Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Exaltation of the Cross: Toward the Origins of the Feast of the Cross and the Meaning of the Cross in Early Medieval Liturgy

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Exaltation of the Cross: Toward the Origins of the Feast of the Cross and the Meaning of the Cross in Early Medieval Liturgy

Article excerpt

Ancient and Medieval

Exaltation of the Cross: Toward the Origins of the Feast of the Cross and the Meaning of the Cross in Early Medieval Liturgy. By Louis van Tongeren. [Liturgia Condenda, 11.] (Leuven: Peeters. 2000. Pp. x, 342. C 45.00.)

The Dutch school of liturgical studies is quickly becoming one of the most significant sources of contemporary scholarship in the field of worship. It participates in the series, "Liturgia Condenda" (Liturgical Foundations), which has recently produced a number of studies on the liturgical year (Gerlach on the Ante-Nicene Pascha, Roll on the origins of Christmas) as well as a major new volume on feasts and festivity. Louis van Tongeren's study is an excellent addition to this project and to the field of heortology (the study of feasts) in general. The author is part of the faculty of theology and liturgical institute at the Catholic University of the Brabant in Tilburg, the Netherlands.

After surveying the Eastern origins of the September 14 Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, situating it in the dedication rites of the Holy Sepulchre in fourth-century Jerusalem, van Tongeren analyzes the Roman and Frankish texts for the feast in the medieval West. In order to introduce the specific texts he provides a fine, readable, and economic introduction to the transmission of the various sacramentaries and lectionaries from Rome to the North in the course of the seventh and eighth centuries. In addition to Roman and Frankish Mass texts,Van Tongeren also deals with the feast of the Holy Cross in the Divine Office as well as the Cross hymns (especially of Venantius Fortunatus) and indigenous Gallican and Spanish material with regard to the May 3 Feast of the Finding of the Cross culled from collections of blessings. …

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