Dom Prosper Gueranger The Holy Mass

ISBN 13: 9781905574049

The Holy Mass

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9781905574049: The Holy Mass

Dom Prosper Gueranger OSB (1805-1875) devoted himself to liturgical scholarship, polemics, and the establishment of Benedictine communities in France. The Holy Mass is Gueranger's most extensive treatment of the heart of the liturgy and firmly established him as a leading liturgist. By turns devotional, exegetical and historical, this is therefore a timely publication of one of the great treasures of Catholic liturgical spirituality.

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About the Author:

Dom Gueranger was ordained a priest 1827. In 1833 he and four other priests banded together to restore Benedictine monasticism in France, an endeavor that was quickly crowned with success in 1837 when Pope Gregory erected the former priory of Solesmes into an abbey and constituted it head of the French Congregation of the Benedictine Order with Fr. (now Dom) Guéranger as first Abbot of Solesmes and Superior General of the Congregation. For the rest of his life Dom Gueranger distinguished himself as a strong supporter of papal authority against Jansenist and Gallican tendencies in France; and as a powerful apostle of the Roman Rite, eager to supplant the various French diocesan rites with it as well as to publish books to nourish the faithful with the spiritual treasures to be found in the liturgy. For this reason he is known as one of the fathers of the modern Liturgical Movement .

Review:

Dom Prosper Gueranger needs little introduction. He is of course the father of the liturgical movement and is best known for his voluminous collection, The Liturgical Year. What Dom Gueranger did for the liturgical year, he does for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in this, much more manageable volume. Those familiar with the legion of old Catholic books which make a commentary on the different parts of the Mass, according to the ancient Roman liturgical books. This is precisely what Dom Gueranger does in The Holy Mass. In a sense, this work can be summarized as one which gives a summary of the ceremony and history of the liturgical books, and gives a devotional commentary and meditation upon the particular actions and prayers of the ancient Roman liturgy. As suggested, there have been various books and authors whom have set out to accomplish this same task. However, of all those worthy efforts, it seems that if there where to be any one in particular to have in a Catholic library, it would be this particular one. Two reasons come to mind in such an assessment. The first of course pertains to the author. The works and liturgical commentaries of Dom Gueranger are considered classics, especially to those who appreciate our liturgical tradition. Particularly as a devotional work, one can do little better than this French Benedictine whose love of the ancient Roman liturgy still reaches us today. The second reason relates to the beauty and quality of the binding a beauty and quality well representative of its subject matter. Baronius Press makes it a goal to produce high quality books; books with artistic flair. The Holy Mass includes a deep green hardcover with gold, decorative designs on the front cover and spine. As well, the volume includes a golden ribbon and marbled endpapers. All in all, it is a wonderfully produced book and would in particular make a nice gift for a friend, priest or seminarian not to mention a wonderful addition to your family's Catholic library. --Shawn Tribe, New Liturgical Movement Blog, April 2, 2006

I mentioned in a previous post the book The Holy Mass by Dom Prosper Gueranger. Originally published in the 19th century, this work has been republished by Baronius Press. The Holy Mass is a step-by-step explanation of the order of the Mass. Being from the 19th century, the Mass in question is Tridentine. Of course, there are lots of similarities between that and the Novus Ordo (an explanation of the Gloria or Credo is just as applicable for either Mass), and that makes this a great introduction to the Tridentine Mass, as well as a great source for digging a little deeper into the whys of the Mass. The book is clearly divided into sections that stand alone, so it s entirely possible to flip to a particular section that interests you at the time and put it down after that. It also has an Order of the Mass in the back (Latin and English), which is a nice feature. Since there s no proper texts included (obviously this isn t a missal after all), this section is more of a reference than anything, but it s nice to have back there. Finally, I just have to mention the physical nature of the book itself. It s the perfect size for carrying in your purse or church lady bag, with a hard cover and (!) ribbon marker. The paper is nicer than average, too, making this a lovely volume that will last for years. All in all, I highly recommend this book for yourself or for anyone who is just getting introduced to the old Mass, or who is interested in learning more about the Mass. --The Pious Sodality of Church Ladies blog, Nov. 5, 2009

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