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Vice-presidential Address

Sacrosanctum Concilium: A Liturgical “Magna Carta” Then and Now Maxwell E. Johnson Maxwell E. Johnson, Ph.D., is professor of liturgical studies at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., and a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than fifteen books, including most recently Praying and Believing in Early Christianity: The Interplay between Christian Worship and Doctrine (The Liturgical Press, 2013).

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n 4 December 1963, the Second Vatican Council, by a vote of 2,147 to 4, approved Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (hereafter CSL), which became immediately the Magna Carta of contemporary liturgical reform and renewal over the past fifty years not only within the Roman Catholic Church, but ecumenically as well within several other churches. Little did I know last summer, when I decided to give my address the subtitle of “A Liturgical Magna Carta,” that I would be anticipating Archbishop Piero Marini’s own words, who said this past October in his address to the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions: “The Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, more than being a manual for reforming rites, is a magna carta capable of inspiring the renewal of the Church.”1 Forty years ago, and in union with CSL’s call for liturgical renewal, the North American Academy of Liturgy was born. What I am going to do in this presentation is to address four different but related emphases: (1) the call for liturgical restoration and renewal in CSL and its ecumenical results; (2) contemporary challenges to the vision of CSL; (3) the vision of CSL and its continued implications and challenges for us; and (4) the vision of CSL and the North American Academy of Liturgy today.

1. The Call to Liturgical Restoration and Renewal in CSL and Its Ecumenical Results All of us are closely familiar with what CSL has to say about what it envisioned as the restoration of Roman Catholic Liturgy in the mid-twentieth century. Certainly we are aware of its central affirmation that:

North American Academy of Liturgy Proceedings 2014  

The North American Academy of Liturgy (NAAL) (http://www.naal-liturgy.org/) is an ecumenical and interreligious association of liturgical sc...

North American Academy of Liturgy Proceedings 2014  

The North American Academy of Liturgy (NAAL) (http://www.naal-liturgy.org/) is an ecumenical and interreligious association of liturgical sc...