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Driscoll emphasizes liturgical reform

BRITTANY VANSNEPSON | Friday, April 9, 2010

Saint Mary’s hosted Fr. Michael Driscoll, associate professor of theology at Notre Dame, as the final part of the “Catholicism at the Crossroads” lecture series.

Driscoll emphasized the history of liturgical reform and how the nine primary English-speaking countries of the world decided to collaborate to form one universal understanding of the English language.

Driscoll said the ultimate goal would be for an English speaker to “go from country to country and participate in the liturgy without any hesitation.”

Driscoll then addressed the three concerns of Synod of Bishops, which are liturgical, theological and ethical. This helps people better understand the mystery of how the Eucharist works in that, the way people pray leads to the way they believe which leads to the way people live.

 “The Eucharist is a mystery to be celebrated, believed and lived,” he said.

The liturgical concerns have to deal with the active participation of people, both outward and inward, within the Catholic community.

 “The liturgy is an art unto itself. It is enacted and embodied,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll said the theological concerns are how the community believes in the presence of God — past, present and future and ethical concerns imply the mission that a person is undertaking after leaving the Church.

“We’ve been nourished at the table of our Lord, so that now we can move on to our mission,” Driscoll said. “There has to be this strengthening between life and mission.”

Driscoll also addressed the Aesthetics of Worship, which involve the three levels of mystagogy. The first level focuses on an excellent, careful, well-planned and well-executed liturgy. The last two emphasizes the reflection and sharing of the liturgy between an individual and community.

“The liturgy is a full conscience and active participation of all of the baptized,” Driscoll said.