This web site is a memorial to those individuals who were passionate about the reform of the
Roman Catholic liturgy as set forth in Sacrosanctum Concilium (the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy)
and who now, in eternal life, worship the God whom they served in this life.

Anscar Chupungco, OSB

Anscar Chupungco, OSB
Nov. 10, 1939 — Jan. 9, 2013

To view Fr. Chupungco's address to the FDLC following the
acceptance of their 2011 Msgr. Frederick R. McManus award,
click here.

Fr. Anscar Chupungco, OSB, died on Jan. 9, 2013, at the Paul VI Institute of Liturgy in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. He was 73.

Fr. Anscar, as he was more commonly known, was born Jose Herminio Javier Chupungco on Nov. 10, 1939, in Cainta, Rizal. He took the name “Anscar” when he became a Benedictine monk of the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat at the age of 19 in 1958. He obtained his Bachelor and Licentiate degrees in Philosophy and Theology, magna cum laude, from the University of Santo Tomas. He was ordained a priest in 1965. He studied at the Pontificio Ateneo di Sant’ Anselmo in Rome where he obtained a doctorate in Liturgical Studies and later on served as its Rector Magnificus for several years.

Fr. Anscar was president of the Pontificio Istituto Liturgico and consultor for the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), a commission originally formed in 1963 to introduce the English language into the Catholic Mass in English-speaking countries as part of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. He was executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Liturgy until 2009.

Fr. Anscar also served as Rector of the three San Beda Schools in the Philippines. He founded the Paul VI Institute of Liturgy in Malaybalay together with Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales when he was bishop of Malaybalay. He established the Graduate School of Liturgy in San Beda College, Manila. He was internationally and inter-denominationally recognized as an expert in liturgy, edited the standard five-volume Handbook for Liturgical Studies, and authored numerous books and papers on the Liturgy. He was known worldwide for his work on liturgical inculturation, which generated both praise and criticism. He mentored top Filipino liturgists.

Fr. Anscar had been set to receive the CBCP’s highest award, the Jorge Barlin Golden Cross, on Jan. 26. He was also set to receive the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal, a papal honor given for distinguished service to the church.

Among other awards, Fr. Anscar received the highest honor of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions of the United States of America in 2011, named for Msgr. Frederick McManus, a Boston archdiocesan priest who assisted in ICEL’s formation. In a speech accepting that award in October 2011, Chupungco criticized the state of liturgical reform following the council.

Liturgical reform, he said, “is being put to task by a movement known as the ‘reform of the reform.’ It carries an agenda that can have a regrettable impact on the liturgical gains of the council.”

“Dark clouds are forming ominously on the western horizon,” Chupungco said. “They move hurriedly and decisively toward the direction of the sun that burns radiantly in the sky. They cast upon it their somber shadows to hide it from view. Suddenly it is dusk before the appointed time.”

“In reality however the dimness is caused by the passing clouds. I am confident that these cannot put the clock back to yesterday’s evening hours.”

Fr. Chupungco, the Dean of Filipino Liturgists, was laid to rest on January 17, 2013, at the La Loma Catholic Cemetery following the Funeral Mass at the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat in Mendiola, Manila. 

Mary G. Fox, Coordinating Editor of Pastoral Liturgy, has prepared a tribute to Fr. Chupungco which can be found here.