The Liturgical Conference--
advocates for the renewal of liturgy,
supports the formation of liturgical people,
seeks the unity of the Body of Christ,
for the life of the world.
As an ongoing movement with the ecumenical church, founded in 1940, we seek--
to provide an ecumenical forum
for articulating standards of
and for supporting persons who
have a common interest
for the liturgical life and the
liturgical arts of the church.
The Liturgical Conference began in 1940, as an annual “liturgical week” under the leadership of the abbots of the Benedictine communities in the United States. In 1943 we were constituted under an independent board of directors. From 1940-1968, the national liturgical weeks brought together priests, religious, and lay people from all over the United States, often attracting several thousand participants. In the years during immediately following the promulgation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the first document released by the second Vatican council, the liturgical weeks brought together close to 20,000 people.
Following 1968, The Liturgical Conference became primarily a publishing house, sponsoring occasional conferences, publishing several books (including Robert Hovda’s Strong, Loving and Wise on the ministry of the presider in worship), and two journals, Homily Service, which was discontinued in 2010, and Liturgy, which continues today.
In 1979, the inter-Lutheran Society for Worship, Music and the Arts merged with The Liturgical Conference, making The Liturgical Conference an ecumenical organization dedicated to unity as well as to liturgical renewal in the local assembly. Since that merger, our board and our work has expanded its ecumenical relationships, including members of the United Methodist, Reformed, Lutheran, evangelical and Roman Catholic churches. Our commitments to Christian unity as well as to liturgical renewal remain at the heart of our mission today.
[This brief history is adapted from Frank Senn’s The People’s Work
(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006), 308-311.]