Colloquium II: Farnborough 2009

Second aim:

International, Ecumenical

Colloquium alterum

Human Maturation in the Liturgy

St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough

11 September 2009

In accord with the project Appreciating the Liturgy, announced at the biennial congress of Societas Liturgica in August 2007 at Palermo, Sicily, we have convoked a second colloquium on the theme Christian Maturation in the Liturgy which was held on Friday 11 September 2009 at Saint Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough, Hampshire. Four papers were presented, three offering a hermeneutical interpretation of one or more prayers according to the literary-critical method employed by the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy (PIL), Sant’Anselmo, and a fourth on a patristic theme. The papers presented during the colloquium will be considered for inclusion with another six contributions that have been requested to complete the proposed volume Christian Maturation in the Liturgy.

The colloquium has been convened by James G. Leachman and Daniel P. McCarthy. Patrick Regan has agreed to preside over the day’s meetings. We have arranged for the following presenters to speak on the topics indicated:



1.Bridget NicholsScripture, Time and Narrative in the Common Worship prefaces: Christian Maturation.

2.James LeachmanA New Liturgical Hermeneutic:
Christian Maturation by Developmental Steps

3.Daniel McCarthyBetween Motives and Goals: the Developmental Steps of Realizing Eschatology

4.Ephrem CarrChristian Maturation in Irenaeus of Lyons

Basilius Groen Concluding Address


Daniel McCarthy OSB


The second session of an international ecumenical colloquium was held on the theme, “Human Maturation in the Liturgy”, on Friday 11 September 2009, at St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough, UK, seat of St Michael’s Press.

Christians mature in manifold ways. We mature over the course of a Christian life paralleling our physical growth; we may mature particularly in response to physical decline. We mature both by measured steps and by sudden transformations. This colloquium was convened to address the patterns of human maturation in the Christian liturgy.

The participants were warmly welcomed by Rt Rev. Cuthbert Brogan, Abbot of Farnborough and patron of the projectAppreciating the Liturgy

The day’s meetings were moderated by Rt Rev. Patrick Regan OSB, retired abbot of St. Joseph Abbey, Louisiana, and former President of the Swiss-American Congregation of Benedictines for twelve years. He currently teaches liturgy in the faculties of theology and of liturgy (PIL) at Sant’Anselmo. He has contributed many articles to Worship, Collegeville and is co-editor of the series Liturgiam aestimare: Appreciating the Liturgy.


Four papers were given. The first paper was given by an Anglican contributor, Dr. Bridget Nichols, originally from South Africa,  now Lay Chaplain to the Bishop of Ely. Her paper was entitled: “The Extended Eucharistic Prefaces of the Church of England’s C ommon Worship series’ and Forming of Grown-up Christians”. Her publications include: Liturgical Hermeneutics: Interpreting Liturgical Rites in Performance and Literature in Christian Perspective as well as contributions to A Companion to Common Worship. Dr. Nichols is the editor of a forthcoming volume, The Collect in the Churches of the Reformation and a permanent member of the project Appreciating the Liturgy.

The second paper was given by Rev. James G. Leachman OSB, monk of Ealing Abbey, London, England, UK, and professor both of liturgy and ecumenism and of liturgical spirituality at the Institute. His paper was entitled, “A New Liturgical Hermeneutic: Christian Maturation by Developmental Steps”. Dom James is assistant editor of Ecclesia oranseditor of the volume The Liturgical Subject. Subject, Subjectivity and the Human Person in Contemporary Liturgical Discussion and Critique, co-editor of Appreciating the Collect: An Irenic Methodology and contributor to Listen to the Word: Commentaries on selected opening prayers of Sundays and feasts with sample homilies.

A third paper was presented by Rev. Daniel P. McCarthy OSB, monk of St. Benedict’s Abbey, Atchison, Kansas, USA. His paper was entitled “Patterns of Christian Maturation in Selected Prayers after Communion in Ordinary Time”. Last year Dom Daniel successfully defended his doctoral dissertation entitled, “The Chair for the Ministry-Gift of Presiding in the Assembly and Directing the Prayer: Four Models and a Single Vision”.  He is the co-editor ofAppreciating the Collect: An Irenic Methodology and author of Listen to the Word: Commentaries on selected opening prayers of Sundays and feasts with sample homilies as well as the weekly column “Listen to the Word” published in The Tablet since 2006.

A fourth paper was presented by Rev. Ephrem Carr OSB a monk of St. Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana, Preside of the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy and professor of eastern liturgies at both the PIL and the Patristic Institute, the Augustinianum, Rome. His paper was entitled “Human Maturation in Irenaeus of Lyon”. He is editor of the reviewEcclesia Orans and of the series Studia Anselmiana. He serves as consultor for the Liturgical Commission of the Vatican Congregation of Oriental Churches and as the moderator of the series Appreciating the Liturgy.

At the end of the colloquium a summary of the day’s presentations was offered by Basilius J. Groen, professor of liturgy and sacramental theology and head of the Institute of Liturgy, Christian Art and Hymnology at the University of Graz, Austria. He also holds the UNESCO chair of Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue in South-Eastern Europe. He has written on rites with the sick, Byzantine worship and ecumenism. He is a permanent member of the projectAppreciating the Liturgy.

Also participating in the colloquium were: Rev. Thomas R. Whelan, CSSp, Associate Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Spirituality at Milltown Institute, Dublin, and visiting lecturer at the National Centre for Liturgy, Maynooth and at the University of Wales, Lampeter.

Rev. Enda Murphy is a priest of the diocese of Kilmore. He is an annual member of  the project Appreciating the Liturgy, while conducting his studies at the PIL.

Rev. Patrick Hala OSB, monk of Solesmes Abbey, France. He is the author of several books on the prayers and hymns of the liturgy.

The Council of the Preside of the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy, Sant’Anselmo, Rome, has lent its endorsement to the project Appreciating the Liturgy. The moderator of the project is Dom Ephrem, and its directors are Dom James and Dom Daniel, who, together with Dom Patrick are the three editors of the first proposed series of books Liturgiam Aestimare : Appreciating the Liturgy.

The papers presented will be included with several other contributions that have been commissioned to complete the proposed volume Christian Maturation in the Liturgy, to be published by St Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough, England. Other contributors to the volume include Msgr Renato De Zan, on the hermeneutical keys for interpreting the minor euchology both as text and in context, Another presentation of the Latin language by Rev Reginaldus Thomas Foster, now celebrating his fortieth year as Papal latinist

The volume will include a second contribution by Dom Daniel, “Between Memories and Hopes: the Developmental Steps of Realising Eschatology”, in which he presents the historical stages and contributors of research that have made possible our renewed efforts in Appreciating the Liturgy. The volume will also include a second contribution by Dom Daniel entitled, “The Collect for Palm Sunday: A Study in Comparative Liturgy”, in which he traces the clausal structure of this prayer in its Latin origins and its translations as used by the liturgical churches of the West.

In this volume research libraries and seminaries will have an invaluable tool, and bishops will find the resources needed to fulfill their ministry of directing the future course of liturgical renewal.


Human Maturation in the Liturgy


Leachman, J.G., “Exits and entrances”, The Tablet 262 (20/27 December 2008) 18.

Leachman, J.G., « A new liturgical hermeneutic: Christian maturation by developmental steps », Paper given at Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain meeting, 11 September 2008, New Blackfriars 90 (2009) 219-231.

McCarthy, D.P., Listen to the Word: Commentaries on Selected Paryers after Communion of Sundays and Feasts, a weekly series, The Tablet (16 May 2009-present).

“Between Memories and Hopes: Anamnesis and Eschatology in Selected Collects”, in Appreciating the Collect. An Irenic Methodology (Documenta Rerum Ecclesiasticarum Instaurata, Liturgiam aestimare : Appreciating the Liturgy 1), ed. J.G. Leachman – D.P. McCarthy, St. Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough, England 2008, 197-221.


Link to Colloquium I: Rome 2008

Link to Colloquium III: Milwaukee 2010

Link to Colloquium IV: Rome 2010

Link to Colloquium V: Ealing 2012

Link to Colloquia VI / VII: 2014 / 15


Image: Participants at the second colloquium at Farborough Abbey are from left to right:

Enda Murphy, Patrick Regan, Daniel McCarthy, Basilius Groen, + Cuthbert Brogan, Bridget Nichols, Patrick Hala, Ephrem Carr, Tom Whelan, James Leachman.