Brief Book Review: Fully Conscious, Fully Active

Fully Conscious, Fully Active: Essays in Honor of Gabe Huck
Edited by Bryan Cones and Stephen Burns

Note: The reviewer is also a contributor to the volume.

Who’s it for? This collection of essays is for worship leaders, liturgists, church musicians, and any who love to think creatively about worship.

What intrigued me the most? I loved the variety of authors, in different contexts, writing about worship’s vitality in their place.

What’s the main point? Worship is often most vital on the edges of the church, where creativity and faithful liturgy meet.

Gems Within. Much like Gabe Huck himself, this volume traverses the ecumenical and global landscape of Christian worship today. Just as Huck has always resisted worship’s conventions for their own sake, this volume teases out new and creative edges around topics like “The Sound of Our Prayer: Word and Song” and “Knowing What it Feels Like: The Body at Prayer.”

Kudos. Conceived and collected by Stephen Burns and Bryan Cones while they were both at the University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia, the reader gets to traipse around the globe with them and the other authors, gathering bits of inspiration for worship renewal along the way. There are gems here about liturgical media art, use of Negro spirituals, psalms and human poverty, just to name a few.

Huck’s Voice. John Rosser, a friend of Huck’s from young adulthood introduces the reader to Huck in an introductory tribute. He notes that, even now, Gabe and his wife, Theresa, are still active in the Iraqi-Syrian Student Project.

The final words, though, are from Gabe himself. The final essay is titled “Are We Responsible for This? What Liturgy Demands and What it Rehearses.” Here Gabe reflects back on questions from early childhood and concludes that we need the liturgy “to be the world rehearsing justice, mercy, love, and respect for creation” (150).

Stephen Burns and Bryan Cones, eds., Fully Conscious, Fully Active: Essays in Honor of Gabe Huck (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2020), 157 pages.

REVIEWER: Lorraine Brugh
Lorraine Brugh is Senior Research Professor at
Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana.

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