Thursday, February 2, 2012

A PhD Student of Liturgics and Homiletics Affirms Roman Catholic Women Priests Liturgies

Grace and Peace -
I am a PhD student studying homiletics and liturgics.
We've never met, but I wanted to share an amazing experience that I recently had - that has to do with you and your spiritual kinfolk. I'll try to be brief - this actually just occurred yesterday. I am currently taking a readings course on preaching and liturgy - the class consists of two students (the other doctoral student in my program and I) and the professor is brilliant.
The three of us gather once a week and discuss academic readings from within the liturgical movement and prepare various documents, exam questions, and teaching aids that will assist us later in life when we are (hopefully) teaching MDiv students at a seminary or div. school.
This week we read history and historiography about the liturgical reform movement in the twentieth century - Theresa Berger's fantastic, reflective work examining that history in "Women's Ways of Worship." The assignment was to analyze an interesting theme within the readings and find a video or audio recording that was somehow related to the readings. Ideally, something we could show a classroom of students - something that would spark conversation centered on and informed by the readings.
There are millions and millions of youtube videos out there to choose from - we do this sort of thing quite often.The video I chose for reflection was your Holy Thursday Foot Washing liturgy. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6P7xL_GanI)
It is such an incredibly moving video. The conversation was brilliant and fascinating - I love everything about that video. I love the way it is framed, the way the music seems to start and stop and start again, the sense of togetherness and comfort - it is liturgically fascinating! This isn't the important part - I just wanted you to know that I was deeply moved by that brief presentation. Here's the really wild part -
After my presentation, my cohort showed her video. There stood a row of women in vestments behind the communion table, the three of us watched together for a full minute before we realized it was you again! It was the video of the eucharist consecration at the ordination service: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsBgK3c-Ymo&feature=youtu.be
It was amazing! We were stunned by the participatory movement - the lifting of hands toward the chancel. And suddenly, incredibly, the entire church lifted their voices and joined the words of consecration! I again felt deeply moved by witnessing this event. It felt profoundly holy.
I was saddened by the comments left below the videos. There is work to do, I suppose.
I wanted to let you know that you are doing a good work - and, I think, enriching the creation - by having these videos posted online. Our conversation continued beyond the classroom and throughout the day.
Please keep posting the videos and doing this important work and thank you!
In Christ,
A Ph.D. Student/Liturgics/Homiletics
(Shared with Permission, Letter directed to Bridget Mary Meehan/See links to liturgies above)

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