As the readers of Pray Tell are well aware, we are approaching the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, on 4 December 1963. I would like to propose that we commit ourselves to a “re-reading” of that document, taking one article a week.
Depending on our interests and our expertise we might address three sets of questions to the text:
1) What did the Council Fathers intend by what they wrote in that particular article? This would be a primarily historical study in which we would re-visit the contexts leading to the creation of the text, both remote (the liturgical movement, ressourcement theology, the biblical movement, ecumenism) and proximate (the responses sent in to the preparatory commissions, the conciliar debates).
2) How has what the Council Fathers wrote in the particular article been “received” by the Church? This would involve both history and social sciences, with our contributions indicating perhaps what has happened in the worshiping communities we know, recognizing the danger of universalizing our individual experiences but also honoring the data gained.
3) What further trajectories have arisen/might arise from the article under consideration? This could involve theological and pastoral perspectives. The goal would not be unanimity of opinion but respectful conversation arising from a common starting point: the Council’s text.
I would ask those who would be interested in such a “re-reading” to indicate so by responding to this post. If you feel so moved, you might also modify or propose further sets of questions to pose to the text. If there is enough interest by next Saturday, I would take the responsibility for posting the article in Latin and English each Sunday and perhaps offering an initial commentary. If there isn’t enough interest, we still might wish to do such a “re-reading” on our own.
I look forward to your responses.