This year’s annual Kavanagh lecture will be given by Juliette J. Day, lecturer in church history in the Theology department at Helsinki University. The event is sponsored by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and is part of Yale Divinity School’s convocation program.
Speech, chant, song, instrumental music, ritual sounds, silence, and even noise constitute the principal auditory experiences in Christian worship. Much attention is paid to how these sounds are produced, but almost none to how they are received, even though our ways of thinking about God, the world and ourselves are dependent on that which we hear. “Hearing our Prayers: Audition and its rituals in Christian Worship” will argue that ‘liturgical listening’ is a distinctive ritual activity which models an authentic listening to God even as it suggests ways in which God hears our prayers.
Juliette J. Day studied theology at Ripon College in Oxford, followed by a masters and doctorate in church history at King’s College, London. She has taught liturgical studies and church history at Oxford, Lampeter, and Helsinki universities, and at Sarum College (England). She has also been a member of the the liturgical commissions of both the Church in Wales and in the Church of England. From 2016-17 she was a research fellow at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.
Originally, Juliette’s research and publications were on early Christian liturgy, especially the baptismal and eucharistic liturgies of Jerusalem, but it has since broadened to include an examination of the role of the text in worship. More recently it has focused on the intersection between ritual, material culture, and the senses in the early medieval period. The lecture is based upon her forthcoming book: “Hearing our Prayers: An examination of Liturgical Listening” (Liturgical Press, 2014).
The Kavanagh Lecture, presented by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, is named for the late professor emeritus of Liturgics, Aidan J. Kavanagh O.S.B., and is given in conjunction with convocation week at Yale Divinity School.