Rorate Caeli

Work of Human Hands

In the discussions (which, so far, have been civil, thank God) currently taking place in the combox for Rorate's post on Fr. Stefano Carusi's analysis of the reform of Holy Week under Pope Pius XII, the book "Work of Human Hands" by Fr. Anthony Cekada has been repeatedly cited. For the information of our readers I would like to post here Philothea Press' press release on the book.

Philothea Press is proud to announce the release of Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI by Rev. Anthony Cekada.

At a time when many Catholics have started to re-assess the post-Vatican II liturgical changes with a more critical eye, Father Cekada provides a scholarly and comprehensive analysis of the new rite by examining:

• How the Mass of Paul VI was created.
• The writings of the liturgists who created it.
• The theological principles behind the words and gestures of the new rite.

Father Cekada amply demonstrates that the differences between the old Mass and the new run far deeper than aesthetics, connection with the past and the sense of mystery in religion. Work of Human Hands is a copiously referenced work and represents a major contribution to the liturgical debate currently taking place in the

Some priestly praise for Work of Human Hands:

"Nowhere have I seen such an exhaustive and well-researched analysis of just exactly what the Modernists did to the Catholic Mass, step by step."

"Meticulous attention to detail manifests countless hours of research. The numerous footnotes, extensive bibliography and full index make it a great research tool. It compliments other works written on the subject and provides additional information not found elsewhere."

Though scholarly in scope and citation, the book can be recommended not only to liturgical experts but to seminarians, college students and laymen as well—to anyone who cares about the causes and effects at work in the reformed liturgy.

Available, together with excerpts online, at Amazon or at

Sneak peeks of chapters in the book can be found here

There is also a blog dedicated to supplementing the book's contents: Doctrina Liturgica.

The book itself, although written by a well-known sedevacantist, does not delve into the sedevacantist thesis.
I am not of the opinion that a book or article should never be mentioned simply because it is authored by a sedevacantist. Here in Rorate we have posted, or linked to, articles written by Eastern Orthodox and by Anglicans -- surely there should be nothing controversial about noting a work by a sedevacantist Traditionalist, especially if it contributes something to the discussion of the contemporary crisis of the sacred liturgy?

"Inquire not who may have said a thing, but consider what is said." (Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chap. 5)