James F. Hodges and Harold and Rita Haynes Professor Emeritus of Liturgics
B.Mus. at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX; M.A. at Harvard in musicology; S.T.B. at the General Theological Seminary in NYC; Magister Sacrae Liturgiae and S.T.D. from the Catholic University in Paris, France.
Born in Houston, Texas, in 1935, but raised in New Orleans, which was the home of my father's family. My school in New Orleans was the Isidore Newman School, where my education opened most of the important doors of my adult life. After I received my S.T.B. from seminary, I went as a priest to work in the Diocese of Puerto Rico, where I had a pastoral assignment serving six small churches in the South-West mountain range. During that time I also began teaching at the newly-established Episcopal Seminary of the Caribbean near San Juan. The work at the seminary led me to want to do graduate study in the field of liturgy, and in 1964 I went to Paris to undertake that work. This was at the time that the Second Vatican Council was taking place in Rome, and my teachers were among the leaders working for liturgical reform in the Roman Church.
In 1971, I returned to the United States to become Professor of Liturgics at Nashotah House in Wisconsin, and in 1988 was invited to join the faculty at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley. I officially retired from full time teaching in 2009, but have continued to teach seminars in sacramental theology since then, and to give much of my time to a series of writing commitments. My most recent book, titled Liturgical Sense will be issued by Church Publishing in 2013.
I believe that it is in the Church's public worship that all the various aspects of the Christian life come together and is the primary place in which Christians are brought together in the celebration of their common faith, and are reminded of the imperatives of that faith for their lives in the world.
During my years of full time teaching, I gave most of my attention and time to the teaching of the two basic courses in liturgy: the 'Introduction to Worship', which offered presented an overview of the constitutive elements of Christian worship and how those elements have developed in the history of the Church; and 'Liturgics', which was essentially a basic course in sacramental theology and ecclesiology.
Professor Weil has written approximately 100 articles over the course of some 50 years and published four books.
- Liturgical Sense: The Logic of Rite (New York: Seabury, 2013)
- Liturgy for Living (co-authored with the late Prof. Charles Price for the Episcopal Church's second 'Church's Teaching Series') (Harrisburg: Morehouse Publishing, 1979, 2000 (2nd edition))
- Sacraments and Liturgy: The Outward Signs (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983)
- Gathered to Pray (Cambridge: Cowley Publications, 1986)
- "Invitation into a Larger Room." [The Berakah Response: address presented at the NAAL meeting in Motreal, Canada, on 8 January 2012.) Proceedings of the North American Academy of Liturgy Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 5-8 January 2012; pp.27-32
Speaker's Bureau Topics
Over the years I have taught and lectured on many subjects in the field of liturgical studies, including clergy conferences, lectures at liturgical congresses, and also in diocesan programs.
Some Less Obvious Things About Me
Having grown up in New Orleans, I have always taken food very seriously. I think that this has contributed to taking the liturgy very seriously.
Favorites/Book Obsessions/Currently Reading
I have been a bibliomaniac all of my life: having been quite sick for three years of my childhood, all I had were books--while other kids were learning how to ride a bicycle! By the time I retired, my library had grown to about 14,000 volumes. So far, I have been able to give away or sell about 4000 volumes--so that must continue. I am particularly proud that about 1500 of my books are now in the seminary library of the Anglican seminary in Holy Kong, where I have taught during three periods, beginning in 1984.