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Ecclesia Denver will run from June 24 to July 7!

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The Liturgy

The Second Vatican Council teaches us: “The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows.”  At Ecclesia, liturgy became a part of participants’ daily life.  The rhythm of the monastic prayer schedule of the Community of St. John structures the participant’s day — from silent Eucharistic Adoration to chanted offices to the Holy Mass participants went forth to offering themselves to God in service, sports, study, and time together.  Participants thus learned the liturgy “from the inside” as well as came to a deeper understanding of its proper celebration.

During the Ecclesia Institute, participants participated in the liturgy and prayer through:
+ Daily Mass
+ Adoration
+ Chanted offices (Liturgy of the Hours)
+ Lectio Divina
+ The Rosary
+ A silent retreat
+ Daily Recitation of the Angelus
+ The sacrament of confession
+ and more!

At Ecclesia, the Mass is the high point. The rest of Ecclesia’s rhythm took shape around it.


“The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.”

-Sacrosanctum Concilium ¶ 112

The liturgies of the Ecclesia institute formed an important and vital part of participants’ growth in faith. Participants turned to our mother, the Church, at whose feet they would sit to learn to pray, through Her liturgical traditions. Sacred music plays a vital role in these liturgies, for it clothes the Word of God with splendor and beauty, and enables all to better worship God and grow in holiness.

The liturgies drew on the Church’s vast treasury of sacred music as a means of drawing the hearts of all deeper into the mystery of God. Whether it was Gregorian chant, chant in English, choral music, or sacred organ music, the liturgical music at Ecclesia strove to cultivate singers’ talents in creating sublimely beautiful music in order to convey the reality of the earthly liturgy as a reflection of the Divine liturgy taking place continuously in heaven. The music, though varied, reflected a fidelity to the Church’s liturgical texts.

There were two levels of participation available to those who would wished to take part in the music program at the Ecclesia Institute:
+ Rehearsal 5 days/week for 45 minutes, singing at most of the institute’s liturgies
+ Rehearsal 2 days/week for 45 minutes, joining with the above group, singing at Sunday and feast day liturgies

Part of the summer’s institute for all participants included a celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman rite throughout the institute. All other liturgies were in the ordinary form of the Roman rite.

“The singing of the Church comes ultimately out of love. It is the utter depth of love that produces the singing. ‘Cantare amantis est,’ says St. Augustine, singing is a lover’s thing. In so saying, we come again to the trinitarian interpretation of Church music. The Holy Spirit is love, and it is he who produces the singing. He is the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit who draws us into love for Christ and so leads to the Father.”

– Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 142

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