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{{vm.product.SpProduct.Article}} Liturgy and Discipleship
Preparing Worship That Inspires and Transforms

Various authors including Mary A. Ehle and Anne Y. Koester

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The liturgy of the Church is an encounter with our loving God.  It transforms those who worship, forms disciples in the teachings of Jesus, and sends them forth to serve God with love, charity, and justice.  This pastoral resource provides trust-worthy and practical ideas for preparing the liturgy by integrating the needs of the world in an appropriate way.  The ideas adhere to liturgical norms and Catholic Social Teaching and explore the many options provided in the ritual texts.

This includes:

  • Easy-to-use material organized by the seven key themes of Catholic Social Teaching
  • Explanations of each theme and its important connection to Liturgy
  • Quotes from Church documents related to each theme
  • Charts noting readings from the Sunday Lectionary which correspond to each theme
  • Preaching points for appropriately integrating each theme into the homily
  • Music Suggestions
  • Ideas for prayer texts, Masses for various needs, blessings, and other prayer options
  • Original texts that may be used at Mass and other liturgies
  • Recommendations for when each theme should be highlighted at liturgy
  • Practical ways for Catholic parishes to put the teachings into action
  • Scripture passages for adult faith formation reflection
  • Index of patron saints related to social needs

Mary A. Ehle, Anne Y. Koester, and Stephen S. Wilbricht, csc contributed to this resource.

"An invaluable resource that anyone preparing the liturgy should have!"

Matt Merkt
Chaplain for Liturgy and Music
DePaul University
Chicago, IL

"In Liturgy and Discipleship, LTP offers us another helpful resource for connecting worship and life. This book is a solid presentation of the relationship between liturgy and living a just life, as seen through the core themes of Catholic social teaching. Here is a wonderful resource for preparing liturgies with practical suggestions on preaching, music, readings, and parish activities."

--Bernard Evans
Retired Professor, St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary
Collegeville, MN

“A great resource to make the liturgy come alive in their local context though helpful suggestions which make use of the entire Roman Missal and the Church’s liturgical tradition. It reminds everyone that we are part of a wider Church united in Christ.” --Fr. Michael Trail Associate Pastor, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Chicago, IL

“This resource is wonderfully compiled! It is easy-to-use and will inspire and transform current and new preachers as well as all ministers to become true disciples of Christ.”

--Cristina Castillo
Formation Programs Coordinator
Diocese of San Bernardino

"Justice” is a common refrain in our church buildings: we sing about it, read about it, preach about it. But how many of us are actually conscious of the ways in which the justice we proclaim relates to the world around us? How often is it confused with a political agenda or written off as a religious platitude? As parish leaders, it is our right and responsibility to recognize this inherent relationship between liturgy and life: between the justice of God we dream about inside the church walls and the justice we work for outside those walls.

Here enters the perfect companion: Liturgy and Discipleship: Preparing Worship that Inspires and Transforms. Guided by seven themes of Catholic social teaching, this resource frames specific pastoral situations and offers suggestions for action in accordance with the teachings of Jesus. Posing questions from the practical (“Does our parish purchase fair trade coffee?”) to the profound (“Does our understanding of ‘respecting life’ extend to those who suffer domestic violence, human trafficking, and addiction?”), each chapter accompanies readers as they seek to keep an intricately woven dynamic of the parish experience of gospel living. Suggestions for preaching, music, scripture, and practical applications provide a comprehensive tool-kit for a well-rounded perspective. References to both civil and Catholic observances ground the perspective uniquely situated within our local realities. Suggestions for petitions, pastoral situations, and liturgical nuances invite us to take another look at each experience of liturgy through the lens of justice and love, human dignity and peace.

As each section is filled with quotes from church documents as well as writings from the Communion of Saints, parish leaders are reminded that we enter into a conversation of liturgy and life that has been unfolding for two thousand years. It is our turn now to participate in the dialogue with God and with God’s people, as ways both new and old of understanding God’s justice are made known to us in light of our current realities.

This is a resource for all who act as parish leadership: pastors, pastoral associates, liturgists, music directors, youth ministers, directors of religious education, and parish pastoral councils. Consider using portions of this resource as a guide to prayer and planning for sacramental preparation, liturgy councils, peace and justice committees, Green Team gatherings, and as a way to invite newly confirmed Catholics into the call for us to “show up” for one another as church in the world. Pay special attention to the “Acting on the Teaching” sections that offer concrete ways that both individuals and communities might take the next steps on their path to the Kingdom.

For all who long for the justice of God here on earth, this resource offers us new insights into how we might make manifest some of that very reality in our midst. Liturgy and Discipleship shows us both language and action to answer the question “Why are you Catholic?” and “What difference does it make?” As the introduction invites us to reflect: Because the liturgy has everything to do with life. Looking at humanity and creation with care and compassion can be as direct as looking across the pew, or imagining across the world. And when we show up for one another—across a pew, or across all kinds of real or imaginary walls of time, space, race, social or economic status—God’s love shows up, too.

--Kate Williams
Senior Managing Editor
GIA Publications, Inc. Chicago, IL