Monday, July 17, 2006

Back in print

Roman Catholic Books, based in Ft. Collins, Colorado, has reprinted Monsignor Klaus Gamber's modern classic, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy. Until recently, used copies of this volume were going for over $100 on Amazon. Roman Catholic Books, which sports the description "Reprinting Catholic Classics for the Next Century," is now running a promotion for a softcover edition of the book for $24.95. You may call the publisher at the online website for Roman Catholic Books.

In the Preface to the volume, Msgr. W. Nyssen remarks that the former Cardinal Ratzinger, shortly before Msgr. Gamber's death, described him as "the one scholar who, among the army of pseudo-liturgists, truly represents the liturgical thinking of the centre of the Church." (p. xiii) Ratzinger, of course, authored the Preface to the French edition of Gamber's work, a Preface in which he is notoriously and outspokenly critical of the post Vatican II artisans of the New Rite of the Mass.

In connection with recent posts on this blog in our series on the "hermeneutics of fittingness" of various innovations of the Novus Ordo Missae, Gamber's book is highly relevant. For example, in reference to the question of the versus populum stance of the priest during Mass, he minced no words. He wrote:
"One would look in vain for a statement in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council that said that Holy Mass is to be celebrated facing the people." (p. 142)
Again, more generally addressing the question of worship, the Mass, and the Eucharist -- recently much in the forefront of our discussion in these parts -- the good Monsignor declaimed in more definitive language:
"A real change in the contemporary perception of the purpose of the Mass and the Eucharist will occur only when the table altars are removed and Mass is again celebrated at the high altar; when the purpose of the Mass is again seen as an act of adoration and glorification of God and of offering thanks for His blessings, for our salvation and for the promise of the heavenly life to come, and as the mystical reenactment of the Lord's sacrifice on the cross."
For those who can't wait for the Ft. Collins promotion and would prefer to order directly online, you can order decent used copies now from Amazon for only a few dollars more. Just click on the following link: The Reform of the Roman Liturgy and compare prices. By the way, Roman Catholic Books does offer a free gift though, whatever it's worth to you.

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