The Sacred Liturgy and the Family

September 26–28, 2019
Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul
Providence, Rhode Island

The family is at the core of the life of the Church. In a time of need for ecclesial renewal, the formation and sanctification of the family through the sacred liturgy emerges as a central priority for the Church today.

“The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care vocation to a sacred state.” (Lumen Gentium, 11)

“The Christian family is the first place of education in prayer. Based on the sacrament of marriage, the family is the ‘domestic church’ where God’s children learn to pray ‘as the Church’ and to persevere in prayer. For young children in particular, daily family prayer is the first witness of the Church’s living memory as awakened patiently by the Holy Spirit.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2685)

The 2019 annual conference of the Society for Catholic Liturgy invites submissions for academic papers and pastoral presentations which treat the theme of the role of the sacred liturgy in the life of the family. Potential topics and questions which arise from the conference theme are:

– The sacred liturgy as model for the structure and prayer of the family
– The Eucharist as source and summit of family life
– The role of the sacred liturgy, liturgical calendar, and lectionary in structuring the activities of the family
– The family as the domestic church
– The Divine Office and the family
– Nurturing vocations to the priesthood and religious life
– Liturgy and moral development in the family as “the basic cell of society” (Christifideles laici, 40).
– The family and the universal call to holiness
– The facilitation of catechesis in the family through the sacred liturgy
– The incorporation of paraliturgical and extraliturgical devotions in the life of the family
– The relationship between family devotions and the sacred liturgy
– The role of sacred time, sacred place, and sacred words in the life of the family
– Sacramental preparation in the life of the family
– Penance and reconciliation in the life of the family
– Children and the funeral liturgy
– The relationship of the Sacraments of Matrimony and the Eucharist
– Reception of the Eucharist by civilly divorced and remarried couples
– Sacraments and the apostolic mission of the family: “[T]he future of evangelization depends in great part on the Church of the home. This apostolic mission of the family is rooted in Baptism and receives from the grace of the sacrament of marriage new strength to transmit the faith, to sanctify and transform our present society according to God’s plan” (Familiaris consortio, 52).
– The role of a sacred music program in the education and formation of the family
– Young adults and the Mass
– Service at the altar in the life of children
– The graces of the sacrament of matrimony for the entire family
– Preparing sons and daughters for the sacrament of matrimony

Other proposals will be considered, but primary consideration will be given to proposals that are related to the conference theme.

Paper proposals of approximately 250 words should be emailed to or mailed to Dr. Daria Spezzano / Providence College / St. Catherine of Siena Hall 226 / 1 Cunningham Square / Providence, RI 02918. Proposals must be received by Monday, January 14, 2019.

Presentations will be 45 minutes in length, followed by 15 minutes of discussion. Papers presented will be considered for publication in the SCL’s journal Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal. Presenters must register for the full conference and will be responsible for their own expenses.

A PDF of the Call for Papers is available here.