To Live and Learn: What Does Liturgy Teach?

October 28, 2008
Editor's Note: The paragraph below is quoted from Anne Koester's article, "To Live and Learn: What Does Liturgy Teach?," which was first published in Liturgical Ministry 14 (Fall 2005) 180-88.  To read the entire article, please click here to link to the article in PDF form.  © 2005, Order of St. Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota.  All rights reserved.  Used with Permission.


Gathering Around the Font"[When] we consider the question, "What does the liturgy teach us?" there is more than the what in play.  The what is inseparable from the who, the how, and the when; they complement and enrich one another.  What liturgy offers participants, the learners, is profoundly influenced by what they bring to the liturgical act -- their stories, cultures, personal proclivities, imaginations, and depth of faith.  In turn, the liturgy is where the dimensions of human experience are affirmed, challenged, and transformed, all the while shaping who the learners are and what they bring on a given Sunday."

Photo credit: Paul Covino

Anne Koester works and teaches at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  She is the author of Sunday Mass: Our Role and Why It Matters (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2007) and co-editor of Called To Participate: Theological, Ritual, And Social Perspectives (authored by Mark Searle, co-edited by Barbara Searle; Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2006).


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The 20th Century Social & Liturgical Movements in the U.S.: Working Out of a Common Vision