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Called to Participate: Theological, Ritual, and Social Perspectives Paperback – March 1, 2006
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Called to Participate is the late Mark Searle?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?? Searle asks in response to the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council. Searle 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.? . . . 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.? Emmanuel?This slim volume on the meaning and modes of liturgical participation is a little gem.? Worship?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.?? Writing Works?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, seminarians, and directors of worship.? Jan Michael Joncas Associate Professor of Theology and Catholic Studies University of St. Thomas St. Paul, Minnesota?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, S.T.D. Pastor St. Munchin and St. Aloysius Churches Cameron and Maysville, Missouri?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?Called to Participate is an excellent resource for anyone who desires a deeper understanding of what it is we do when we celebrate liturgy.? Liguorian