Disciplina de sacra Liturgia in seminariis et studiorum domibus religiosis inter disciplinas necessarias et potiores, in facultatibus autem theologicis inter disciplinas principales est habenda, et sub aspectu cum theologico et historico, tum spirituali, pastorali et iuridico tradenda.
It was in paragraph 16 of the Constitution on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, as the first fruits of the Second Vatican Council, that a new era for the liturgy was prepared with the expressed purpose of renewing a sense of the dignity and depth within the mystery of Christ celebrated per ritus et preces. This presented the significance of liturgy as a liturgical science and, correspondingly, as a theological discipline inter disciplinas principales. From then on, the “theology taught” in university departments could no longer advance without “faith celebrated” in and by the people of God, not only at a sacramental level, but also as part of a deeper scientific reflection. Consequently, liturgy would emerge as an essential catalyst for all theological disciplines since it would in future no longer be taught merely «under a theological context [but] under its historical, spiritual, pastoral and juridical aspects», to embrace the various “limbs” of the one “body” of theological reflection.
In that context the other disciplines are invited “to say something” about the liturgy in the same way as the liturgy is able to shed light on the unique and unifying subject of theological research: the Mystery of Christ who died and rose from the dead. Curent insuper aliarum disciplinarum magistri, imprimis theologiae dogmaticae, sacrae Scripturae, theologiae spiritualis et pastoralis ita, ex intrinsecis exigentiis proprii uniuscuiusque obiecti, mysterium Christi et historiam salutis excolere, ut exinde earum connexio cum Liturgia et unitas sacerdotalis institutionis aperte clarescant.
Stirred by the desire to fulfil the substantial and fascinating task with which it has been specifically entrusted, the Pontifical Liturgical Institute is totally committed to scientific research, and, in particular, to the study of the sources and of the historical and liturgical development of the rites, so providing the sound basis necessary for subsequent theological reflection.
In that vein, our periodical, Ecclesia Orans, ever since its foundation in 1984, has embraced this challenge by giving its “voice” and editorial resources to all, who in their love for the liturgy and for scientific study, have desired, in the past as now, and to those who will continue to express their desire to contribute to the ongoing development of liturgical study in years to come. Often our journal, beyond its having risen as the guardian and official organ of the thought and scientific reflection of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, has become a “crossroads” of theological exchange, profound reflection, and of scientific contributions of unquestionable value in which the dogmatic theologian enters into dialogue with the liturgist, the liturgist with the ecclesiologist, the ecclesiologist with the historian, the historian with the pastoral theologian, all deeply convinced that “the” way to address theological dialogue is by way of an interdisciplinary approach, not as a “concession” to scientific knowledge, but as a “way” of pursuing scientific research. The current issue of Ecclesia Orans shows that we are going to publish, in a clear manner, the role of liturgical science as a “meeting place” of various theological disciplines and of the different perspectives of their thought, to serve the Church.