Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis:
Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church
Foreword by Jonathan Robinson, Cong. Orat.
SINCE THE TIME of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has experienced an unprecedented crisis of identity, symbolized and propelled by the corruption of the greatest treasure of her tradition: the sacred liturgy. The result has been confusion, dismay, devastation. To the surprise of some, however, the same half-century has witnessed a growing counter-movement of Catholics who find in the Church’s traditional liturgy a perennial witness to the orthodox faith, a solid foundation for the interior life, an ever-flowing source of missionary charity, and a living embodiment of the true Catholic spirit.
In this book, Peter Kwasniewski presents a fearless critique of the path of liturgical novelty and a detailed apologia for liturgical tradition in all its beauty, richness, and profundity, addressing such topics as solemnity, sacredness, the language of symbols, contemplation, participation, the symbiosis of lex orandi and lex credendi, silence, music, worship in Latin, and Gregorian chant. He confronts the humanism, rationalism, utilitarianism, and modernism so prevalent in the liturgical reform, assesses the prospects and limitations of a “Reform of the Reform,” and reflects on the great gift of Summorum Pontificum. In the end, Kwasniewski argues for a zealous recommitment to Catholic Tradition in its fullness, starting with divine worship and embracing the whole realm of faith and morals, including integral Catholic social teaching.
Evidently, there is an all-encompassing crisis in the Church, which the Extraordinary Synod unveiled to a global audience. Unexpectedly a resurgence is taking place, with the usus antiquioror classical Roman Rite at the very heart of it. To those who have loved the traditional Mass all their lives, those who have newly come to it, or those who simply wish to learn more about the issues, this book offers abundant matter for reflection.
“I heartily recommend Peter Kwasniewski’s new book for those struggling to come to terms not only with what happened to the liturgy of the Catholic Church, but with why those changes have had such disastrous consequences. As he shows in one aspect after another of the Mass, the changes have taken us further away from that inner transformation of the worshipper which is a secondary purpose of the liturgy, after the worship of God.”
— JOSEPH SHAW, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales
“To come out of the present crisis we need to restore the liturgy in all its sacredness.Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis is a very important work that leads us to meditate in depth on the permanent value, theological centrality, and beauty of the traditional liturgy of the Church.”
— MSGR. IGNACIO BARREIRO, Executive Director of HLI’s Rome Office
“Peter Kwasniewski is one of a handful of 21st-century Catholic authors really in touch with our tradition who can, at the same time, carefully explain what is at stake in both the Catholic intellectual world and the culture as a whole. He is devastating in delivering his points, which he makes without wasting a word.”
— ROGER A. MCCAFFREY, President of Roman Catholic Books
“Combining deeply human insight with supernatural faith, Prof. Kwasniewski presents a compelling case for the continuing necessity of the traditional Latin Mass for the Church’s life and mission. Without questioning the validity of the modern rite, he illuminates in many ways how the older liturgy more clearly expresses the Faith and more richly nourishes the faithful.”
— FR. THOMAS KOCIK, author of Reform of the Reform? A Liturgical Debate: Reform or Return
“The topics of these essays are all of vital importance to our appreciation of the Church’s liturgy. With an abundance of wit and learning, Dr. Kwasniewski offers invaluable encouragement towards a greater love and greater understanding of our liturgical tradition.”
— GREGORY DIPIPPO, managing editor of New Liturgical Movement
“The author presents a well-argued, documented case that the present crisis in the Church will not be overcome until there is a return to the traditional Latin liturgy, a revival of the true social teaching of the Church, and a restoration of the study of St. Thomas Aquinas in our seminaries and colleges.”
— FR. KENNETH BAKER, Editor Emeritus, Homiletic & Pastoral Review
PETER KWASNIEWSKI has taught and written on a wide variety of subjects, especially the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas, sacramental and liturgical theology, the history and aesthetics of music, and the social doctrine of the Church. After teaching at the International Theological Institute in Austria, he joined the founding team of Wyoming Catholic College, where he currently serves as Professor of Theology and Choirmaster. For twenty-five years Dr. Kwasniewski has also been a director of choirs and scholas, a cantor, and a composer. He writes regularly for The Latin Mass and several popular Catholic weblogs.
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