Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Book Announcement: T&T Clark Companion to Liturgy, Edited by Dom Alcuin Reid

Ever since my copy arrived, it has been my devout intention to prepare a worthy review of this momentous and authoritative new book, the T&T Clark Companion to Liturgy, edited by Dom Alcuin Reid. But since the review may take a while to finish given my teaching schedule and the density of the book, I thought it best to offer at least a teaser of this magnificent volume -- particularly in light of the announcement from the publisher, Bloomsbury, that during the month of February exclusively, people may purchase this book at a 35% discount, using the code LITURGY35.

If you are in charge of a library, or if you can make recommendations of books to libraries, or most of all, if you are a serious scholar of the liturgy, you should make a point of getting and studying this book, whose table of contents reads like a "who's who" of the most thoughtful and penetrating writers on the liturgy. Obviously a volume of 581 pages (xx + 561) cannot include every name, but its breadth and ambition can be seen from the list of authors who contributed chapters: +László Dobszay, +Anscar Chupungco, Uwe Michael Lang, Thomas Kocik, Paul Gunter, Bruce Harbert, Daniel Van Slyke, David Fagerberg, James Monti, Susan Treacy, Timothy McDonnell, Thomas Gordon Smith, Robert Hayward, Yitzhak Hen, Anthony Chadwick, Benjamin Gordon-Taylor, and, of course, Alcuin Reid himself (who is represented by five fine chapters: on participation, on the Liturgical Movement, on the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, on the concept of "pastoral liturgy," and on the usus antiquior's restoration). Indeed, Reid's contributions, taken together, constitute a mini-treatise on some of the most important liturgical topics of our time.

Although the book does present a variety of perspectives, not all of them sympathetic to the hermeneutic of continuity or the recovery of tradition, most of the authors represent the new wave of liturgical scholarship that is highly respectful of and dedicated to the Catholic tradition and, accordingly, skeptical about the rapid and ideologically-motivated changes that befell the Roman Catholic liturgy before and particularly after the Second Vatican Council. In this way, the book exemplifies a noble seriousness of purpose, a depth of intellectual engagement, and a pastoral concern with the health of the Western liturgy that makes it an essential reference work for consultation on the host of topics taken up in its pages.

I would like to draw special attention to an unusual and very helpful feature of this book, one that I had not been expecting: Part V, "A-Z of the Study of Catholic Liturgy," pp. 499-551. Here we have a detailed glossary of liturgical terms, be they rites, ceremonies, books, documents, persons, or concepts, from which any reader can learn a great deal, whether a beginner to the study of liturgy, or one who has been at it a long time.

Here is the table of contents:

Introduction - Alcuin Reid

1 Liturgical Theology - David W. Fagerberg

2 The Jewish Roots of Christian Liturgy - Robert Hayward, Durham University, UK
3 The Study of Early Christian Worship - Daniel Van Slyke, Holy Apostles College, USA
4 Key Themes in the Study of Early Medieval Liturgy - Yitzhak Hen, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
5 Late Medieval Liturgy: A Celebration of Emmanuel, “God with us” - James Monti, Liturgical Scholar and Writer, USA
6 The Roman Missal of the Council of Trent - Anthony Chadwick, Priest of the Traditional Anglican Communion, France
7 In Pursuit of Participation: Liturgy and Liturgists in Early Modern and Post Enlightenment Catholicism - Alcuin Reid, Monastère Saint-Benoît, France
Appendix: Two Nineteenth Century Liturgists - Paul Gunter OSB, Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Saint Anselmo, Italy
8 The Twentieth Century Liturgical Movement - Alcuin Reid, Monastère Saint-Benoît, France
9 The Liturgy of the Sacraments - James Leachman OSB, St Benedict's Abbey, UK 
10. The Divine Office in History - †Lázló Dobszay, (1935-2011)
11 Gregorian Chant - Susan Treacy, Ave Maria University, USA

12 The Vision of the Constitution on the Liturgy - †Anscar Chupungco OSB (1939-2013)
13 The Implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium - †Anscar Chupungco OSB (1939-2013) 
14 After Sacrosanctum Concilium: Continuity or Rupture? - Alcuin Reid, Monastère Saint-Benoît, France
15 A Reform of the Reform? - Thomas Kocik, St Anne's Parish, USA

16 Pastoral Liturgy Revisited - Alcuin Reid, Monastère Saint-Benoît, France
17 The Liturgy and Sacred Language - Uwe Michael Lang, Heythrop College, UK
18 Englishing the Mass - Bruce Harbert, Archdiocese of Birmingham, UK
19 Liturgical Music - Timothy McDonnell, Ave Maria University, USA
20 Liturgical Architecture - Thomas Gordon Smith, University of Notre Dame, USA
21 The Usus Antiquior: Its History and Importance after the Second Vatican Council - Alcuin Reid, Monastère Saint-Benoît, France
22 An Anglican Perspective - Ben Gordon-Taylor, College of the Resurrection, UK



Once again, for the month of February, the book is available at 35% off of the list price ($172), which brings the price down to $111.80. 

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