Institute of Liturgical Studies
The Word in Time: Lectionary, Proclamation, and Church Year
April 28-30, 2014
Keeping time, marking time, taking time, telling time. Christians understand time as both a way to order our chronological lives and as a way to anticipate God’s eternal time. Gordon Lathrop describes the way time ‘thickens’ in Christian liturgy. “One time may not be better than another, but the use of scheduled festival days, related to the cycles of sun and moon, in rhythmic relationship to ordinary days, suggests that the widespread personal human experience of ‘thicker’ time, or opportunities, of intense time, is true of the community and of the cosmos itself.” (Gordon Lathrop, Holy Things.)
When we proclaim the word of God in worship, we are opening the scriptures and experiencing them in our own time. Time thickens as the biblical writer’s time and our own converge, allowing a glimpse of God’s promise and love through all times. Many Christians order those readings annually, seasonally, weekly, daily, and even hourly. The multiple layers deepen as we join in hearing these readings with all who have heard them before, and share in God’s promises and their fulfillment in God’s time.
This year’s Institute will live into the juxtaposition of the word of God with time. How do we mark time as a measure of Jesus’ life? What kinds of time inform our gatherings? What are the gifts of a shared calendar of biblical readings for our common worship? What does time mean in our contemporary 24/7 culture? The Institute of Liturgical Studies begins here to see how time, infused with the word permeates all of our gatherings, all our liturgies, all our life’s journey. In an offertory prayer before the meal, we may pray: “Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts: our selves, our time, and our possessions.” This prayer at the table reminds us that time is a gift from God, and one that we are to steward.
In a society that besieges us with constraints and demands on our time, this Institute pauses for a space of days to engage questions about what it means to live in time by the word of God. Our liturgies will offer Eucharistic and other prayer offices that lead us to reflect on God’s word in time. Through plenary talks, seminars, and workshops, we hope to engage in important questions about time in our own time.
We invite you to join us for these days of worship, conversation, engagement, and renewal: The Word in time.
In addition to the ILS conference, we also have a few other collections now available that might be of interest to ILS attendees: Soul Purpose Liturgical Dramas and the ILS Occasional Papers (1981-2009).
April 13-15, 2015 - All Creatures Worship God Most High
April 4-6, 2016 - Bearing God's Creative Word to All the World: Vocation and Worship