In This Issue: Studia Liturgica 52, no. 2 (September 2022)

Founded in 1962 by Wiebe Vos (a pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church), and now published by Societas Liturgica, Studia Litugica is a peer-reviewed journal published twice a year. It aims to encourage research in the field of worship and allied subjects and explore the pastoral implications of such research, facilitate the exchange of results and other liturgical knowledge, and deepen the mutual understanding of the various liturgical traditions and seeks for ways to make clear the relevance of liturgy in the contemporary world.

The Anglican Eucharist in Australia’s Beginnings
Brian Douglas
This article examines the beginnings of the Eucharist in Australia with the coming of the First Fleet of military and convict settlers in 1788. The role of the first Chaplain, the Rev’d Richard Johnson, is examined against his evangelical background. Tentative suggestions of sacramentality are made within the rich mixture of religious understandings in Australia, including those of the British government and its officials, concerning the Eucharist. The coming of a later ecclesiastical hierarchy in the form of archdeacons and bishops is also discussed to show the emerging influence of the Oxford Movement on eucharistic theology in early Australia, together with continuing evangelical influence.

Presence, Face, and Light: The Liturgical Assembly as an Icon
Julien Sauvé
Architect Jean-Marie Duthilleul can be reproached with leaving out images in his layout of liturgical spaces. However he may only be tackling the issue in a different way. Indeed the way he fits the assembly in the liturgical space can remind us of the way icons are painted. In this study I will try to see if this hypothesis has any grounding by first recalling the norms concerning liturgical space and images, then by scrutinizing Duthilleul’s approach to liturgical space and then by comparing it with that of an iconographer from three specific points of view : presence, face and light.

The Deesis on Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece: Its Potential for a Liturgical Theology Today
Joris Geldhof
The core argument in this article is that it is meaningful and revealing to look at a world-famous medieval piece of art, in this case, the Ghent Altarpiece, to raise questions relevant for contemporary liturgical theology. The article starts with an evocation of where and how the Altarpiece is today exhibited for the public, and continues by elucidating the historical context for which it was created. This is followed by a brief interpretation of the Altarpiece’s complex iconographic program showing how a focus on the Eucharist sheds light on the whole. The assertion is then made to argue that the central figure on the upper level of the opened polyptych is not God the Father, as is often held, but the Son of God. The major argument for this relies on the fact that the three central figures on the upper level together constitute a deesis, as often found in the Byzantine tradition of icons. Mary, the Mother of God, and Saint John the Baptist pray for humankind to Jesus Christ in his eschatological capacity of king, ruler, and judge. If and inasmuch as this is the case, this observation gives rise to intriguing questions for liturgical theologians, in particular questions related to the ways in which the connections between the earthly and the heavenly liturgy are to be understood.

‘In Procession Before the World’: Spectacles of Faith Outside the Walls of the Church
Lizette Larson-Miller
No abstract available.

Mixed Media: The Assembly’s Theologia Prima of Resistance to Its Place of Prayer
Bryan Cones
Many liturgical assemblies celebrate in spaces purpose-built for the worship of a different age. While financial and other constraints limit the possibility of complete reordering and renovation of these buildings, assemblies can nevertheless creatively engage their inherited architecture and discover new encounters with the living God. This paper explores how active resistance to the built environment can be a juxtaposing act of primary liturgical theology that interacts with the received liturgies of past assemblies and proposes new patterns for prayer even in inhospitable spaces.

Reframing Liturgical Theology through the Lens of Autism: A Qualitative Study of Autistic Experiences of Worship
Armand L. van Ommen and Topher Endress
The way autistic people experience worship services is typically different from the majority, non-autistic church population. These autistic ways of experiencing worship, however, are mostly disregarded in practical and in liturgical theology. This leads not only to exclusion of autistic people from the worshiping congregation, but both the church and liturgical scholarship miss out on the opportunity to enrich its worship practices and theology through the diversity offered by autistic participants. This article presents the results of a qualitative study involving thirteen in-depth interviews with autistic people, summed up in three main themes: the experience of worship, community, and encountering God. The ensuing theological reflection on these themes argues that the indispensability of autistic worshipers to the body of Christ, and the theological evaluation of the “normalcy,” are key principles for reframing liturgical theology through the lens of autism.

Body as the Offering Gift in the Performance of the Liturgy of the Hours in the Malankara Syrian Liturgical Rite
Reni Mathew
A worshiper as both corporeal and spiritual being cannot confine their prayers only to minds and hearts. However, on the other hand, it is also to be expressed through the worshiper’s physical body. The integrity of the liturgical act and prayer is not only by one’s vocal pronouncement but also “by” and “with” one’s body. The human body and mind are fitted with a diversity of intellectual and sensual capacities. Thus, Liturgy is expressed orally and takes shape in bodily postures and gestures. This paper explores the traditional components of liturgical gestures and poses in the performance of the Liturgy of the Hours in the Malankara Syrian/West Syrian liturgical tradition. Further, it investigates the use of non-verbal language and its symbolic meaning in the Liturgy of the Hours. Finally, this paper seeks answers to the following questions: based on the performance of the Liturgy of the Hours, can we say that liturgical anthropology is rooted in Kinaesthetic? How does the book of the common prayer contribute and explain the human body as a gift of God and an offering back to God? This study explores the given topic from a liturgical-theological perspective. This approach guarantees and inspires the necessity to preserve and promote the artistic movement and gestures in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Domestic Liturgies in Time of Lockdown: A Survey to Orientate Post-COVID-19 Liturgical Ministry
Arnaud Join-Lambert
Based on a survey of 1,200 people in France and Belgium on their ritual practice during the period of lockdown due to COVID-19 (Spring 2020), the author highlights the major importance of eucharistic liturgies broadcast by the various media and followed by many of the faithful, with the theological and pastoral questions that this raises. He notes above all the small but nevertheless significant proportion of domestic liturgies in small locked down groups, whether encouraged or not by their pastors, which give space to certain creativity at the same time as to the Church’s liturgical tradition. This observation leads him to question the major challenges of a liturgical and sacramental pastoral ministry geared towards developing and encouraging the assumption of responsibility by the laity for their prayer and liturgical life, beyond and complementary to the Sunday Eucharist, within their communities and more particularly in their family context.

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