Thursday, March 20, 2008

Liturgical Fiction

Here's one that almost slipped by, a book of Catholic fiction and humour based upon the topic of the "liturgy wars" as it affects parish life. Looks like a fun read during the coming spring or summer.

The book in question is called Smoke in the Sanctuary and it is written by Stephen Oliver, illustrated by Jack Fieldhouse.

The price is £7.95 and the book is available through Southwell Books in England.

From the publisher:

"Stephen Oliver’s witty take on English Catholic parish life in the early 21st century drew praise (and laughter) from laity and parish clergy alike when it was first published. Not only does it present an array of hilariously well drawn characters that will be instantly recognisable in most parishes, it also uses humour to examine the serious question of the liturgical changes in the Catholic Church over the last 40 years. This new edition has the twin bonuses of a new foreword by Fr. Tim Finigan and glorious illustrations by Jack Fieldhouse."

‘Smoke in the Sanctuary presents a wickedly funny taxonomy of the usual suspects involved in the liturgical wars ...[but it] rises above the level of propaganda and emerges as a humane story about divine worship. Smoke is also a real page-turner, difficult to put down and easy to read... audiences will enjoy Oliver’s dry wit.’
--Michael P. Foley, author of Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Friday?

‘It is a difficult task to write a humorous novel from a traditionalist perspective about a post-Vatican II parish without sneering or sermonising. Stephen Oliver has succeeded magnificently, giving us a story that is not quite too far-fetched to be believable, characters that are only just caricatures, and artefacts that appear in the narrative quite sensibly despite being ridiculous.’
--Fr. Tim Finigan, from the Foreword

Fr. Finigan had a post up on this a few months ago.

While you are over there, you might also want to check out this unique title: The Western Rising, 1549: The Prayer Book Rebellion

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