This is a probing study on the history and meaning of the liturgy that also questions how Christian worship will change in the future.The publication by Benedict XV1 of the motu proprio has put the question of the history and meaning of the liturgy back into centre stage, not just for Catholics but for many Christians as well. Dr Hemming seeks to provide an intelligent background to the Pope's decision, addressing himself to a number of questions about the nature and character of Catholic worship that opens a wide-ranging historical discussion which will inform and persuade a wide audience.The chapter on liturgy and revelation is the turning point in the book and shows how an understanding of time that is presumed in all modern philosophical thought is challenged by the understanding of divine self-revelation. This is something the young Fr Joseph Ratzinger focussed on early on in his career. This forces us to ask what our relation to liturgical events are and how we experience them. Dr Hemming therefore advocates a 'high' theology of the liturgy with the profoundest understanding of the numinous and the mysterium of faith.
How will Christian worship change now, asks Dr Hemming in his concluding chapter? He offers a sketch of what may happen in the coming decades and long after the Papacy of Benedict XV1.
Laurence Paul Hemming was until recently on the staff of Heythrop College in London, UK, and is renowned as a preacher, teacher and writer. He has published a number of books and has contributed to The Way and other journals on the spiritual life.
Introduction; 1. The History of Liturgical Reform; 2. The Liturgical Movement; 3. Liturgy and Revelation; 4. Litrugy as Performance; 5. Liturgy as an Understanding of Time; Conclusion.
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