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Saturday, 12 August 2006

Dom Prosper Guéranger

I recently received two books that have been re-published by the St Michael’s Abbey Press run by Farnborough Abbey: On the Holy Mass and On the Immaculate Conception by Dom Prosper Guéranger. Beautifully printed and bound, they can be ordered from The Abbey Shop.

I intend to write a number of posts on Guéranger’s commentary on the Mass because it does seem relevant to the project of the "Reform of the Reform." The fact that Guéranger is regarded as the founder of the modern Liturgical Movement makes his observations all the more valuable.

The cause for Guéranger’s beatification has recently been opened by the Diocese of Mans. For biographical information, there is an article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia although it betrays the lack of imagination of the time by judging that his work “evokes mediocre interest”.

His magnum opus “The Liturgical Year” has also recently been republished. I do not yet have a copy of this but intend to acquire one. Guéranger includes in the work many elements from various liturgies to illustrate the doctrinal and ascetical teaching he wishes to convey.

It is of interest that Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux, read The Liturgical Year to their family and so it was a significant part of the spiritual formation of that much-loved saint.

There is even a Guéranger blog where “Canisius” gives his thoughts on reading through The Liturgical Year. You can also read an article in the July August issue of Faith Magazine: Dom Guéranger, Prophet of Ecclesial Renewal by a sister of St Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde.
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