Due to ongoing health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Center for Liturgy’s on-campus summer programming has once again been canceled for 2021. Instead, this June and July, we will host a virtual Summer Liturgy Series, “Will They Come Back After COVID?: Disaffiliation, Affiliation, and the Liturgy.” This array of online offerings will include interviews and live Q&A sessions with experts in theology and pastoral ministry, opportunities for prayer and reflection, and resources for intellectual and spiritual formation.
“Will They Come Back After COVID?: Disaffiliation, Affiliation, and the Liturgy”
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has caused great disruption in the liturgical life of the Church. Public celebrations of the Mass and other sacraments were cancelled or postponed, leaving millions of Catholics to “participate” in the liturgical life via online platforms. Although many churches throughout the world have now resumed in-person liturgies, many of the faithful have yet to return, which begs the question, will they ever come back?
Ultimately, the current climate has exacerbated trends already in existence long before COVID-19. To have any hope of recovering from the ecclesial devastation wrought by the pandemic, leaders in the Church must grapple with questions of disaffiliation and affiliation, asking not only what might prompt someone to leave the Church, but also—and perhaps more importantly—what might encourage them to stay.
Over six weeks this summer, through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous offerings, we will examine these questions and more. Together, we will rediscover the riches of the Church’s Tradition in order to propose them in new and beautiful ways to the disaffiliated and the affiliated alike. In this recovery and reproposal, we hope to inspire and to build a deeper culture of affiliation through the Church’s liturgical life.