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"The Sacred Liturgy is not a hobby for specialists. It is central to all our endeavors as disciples of Jesus Christ. This profound reality cannot be over emphasized. We must recognize the primacy of grace in our Christian life and work, and we must respect the reality that in this life the optimal encounter with Christ is in the Sacred Liturgy."
With these words Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, France, opened Sacra Liturgia 2013, an international conference in which he brought together over twenty leading liturgists, cardinals, bishops and other scholars from around the world to emphasize the centrality of liturgical formation and celebration in the life and mission of the Church. "The New Evangelization must be founded on the faithful and fruitful celebration of the Sacred Liturgy as given to us by the Church in her tradition - Western and Eastern," Bishop Rey asserted.
Sacra Liturgia 2013 - the proceedings of which this book publishes - explored questions of liturgical art, architecture, music, the ars celebrandi, the importance of ritual in human psychology, truly pastoral liturgy, the place of the older liturgical rites in the New Evangelization, liturgical formation, liturgical law, the role of the diocesan bishop in respect of the liturgy, and more.
Sacred Liturgy - The Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church is an important resource in ongoing liturgical formation for clergy, religious and laity, and makes a significant contribution to that renewal promoted in the Pontificate of Benedict XVI. That is the renewal which embraces the riches of liturgical tradition as valuable treasures, seeks to read the Second Vatican Council according to a hermeneutic of continuity, not rupture, and is in no doubt that, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger once wrote, "the true celebration of the Sacred Liturgy as the center of any renewal of the Church."