Friday, May 20, 2011

Roman MIssal: Books

The new translation of the Missal going into effect at the end of November provides a perfect opportunity for getting to know the Mass better, and Catholic publishers have been more than happy to provide the resources. While there are a number of new titles specifically on what's "new" in the Missal, the books that will have the longest "shelf life" are those that simply incorporate the changes into a solid presentation of the Mass itself.

One of those books is by Dr Edward Sri of the Augustine Institute (where just last Saturday our Sr Irene received her Master's in Biblical Theology). I was given a review copy of Sri's "A Biblical Walk through the Mass: Understanding What We Say and Do in the Liturgy" (my copy came with a handy laminated folder with the new translation of the unchanging parts of the Liturgy).

At first I thought I would just zip through the book and gather some interesting bits of knowledge to add to my liturgical information collection. Simply opening the book to leaf through its pages quickly disabused me of that idea. To casually flip through Sri's book seems almost sacrilegious. I realized that this is a book that deserves to be read in calm, not only without haste, but also without an agenda. It offers a deeply contemplative "walk" through the Mass, Bible in hand, in the company of Fathers and Doctors and Saints of the Church. The Confiteor alone takes up 5 pages of the book, and the Kyrie (Lord Have Mercy) is another 5! Every so often, Sri will pause, so to speak, and go behind the biblical and liturgical texts to the mysteries they express, inviting us to renew our whole participation at Mass, and not just learn stuff about it. Although there is a great amount of "stuff" here to learn, too.

I see that Ascension Press has also prepared a program for groups (with a student workbook and leader's guide): an ideal way to help prepare people not just for "changes ahead," but for the kind of profound reform that Pope Benedict has said always coincides with a renewal of Eucharistic faith.

1 comment:

Margie said...

Many thanks, Sr. Anne, for this posting. I'd be happy get a copy and read up to prepare for the transition. Let us embrace the changes & move forward with these deliberate choices made by the Church. New beginnings... for humanity... for God's glory.