Rorate Caeli

FIUV Position Papers now a book: 'The Case for Liturgical Restoration'

Long-standing readers of Rorate Caeli will remember the series of 'Position Papers' published by me on this blog on behalf of the FIUV: Una Voce International (Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce). These were short but well-referenced discussions of rather specific issues connected with the Traditional Mass: why the priest celebrates ad orientem, what the Mass can do for the evangelisation of Africa, or why we should reconsider the Eucharistic Fast. The series concluded with number 33, on the 1955 Holy Week reform, in two parts.

With the help of Angelico Press and its editors, these have now been thoroughly revised, corrected, and made more consistent and readable, and published as a book:

The Case for Liturgical Restoration: Una Voce Studies on the Traditional Latin Mass; with a Preface by Cardinal Burke.

Buy the book here (in the UK), or at Amazon (in the USA); here is the publisher's page.

See a review by Charles Coulombe on NLM.

Although all the material has been aired already, and remains available at Rorate, I urge readers to get the hard copy, for several reasons, only one of which is the process of revision and correction which they have undergone. The original papers were designed for online publication, so I kept to a strict limit of 1,600 words, relegating a lot of useful material to footnotes. Much of this material has now made its way into the main text, making the whole thing more readable and informative.

The most important reason to buy it, however, is that this is a book you can give away. The series does not fail to defend any part of the liturgical tradition, in relation to the topics considered, but the defence is invariably careful, scholarly, and without polemic. At no point do we made invidious comparisons with the reformed Mass; at no point do we question the good intentions of the reformers. Such things may be legitimate, but they are not what this book is for. It is solely to give readers an understanding of the internal logic, theological and spiritual, of the ancient liturgical tradition, and its possible usefulness for the Church in the task of evangelisation.

As far as is humanly possible, it is a completely safe book to place in the hands of your priest, your Novus Ordo friend, or your bishop. It won't embarrass you or the cause by making unfounded or inflammatory claims. And it defends everything it says, as far as possible, in terms which serious, non-traddy Catholics should appreciate: the post-Conciliar magisterium.

There is a place for stirring polemic. Our Saviour used some pretty vivid language when occasion demanded it. But something else is necessary too, in the current situation: a dispassionate presentation of what is good about the ancient Mass. Our fellow Catholics do not, in general, have any experience of it, and the most common reaction today, in my experience, is incomprehension. There is no need to shout: I'm not talking about people of ill will. We just need to explain.

If we could convey some understanding of what we love about the Traditional Mass, then not only would a lot of unhelpful heat go out of the 'liturgy wars', but a lot of people would be motivated to experience it for themselves. And then, anything could happen.

Buy the book here (in the UK), or from Amazon; here is the publisher's page.