Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yet another book.

My reading list is a mess. I have an odd reading habit of reading about 5 or 6 books at once. This usually means it takes me forever to read a book all the way through.

Anyway, I just started reading a rather interesting book mentioned at least a few times over at The New Liturgical Movement. The book was written in 2003 and is available in pdf format courtesy of Church Music Association of America at the following link:

The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform by Laszlo Dobszay.

I've gotten through the first three chapters (about 45 pages) and it is pretty interesting. From the title you can see that he analyzes the reform of the liturgy following Vatican II. It is a very honest critique, and he doesn't hold back any punches. However, I really like his approach to the book, and I think it gives a proper outlook to the liturgy:
"The critical approach to the "Bugnini Liturgy" presented here reflects neither disobedience toward higher authority nor a practical opposition to liturgical regulations. In everyday life, I am ready to accomodate myself to the currently valid liturgical prescriptions even though as an expert dealing with the liturgy, I consider them wrong or unsuccessful in many respects. Thus, my remarks are made in a spirit of service and not of contestation."

Dobszay's approach appears to be exactly the same attitude that Cardinal Ratzinger has in "Spirit of the Liturgy" ie an honest critique of the liturgy yet remaining faithful to the current liturgical laws. (It shouldn't be any suprise that he dedicated the book to Cardinal Ratzinger.)

Dobszay also uses the same "hermenutic of continuity" as Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI when examining the current liturgy, looking at the new Mass not just vis-a-vis the Tridentine reform, but with the whole liturgical tradition of the Roman rite. And he is not scared to note that even in the Tridentine reform some things were not done in an ideal way.

It's a good and suprisingly engrossing read so far, and I hope to finish it. Supposedly it is going to be republished in book form soon. I'd really like to buy a copy when that happens.

UPDATE - The book is now available from CMAA at this site (at the bottom of the page):

Catholic Music Association of America Books


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