22nd Asian Liturgy Forum - Taiwan
Sr. M. Virginia Velez and Sr. M. Martha Bruan were among the delegates of Taiwan in the 22nd Asian Liturgy Forum (ALF) held in ONE WORLD Community Services Center and in China Trust Hotel, Xindian Taipei on October 15 to 18, 2018. The Asian Liturgy Forum was established in 1996 by the Federation of Asian Bishop’s Conference (FABC) “to provide a forum for Catholics in Asia to discuss liturgical matters pertaining to each country.” It was well attended by the delegates from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand,Timor Leste and Finland, a non-Asian country.
On the first day of the forum, October 15, the participants gathered in the Holy Trinity Church for a solemn Vespers. The delegates from the Philippines led the Vespers which was presided by Fr. John Heng. After praying, the delegates were ushered to a restaurant and Most. Rev. Martin Su, President of Commission for Sacred Liturgy of the Regional Bishop’s Conference, gave his welcome address. There was also the reading of the message of Most Rev. Anthony Lee Kok Hin, the Bishop Emeritus of Miri. The opening message was given by Most Rev. Julius S. Tonel, DD, SLL, the Chairman for Asian Liturgy Forum. Bishop Tonel gave some preliminaries for the delegates to understand better the ALF. The sumptuous meal was served after this and it was an occasion for the delegates to get to know one another.
On the second day, at 9 o’clock in the morning, Msgr. Florencio Salvador Jr., from the Philippines gave a conference on the “Bible and Liturgy.” Msgr. Salvador delved deeply into the theme of the Forum by explaining Bible and Liturgy as intra textual continuum (foundational saving event), the Liturgy as the privileged setting for the Word of God and the Priest as the Minister of the Word. He presented some practical proposals to promote fuller participation in the Liturgy.
On the following days, the following were also discussed: report presented from Thailand, sharing of Dr. Jukka Helle, from Finland, who talked about an important part of his academic dissertation entitled, “Towards A Truly Catholic And A Truly Asian Church: An Asian Wayfaring Theology of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) 1970-2012.” The talk of Dr. Jelle enlightened the assembly in understanding what it means to be truly Catholic and Asian Church. In the evening, the participants had the luxury of listening to the choral rendition with the theme, “Fragrance of Prayer” by a choral group with the conductress, Miss Su.
The last day of the assembly was spent for the presentation of some reports, finalization of the ALF statement and voting for the next year’s ALF theme which is “Liturgy and Social Communications.” The closing of the ALF was within the dinner with cultural presentation of the delegates. Sr. M. Virginia and Sr. M. Martha had the privilege to join the Filipino participants in singing medley songs. The participants were grateful to the initiative of Fr. Charles Pan, Director of the Commission on Liturgy of Taipei for this well-organized forum and grateful also for the presence of Mr. Chen Chien-jen, Vice President of Taiwan, Republic of China.