Wednesday, November 19, 2014

“Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis” - A New Book by Peter Kwasniewski

Since he first came on board here at NLM about a year and a half ago, Dr Peter Kwasniewski has given us a large number of valuable contributions on a wide variety of topics. He manages to post a thought-provoking and learned essay almost every single week, while raising a family, teaching at Wyoming Catholic College, and contributing to a variety of other publications. Only two weeks ago, we published notice of Sacred Choral Works, his recently published collection of his own compositions of sacred music. Somehow, he has also managed to complete another book, now available from Angelico Press, entitled Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church. This collection of 14 essays discusses many different aspects of the liturgy, the liturgical crisis in the Church, and the remedies thereof, and is full of his accustomed wit and wisdom. I was given the text of the penultimate edit to review, but I will wait for my copy of the final printed version to arrive before publishing my own review of it later on. Let me just say here that I found it interesting on every level, and a great encouragement when thinking about the current state of the Church’s liturgical life; I also enjoyed reading it stylistically, and will certainly come back to it for inspiration for my own writing.

The book can be ordered from or Here are the links:

From Angelico’s website:

Since the time of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has experienced an unprecedented crisis of identity, symbolized and propelled by the corruption of the greatest treasure of her tradition: the sacred liturgy. The result has been confusion, dismay, devastation. To the surprise of some, however, the same half-century has witnessed a growing counter-movement of Catholics who find in the Church’s traditional liturgy a perennial witness to the orthodox faith, a solid foundation for the interior life, an ever-flowing source of missionary charity, and a living embodiment of the true Catholic spirit.

In this book, Peter Kwasniewski presents a fearless critique of the path of liturgical novelty and a detailed apologia for liturgical tradition in all its beauty, richness, and profundity, addressing such topics as ­solemnity, sacredness, the language of symbols, contemplation, participation, the symbiosis of lex orandi and lex credendi, silence, music, worship in Latin, and Gregorian chant. He confronts the humanism, rationalism, utilitarianism, and modernism so prevalent in the liturgical reform, assesses the prospects and limitations of a “Reform of the Reform,” and reflects on the great gift of Summorum Pontificum. In the end, Kwasniewski argues for a zealous recommitment to Catholic Tradition in its fullness, starting with divine worship and embracing the whole realm of faith and morals, including integral Catholic social teaching.

Evidently, there is an all-encompassing crisis in the Church, which the Extraordinary Synod unveiled to a global audience. Unexpectedly a resurgence is taking place, with the usus antiquior or classical Roman Rite at the very heart of it. To those who have loved the traditional Mass all their lives, those who have newly come to it, or those who simply wish to learn more about the issues, this book offers abundant matter for reflection.

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