Pray Tell didn’t simply begin on January 1, 2010. With its first post by Anthony Ruff, OSB, Pray Tell took up the work begun at Saint John’s in 1926 with the first issue of Orate Fratres (now Worship), a liturgical review dedicated to advancing what was increasingly being named “the liturgical movement.”
In its own time, Orate Fratres was part of a larger movement across the world, across language groups, across cultures, and across churches that sought the revitalization of the church and her liturgy:
Our hopes are simply that our efforts may be blessed with some success. We hope that the interest aroused in the liturgy will be primarily spiritual; that the liturgy may be recognized more universally as being what Pius X so happily called it when he characterized it as the primary and indispensable source of the true Christian spirit. Our hopes are therefore based, like our efforts, on the possibility that many persons may find in the liturgy the first answer to the intimate need of their souls for a closer contact and union with the spiritual and the divine (Virgil Michel, “Foreword,” Orate Fratres 1, no. 2. (1926): 2).
Pray Tell not only takes on the legacy of what Orate Fratres first began in connecting all the faithful interested in learning about and being formed by the liturgy (and sharing that with others in their pastoral or academic settings), but it goes beyond what Fr. Virgil Michel, OSB could have first imagined—because Pray Tell shares in the liturgical life of all Christian denominations and (because of the internet) can reach the entire world.
Friends of Fr. Virgil, can you imagine what that monk might have done with a laptop and wifi?!?!
Today, Pray Tell and its writers continue as committed advocates of the liturgical movement. We desire that Pray Tell continues its mission:
Pray Tell promotes the ongoing renewal of the liturgy
and its transformative effect
in the life of the Church and the world.
We believe that the liturgy is not for exclusion, for judgement, or for separation. The liturgy—the worship of God and the sanctification of the world—compels all the baptized to unity across our churches, with our communities, and as human beings. Pope Francis says this:
Let us abandon our polemics to listen together to what the Spirit is saying to the Church. Let us safeguard our communion. Let us continue to be astonished at the beauty of the Liturgy. The Paschal Mystery has been given to us. Let us allow ourselves to be embraced by the desire that the Lord continues to have to eat His Passover with us (Desiderio Desideravi 65).
Let us all be prophets for peace and justice, agents for reconciliation, and disciples of Christ.
Let us be transformed by our worship, so that we might restore all to the Living One.
As Pray Tell’s new moderators, we are committed to making Pray Tell a place that brings together scholars and practitioners; Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox; ministers and laity.
We invite you to join in the project and more importantly the ongoing renewal of our churches and of the liturgy. And so we echo again the words of the first issue of Orate Fratres:
A liturgical awakening is necessarily a collective event, and therefore needs the co-operation of many. One of our hopes is to furnish a common medium of exchange, and to present to all the faithful the opportunity of an active exchange of views and impressions. To this end we extend a cordial invitation to all who feel sufficiently interested, to join us in the expression of their beliefs and hopes, to offer their suggestions, or to ask for the experiences of others (Virgil Michel, “Foreword,” Orate Fratres 1, no. 2. (1926): 2).
NC & KH