan Hopes, Bishop of East Anglia and chairman of the Liturgy Committee of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales. The lecture was held on 5 July 2014 at Ealing Abbey by invitation.
Bishop Hopes spoke on actuosa participatio, speaking from the phrase of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium 14:
“Valde cupit Mater Ecclesiaut fideles universi ad plenam illam, consciam atque actuosam liturgicarum celebrationum participationem ducantur quae ab ipsius Liturgiae natura postulatur et ad quam populus christianus, ‘genus electum, regale sacerdotium, gens sancta, populus adquisitionis‘ (1Petr 2,9; cf. 2,4-5), vi Baptismatis ius habet et officium“.
“Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people’ (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism”.
Bishop Hopes’ lecture
began with the question: “What are we participating in when we participate in the Liturgy?”
His response, a rich compilation of citations, was that we participate in:
- the paschal mystery
- the presences of Christ
- the action of the Trinity
- the coming reign of God
The second part of his lecture explored liturgical formation as:
- learning to participate
- participation as interior and exterior
- ministers lead people into participation
- the importance of preparation and of
- mystagogy and reflecting on liturgy
His pastoral reflections on these drew from the Directory of Masses with Children and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, among other sources. These references were as surprising as delightful.
His pastoral reflections contribute to our ongoing discussion on human maturation and the liturgy, and fostering generative communities, all topics of several colloquia held as part of the Project Appreciating the Liturgy, in Italy, England and the United States.
Thirty-three people were present for the sixty minute lecture.
The lecture was followed by questions from Mr Keith Ainsworth and Mr John Ainslie both of the Society of St Gregory, from Mr Bernard Marriot of the Society of Latin Liturgy and from Ms Catherine Pepinster of The Tablet of London.
A news item in The Tablet (12 July 2014, p. 20) featured questions initiated by the editor of The Tablet and their responses, more than the lecture itself.
We note that Bishop Hopes by no means discouraged the regular reception of communion. Rather, he recognized that the general predominance of the celebration of the Eucharist over other forms of the church’s liturgical prayer positively accentuates sharing communion, yet poses a hardship for people not eligible. Where there is a greater diversity of liturgical celebrations, these provide a richer variety of forms of prayer and full participation.
It is anticipated that the full text of this year’s lecture will be published in Questions Liturgiques/ Studies in Liturgy (link here).
Third St Bede Lecture
This was the same topic addressed by Abbot Cuthbert Brogan at St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough in 2013 during the St Bede Liturgy Lecture. His perspective from monastic life was complemented by Bishop Hopes’ perspective from diocesan life.
Second St Bede Lecture
The Second Annual St Bede Liturgy Lecture was given by The Most Rev. Arthur Roche, Archbishop Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship, on Saturday 14 July 2012, Ealing Abbey. His lecture is now available as the following, with an abstract available here:
ROCHE, A., “In terrena Liturgia caelestem illam praegustando participamus:In the earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy”, Questions Liturgiques/ Studies in Liturgy 94 (2013) 27-36.
First St Bede Lecture
The first annual St Bede Liturgy Lecture given in 2011 by Fr Ephrem Carr, President of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, Sant’Anselmo, is now available as the following, with an abstract available here.,
CARR, E., “Sacrosanctum concilium and its Consequences: The Reform of the Liturgy”, Questions Liturgiques/ Studies in Liturgy 92 (2011) 183-194.