Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Suggested Reading

My next post in our series on the Reasons for the Reform of the Roman Rite is immanent, worry not. In the meantime I thought I would meet some readers' request for reading suggestions in matters pertaining to the liturgical reform. All but the last two may be read or downloaded online for free:
  • The "Restored" Holy Week by Msgr. Léon Gromier: a well-grounded critique of the Holy Week reforms by Pope Pius XII in 1956. This is not actually an essay, but a translation into English of a conference given in French in 1960, so it will read awkwardly at times—although not due to Fr. Chadwick's translation work.
  • An Introduction to the Reform of the Roman Breviary 1911-1913 by Mr. Paul Cavendish : this article presents a very detailed summary of how the Roman rite breviary worked before the pontificate of St. Pius X, as well as the problems presented by the inflation of Double-ranked feasts, which I only briefly touched here. The numerous tables compare the old Office with the monastic Office, the suffrages (which I particularly miss), the various ranks and commons used, the votive offices of the Dead and of our Lady, and other rubrical issues. Few realize how deep the reform went. The article refrains from making a strong opinion and functions mostly as an instruction.
  • The Proto-History of the Roman Liturgical Reform by Dr. Geoffrey Hull: a compelling, succinct case that Western European trends such as Jansenism and Ultramontanism influenced the reform of the Roman liturgy far more than Protestantism, which many in the English-speaking world assume.
  • The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform by Mr. Laszlo Dobszay: detailed analysis of the new rites in depth, going deep into the Office and the propers of the Mass. Whereas most analysis tends to focus on the ordinary of the new and old Masses, this 218 page book considers the Office, the arrangement of the psalms, the Office structure, and the use of music during the Mass. His fears of contrasting high and low church culture are prescient. Well worth the read. Download the pdf and save it. One can read the chapters separately rather than sequentially.
  • Of the Five Wounds of the Holy Church by Fr. Antonio Rosmini: an early call for liturgical reform, but without many specific calls as to where or how. A tremendous influence in the early days of the Liturgical Movement.
  • The Mass of the Roman Rite by Fr. Joseph Jungmann, S.J.: went through several editions before the Second Vatican Council started. The writer, the main intellectual force in the later days of the Liturgical Movement, influenced the criticism of the traditional rites and the creation of the Pauline rites more than is commonly realized. Many of those on the Consilium were his intellectual progeny.
  • Shape of the Liturgy by Gregory Dix: best, most holistic liturgical history written available in English. Considers all the rites, in their history, their changes, their character, and their continued usage. Dix clearly favored some sort of renewal, but does not step into the spotlight and state his mind on the matter. This book is marvelous, but does have a few amusing internal inconsistencies: for example he laments the disappearance of far Eastern rites, about which we know virtually nothing, and condemns those who put two candles on the altar at Mass rather than six as antiquarians.

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