Original thoughts on sacrifice

Michael McGuckian's The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is quite a short book at 137 pages but the length is deceptive: there is a great deal of high quality discussion and many insights into the theology of sacrifice that had me checking references and re-reading sections.

I will not attempt to summarise his thesis: he does that very well himself and if I were to attempt to condense it further, I would have to spend a lot of time correcting misunderstandings resulting from my omission of crucial details that he explains carefully in his book. I may write a review of this book for Faith Magazine but in the meantime, I would suggest that any serious student of theology would benefit from reading the book.

In the course of his argument, he gives a valuable account of the debate at the Council of Trent, a controversial analysis of the offertory of the Mass, and a brilliant proposal for understanding how the Mass is a sacrifice.

Do I agree with him? I'm not sure - but I will certainly be incorporating some of his observations and insights into my sacramental theology notes. His theory certainly deserves to be considered alongside De La Taille and Vonier.

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