Summary of Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal 25, no. 2 (2021)
Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal is the official journal of the Society for Catholic Liturgy. This multidisciplinary journal publishes articles on a wide range of topics that deal with the liturgy of the church, such as church art, music, and architecture. In addition to material focusing on the modern Catholic liturgy, there are also articles on historical, canonical, or theological aspects of church worship. Subscribe to Antiphon here.
An Imagined Past: Initiation, Liturgical Secrecy, and “Mass of the Catechumens”
Lynne C. Boughton
Scholarly consensus holds that the Church of the second through fifth centuries treated baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist as “rites of Christian initiation” and required that catechumens preparing for these sacraments be dismissed from Eucharistic celebrations according to a “discipline of the secret” (disciplina arcani). The consensus accepts the earliness and authenticity of documents designated as “Church orders” whose titles suggest that they transcribe traditions of “apostolic” origin that shaped patristic-era practice. Analysis of these documents, however, reveals anachronisms and differences among manuscript transmissions. Homilies and treatises attributed to Church Fathers that seem to confirm liturgical secrecy have appeared in modern translations, anthologies, and secondary studies that overlook cases of pseudepigraphy or, where a writing is authentic, are inattentive to the original language and/or early translations of its text. The concept of liturgical secrecy may be the product of modern hypothesis rather than objective evidence of patristic-era liturgical practice.
The Centrality of the Eucharist
John M. McDermott, SJ
How can the infinite God be present in the Eucharistic species? In Christ’s humanity? How is God perceptible in the world? Human love joins limitless commitment to finite persons. God’s omnipotence is manifest in love’s experience, actualizing human freedom, establishing supreme unity in the greatest diversity. Since love is creation’s ultimate mystery, philosophy’s conundrums about the One and the Many, the infinite and the finite, etc., which reappear in modern physics, reflect that mystery. For reason to make sense, faith must accept love’s mystery. God’s personal presence in the Eucharist, His self-giving, forbids its use for ecumenical goals or “consciousness-raising.” The Eucharist effects salvation since, receiving Jesus, Love incarnate, men share God’s very life, stronger than death and sin.
Saint Caesarius of Arles and the Singing of Hymns
Higinio Anglès (†) and Giles Conacher, OSB
The interests and activities of Caesarius of Arles (470–542) are somewhat perennial. A very pastoral bishop, at a time when Franks, Goths and Burgundians vied for influence, he respected the linguistic, ethnic and political diversities of his flock and era, seeking to instruct his ignorant peoples (we have over 200 of his sermons), equipping them to practise their religion. Like Ephrem and Ambrose, he appreciated the role of words and music in “soft” formation, that is, the ability of hymns and songs to offer a vehicle for liturgical participation that unites the congregation, and to remain in the memory and continue working outside the time of the liturgy.
Elias Haslwanter reviews Gepreisen bist Du, Herr! Gebetbuch des byzantinischen Ritus, ed. Oleksandr Petrynko and Andreas-Abraham Thiermeyer. Eichstätt: Collegium Orientale, 2020. 1248 pages. €45.00.
Thomas M. Kocik reviews The Holy Decalogue, by Robert F. Slesinski. Fairfax, VA: Eastern Christian Publications, 2020. 94 pages. $15.00.
David M. Friel reviews The Seven Gifts of The Spirit of the Liturgy: Centennial Perspectives on Romano Guardini’s Landmark Work, ed. Christopher Carstens. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2020. 160 pages. $17.95.
Daniel Lloyd reviews The Book of Common Prayer: A Guide, by Charles Hefling. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. 319 pages. £16.99. ISBN: 9780190689698.
Stephen Morgan reviews Ceremonies of the Sarum Missal: A Careful Conjecture, by R. J. Urquhart. London: T&T Clark, 2021. 302 + xxvi pages. $135.00.