Called to Participate is the late Mark Searle’s last testament on liturgical reform. It draws on the teachings, writings, and international lectures of this noted liturgist and professor. Where do we go from here? Searle asks in response to the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council.
Searle offers a historical perspective of the roots of liturgical reform during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. He describes the nature of liturgy as ritual activity, where the people of God are invited to participate in liturgy as sharing in the life of God. Selected aspects of the liturgy are considered, such as the proclamation of the Word. He also comments on the social character of the liturgy, which is to move beyond the assembly to participate in God’s work in an outward or public ministry.
Called to Participate bids us to form a contemporary spirituality that is firmly rooted in the liturgy. It leads worshipers to find entry points into the mystery of God’s work in the world. It is a help to liturgical leaders to grasp the nature and function of liturgy and to inspire faith-filled planning, preaching, and catechesis.
Barbara Searle, PhD, is a psychologist at the Madison Center and Hospital in South Bend, Indiana.
Anne Y. Koester is associate director of the Georgetown Center for Liturgy in Washington, D.C.
Called to Participate is an excellent resource for anyone who desires a deeper understanding of what it is we do when we celebrate liturgy.
The student and scholar will find in it content that presents major themese for a theology of liturgical participation that intersect with ritual and social perspectives.
Msgr. Joseph DeGrocco, Professor of Liturgy and Director of Liturgical Formation, Seat of Wisdom
Searle presents compelling and disconcerting questions with which the Church continues to wrestle as we attempt to understand more fully the overwhelming consequences of what we engage in when we enact liturgical ritual.
Addressing a church still laboring with liturgical reform, a saintly voice rises from the grave to reclaim the past, reframe the present, and challenge this generation to make ready for the next. Mark Searle recasts the early liturgical movement as a twofold effort to bring people to the liturgy and liturgy to the people. He advocates a spirituality of the liturgy in the countercultural terms of surrender. And he looks to the future where the public function of liturgy will be more deeply absorbed in prayer and in action. If you think you know what it means to `participate' at Mass, this book will make you think again.
Rev. Paul Turner, STD, Pastor, St. Munchin and St. Aloysius Churches, Cameron and Maysville, Missouri
The editors present a cogent and thought-provoking work with special meaning for those involved in all aspects of liturgical leadership as well as the `people in the pews.'
. . . a text rich in insights. . . . This is part of Searle's legacy: trying to understand and never underestimate how the church's liturgy is meant to have an impact on us and, through us, on the world. We worship for the sake of the world.
This slim volume on the meaning and modes of liturgical participation is a little gem.