Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Pleasure of Liturgical Books and Liturgical Studies

If the solemn worship of God through our rich liturgical rites is first and foremost (and it is of course) then surely access to liturgical books and liturgical studies must be a close second if that isn't too impious to suggest.

Fortunately, I am fairly certain that my sentiment has a fairly sympathetic audience amongst our NLM readership and so I am likely to get away with this bit of bibliophilic hyperbole

I was recently quite happy to pick up this little item:

For those not as familiar, what this essentially is, is the Ambrosian rite equivalent of the Rituale Romanum if you will. It is the book of sacraments, blessings and so on for the "use of the Church of Milan" (ad usum Mediolanensis Ecclesiae) -- i.e. the Ambrosian rite -- as it stood in 1815.

Book lovers are always interested in sharing these things, because they are aware of the joy that it is to find substantial or obscure titles. The great advantage of this is it is like a bibliography at the back of an excellent book: it becomes an opportunity to learn of other important works that you may not have otherwise heard about.

(For my part, I quite enjoy finding titles that pertain to the non-Roman Western rites, such as the Ambrosian rite, the Lyons or Bragan, the Dominican, Carthusian, Carmelite and Premonstratensian and so on; be it the liturgical books themselves or studies on the same.)

In that vein, I thought it would be enjoyable as a lighter Sunday pursuit to ask our readers to comment on these three questions if they are so inclined:

1. What liturgical book or liturgical study do you most prize in your library and why?

2. If there was a liturgical book or study that you would like in your library, what would it be?

3. What book has most profoundly affected you (either in terms of knowledge, appreciation or inspiration) as regards the sacred liturgy?

In sharing your answer to these questions, we not only learn a little bit about one another, but we also might enrich one another.

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