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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.