Commission seeks to foster a ‘rich liturgical life’

By Matthew Biddle 

SERVICE at the altar and Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion were two of the topics discussed by the new Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission (ALC) during their first meeting for 2016 on February 25.

The Commission is made up of five members appointed by Archbishop Christopher Prowse – Fr Warrick Tonkin (chair), Jenny Anderson, Stephen Kirk, Jaki Kane and Sharon Brewer – and will meet five times throughout the year.

On January 27, the ALC’s newly revised terms of reference were agreed upon, providing the Commission with clear objectives and roles.

The ALC’s executive officer Sharon Brewer told Catholic Voice parishes and individuals were welcome to bring any liturgical concerns to the Commission’s attention.

“My role is to deal with the day-to-day public questions, and if it is a matter of policy or if it’s a significant discussion, then I’ll take it to the Commission for them to perhaps advise on,” she said.

“For example, I could get phone calls asking what’s the best music for a funeral, or why there’s no eulogy in the middle of the funeral Mass.”

At the Commission’s first meeting for the year, brief discussion took place about the need for some liturgical training regarding ministries involving the distribution of the Eucharist and service at the altar.

Further, regarding liturgical music, the possibility of teaching one or two Mass settings across the Archdiocese was discussed.

The ALC has also decided to review the current model used in the Archdiocese for celebrating a Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion in the absence of a priest.

The lay members of the ALC, who are appointed for a three-year term, have had significant experience or training in the field of Catholic liturgy.

South Tuggeranong parishioner Jenny Anderson completed a Certificate IV in Pastoral Liturgy at the Catholic Institute of Sydney in 2003, and in 2011 she was conferred in her Masters of Theology with a Distinction in Liturgy.

Jaki Kane has been the music director at St Christopher’s Cathedral for the past 20 years, and has completed a Bachelor’s degree in music with honours at the Australian National University.

Stephen Kirk has been involved in music ministry in the Church since 1994, leading and directing music for several large events, such as last year’s Australian Catholic Youth Festival.

The stated purpose of the ALC is to “assist the Archbishop on matters pertaining to Catholic liturgical worship. The ALC seeks to foster a rich liturgical life within the Archdiocese where local communities are informed, supported and challenged”.

It is required to acquaint itself with the state of liturgical activity in the Archdiocese; be aware of liturgical activities in other appropriate places; advise on the implementation of proposals; suggest initiatives to promote pastoral liturgical action; and strive for a mutual accord throughout the Archdiocese in matters of liturgy.

To contact the ALC, call Sharon Brewer on (02) 6163 4300 or email