Liturgist; b. Commonwealth, Wis., Oct. 8, 1894; d. Boston, Mass., April 1, 1963. Gerald was the second of four children born to Hugh Ellard and Margaret Fitzgerald, all four of whom became religious; he followed his older brother, Augustine, into the Society of Jesus, July 27, 1912. In 1925 while studying theology at St. Louis University he met Martin Hellriegel and Virgil michel, and the resulting friendship influenced his determination to do graduate studies in liturgy. He was ordained on June 16, 1926, and began his doctoral studies in the history of liturgy at the University of Munich in 1928. His doctoral dissertation, Ordination Anointings in the Western Church before 1000 A.D. (Cambridge, Mass. 1933), was acclaimed as the first scholarly work by a citizen of the United States in the field of liturgy. Research for this work resulted in the publication of another book, Master Alcuin, Liturgist (Chicago 1956). While professor of liturgy and Church history at St. Mary's College, St. Marys, Kans. (1932–63), he continued to write and lecture. His most influential work was a textbook for college students, Christian Life and Worship (Milwaukee 1933). Other important works were Men at Work and Worship (New York 1940), Mass of the Future (Milwaukee 1948), which was revised and published as Mass in Transition (Milwaukee 1956). He also contributed numerous articles to Orate Fratres, later known as Worship, of which he was one of the original associate editors.
A charter member of the Liturgical Conference, he served on the board of directors until 1956, and delivered papers at many Liturgical Weeks. He continued to serve the liturgical renewal until his death, which came only a few days after he had given a paper before those gathered at Harvard School of Divinity for a Roman Catholic-Protestant colloquium.
Bibliography: e. a. diederich, Yearbook of Literary Studies (Chapel Hill, NC) 4 (1963) 3–21.
[e. a. diederich]