The school year is now well underway, and humanities students are writing paper after paper during this mid-term season. With that in mind, I thought it would be appropriate for me to share one of my papers I wrote last academic year.
In a year-long course I took last school year, titled Christianity and Society through the Ages, the course instructor, Professor Michael O’Connor encouraged his students to write a research paper about a topic in Church history (from the Middle Ages until the present day) that was of interest.
I had an idea from the beginning what I was going to write about – it was going to be something about the liturgy (since that has always been an area of interest for me, especially as a Liturgical Master of Ceremonies at my parish). Liturgy in itself was a broad topic to write about, and so the topic must be narrowed down further. Looking ahead, to the course, the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) was going to be a topic of a class. Immediately, I sought to write on something based on Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council. The idea then developed and narrowed down to the topic of “full, conscious and active participation” (SC 14) by the lay faithful in the liturgy as an exemplification of being “people of God,” (cf. LG 9-10) as called for by the Council in Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. The topic on “full, conscious and active” liturgical participation did not come ex nihilo, on whim from the Council Fathers, but rather, a culmination of centuries of development, I argue in this paper.
The paper was a pleasure to write and I wish to share it here for others’ further insights. It also speaks to the liturgical view that I adopt, particularly when preparing for liturgical celebrations.