Review: The Prayers of the New Missal: A Homiletic and Catechetical Companion

The Prayers of the New Missal: A Homiletic and Catechetical CompanionThe Prayers of the New Missal: A Homiletic and Catechetical Companion by Anscar J Chupungco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was the last penned by the late Anscar Chupungco, the well known and well respected Benedictine liturgist. In it, he examines a small sample of the orations (presidential prayers) contained in the latest translation of the Roman Missal, looking at the original Latin sources and the subsequent translation into English in the hope that those who pray them – priest and lay – might be drawn into a deeper understanding of the truths contained in these prayers. Chupungco also provides homiletic and catechetic notes on the prayers he examines if any preacher was inclined to use these texts as the basis of their Sunday homilies – should they dare to take up that little known possibility.

Perhaps the most suitable summary of this book can be found in the Foreward, penned by J. Michael Joncas, composer, liturgist, student and friend of Chupungco, who writes:

The Prayers of the New Missal: A Homiletic and Catechetical Companion is a suitable swan song for Fr. Anscar’s published works. Here his scholarship is once again put at the service of those leading the church’s worship. Here his commitment to the Lord in monastic life, like his Benedictine forebears Prosper Guerange and Adrian Nocent, offers depths of spiritual insight to a wider public. Here, like the wise steward of Matthew’s gospel, Fr. Anscar brings out treasures both new and old.

From the back cover of the book:

This final work of Anscar J. Chupungco brims with the combination of scholarly expertise and pastoral wisdom that was so characteristic of his work and appreciated by so many. In The Prayers of the New Missal, Father Chupungco demonstrates that the Missal’s collects, prayers over the offerings, prayers after communion, and prayers over the people are a rich source of doctrine and spirituality waiting to be shared with others. Preachers and catechists will welcome his sound guidance and practical recommendations for understanding and proclaiming the difficult and sometimes vexing structure and vocabulary of the new Missal. His homiletic and catechetical notes well serve as a valuable source of nourishment for preaching and catechesis.

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