Sunday, October 14, 2007

Important Liturgical Titles that you may not hear as much about... but should

I was thinking recently that there are a number of books of liturgical commentary which we simply don't hear much about in popular discourse. I believe this is a great shame, because there are many important things to be found therein.

All of these titles have been in the sidebar here at the NLM for some time, however, I wanted to draw your attention to some of these newer, lesser heard, or in some cases, simply forgotten titles:

Ever Directed to the Lord: The Love of God in the Liturgy of the Eucharist Past, Present, and Hoped For, ed. U.M. Lang

This book was only recently released and while it is quite pricey indeed, it does provide an important series of essays by the likes of Eamon Duffy, Laurence Hemming, Jonathan Robinson, U.M. Lang, Lauren Pristas and others. (Look Inside the Book here)

The conference took place in Oxford in 2005 and was quite significant. If you cannot bring yourself to save up for it, might I recommend you consider making it a gift request. I will be providing a review of this book shortly.

Beyond the Prosaic: Renewing the Liturgical Movement, ed. Stratford Caldecott

These are the proceedings of the 1996 conference hosted by the Oxford Centre for Faith and Culture. It also includes a series of important essays that particularly touch upon the reform of the reform, but are of course generally of interest as well. The book also contains the 1996 Oxford Declaration on the Liturgy -- which, incidentally, was one of the very first things posted on the NLM, on the first day of its existence.

The CIEL Proceedings

The Centre International d'Etudes Liturgiques has put out a number of important essays from the annual colloquia. These scholarly, non-polemical essays focus upon the classical Roman liturgy, but are broad enough in their consideration to be relevant to those people working in the context of the reform the reform as well.

Each volume follows a theme and contains multiple essays from a variety of contributors including priests, monastics, bishops and academics. The following are available in the English language so far:

The Veneration and Administration of the Eucharist

Altar and Sacrifice

The Ministerial and Common Priesthood in Eucharistic Celebration

Theological and Historical Aspects of the Roman Missal

The Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

Faith and Liturgy

Liturgy and the Sacred

Liturgy, Participation and Sacred Music

The proceedings form the 2006 conference in Oxford, The Genius of the Roman Liturgy, are in the midst of the arrangements for being published.

Four Benefits of the Liturgy, by a Benedictine Monk

This wonderful little book provides one of the most succinct and beautiful meditations upon the sacred liturgy, using the classical liturgy as its context, that I have read. It is an ideal book, being only 30 odd pages, to give to people to help them begin understand the power and nature of the sacred rites.

I have heard it said that anonymous monk who wrote the book was none other than Dom Gerard Calvet of Le Barroux.

Thomas Aquinas and the Liturgy, David Berger

An interesting and important study that examines and proposes a Thomistic understanding of the importance of the sacred liturgy.

Looking at the Liturgy: A Critique of its Contemporary Form, Aidan Nichols, O.P.

This is more of a "forgotten" title that was quite referenced at the time of its publication. It included one of the first critiques I recall which examined the Enlightenment influences in relation to the liturgical reform -- something Fr. Jonathan Robinson then expanded upon in his excellent work, The Mass and Modernity.

Cardinal Reflections on Active Participation in the Liturgy

A short but interesting study on the nature of active or actual participation, focusing upon the misnomer that participation is driven by external activity.

A couple of other titles I have not had an opportunity to read myself, but would like to are:

Losing the Sacred: Ritual, Modernity and Liturgical Reform, David Torevell

A Pope and a Council on the Sacred Liturgy: Pope Pius Xii's Mediator Dei and the Second Vatican Council's Sacrosanctum Concilium With a Comparative Study a Tale of Two Documents, Aidan Nichols, O.P.

This list is by no means exhaustive of course. I can think of architectural titles, historical and so forth that also merit mention, but suffice this listing for now.

All of these, of course, are in addition to the fine and well konwn works that we already discuss regularly here and elsewhere by the likes of Alcuin Reid, Fr. U.M. Lang, Fr. Jonathan Robinson and so on.

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