An introduction to the principal forms and orders of Western liturgy between about 900 and 1700, this book explains their nature and basic historical origin, and presents in detail the contents and orders of principal services as well as additional and special forms of worship. This book emphasizes the mainstream of Western liturgy derived from the medieval Roman Rite as found in secular and monastic churches. After the Reformation it concentrates on the rites of the Roman Catholic church and the Church of England. Harper discusses the nature of liturgy and provides an historical summary and individual chapters on medieval churches and their communities, the Christian calendar, medieval liturgical books, the Psalms, the Office, the Mass, Processions and Additional Observances, Holy Week and Easter, the Tridentine Rite, and the English Book of Common Prayer. Harper concludes with two chapters which raise the problems of establishing the order of a liturgical service, and introduces selected medieval sources accessible in facsimile or edition. A select, annotated bibliography and a glossary of ecclesiastical and liturgical terms are included.
Brand: Oxford University Press, USA
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is a great overview of the main elements of western Christian liturgy. I was only interested in the pre-Reformation section, but this book had all the information I needed.
...for three classes of human beings: 1) musicians, including those who perform and those who listen knowingly, 2) historians of the Middle Ages and Early Modern, 3) Catholics interested in restoring the orders of worship and liturgy in Latin prior to the reforms of the 1960s. I cast my lot with classes 1&2, and I'm broadly sympathetic with those in class 3.
The volume contains a historical overview of the formation and evolution of liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church, concerning both parish and monastic practices. It also describes the liturgical calendar in careful detail, with the goal of re-attaching music and liturgy to their appropriate sacral contexts. Regional and national variations are examined, as are the most important manuscript sources for early liturgical material. The changes that followed the Tridentine Reforms are analyzed, as are the insular liturgical practices of the Church of England. Part IV focuses on the practical uses of published liturgical books...
Harper's book is the best in-print general introduction to medieval Western Liturgy. Harper does an excellent job of explaining complex liturgical matters in the simplest way possible, but quite accurately. The tables showing the contents of the rites are particularly useful, as are the bibliographies and the glossary. The book is of special interest to those who generally like to ignore what happened to the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1960's and 1970's. And for Anglo-philes quite a bit of information is given about medieval English liturgy as well as the reformed English liturgies from 1549 to 1662. Overall, a fantastic introduction and an indispensable resource for those interested in traditional Western liturgies.
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