St. Anne’s Liturgy Day features prayer, preaching and music


ROCK HILL — Jesuit Father J-Glenn Murray led more than 100 people in a celebration of Liturgy Day at St. Anne Church Nov. 4. The event was a combination of prayer, instruction, old-fashioned preaching and music by the St. Mary Gospel Choir. Liturgy Day was co-sponsored by St. Anne and the Oratory Center for Spirituality.

Father Murray was familiar to many attendees from his presentation at Fire at the Beach in 2005 and other visits to South Carolina. He is the director of the Office for Pastoral Liturgy and a teacher of homiletics in the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. He was the principal drafter of “Plenty Good Room: The Spirit and Truth of African-American Catholic Worship,” a document from the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy and the Secretariat for African-American Catholics.

The day began with an opening prayer service led by Father David Valtierra, CO, director of the Oratory Center for Spirituality. During morning and afternoon interactive programs, Father Murray discussed the meaning of the Eucharist and concerns the faithful have with the Eucharist.

Father Murray pointed out that the faithful and the church are in a state of constant reformation. He gave a humorous illustration of this when he told the crowd, “I know I’m not what I’m supposed to be, but I’m a lot better than I used to be.”

The priest also reviewed the historical development of the liturgy and the meaning of many of its symbols.

Father Murray addressed practical and spiritual concerns with the participants, often breaking into song and calling for amens. He exhorted the faithful to fuller participation in the liturgy: “If you come to Mass to be entertained, you’re at the wrong place.”

Music by the St. Mary Gospel Choir was a high point of Liturgy Day. The choir’s rendition of “Amazing Grace” received a standing ovation.

Liturgy day was organized by Elena Ziegler, director of religious education for St. Anne, and by Father Valtierra.