Composers supporting each other

In the last week of January, well over 30 English- and Spanish-speaking composers, mostly from North America, gathered for the St Louis Liturgical Composers Forum. This year’s input was excellently facilitated by Fr Paul Turner of Kansas City, Missouri, well known for his writings and lectures. The composers were able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the upcoming new Order of Mass texts, and to look at areas for future creativity with regard to the new Missal generally.

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Mixed Messages

One of the great joys that I have experienced in my life of faith has been the ability to join with Roman Catholics and Christians of several differing traditions in occasions of worship, including ecumenical events, and to already know the words of many of the prayers and other liturgical texts. As a result of what has appeared to many Christians as a unilateral liturgical move, Presbyterian scholar of liturgy Horace Allen claimed that “the entire ecumenical liturgical conversation and dialogue is over-finished, dead, done.” While I find that sentiment somewhat premature, I do think its survival is not automatically assured any longer without serious attention and sustained reflection and conversation by those of us who remain committed to the liturgical implications of the pursuit of full, visible Christian unity.

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