The first and most important lesson which the liturgy has to teach is that the prayer of the corporate body must be sustained by thought … The liturgy is a treasure-house of the thought of Revelation.Romano Guardini, The Spirit of the Liturgy
More than seventy years after its founding, the Institute of Liturgical Studies continues to serve as a vital source of renewal for the church’s liturgy and life through engagement with scholarship and attentiveness to practical applications in parish settings.
Established in 1949 and building on the work of the St. James Society (1925–47), the Institute has sought to be both firmly rooted in its Lutheran heritage and intentionally ecumenical. Having marked the five-hundredth anniversary with presenters from both Lutheran and Roman Catholic traditions in 2017, we look forward to the Institute continuing and broadening this ecumenical vision in years to come.
The German Catholic priest Romano Guardini (1885–1968) once wrote that “the liturgy is a treasure-house of the thought of revelation.” For many years, the Institute has been one of the primary places where one segment of the corporate body of the church has accomplished sustained fruitful thought regarding this treasure-house of liturgy. Each year, attendees convey that they have been fed, nourished, inspired, and renewed. Yet this renewal we treasure is not for ourselves, but so that we as leaders—pastors, musicians, teachers, and students alike—are strengthened in service.
The intentional presence of students at the Institute, made possible by the Perella Scholarships, sustains the Institute’s commitment to training new generations of liturgical leaders. In the years to come, we look forward to serving as a place of encouragement and challenge, of reflection and conversation. We pray that our future work will deepen the connections where lex orandi and lex credendi—the life of prayer and the life of believing—continue to intersect, thrive, and flourish.
A detailed history of the Institute—including information about themes and presenters—is being prepared and will eventually be posted on this page.