Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Medieval Liturgy: A Book of Essays

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Medieval Liturgy: A Book of Essays

Article excerpt

Medieval Liturgy. A Book of Essays. Edited by Lizette Larson-Miller. [Garland Medieval Casebooks,Volume 18; Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, Volume 1884.] (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1997. Pp. xviii, 314.)

This collection of essays is a study of the history of rites. of their practice in relation to historical context, of treatises on ritual, and of ritual exegesis. With some exceptions, medieval means Merovingian and Carolingian Gaul, since this is the major orientation of the book.

Some of the essays are quite specific, with a focus on a particular writer or ritual. Such are the essays of Jan Michael Joncas on Hugh of Amiens on order and ordination, of Susan A. Rabe on Carolingian architecture, of Michael S. Driscoll on penitential practices in transition, and of Paul A. Jacobson on early Carolingian royal anointings. Driscoll's title is somewhat misleading, since despite references to some larger background it is for the most part an interesting presentation of the contribution of Alcuin of York to penitential practice.

Other essays in the collection are more in the nature of surveys.Thus Gary Macy lists commentaries on the Mass in the early scholastic period; Joanne M. Pierce gives an overview of the early medieval development of the Mass ordo; Marie Ann Mayeski looks at exegesis in the context of the Eucharist; John K. Leonard surveys the rites of Marriage in different parts of medieval Europe; and Edward Foley reconstructs what we can know of the song of the assembly during Mass.

The essays are of good quality. …

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