Review: Ars Celebrandi: Celebrating and Concelebrating Mass

Ars Celebrandi: Celebrating and Concelebrating MassArs Celebrandi: Celebrating and Concelebrating Mass by Paul Turner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book that every Catholic priest should read, and read often!

Drawing on his extensive knowledge and experience in the preparation of liturgical texts, Fr Paul Turner guides the reader through what the rubrical requirements of the Mass currently are. This is not done in order to ‘catch people out’, but rather to ensure that priests are aware of what they are doing when they preside or concelebrate the Mass. It is, as the title suggests, about developing the ars celebrandi that presiders are called to acquire and nourish throughout their ministerial lives.

Ars celebrandi is not simply knowledge, however, but an art form, something that comes not simply from a knowledge of the contents of the liturgical books but also comes from reflecting on the practice of presiding. It is a neverending process so that the enactment of liturgy becomes what the Church believes it to be, the source and summit of the Christian life.

Personally, my first read of this text has highlighted things that I had overlooked, forgotten, or misapplied. I am already attempting to adjust my presiding so that I more closely align my practice with that which is expected – and more importantly, I am attempting to do it all more intentionally so that my presiding doesn’t become simply a rote repetition but a deliberate act each and every time I approach that awesome responsibility.

This is a book I will read again and again and again…simply because that is why it was written, and I will never stop developing my ars celebrandi

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