Regardless of whether one goes to church frequently or rarely, our worship experience especially at the Sunday Divine Liturgy is at the heart of our identity as Orthodox Christians. Indeed, for many this is their only contact with the Orthodox worship experience. For this reason what takes place in liturgy; what is done correctly and what is in the need of renewal, is of crucial importance for all of us. With this in mind, as Hellenic College Holy Cross celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the founding of Holy Cross, an international conference addressing the state of liturgical life in the Orthodox Church today will be held March 15 -16, 2013.
This two-day conference entitled, Orthodox Liturgy: Lessons from the Past; Contemporary Trends and Opportunities, will take place on the HCHC campus. International scholars in the field of liturgics, many who are graduates of Holy Cross, will be speaking about various problems and challenges for liturgical life today. An honest look at the present state of affairs in the Greek American Orthodox situation will be a special emphasis of the conference.
The premier expert on the Byzantine rite, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert F. Taft, will be giving the keynote address. Fr. Taft is professor emeritus at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome where he taught for 38 years. He has written over 800 publications on Byzantine liturgy and has just finished the final volume of a five-volume definitive treatise on the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, which has been his life’s work. His address entitled “Liturgical Renewal in Orthodoxy: Reflections, Cautions, Suggestions,” will serve as a rich catalyst and matrix for the issues dealt with at this conference.
The Rev. Dr. Father Alkiviadis Calivas, professor emeritus of liturgics and former president of HCHC will also be speaking as well as the Rev. Fr. Stephanos Alexopoulos, an expert on the Pre-sanctified Liturgy, from Athens, Greece. Sister Vassa Larin, an Orthodox nun who teaches liturgics at the University of Vienna, will be addressing the issue of liturgy from the Russian Orthodox point of view. We are also honored to have scholars speak about the state of Orthodox Liturgy from locations as far off as the Republic of Georgia, Hong Kong, and Romania.
The caliber and variegated background of the scholars attending will greatly enrich the program, which aims to celebrate 75 years of faith, education, and service at HCHC. Opportunity for interaction with these eminent scholars and ample time for questions and answers will be offered. This is important in a conference dealing with a subject such as liturgy, which touches the lives of all of us. Indeed, as Fr. Taft himself wrote regarding the conference, “If you want to have answers, you have to ask the questions.”