Help with summer program on “The Essentials of Catholic Liturgy”

I am honored to have been asked to be a presenter for a third-track program co-sponsored by Liturgy Training Publications and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians at the next NPM convention this summer in Louisville entitled “The Essentials of Catholic Liturgy.” This third track is intended to present content at a higher level than the first two tracks, but not at graduate level. Over the week we will be trying to address six topics — Liturgy and the (Post-)Modern World, Liturgy and Mission: Evangelization; Liturgical Catechesis and Mystagogy; Liturgy and Social Justice; Liturgy and the Art of Celebrating; Liturgical Spirituality.

In preparing to be a presenter I thought I would tap the expertise of Pray Tell’s readers on these topics. You may choose as many or as few of the six topics as you wish. The question for each of these topics is: What is necessary reading (e.g., church documents, essays, books) associated with this topic. It might be helpful if you would separate your recommended reading into two groups: 1) shorter readings intended for the participants; 2) longer readings intended as background for the presenters.

Thanks in advance!


  1. I was honored to be asked to write the article on “Liturgy and Social Justice.” Please let me know how it worked and if it was balanced as both accessible and challenging.

  2. You may already be familiar with these resources
    *Kevin Ahern, Larry Dowling, et. al., The Liturgy and Catholic Social Teaching (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2019)
    *Timothy O’Malley, Liturgy and the New Evangelization: Practicing the Art of Self-Giving Love (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014)

    Each of these is book-length but the first book is divided into seven short chapters, each addressing one of the principal themes of Catholic social teaching. Excerpts from either book might be useful.

  3. N T Wright’s short book, For All God’s Worth, for the participants and presenter both. I’m not certain which category it would go in – it would fit Liturgy and the Modern World, Liturgical Spirituality, and to some extent the others as well. It’s the best book I know for answering “what are we doing,a nd why, and how should we expect it to change us and the world.”

  4. Dear Father Joncas,

    I am an old woman now, still, I was a missionary Servant (MSBT) for 20 years and graduated from Washington Theological Union 1984. Somewhere in the Boston area, I had the privilege of participating in your Table Prayer: The Winter Name of God. I hold that memory close to my heart and listen to it frequently in prayer. Thank you. BLESS YOU! and keep you strong and healthy.

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