Tag Archives: liturgy

The Liturgical Commentaries of St Symeon of Thessalonika



Liturgical Commentaries of St Symeon Steven Hawkes Teeples.jpg

I am happy to recommend my friend’s recently published book, The Liturgical Commentaries of St Symeon of Thessalonika.

From the book:

This volume contains an edition and facing
English translation of Explanation of the Divine Temple and “On the Sacred
Liturgy,” the two commentaries on the pontifical (hierarchal) Byzantine Divine
Liturgy by St. Symeon of Thessalonika (†1429). This edition is based on MS
Zagora 23, which contains extensive corrections and additions apparently added
to the text by the author himself. The book opens with a historical and
theological foreword on liturgical commentaries and mystagogy by Archimandrite
Robert Taft. The introduction surveys the life and career of St. Symeon,
analyzes the structure and theology of the commentaries, and concludes with an
account of technical and editorial questions. The index includes references to
names, places, and topics in Symeon’s text and in the introduction and traces
key terms in the commentaries in both Greek and English.

A review:

Fr Steven Hawkes Teeples, SJ.jpg

With this book Fr.
Steven Hawkes-Teeples, SJ, Professor of Byzantine Liturgy at the Pontifical
Oriental Institute in Rome, fills a gaping hole in the scholarly literature
associated with the overlapping academic fields of Byzantine Studies, Medieval
Studies, Orthodox Theology, and Oriental Liturgiology. The present volume
represents the first translation into any modern western academic language of
both commentaries of St. Symeon of Thessalonika (d. 1429) on the Byzantine
Divine Liturgy or Eucharist. Such neglect is surprising, for St. Symeon is an
author of the first importance. As the last and most prolific Orthodox
liturgical theologian of the Byzantine era, who lived at the point when the
Byzantine Empire was moving toward its demise before the Ottoman onslaught, he
crowns and closes his era. — Robert F. Taft 

Vox Clara Committee meets in Rome this week


The group of bishops and experts who oversee the translation and promulgation of liturgical texts in English met in Rome this past week. Read the CNS story on the meeting by Cindy Wooden. Here is the press release.

Vox Clara July 2011.JPG

The Vox Clara
Committee met from July 24-26 in Rome. This Committee of senior Bishops from
Episcopal Conferences throughout the English-speaking world was formed by the
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on July
19, 2001 in order to provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language
liturgical books and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences
of Bishops in this regard.


Read more ...

Monastic Worship Forum launched

Periodically the Benedictine monks, nuns and sisters meet to discuss issues pertaining the sacred Liturgy and sacred music as done in their monasteries. They met two weeks ago at the Archabbey of Saint Meinrad for the meeting and decided to formally merge the liturgical and musicians’ groups into one: The Monastic Worship Forum. This work has been in process since 2009. The purpose of the Forum is to provide support, education, and formation in the sacred Liturgy for monastic contexts in order that God maybe glorified.

Benedictine monk Father Godfrey Mullen chairs the committee that will lead the Forum. Father Godfrey earned his doctorate in Liturgy from the Catholic University of America and serves as the VP for Saint Meinrad Seminary and the Archabbey’s director of Liturgy.
The new website can be found here.
Blessed Ildefonso Schuster, and all Benedictine saints and blesseds, pray for us.

Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI: Alcuin Reid reviews

Much has been said about Anthony Cekada’s book Work of Human Hands, some of the critique is lazy, or rigidly steadfast to one’s limp opinion. Nothing is so relevant as information, and nothing so problematic as ignorance (being “untrained”). My hope is that we’d not be too preoccupied by our our thinking; I have confidence that Truth can be revealed in honest thinking and dialogue. The sacred Liturgy, because of its import in our worship of the Triune God, needs to be faithful to Christ and to the Tradition the Church. Cekada’s work is a sizable and it deserves attention. Because of my interest in the sacred Liturgy I am re-posting the book review originally posted on the New Liturgical Movement blog. I am grateful to Dr Alcuin Reid for his tour of the work and the author, and to Shawn Tribe for posting Reid’s review.

Anthony Cekada, Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI, Philothea Press, West Chester, Ohio 2010.

Work of Human Hands.jpg

I have long been in Father Cekada’s debt, for it was his booklet The Problems with the Prayers of the Modern Mass that alerted me almost twenty years ago to the significant theological difference between the pre-conciliar and post-conciliar Roman Missals. Work of Human Hands is by no means so succinct a publication. It is a substantial attempt to demonstrate profound theological rupture between the two, and more. It deserves serious attention.

Some will dismiss this study because Father Cekada is canonically irregular and a sede vacantist. Whilst these are more than regrettable, ad hominem realities are not sufficient to dismiss this carefully argued and well researched work. We must attend to his arguments on their merits.

The principal thesis is that “the Mass of Paul VI destroys Catholic doctrine in the minds of the faithful and in particular, Catholic doctrine concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the priesthood and the real presence,” and that it “permits or prescribes grave irreverence.” His secondary thesis is that the Mass of Paul VI is invalid. His practical conclusion is that “a Catholic may not merely prefer the old rite to the new; he must also reject the new rite in its entirety. The faith obliges him to do so.” These strong, even extreme, positions may themselves repel readers. But again, they must be examined.

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Aidan Kavanagh, monk, priest, liturgical scholar: 5th anniversary of death


kavanagh.jpgStudents of the sacred Liturgy are familiar with the scholarship
and some would say “pioneering work” in the realm of adult baptism and the new (in 1972) Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) by Father Aidan Kavanagh, a Benedictine monk
and priest of the Archabbey of Saint Meinrad.


Most of Father Aidan’s professional teaching life
was spent away from Saint Meinrad having only taught a few years in his
monastery’s seminary. In discernment with his abbot, Father Aidan devoted his energies
to teaching at the University of Notre Dame and then for many years Yale
Divinity School (New Haven, CT).

Why mention this? Well, today is the fifth
anniversary of Father Aidan‘s death. The necrology is always an occasion to
express our gratitude to God for graces bestowed on his through his children. I
am grateful for the books written by Father Aidan (he is required reading in
the study of the Liturgy) and the countless peoples he taught and guided in the
Christian life.

May God be merciful to Father Aidan and may his memory be
eternal.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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