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Liturgical Language


Rhodora Beaton
Aquinas Institute of Theology
St. Louis, MO 63108
[email protected]

Convener Emeritus, J. Barrington Bates
[email protected]


Mission Statement

The Liturgical Language Seminar attends to issues of the language of worship by examining liturgical texts, considering scholarly essays, and discussing ideas and issues related to liturgical language. We welcome guest presenters and occasional participants, as well as Academy visitors and regular members. We occasionally meet jointly with another seminar, and sometimes we sing. We also strive to maintain a seminar group of a manageable size to encourage full and active participation by all.

2020 Academy Meeting Agenda

Friday, January 3
8:30-9:00    Welcome and Introductions
9:00-10:00    Judith Kubicki "A Study of the Usage of Imagery of Light and Darkness in Contemporary Christian Hymnody: Contrasts and Comparisons with Ancient Hymnody."

2:15-3:00    (Open)

3:00-3:45    Gail Ramshaw  Liturgical Considerations of the Word “Heaven”

4:30-5:15    Rhodora Beaton “Liturgical Language of Church”

5:15-6:00    Jennifer Baker-Trinity “ELCA Frequently Asked Question on Language”

Saturday, January 4
8:30-9:15    David Bjorlin some new hymn texts

9:15-10:00    Marit Rong “How is God portrayed in encounters with death? Narratives about Heaven in Children's Literature”
11:00-12:30    Gail Ramshaw and Jennifer Baker-Trinity Hear My Voice: A Prison Prayer Book

2:00-2:15    Bill Kervin Responses, Short Songs and Hymns"

2:15-3:00    (Open)

3:00-3:45    Planning for Next Year

2019 Academy Meeting Agenda

Friday, January 4
9:45 Welcome, Introductions, and Catch up
10:15 Judith Kubicki (Fordham University): The Significance of Images of Darkness
                              and Light in Christian Hymnody
11:00 Break

11:15 Gail Ramshaw, Worshipping with Figures of Speech*

1:45 David Bjorlin, Pentecostal hymnody

2:30 to 3:15 Bill Kervin, Recent liturgical music and/or hymnody, published and

4:15-6:15 Kim Long, "Prayer at the End of a Marriage" BCW 2018

Saturday, January 5

8:45-9:30 Rhodora Beaton, "Song and Sacrament, Mind and Matter: A Tangled Web
                      of Language and Embodiment"

9:30-10:45 (currently available)

1:30-2:30  (currently available)

2:30-3:00  Planning for next year

 If time allows and the group agrees: brief discussion of Dr. Seuss Eucharistic Prayer*

*Materials distributed in advance on the seminar’s shared Google Drive

New Publications in 2018 by Seminar Members:

Stephen Shaver, Eucharistic Sacrifice as a Contested Category: A Cognitive Linguistic Approach. Joint Liturgical Studies, 2018.


This seminar distributes e-mail via a Google Group. The convener can add your e-mail address to the group, and you can adjust or remove it yourself. Be sure to set your mail software to flag [email protected] as an an approved sender. You can send e-mail to the entire group by addressing your message to [email protected].

As of 2019, the seminar also distributes draft papers via Google Drive. To use this, you must have a Google account. These are free for individual users. The Drive’s full URL address is  

2018 Seminar Agenda

Friday, January 5
10:30am-noon, 1:30-3pm, 4-5:30pm
· Welcome, introductions, catch-up
· Gail Ramshaw, “Four Principles of Liturgical Language”**
· Rhodora Beaton, “Language, Song and the Senses: Liturgical Living in Light of Chauvet”
· Judith Kubicki, “What’s in a Name? How Do We Name God? How Do We Name Ourselves?”
· David Gambrell, “Liturgical Language in the 2018 Book of Worship—PC(USA)”

Saturday, January 6

· Joint session with the Ecology & Liturgy Seminar and the Eucharistic Prayer & Theology Seminar, to discuss Gail’s recent publication Pray, Praise, and Give Thanks: A Collection of Litanies, Laments, and Thanksgivings at Font and Table (location TBA)* · Background reading:
· Time keeper: Ben Stewart
· Introduction (Charles Pottie) (2m)
· Gail Ramshaw: why the book? (3-5m)
· Prepared reflections from David Gambrell, Liturgical Language seminar rep (3-5m)
· Prepared reflections from Ecology and Liturgy seminar rep (3-5m)
· Prepared reflections from Eucharistic Prayer and Theology seminar rep (3-5m)
· Gail Ramshaw response (3-5m)
· Seminar discussion (chaired by Barrie Bates) (approx 45m)

1:30pm-3pm · New Convener (yes, it’s time!)
· Plans for 2019 (January 2-5, Denver)
Barrie’s “Many Reformations” and “Importance of Liturgical Language Still” projects