Dom Alcuin Reid

dom-alcuin-reidA new book is being born in the erudite hands of an Australian Benedictine monk and liturgical scholar by the name of Dom Alcuin Reid. He needs no introduction in liturgical circles promoting ideas similar to those expressed by Pope Benedict XVI and the best of the old Liturgical Movement. He and I have been in contact for many years since the days when I was in the Institute of Christ the King.

He has known about my modest work on the Roman liturgy in the Counter-Reformation era – Missa Tridentina (pdf) which I completed in 1990 as my Licentiate mémoire at Fribourg University in Switzerland under the tutorship of Dr Jakob Baumgartner. The original version has been available for a number of years. The version to be published has been quite radically reworked in the editing process. My own thinking has evolved since then and become more critical of some of the assumptions made by traditionalist Roman Catholics. In time, as my love of the Italian baroque faded, I returned to my earlier penchants towards the medieval local traditions of England and northern France.

I have not written anything substantial since then apart from my articles on the internet, which are not written to the standards of university scholarship. In many ways, I envy Dom Alcuin for his monastic life in which his academic work is his labora part of his life of prayer. It wasn’t to be for me and my life took another direction as a secular priest.

One day last year, Dom Alcuin wrote to me asking me to condense my university work into a chapter for his new compendium on the liturgy. He was of great help to me in the proof reading and making suggestions for much-needed improvements. Many of my thoughts as they developed are expressed in this chapter. At long last, this book is now ready for the publisher. The title of the book is T&T Clark Companion to Liturgy: The Western Catholic Tradition. It is expected to be available towards the end of 2015. My chapter is mentioned as The Roman Missal of the Council of Trent in the section dealing with the liturgy in history. There are six parts in this book as can be seen in the page under the above link. As one of the contributors, I am promised a free copy of this book which promises to be very interesting.

I am deeply honoured to be a part of this work of liturgical scholarship in a perspective of restoration of traditional liturgical forms and a critical approach to the modern forms in most western churches. We who share this passion for the Catholic liturgy do not always agree on details, but the important thing is that our movement has moved into the mainstream. When the book becomes available for ordering, I will give details here on my blog as I receive them.

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4 Responses to Dom Alcuin Reid

  1. Patricius says:

    The last time I saw Reid was at my old parish five years ago where I MC’d a high Mass at which he was the deacon. As I recall, he didn’t know what to do after the Epistle, even when I presented him the Evangelium. My thoughts were, “aren’t you supposed to have edited this book of tomfool modern ceremonies?” He gave me a small silver crucifix before he and the parish priest and two of the parish suck ups went to discuss Benedict XVI’s high policies over a nice lunch at Chislehurst Golf Club, to which I wasn’t invited.

    • Strangely enough, I don’t think you would have enjoyed the lunch conversation at the golf club. 🙂

    • Patricius, you should realize that liturgical experts are best kept out of the sanctuary, in much the same way as you shouldn’t put a bank manager in charge of petty cash. Their minds are on higher things.

      • I have no reason to believe that Dom Alcuin is not competent in liturgical ceremonies, but his speciality is the history of the liturgy and liturgical theology. Liturgiology isn’t all rubricism but a very wide discipline involving sacramental theology and historical scholarship. My own professor of liturgy was hopeless at celebrating Mass but his lectures were riveting!

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