"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Byzantine Liturgical Reform

Indisputably the most controversial change in the Latin Church following Vatican II had to do with liturgy. Debates about liturgical reform continue to roil the Church of Rome today, and show no sign of abating any time soon. Most Eastern Christians look on this with a mixture of pity (for those suffering the changes) and gratitude that our own traditions have been largely spared such upheaval. Some Orthodox I know look upon Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio of 2007, Summorum Pontificio, as a great advance in the struggle to restore liturgical tradition in the Latin Church. Other Eastern Christians,  perhaps most notably Robert Taft, think the reforms of Vatican II a great success. I asked him about them at a conference last summer, and he reacted with great disdain (which I thought a bit de trop) for those who criticize the liturgical reforms after the council, calling himself "a Vatican II loyalist." 

Now a new book is out to look at the issue of liturgical change in the Byzantine tradition. I have asked Fr. Peter Galadza to review next year in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies:

Thomas Pott, Byzantine Liturgical Reform: A Study of Liturgical Change in the Byzantine Tradition, trans. Paul Meyendorff (SVS Press, 2010).

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