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.
Barbara Searle, 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.