Sunday, March 15, 2015

Catholic Review: The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition

The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina, March 5, 2013 (originally published February 1, 2011). 224 pages. Published by Image. Source: publisher.
An insightful and practical exploration of Catholicism’s most sacred tradition.
The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition is an engaging and authoritative guide to Catholicism’s most distinctive practice. And now, with the Church introducing revised language for the Mass, Catholics have a perfect opportunity to renew their understanding of this beautiful and beloved celebration.

With eloquent prose and elegant black-and-white photography, bestselling authors Archbishop Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina guide readers through the different parts of the Mass, from the entrance procession to the blessing and dismissal, capturing the deep meaning of elements that are at once ordinary and mysterious: bread and wine, water and candles, altar cloths and ceremonial books.

Step by step, they explain the specifics, such as the order of the Mass, the vessels used, the unique clothing worn, the prayers and responses, the postures and the gestures. Then they explore the rich historical, spiritual and theological background to each. Prayerful but practical, fact-filled but readable, The Mass prepares readers to participate more fully and appreciatively in the sacred rite at the heart of Catholic life.


Last year, when I reviewed The Feasts I promised myself I would one day go back and read the first of the three books written by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina to get the full picture from the series of books on the Church and the faith. Well, that time has finally arrived as I have just, as of last night, finished reading The Mass.

The Mass, the book, is a wonderful look into the various traditions and aspects of the Mass itself. So, while I liked everything the book had to talk about, it was the writing the really pulled it together. If there's one thing I've noticed from reading their books is that they know how to convey what they're talking about in a very readable way. Really, The Mass is written in a way that both maintains the mystery, tradition of the Mass while still making it an accessible read for all. That right there is a true feat in itself.

One of the things that I, personally, enjoyed about this one would have to be learning the names of the vestments the priests wear and the names of the vessels used. Don't ask me to write their names out, as I probably would manage to mix them up. I really did enjoy learning not only the names, but the reasons behind the little things. They do a great job of answering the little questions regarding certain aspects of the Mass. Questions you may not have even considered or knew to ask about. My heart is so happy after reading this one!

Again, Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina do a wonderful job of bringing the tradition and historical aspects of the Mass to modern Catholics. It was an interesting look into the workings and meaning of the various parts of the Mass; as well as how little things have changed from the beginning till now. When looked at from the beginning till now, it is pretty incredible to see how similar things were in the early Church to now. Really, if you're curious as to the tradition and mystery behind the Mass I cannot recommend this book enough. The authors do such a wonderful job.

Final Verdict: The Mass: the Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition- Well written and covering a wide range of topics within the Mass, this book is a great resource to those wanting to learn about the tradition and mystery surrounding the Mass.

The Mass: the Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition earns
this book was received through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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