The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the Tenth to the Eighteenth Century: A Historical Introduction and Guide for Students and Musicians

The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the Tenth to the Eighteenth Century: A Historical Introduction and Guide for Students and Musicians

The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the Tenth to the Eighteenth Century: A Historical Introduction and Guide for Students and Musicians

The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the Tenth to the Eighteenth Century: A Historical Introduction and Guide for Students and Musicians

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

As an introductory guide this book attempts to assist the study and understanding of formal Christian worship in the West, especially that of the Middle Ages. It extends beyond the sixteenth-century Reformation with those forms of worship that derive from medieval practice. Such are the liturgical orders established and standardized by the Roman Catholic Church in the Tridentine Rite, and by the Church of England in the Book of Common Prayer.

The need for a straightforward Outline of liturgical forms and orders between the tenth and the eighteenth centuries is all the more necessary since the recent liturgical changes instituted in most Churches have been so far-reaching. The extent of these changes has made the connections with the practice of the medieval Western Church more tenuous. The great church buildings in which the liturgy was celebrated remain, though often much altered or reordered. The texts and music of the liturgy survive, at least in part. But the medieval communities of clerks, priests, monks, and nuns who animated these rich resources are gone. Gone too are the aesthetic, spiritual, and theological backgrounds, and the social framework that supported these communities. The modern awareness of the medieval Church, whether popular fascination or informed study, tends to be derived from the physical remains of buildings and books. This guide is concerned with the use of those church buildings and books for their principal function -- Christian liturgy.

Though placed in a historical context, what is presented here is essentially practical in purpose. It should enable the reader to have an idea of how worship was conducted; to understand better how the surviving buildings were originally conceived and ordered. More especially it should enable the reader to discover where and how surviving texts and music were used in the liturgy.

Christian liturgical celebration is deeply rooted, and is almost a . . .

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