A historic book by a Bishop
Bishop Maurice Taylor, the Bishop Emeritus of Galloway, was chairman from 1997 to 2002 of the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), and therefore the person in charge of the translation of the Mass, a subject of much interest and greater controversy. His new book about the Mass combines teaching and memoir. He himself describes it as: ‘a miscellany, a collection of different items on the Mass.’
He continues: ‘It is a principal aim of this book to consider howfaithfully we nowadays, more than forty years on from the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on the liturgy, observe that teaching and, specifically, its teaching on the Mass. How aware and how appreciative are we of what we should be doing when we gather in worship?’ The early chapters are a lucid exposition of the theology and practice of the Mass as set out by the Council and the documents that followed it. The book concludes with a journey through two important recent Papal documents, John Paul II’s Mane Nobiscum Domine and Benedict XVI’s Sacramentum Caritatis, which build on that teaching.
What makes this book unique
In between come a chapter reflecting on the recent developments concerning the Tridentine Mass and an account of the author’s time as chairman of ICEL. It is this section which gives the book its unique historical importance. With no prior warning, the whole basis of liturgical translation was changed in 2001 by the instruction Liturgiam Authenticam. A fine translation of the missal which had taken sixteen years to complete and which had been approved by both the UK and US bishops, had to be jettisoned. Samples are found in the book. The inside story of these events has not been told before and this book is thus an essential source for historians, as well as a story of great personal interest.
Bishop Taylor says: ‘I hope that this selection will prove helpful and interesting for “ordinary people”. It aims to give an up-to-date appreciation of “the source and summit of the Christian life” as well as a frank account of some of the controversial and painful issues that have arisen as a result of the liturgical renewal of Mass in the Roman rite.’
It’s the Eucharist, Thank God.
Decani Books, 104pp paperback