Life and Liturgy
London: Sheed and Ward, 1956. First Edition. Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. Contemporary prayer card laid-in to fine book, minor edge-wear, short closed tears, modest loss top spine of bright and unclipped dust jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #1124
"THE RITES TRADITIONALLY CANONIZED BY THE CHURCH AS HER OWN PRAYER AND WORSHIP"
First English translation of Père Louis Bouyer's lectures on the Sacred Liturgy—this copy warmly inscribed by the French Oratorian: "Louis Bouyer / de l'Oratori." A Lutheran convert to Catholicism, Bouyer joined the French Congregation of the Oratory in 1944 and taught at the Catholic Institute of Paris for two decades. Collecting 19 of Bouyer's lectures in book form, Life and Liturgy demonstrates "how the science of liturgiology was born and developed, when the main discoveries took place, who were the men or schools who played an important part therein." Published as the inaugural volume of the Notre Dame Liturgical Studies, the book is introduced on the inner flap: "people who regard the present movement of liturgical revival in the Church as something you can go in for if you go in for that sort of thing will feel very differently after reading Père Bouyer's book."
A Foreword by Michael A. Mathis, C.S.C, editor of Liturgical Studies ("University of Notre Dame / Oct. 6, 1954"). In the spirit of Pope Pius XII's encyclicals—"Mystici Corporis" (1943) and "Mediator Dei" (1947)—Bouyer seeks to "disengage the essential nature of the liturgy from not only the forms it took when misunderstood or neglected, but also from those forms it might be given in various unconsciously mistaken attempts at restoration." Relied upon by the Church in the period surrounding the Second Vatican Council, Bouyer "was greatly trusted by Paul VI, who appointed him to the first International Theological Commission after the council and who had wanted to name him a cardinal. Bouyer refused the offer, arguing that it would cause too much trouble for the Holy See. He had been engaged in fierce polemics with the later generation of liturgists in France, and his reputation had suffered as a result" (Keith Lemna). Bouyer was among the founders of Communio, the influential theological journal in 1972. A short Appendix: On Liturgical Studies follows the text. With a brief Index of Names / Index of Subjects. French and American Approbations. Rev. Louis Bouyer: A Theological Giant | An Interview with Dr. Keith Lemna (Ignatius Insight. November 12, 2010).