Called to Participate: Theological, Ritual, and Social Perspectives

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Called to Participate: Theological, Ritual, and Social Perspectives [Paperback]

Mark Searle , Editor Barbara Searle , Editor Anne Y. Koester
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1, 2006

Called to Participate is the late Mark Seale's last testament on liturgical reform. It draws on the teachings, writings, and international lectures of this noted liturgist and professor. Where do we go from here? Seale asks in response to the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council.

Seale offers a historical perspective of the roots of liturgical reform during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. He describes the nature of liturgy as ritual activity, where the people of God are invited to participate in liturgy as sharing in the life of God. Selected aspects of the liturgy are considered, such as the proclamation of the Word. He also comments on the social character of the liturgy, which is to move beyond the assembly to participate in God's work in an outward or public ministry.

Called to Participate bids us to form a contemporary spirituality that is firmly rooted in the liturgy. It leads worshipers to find entry points into the mystery of God's work in the world. It is a help to liturgical leaders to grasp the nature and function of liturgy and to inspire faith-filled planning, preaching, and catechesis.

Barbara Seale, PhD, is a psychologist at the Madison Center and Hospital in South Bend, Indiana.

Anne Y. Koester is associate director of the Georgetown Center for Liturgy in Washington, D.C.

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Editorial Reviews


The student and scholar will find in it content that presents major themese for a theology of liturgical participation that intersect with ritual and social perspectives.
Msgr. Joseph DeGrocco, Professor of Liturgy and Director of Liturgical Formation, Seat of Wisdom

. . . a text rich in insights. . . . This is part of Searle’s legacy: trying to understand and never underestimate how the church’s liturgy is meant to have an impact on us and, through us, on the world. We worship for the sake of the world.

This slim volume on the meaning and modes of liturgical participation is a little gem.

Called to Participate is an excellent resource for anyone who desires a deeper understanding of what it is we do when we celebrate liturgy.

Searle presents compelling and disconcerting questions with which the Church continues to wrestle as we attempt to understand more fully the overwhelming consequences of what we engage in when we enact liturgical ritual.
Pastoral Music

The editors present a cogent and thought-provoking work with special meaning for those involved in all aspects of liturgical leadership as well as the ‘people in the pews.’

Addressing a church still laboring with liturgical reform, a saintly voice rises from the grave to reclaim the past, reframe the present, and challenge this generation to make ready for the next. Mark Searle recasts the early liturgical movement as a twofold effort to bring people to the liturgy and liturgy to the people. He advocates a spirituality of the liturgy in the countercultural terms of surrender. And he looks to the future where the public function of liturgy will be more deeply absorbed in prayer and in action. If you think you know what it means to ‘participate’ at Mass, this book will make you think again.
Rev. Paul Turner, STD, Pastor, St. Munchin and St. Aloysius Churches, Cameron and Maysville, Missouri

In this era of liturgical ‘culture wars,’ it is a godsend to have these final reflections on liturgical renewal from the late Mark Searle. The opening chapter, which identifies and characterizes two liturgical movements from the mid-19th to the late-20th century as ‘social transformation through liturgical formation’ and ‘church renewal through liturgical reform,’ provides wise criteria by which present practices might be assessed. Searle’s theory of three levels of participation—in ritual behavior, in the liturgy of the church as the work of Christ, and in the life of God—is extremely helpful in holding together ‘ascending’ and ‘descending’ understandings of the liturgy often separated in practice, while his brief remarks on the inward/contemplative and outward/public dimension of the liturgy flesh out this theoretical framework with cogent insights. I would make Called to Participate required reading for anyone with responsibility for liturgical leadership: academics, clergy, seminari

About the Author

Anne Y. Koester, JD, MA, is Associate Director of the Georgetown Center for Liturgy in Washington, D.C. She has been published in a number of religious journals and is the editor of Liturgy and Justice: To Worship God in Spirit and Truth and co-editor of Vision: The Scholarly Contributions of Mark Searle to Liturgical Renewal and Called to Participate: Theological, Ritual, and Social Perspectives, published by Liturgical Press.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814629423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814629420
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very quick read. July 12, 2007
Had to read this book for a class I took at St. Joseph's College in Indiana. The book is a quick easy read...very informative.
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3.0 out of 5 stars religious December 7, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was recommended as a text book in a class i was taking. Personally i didn't find it that great but a friend did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars January 17, 2015
By Truc
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lower your expectations May 15, 2009
By vb
The authors disabuse the readers of any hope of realizing their deep community longings, and sternly admonish them to take seriously the "realities of modern life." After all (the authors say), those real religious communities, like the Amish, lack personal freedom, privacy, opportunity for personal advancement, and progress. Apparently, modernity is more important than Christ's call to "follow me." Or did Jesus say, follow progress and personal advancement and I missed it?! As if.
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