Review: Festa Paschalia

Festa PaschaliaFesta Paschalia by Philip J Goddard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is not a book for everyone. Unless you want to know the intricacies of the development of the liturgies of Holy Week from the very beginning of the life of the Roman Rite of the Church, you might find yourself falling asleep.

Having said that however, I found the book intriguing and interesting, which probably says more about me than anything else. It was interesting to trace the development of the Holy Week liturgical forms, and how they become what we celebrate now.

From the back cover:

This book provides the first comprehensive history in English for eighty years of the origins and development of the Holy Week liturgy in the Roman Rite. Describing how the first apostles and disciples, and their immediate successors, came during the years following 33AD to celebrate an annual feast of the Resurrection, and the form which this first-century celebration took, it goes on to explain in detail how the ceremonies with which we are familiar today began in fourth-century Jerusalem. These ceremonies were then elaborated and developed during the early and late Middle Ages in Western Europe, particularly in the Frankish kingdom, and at Rome itself, down to the Tridentine reform of the sixteenth century, a reform which endured for some four hundred years with very little change.

Looking at the two significant twentieth-century reforms of the rites, that of 1955 and that of 1970, Philip J. Goddard then explains the various changes which were made, the sources from which innovations were introduced, and the reasons for the introduction of those changes and innovations, as given (so far as possible) by those involved in making them.

While accessible to the ordinary reader with no particular knowledge of liturgical history, this study will be of great interest to liturgical specialists and scholars, to those in seminaries and religious orders or to clergy interested in the history of the Roman liturgy. Comprehensive notes give full references to both primary and secondary sources.

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