Commission for Liturgy

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 4, 1963.  Chapter 5 of this document calls for ‘the promotion and reform of the liturgy’ and for the establishment in every diocese of ‘a commission on the sacred liturgy under the direction of the bishop, for promoting the liturgical apostolate.’ (SC45).

The relevant paragraphs from the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy are reproduced below:


43. Zeal for the promotion and restoration of the liturgy is rightly held to be a sign of the providential dispositions of God in our time, a movement of the Holy Spirit in his Church. Today it is a distinguishing mark of the Church’s life, indeed of the whole tenor of contemporary religious thought and action.
So that this pastoral-liturgical action may become even more vigorous in the Church, the Council decrees what follows.

44. It is advisable that the competent, territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in art. 22, §2 set up a liturgical commission, to be assisted by experts in liturgical science, music, art, and pastoral practice. As far as possible the commission should be aided by some kind of institute for pastoral liturgy, consisting of persons eminent in these matters and including the laity as circumstances suggest. Under the direction of the aforementioned territorial ecclesiastical authority, the commission is to regulate pastoral-liturgical action throughout the territory and to promote studies and necessary experiments whenever there is question of adaptations to be proposed to the Apostolic See.

45. For the same reason every diocese is to have a commission on the liturgy, under the direction of the bishop, for promoting the liturgical apostolate.
Sometimes it may be advisable for several dioceses to form among themselves one single commission, in order to promote the liturgy by means of shared consultation.

46. Besides the commission on the liturgy, every diocese, as far as possible, should have commissions for music and art.
These three commissions must work in closest collaboration; indeed it will often be best to fuse the three of them into one single commission.

The full text of this document can be accessed here.


The current Commission for Liturgy of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland was established by Bishop Patrick Dunn in October 2014 and held its inaugural meeting on 11 March 2015.   Its mandate can be accessed here.

Most Reverend Patrick Dunn DD, Bishop of Auckland (President)

Pa Peter Tipene (Chair), Dean of the Cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph, Auckland

 Mrs Catherine Everitt, Director of Mission, Baradene College

Fr Larry Rustia, Parish Priest, St Francis and All Souls Parish, Devonport

Mrs Jennifer Fox, Parishioner of St Mary’s Parish, Northcote:

I became interested in and developed a love for liturgy and the way music supports the liturgy when I was teaching at St Michael’s Catholic Primary school where I was the Director of Religious Studies for a time, working closely with Monsignor Brian Arahill to prepare for and play at school Masses as well as training cantors.  I have been one of two Coordinators of Liturgical Music at St Mary’s Northcote for 12 years. I am married with three adult children. I continue to extend my knowledge and repertoire of worthy music to accompany the Church’s various liturgies.

Fr Rodney Smyth SM:

I am a Marist priest and for several years have been working as a supply priest in Auckland diocese. This has taken me to many of the parishes from Kaitaia and the Hokianga to Thames and Waiuku and has given me an appreciation of the wide variety there is within the diocese. I support the concept of unity within diversity and am committed to the vision of the liturgy of Vatican II and the continuing development of the liturgy as a community celebration of the People of God.

Mrs Judith Courtney, (Ex Officio)  Coordinator, Liturgy Centre, Catholic Diocese of Auckland.

I have worked on Liturgy Committees and in parish music ministry for many years, enjoying the possibilities this has given to deepen my appreciation and understanding of liturgy. Vatican II is a gift barely unwrapped and in my current role, I hope to do a little more of that unwrapping.