Rorate Caeli

New book answers the questions: “What is the Roman Rite of Mass? What, indeed, is a traditional liturgy?”

I am pleased to announce to readers of this blog the release of my latest book, The Once and Future Roman Rite: Returning to the Traditional Latin Liturgy after Seventy Years of Exile (TAN Books, 2022). Although it was initially conceived as a response to the fiftieth anniversary of the Novus Ordo (1969-2019) and work began on it then, it developed over time into a full-on response to the numerous errors and lies of progressive liturgists as we find them regurgitated in Traditionis Custodes and its accompanying letter.

The fruit of decades of research, experience, reflection, and debate, Once and Future Roman Rite argues that the guiding principle for all authentic Christian liturgy is sacred Tradition, which originates from Christ and is unfolded theologically and liturgically by the Holy Spirit throughout the life of the Church, in each age and across the ages. The prominent identifying traits of all traditional rites, Eastern and Western—including, of course, the classical Roman Rite—are markedly and designedly absent from or optional in the Novus Ordo, estranging it from their company and making it impossible to call it “the Roman rite” at all.

Paul VI’s new liturgical books, drafted in unseemly haste by an audacious committee of arrogant men who placed themselves above and outside of the stream of tradition as its jury, judge, and executioner, visited upon the longsuffering Roman Catholic faithful a hasty and far-reaching reform permeated with nominalism, voluntarism, Protestantism, rationalism, antiquarianism, hyperpapalism, and other modern errors. But this much is always true and will always be true: man is not master over divine liturgy; rather, all of us, from the lowest-ranking layman to the pope himself, are called to be stewards of God’s best and choicest gifts. This, in turn, imposes genuine moral and ecclesial duties upon us and bestows corresponding rights.

The only possible Catholic response to this crisis of rupture is a full return to the Roman rite in its robust perennial richness as codified after the Council of Trent (i.e., the pre-55 form of the rite: hence “seventy years of exile”). No special permission is or could ever be needed to embrace this heritage and to hand it down to future generations. Fidelity to the traditional Latin Liturgy is, at its root, fidelity to the Roman Church as such and to Christ Himself, Who has inspired the growth and perfection of our religious rites for two thousand years.

In addition to its preface, twelve chapters, and epilogue, the book contains a foreword by Martin Mosebach, nine reproduced artworks, several diagrams, an appendix of (highly revealing) texts by Paul VI on the liturgical reform, a topical bibliography, and a detailed index. At the bottom of this post will be found the Table of Contents. Chapters 1 and 12 (the latter being the lengthiest of all) appear in this book for the first time. The chapters in between, although published in earlier versions online, have been extensively revised and expanded for their inclusion in this volume.

In the following short video, I share a bit more on what the reader will find in this unique book, which has no exact parallel in the traditionalist literature: 

Some reactions:

“This work is a splendid introduction to the key issues of the liturgical debate, in the necessary historical context of liturgical development and of the 1960s reform. I recommend it wholeheartedly.” —Dr. Joseph Shaw

“In this passionate book, Dr. Kwasniewski makes a compelling case for the traditional Roman Rite.” —Stuart Chessman

“At once logical and lyrical, this book is a profound reflection on the meaning of tradition both in general and in the Roman liturgy in particular.” —Fr. Thomas Crean, OP

“At once liturgical, historical, theological, and spiritual, The Once and Future Roman Rite assures the author a place of first rank.” —Dr. Roberto de Mattei

“Dr. Kwasniewski’s detailed and unanswerable paean to Christ in Sacred Tradition.” —Dr. John C. Rao

“This eloquent apologia, written by a man obviously in love with Christ, the Church, and the Mass, deserves a wide exposure.” —Fr. Richard Cipolla

The Once and Future Roman Rite: Returning to the Traditional Latin Liturgy after Seventy Years of Exile. Hardcover • 6 x 9 • 472 pgs • ISBN: 978-1-5051-2662-4 • $32.95

Available from TAN Books, all Amazon outlets, and other online retailers.