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VINE VOICEon June 4, 2006
In this well written booklet, Michael Davies does a wonderful job of giving a compact history of the Roman Rite Mass. His coverage takes us from the Last Supper to the Traditional Mass as it is said today. We also get an explanation on the origins of the Low Mass.

He goes over the reforms of Pope St. Gregory the Great and Pope St. Pius V. Which shows us how the liturgical texts were always treated with great respect and any changes were minor. And it remained so until 1970 when radical changes were made.

Read this book and you will gain an appreciation of the Traditional Mass, known as the Tridentine Mass.
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on April 10, 2012
Davies is undoubtedly one of the most important figures in "Traditional" Catholicism in the English-speaking world over the past several decades. This overview, if oversimplified at times, provides the reader with a brief summary of the development of the Mass according to the Roman Rite from it's roots in Apostolic times through the Early Greats (Leo and Gregory), the Renaissance standardizations (Pius V) to the implementation of the Mass of Paul VI in 1970. A great introduction for the casual reader.

The Catholic Sanctuary and the Second Vatican Council would make an excellent follow up. At about $6 for both (less if purchased in bulk from the publisher directly) and about 100 pp. one cannot get a better, more affordable summary of the historic Mass of the Roman Rite or the present situation in which the Roman Rite finds itself.
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VINE VOICEon November 27, 2010
Both a histiry and an apology (in the litereary/rhetorical sense), this very short (60 pages or so) book describes the evolution of the Tridentine Mass, as well as the explanation tracing it back to as early ast the 4th Century. The apologetics as it pertains to other rites, the Eastern Orthodox, the Protestant Reformation and the 1970 Novus Ordo make it much less of an unbiased history and much more of a religious book. If you have interest in the subject, it's an interesting background read.
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on January 16, 2012
I love this guy. This will make a good addition to any catholic's bookshelf.

As I have written in reviews of his other books, I offer two recommendations to those who like this:

1) Be sure to read it all in a thick welsh accent and throw in a few jokes about rugby and lynching Bishops.

2) Check out his talks on keep the faith (dot org, not dot com)

Michael Davies was a great Catholic speaker and perhaps one of the most important figures in Catholic traditionalism over the past several decades. No traditional Catholic's library is complete without at least a couple of his works.

May he rest in peace.

Pope Benedict XVI on Michael Davies:

"I have been profoundly touched by the news of the death of Michael Davies. I had the good fortune to meet him several times and I found him as a man of deep faith and ready to embrace suffering. Ever since the Council he put all his energy into the service of the Faith and left us important publications especially about the Sacred Liturgy. Even though he suffered from the Church in many ways in his time, he always truly remained a man of the Church. He knew that the Lord founded His Church on the rock of St Peter and that the Faith can find its fullness and maturity only in union with the successor of St Peter. Therefore we can be confident that the Lord opened wide for him the gates of heaven. We commend his soul to the Lord's mercy."

- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 9 November 2004
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on August 20, 2013
The late Michael Davies, a devout man who loved his faith, wrote eloquently in many volumes, large and small. This is one of the shorter ones, a pamphlet, but still excellent, filled with information many Catholics are likely not to know.
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on May 18, 2015
If you are interested in the historical development of the Western liturgy, this is a superb place to start. Davies manages to cover a wide territory in this short, readable book. While the author does have an agenda (defense of the Traditional Latin Mass), he also fairly assesses liturgical evolution over the centuries. He might be read alongside Schmemann or other eastern scholars in order to get a panoramic view of incremental change in Christian liturgy. However you feel about the Tridentine Mass, this is a valuable exposition of how it came to be.
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on September 19, 2012
You won't find this collectible gem in your usual Novus Ordo Catholic bookstore. The Protestant Vatican II sect that has usurped the administration of the Church continues to wipe out traces of our glorious Catholic past. First, they jettisoned the Tridentine Mass in our parishes (EXACTLY like what King Henry VIII and EVIL Queen Elizabeth I did!!!), then they try to Protestantize all our reading materials and turn everyone into neo-Protestants! What devilish insidiousness!

Buy multiple copies of this book and collect this gem for future generations!

Recommended reading:

Cranmer's Godly Order: The Destruction of Catholicism Through Liturgical Change (Liturgical Revolution)

Aa-1025: The Memoirs of a Communist's infiltration in to the Church.

Where We Got the Bible... Our Debt to the Catholic Church

Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent

The Catechism of the Council of Trent (Classic Reprint)

St. Pius V

Rhine Flows into the Tiber

Against the Heresies

Open Letter to Confused Catholics

I Accuse the Council
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on January 4, 2016
Great summarized and easy to grasp history of the liturgy up to Vatican II. Was looking for a book to introduce me into the history of Mass to be able to build a critical opinion of the reforms made to it in 1969-70. Better than expected in its simplicity and thoroughness, taking into account that its almost 2000 years of history. Although avoiding to convey directly his personal opinion on the changes made to the mass, he does cite several important scholars that eloquently cover this.
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on June 19, 2016
Not bad, a whirlwind history. Author claims he got all his info from Fr Fortescue, but only cites a few paragraphs from his works. A lot of repetition, however, in breadth, he covers the whole timespan of the Catholic Church. I appreciate his passion about Tradition and the need to hold tight to it, as well as how it actually held together for 1,970 years. I prefer reading this kind of Liturgical History from a Priest, but for a 50 page book and quick read, altogether not bad.
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on May 30, 2016
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