Today is the last day of this session of the Liturgical Institute. I have been here for six weeks and completed four papers studying different aspects of liturgy: Liturgical sources and methods, The Liturgical Movement from the 19th century to the present, Liturgical Art and Architecture, and Liturgy and Inculturation.
The quality of the every aspect of this programme has been much better than I had expected or even hoped. The community life has been great and focussed soundly on study and prayer together.
The last few days has been full with an exam and two more papers due. This morning I have been reading for the last class this morning and around midday this great group of people will head in many different directions to their homes all over the US, Canada and Australia.
I will head back to Italy for a further month with some great reading, and plans for a lot more sleep than I have managed in these Chicago weeks.
It has been especially good to have the opportunity for this study in the months before we in NZ begin to use the Revised Order of the Mass. As we have studied these texts I realise again what a great gift this new Missal is for the Church. Yes, it will be a challenge to implement this, but as intelligent people, eager to be fully active in the Mass, we are up to the task.
Today I had the opportunity to touch one of the first copies of the Missal for use in the United States. (photo below – there are only 22 copies of this US Missal in existence at present. While we will begin to use the new Missal in NZ in Advent this year, the US is probably a further twelve months from their start.
I will blog again on Monday from Rome.