Women's modes of liturgical participation
Johnson, Clare. (2019). Women's modes of liturgical participation. In In Cornish, Sandie and Dean, Andrea (Ed.). Still listening to the spirit : Woman and man twenty years later pp. 64-71 Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
|Cornish, Sandie and Dean, Andrea
[Extract] Liturgy is the public face of the Church, 'the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed' and 'the font from which all her power flows'¹, where 'the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others, the mystery of Chris and the real nature of the true Church'². Through participating in the liturgy, the faithful express, reinforce and celebrate their faith in the presence of the God in whose name they gather.
Facilitating 'full, conscious and active participation' by the faithful in the liturgy is arguably the most significant liturgical change promoted by the Second Vatican Council, which taught in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy in 1963, that such participation is 'called for by the very nature of the liturgy', is a right and duty of the faithful 'by reason of their baptism', and 'is the aim to be considered before all else. For it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to service the true Christian spirit'³.
There could not be a more important concept than 'participation' when considering Catholic women and liturgy, and yet it is in the liturgy that ecclesial inequality between males and females is most publicly on display when it comes to participation. Leadership and governance (based on ordination) and even equality in liturgical language are still denied to women based on gendered arguments enshrined in and justified according to canon law, sacramental theology and ecclesial disciplinary tradition. Hence full 'participation' by women in the liturgical life of the Catholic Church remains elusive.
|Still listening to the spirit : Woman and man twenty years later
|Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
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|01 Oct 2021
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