Day Four of the “Lift Up Your Hearts 2014” National Liturgical Conference in Wollongong, Australia, began with Mass in the Cathedral with Bishop Peter Elliot presiding and preaching. The homily concentrated on the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a model for Christian living. Music employed in the celebration included John Bell’s “The Summons” set to KELVINGROVE as the Entrance Song and Bernadette Farrell’s “Unless a Grain of Wheat Shall Fall” as the Communion Song; Liam Lawton’s “Glendalough Mass” provided the service music and Christopher Willcock’s setting of Psalm 102/103 “The Lord is kind and merciful” was our Responsorial Psalm.
Morning Prayer in the Cathedral followed. Once again the introductory dialogue and short responsory settings were those employed earlier in the week courtesy of St. Francis Church, Melbourne, but the inserted Call to Worship as well as the Opening Hymn “God is Alive! Alleluia!” was taken from David Haas’ setting for the cathedral office. The text of Psalm 47 used Howard Hughes’ Tone 1 and the text of the Old Testament Canticle used Mode VI of the Conception Abbey tones; both had antiphons crafted to match by Paul Mason and Robyn O’Dea, who also provided the Benedictus antiphon. The Benedictus itself was sung in a metrical version to the KINGSFOLD hymn tune as earlier in the week.
Ms. Louise Campbell, the Director of the National Liturgy Office of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, presented the final keynote, entitled “God, Glorify God By Your Life.” Her reflections comprised a spiritually uplifting mystagogical unpacking of the concluding rites of the ordinary form of Roman Rite Eucharist.
After morning tea, participants could choose one of nine breakouts: Mr. Darren McDowell on “Coming to Grips with Discernment in Initiation,” Mr. Jim Clinch on “The Organ, the iPad, and Me,” Ms. Elizabeth Harrington on “The New Evangelization: What’s the RCIA got to do with it?”, Mrs. Donrita Reefman on “Developing a Parish Choir,” Monica O’Brien and Willow presenting a “Big Sing” showcase of As One Voice; yours truly on “Psalms in Christian Worship,” Mr. Paul Mason on “Principles and Resources for Selecting Music for Mass,” Sr. Ursula O’Rourke SGS on “Serving as a Minister of Communion – Within the Eucharist and Beyond the Celebration,” and Mr. Richard McMahon on “Come As You Are: Saying Welcome and Meaning It.”
Following lunch and the opportunity for cantor and/or organ lessons, participants could choose from the following nine breakout sessions: Rev. Dr. Elio Capra SDB on “The Mass is Not Over Until We Deliver the Casserole,” Mr. Patrick Nisbet on “Using LiturgyHelp to Prepare Liturgy,” Mr. Darren McDowell on “Becoming an Initiating Community,” Mr. Bernard Kirkpatrick on “Chant for Clergy, Choir and Assembly,” yours truly facilitating a showcase of “Responsorial Psalms for the Liturgical Year,” some by me, but most by Australian composers such as Jenny O’Brien, Paul Mason, Amanda McKenna, and Christopher Willcock, Rev. Dr. David Orr ISB on “Exercising the Priesthood of the Faithful in Sunday Mass,” Mrs. Elizabeth Harrington on “Everything You Wanted to Know About the GIRM But Were Afraid To Ask,” Mr. Graeme Mundine on “Everyone’s taking about us: inculturation from an Aboriginal perspective,” and Ms. Monica O’Brien on “Church Copyright: Negotiating the Maze.”
Following afternoon tea, the keynote speakers and Fr. Christopher Willcock, SJ, were called to the stage to join Bishop Peter Ingham in some reflections on the conference itself and in sharing three priorities for liturgical renewal for the next fifty years. Representatives from the various regions of Australia and New Zealand were then invited to offer their own wisdom about what they would be bringing back from the conference and what they hoped to initiate or continue back home.
The entire conference ended with a liturgy of sending forth incorporating some aboriginal fire-blessing prayer, Bishop Peter’s blessing of the assembly, and full-throated singing of “O God Beyond All Praising” (THAXTED).