Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review: A Biblical Walk Through the Mass

I have just finished an amazing book that taught me so much.  A Biblical Walk Through the Mass: Understanding What We Say and Do in the Liturgy by Dr. Edward Sri taught me more in its 150 pages than I learned about the Mass in my 17 years of formal Catholic schooling.  Here I am a cradle-Catholic and yet there are comments, descriptions and explanations in this book that I didn't know before or never had it explained to me in these easy terms.  Dr. Sri proves that the Catholic Mass is tied to tradition and scripture and that every piece has a reason ... a past ... a link to bringing the participants into the Presence.

Dr. Sri, provost and professor at the Augustine Institute in Denver, goes through EVERY aspect of the Catholic Mass and explains the scriptural basis and historic setting of each part.  Starting with the "Sign of the Cross" in the Introductury Rite, working through the section known as the Liturgy of Word (the how, why and who for the readings, responses, homily and creed), explaining the rituals and prayers performed during the Liturgy of the Eucharist and then quickly following with a breaking apart of each element of the Eucharistic Prayer (when the priest changes the water and wine into the sacred Body and Blood of Jesus Christ during the consecration -- a time known as the mystery of the Faith), and then finishing with the Communion Rite and the Concluding Rites (including the sending forth of the congregation to spread the Gospel).

Dr. Sri speaks from his knowledge and expertise as a theologian and scripture scholar.  But he doesn't just give the reader his opinion.  He quotes Church documents (including the Catechism), papal writings and encyclicals, other theologians and scholars including Doctors of the Church and direct scriptural quotes.
This book is a book for apologists, catechists and even "Joe Blo" in the pew -- this book helps illuminate the truth, beauty and good inherent in the Catholic Mass and gives the historic and spiritual underpinnings of each element.  And, it is very readable for the untrained!  This is an amazing resource for use in the home or parish or school.  Excellent ... excelllent ... excellent!

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on A Biblical Walk Through The Mass Book . They are also a great source for serenity prayer and baptism gifts.


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