Summary of Questions liturgiques 101, no. 1-2 (2021)
Founded in 1910 by Dom Lambert Beauduin, Questions Liturgiques/Studies in Liturgy welcomes scholarly contributions (i.e. articles, notes, book essays etc.) in the fields of liturgical theology, the historical study of liturgy and the sacraments, sacramentology, symbol theory, ritual studies, the phenomenology of devotional practices, the anthropology of religion and cognate disciplines. Although the review is rooted in the Catholic tradition, it encourages ecumenical, comparative and interreligious approaches. Subscribe to Questions liturgiques here.
Thomas Aquinas as a Source for Eucharistic Mystagogia
Thomas Aquinas developed his thought on the Eucharist in a variety of genres, especially the Summa Theologiae, his biblical commentaries as well as in liturgical prayers and hymns. He amply integrates patristic Eucharistic teaching, especially that of Augustine of Hippo. The present essay traces the patristic sources of Aquinas’s Eucharistic texts before setting out several key themes that have the potential for integration into contemporary mystagogia. The article also analyzes some features in Aquinas’s mode of theological argumentation which point to the function of Scripture and liturgical signs within his Eucharistic doctrine.
A Frayed Tapestry: The Future of the Western Non-Roman Rites
Nathan P. Chase
The Western liturgical tradition has historically consisted of a diversity of Rites and Uses; however, the Roman Rite is by far the most frequently celebrated tradition today. This article provides a summary of the non-Roman Western liturgical tradition from the fourth century onwards. It updates the work of Archdale King and others who have studied the Western Non-Roman Rites. This article outlines the history of each major Western Non-Roman liturgical tradition and whether it is (or is not) celebrated today. Particular attention is paid to the reform of the Western Non-Roman Rites after Vatican II and the establishment of new liturgical traditions after the Council. Finally, this article touches on calls for liturgical inculturation, and argues that the historic diversity of the Western liturgical tradition can provide an impetus for, and a guide to, liturgical inculturation today.
Interrogatory Creedal Formulae in Early Egyptian Baptismal Rites: A Reassessment of the Evidence
Maxwell E. Johnson
In response to Alistair Stewart, who has argued that that the current scholarly consensus about creedal formulae in Egypt as originally consisting of a question and answer format at baptism, and not a declaratory creed, is ‘found wanting’, and that any conformity between Egyptian and western baptismal sources is inaccurate, this essay provides a reassessment of the Egyptian evidence. Stewart’s use of the current Coptic Rite of Baptism as the key to interpreting earlier sources (Origen, Dionysius, Rufinus, Didymus the Blind, the Canons of Hippolytus, and Cyril of Alexandria) reflects an anachronistic methodological approach. What is consistent and clear in all of these sources is explicit reference to baptismal interrogations and responses. Hence, there is no compelling reason to abandon the scholarly consensus on Alexandrian baptismal creedal formulae.
Le caractère performatif de la Parole de Dieu: Validation d’une proposition de Benoît XVI
This study examines the performative dimension of the Word of God in the liturgy. Following the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini of Benedict XVI (2010), which opens explicitly to the theological appropriation of the theory of performativity, this article aims to verify and validate the liturgical application of the Austinian performative approach. First, we focus on the aspects of the apostolic exhortation that can be read in connection with the theory of performativity. In a second moment, we come back to the proposition of John L. Austin, while examining especially the conditions of the performatives, as well as the ‘illocutionary force’ which characterizes them, in the liturgical context.
Celebratio sursum ad Dominum: Priest and People at the Altar
The author considers whether there is an official, preferred directionality for the priest at the altar in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite of Mass. He examines the editions of the Roman Missal promulgated after Vatican II, comparing and contrasting the relevant details with those in the Roman Missals promulgated between 1570 and 1962. He reviews the few mentions during the Second Vatican Council of directionality at the altar, including those comments made during public sessions but rarely mentioned in the literature. He provides a brief study of the matter in the modern liturgical movement before the Council and in preparatory documents for the Council. Finally, he examines other liturgical books and directives following Vatican II, including directionality matters concerning the presidential chair. He concludes that versus populum is the official, preferred directionality, noting that the design of sanctuaries following the Council overlooks that altars are, theologically and in the architectural tradition, sursum ad Dominum, in spite of the helps offered within the preparatory documentation which emphasise that forgotten direction.
The Anointing of the Sick: Conciliar Reform and Post-Conciliar Practice
Basilius J. Groen
At first, the historical development of the anointing of the sick – unfolding from a healing ritual to extreme unction, and back – is concisely fleshed out, culminating in reform undertaken by the Second Vatican Council. Then, both the pre-conciliar ordo of extreme unction and the revised post-conciliar ordines of holy anointing and the blessing of the oils are examined. Thereafter, the author investigates contemporary practice in the Roman Catholic Church, ranging from continuation with the past to emphasis on healing as well as on encouragement and strengthening. In an interlude, he poses the hermeneutical question of whether return to the practice of the Early Church – an important criterion of conciliar liturgical reform – is possible altogether. Subsequently, three multifaceted issues are brought up for debate, namely, the theology, situation and minister proprius of the sacrament in question. Finally, the author describes the occurrence of ‘interdenominational cross-fertilization’ and looks into Greek Orthodox and Protestant practices. All in all, he argues in favour of holy anointing as a substantial part of the ecclesial ministry to the sick.
Duco Vollebregt reviews Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed, Fourth edition, by R.C.D. Jasper and G.J. Cuming. Edited by Paul F. Bradshaw and Maxwell E. Johnson. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2019. 367 + xv pages. $49.95. ISBN: 978-0-8146-6023-2.