Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.
AMDGMany years ago after a CIEL conference I asked Alcuin Reid if he had read De Divinis Officiis by the 12/13C Benedictine Abbot Rupert of Deutz. He had not. Essentially the work by Abbot Rupert is an explanation of the concordance of the various parts of the Mass for each Sunday of the year and the Feastdays. He write for the Mass-priest, the Latin being easy to understand. He explains how the Gospel, the Epistle and the Introit etc fit together. It is a remarkable work, was widely copied and read and was highly regarded. Indeed the catalogue of the monastic library at Cluny indicates they had five copies of the work. Whilst I am sure that the Rev'd Dr Hemming's work is of great value in highlighting the problems of the New Order of Mass I wonder whether following Rupert more resources and energy could be expended on explaining the beauty of the Gregorian Rite. In other words, we need to explain why the Gregorian Rite matters, explain it in its own terms and turn away from comparison with the New Order of Mass. The Gregorian Rite is so little known or understood nowadays in England that a major effort is required so that it does not just fall into a sort of Larkinesque museum-piece and ultimately desuetude. I suspect one of the great weaknesses of the New Order of Mass is the use of three readings on Sundays. In the Gregorian Rite there are only two readings - the Epistle and the Gospel. It is therefore not surprising that comparison of the readings in the Gregorian Rite leads to the theme of the Liturgy for that day - the Introit and Gradual etc merely re-inforce the message. How much more difficult it is in the New Order of Mass to synthesise a theme form three readings. I wonder how many people as they sit down to listen to the homily can even remember what the first reading was.I hope that Lawrence Hemming's book does help to encourage more thought about the Liturgy. But more, I hope that more scholars will return to the sources of Liturgical history. For me Rupert is an excellent place to start.In caritate Xp.,Bryan Dunneitemissa@hotmail.com
Bryan - both Alcuin Reid and Laurence Hemming are deeply immersed in liturgical history and the textual history of the Roman Rite. I am sure that it will always be possible to find texts that could further this research. There is much work to be done.
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