The Spirit of the Liturgy -- Commemorative Edition

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In honor of its fortieth anniversary (1978–2018), Ignatius Press presents a special Commemorative Edition of one of the most important works written by Joseph Ratzinger: The Spirit of the Liturgy.

This edition includes the earlier classic work with the same title by Servant of God Romano Guardini, a book that helped Ratzinger to "rediscover the liturgy in all its beauty, hidden wealth and time-transcending grandeur, to see it as the animating center of the Church, the very center of Christian life".

Considered by Ratzinger devotees as his greatest work on the liturgy, this profound and beautifully written treatment of the "great prayer of the Church" will help readers to deepen their understanding of the rites of the Church. The cardinal discusses fundamental misunderstandings of the Second Vatican Council's intentions for liturgical renewal, especially about the priest's orientation of prayer to the Father, the placement of the tabernacle in churches, and the posture of kneeling.

Other important topics are the essence of worship; the Jewish roots of Christian prayer; the relationship of the liturgy to time and space; sacred art and music; and the active participation of the faithful in the Mass.

"How much we owe Cardinal Ratzinger for what has come to be known as 'the new Liturgical Movement'. . . . The Spirit of the Liturgy is a singularly rich resource and guide in our day, as are the other personal liturgical writings of the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and indeed his liturgical magisterium as Supreme Pontiff which retains its validity." 
— Cardinal Robert Sarah, from the Foreword

Cardinal Robert Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah was born in Guinea, West Africa. Made an Archbishop by Pope John Paul II and a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, he was named the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Francis in 2014. He is the author of God or Nothing.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age. As Pope he authored the best-selling Jesus of Nazareth; and prior to his pontificate, he wrote many influential books that continue to remain important for the contemporary Church, such as Introduction to Christianity and The Spirit of the Liturgy.

Romano Guardini

Romano Guardini was an Italian-born German Catholic priest and a professor of theology at the University of Berlin until the Nazis expelled him in 1939. The sermons and books of this Servant of God, and his involvement in the post-war German Catholic Youth Movement won him worldwide acclaim.

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