97 of 97 people found the following review helpful
I have been a Priest for 47 years. I love celebrating Mass, but it can sometimes be a bit humdrum after so many thousands of celebrations. Dr. Sri opens my mind and heart to the richness of the Mass that I was never taught in all my theological formation which includes a Doctor of Ministry degree.
Most priests I talk with are disgusted with the idea of a new, more correct translation of the Roman Missal Third Edition. If they were to read Sri's Biblical Walk... they would change their minds. So much griping about such an "insignificant" thing as changing: "And with you" to "And with your spirit" becomes a point of major insight and challenge to me as a Priest celebrant. It becomes not a cliche response but a real challenge for me as celebrant to know who I represent and what I have the privilege to do. Sri points out that it is the peoples way of saying that I am going to do the most sacred action I can possibly do and I had better do it in such a way as that I truly take the place of Jesus doing it. I need God's Spirit, oh how I need it to celebrate Mass in the person of Christ Himself. No more rattling off words without much, if any, thought as to what the celebrant is saying; no more "saying Mass" instead of "praying the Mass." My spirit needs all of the Spirit it can get and this response reminds me of that. And I like it that it is the people who are reminding me of that every time they say it to me. If I really hear their response it seems to me that they are telling me to be genuine or it would be better not to continue the celebration--yet they do it in a kind and loving way.
This book has driven me to my knees to ask God to help me love and understand my role as celebrant at least half as much as does the "layman" Dr. Sri. Next to the Bible itself, I cannot remember a book that has challenged me more or inspired me more than a Biblical Walk Through the Mass. I am forever grateful to Dr. Sri and his insights to every word I pray when I celebrate Mass. Surely Sri demands a great deal of me as a celebrant of a Mass, but he so inspires me that taking time to really prepare for offering the Mass and pray every word of the Mass with knowledge and awe changed my approach to each Mass I will ever offer.
I once heard Dr. Scott Hahn say that "any man who says he would not want to be a priest simply does not understand the priesthood." I thought that was a bad over statement. After reading this book by Dr. Sri I understand finally what Dr. Hahn was saying and I can agree with him. The problem is that I think too many of my brother Priests have lost sight of what it is to be a true priest, an "Alter Christus" another Christ. It is a much more demanding role than we may want to play and it is more about who we are and what we are able to do in, with and through Christ than all the business we can get caught up with and think we are just a super-duper hard working priest. The priesthood is about being holy in a particular and unique way. Reading this book takes our focus back to some fundamentals that may have gotten lost in our efforts to always doing instead of always being. A huge difference in reality.
76 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2011
I was very pleased to receive a review copy of Edward Sri's 'A Biblical Walk Through the Mass' about a month ago and have finally had the chance to read through this excellent work.
As priests have long known, the Mass is a Biblical prayer: there are hints and allusions to the Scriptures in everything that is done at the Mass. In this work, Sri helps to make those connections for the average reader who may not have the working knowledge of Scripture or the Mass required to make these connections. Plus, with the upcoming changes in the English translation for the Mass, some terms and phrases will not roll off the tongue as easily, leading many to ask: 'Why?' Sri answers these questions with ease and an accessibility for the average reader.
The book is broken down into the four major sections of the Mass: Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Concluding Rites. He begins each section with a general overview of what that moment in Mass is meant to convey and then walks through each section of Mass, highlighting the Biblical connections and also applying the lessons for today's readers. When warranted, he highlights specific changes in the text for Mass, giving both the Biblical and Theological rationale for the new text.
Of particular note is his explanation on pp. 112-3 of the change from 'for all' to 'for many' in the consecration of the Chalice. I was very pleased to see the connections to the Prophet Isaiah highlighted and the explanation that 'each individual must choose to welcome the gift of salvation and live according to this grace, so that he or she may be among "the many" who are described in this text.'
I did not notice any significant locunae in the text; however, serious scholars should note that this is directed more towards the parishioners in the pew than in-depth scholarship on the Eucharistic and Liturgical Theology. That being said, this will be among the very few books that I recommend to parishioners who are seeking a deeper understanding of what we celebrate every week at Mass.
78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2011
This book truly brings out the fullness of the Mass and the richness of the symbolism in it. The Biblical evidence for each part of the Mass is explained well and the chapters are easy to digest. There's not a lot of philosophy/theology here, just a practical analysis of what happens at each part of the Mass.
I highly recommend this to every practicing Catholic. Attending Mass on Sunday is one thing, experiencing it in the light of this work is another. It has brought personal focus for me and now I can experience the Mass in a whole new way.
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2011
I am a cradle Catholic and love the Mass. This book provides insight to the connections between the Bible and Jewish traditions to the Catholic Liturgy and all its "rituals". I purchased 4 copies of this book from Amazon to share with Catholic and non-Catholic friends.
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2011
I ordered this for my wife, who is very interested in the Catholic Church and worship. The book is concise and very well written which makes it easy reading regardless of the reader's background.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A Biblical Walk Through the Mass: Understanding What We Say and Do In The Liturgy is a new book by Edward Sri that does dual duty as both an overview of the Mass and a introduction to new English translation of the Mass.
There are a lot of books on the Mass and most of them concentrate of the Liturgy of the Eucharist or focus on the mass via some lens. This book is more general in that it goes through each part of the Mass and gives a solid overview and touching on theology in a way that will open the Mass to more people. While doing this it touches on how the new translation effects the Mass and explains why the new translation is better and exactly how it more descriptive of the spiritual realities going on at Mass.
I found it to be a good read in that it helped me focus better on different parts of the Mass and give more meaning to parts of the liturgy I had not concentrated as much on before. The audience for this book I judge to be fairly wide and an exception introduction to the Mass for teens and above. Perfect for RCIA and others forms of formation.
The review book I received came with a short booklet that answers questions on the new translation and provides a nice cheat sheet of changes.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2011
Best book I've ever read on this subject! Now I know how completely Bible and early christian based the Mass is.As a convert and a person with protestant friends, this book is a great read.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2011
I've heard a number of talks on the biblical roots of the mass, though I haven't read many books on the subject. Of course, to tackle this subject only requires two main things; faithfulness to the truths of the Catholic Mass, and a willingness to describe the various biblical passages and interpretations from which the sacred tradition of the liturgy derives.
I consider this book perfect with respect to the first point; faithfulness. It's a strongly-written book, and it's careful with its terminology. Not once, for example, does it ever refer to the consecrated host as "bread" or "wine" after it's been consecrated. The only mistake that I could spot was that it speaks of two separate points in the mass as being "the most sacred," and of course, only one of them was, but a mistake like that is easily overlooked.
The only other thing I noticed was something that no one can really help; not all valid interpretations of the Mass are included in this book. I say no one could help that, because I personally believe that the sacred liturgy has a near-infinite number of valid interpretations, and that no one can explain them all on paper. For example, when talking about the mixing of the water and wine in the mass, it doesn't mention how both blood and water spilled forth from the side of Jesus on the cross. Still, these are, at worst, minor imperfections that keep the book from being entirely comprehensive. By no means am I saying that the author of the book is wrong in what he says.
That's what really matters when you get down to it; is the book about the truth, or is it just a collection of unsubstantiated opinions by an author? It's a question I've needed to ask myself a lot while reading Catholic literature, but fortunately, the answer to that question with respect to this book is easy as pie. This is a book of Catholic truth, which may help to flesh out your understanding of the true meaning of the mass, and just why we do what we do there. It could help people to realize the importance of their participation in the mass, and to increase in reverence for our Lord in the holy Eucharist, and if it does accomplish that, then that'll be enough. I'm very satisfied with this faithful, Catholic book, and I hope you will be too.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Edward Sri wrote an interesting and informative explanation of the Catholic Mass. His book titled A BIBLICAL WALK THROUGH THE MASS gave readers an understanding and the biblical roots of the celebration of the Mass. Those who are not Catholic will understand the Mass and the historical/biblical basis behind the rites of the Mass and other Catholic sacraments. Catholics should have a better understanding of the Faith.
Sri mentioned the Eucharist's connection with the Jewish Passover. He cited sections of the New Testament (1 Corinthians 5: 7-8, 1 Peter 1:19, and Revelations 5:6)to mention examples of biblical examples of the Eucharist. Sri also made the connection between Exodus 12: 8-12 and the use of the term Lamb of God. In other words, there is a biblical connections between the Passover and Mass. Sri carefully explained the concept of the Real Presence via The Lamb of God.
The chapter re the Introductory Rites explained how Catholics and Catholic priests begin the Mass. For example the Sigh of the Cross was a rite used very early in the History of Christianity. The Sigh of the Cross was a sacred reminder of the presence of God and to give blessing to what the faithful do at Mass and during other times away from Mass. Sri cited Tertullian (c. 160-225)who expounded on the Sigh of the Cross. St. Johbn Chrysostom (347-407 AD)mentioned the importance of the Sigh of the Cross. The Sign of the Cross has roots in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. Mention is made of the Ancient Hebrews making as sacred sign which is mentioned in Ezekiel 8. Sri also cites Revelation 7:3 and 9:4 to further explain the significance of the Sign of the Cross.
As Catholics should know, the Sign of the Cross is accompanied invoking God's name and blessing. Biblical references include Genesis 12:8, 13:4, and 21:33. Other Old Testament citations are found in Psalm 54:1, 124:8, 124:8. Sri used New Testament citations for involking God's name such Luke 24:47, Acts 10:43,plus citations from John's Gospel. The Sign of the Cross is followed by the priest's Apolstolic Greeting to which parishoners respond with the phrase, "And with your spirit" which signfies the Catholic priest's Holy Ordination which is taken in part from John's Gospel 20:21-23.
The Introductry Rites include the Confiteor or I Confess. This rite is included in the DIDACHE which was written between c. 50-98 AD. The Confitieor is clearly mentioned in the DIADACHE, and the Sacrment of Confession is again referred in John 20-21-23. Sri mentioned Old Testament phrases re Confession such as Leviticus 5:5, Numbers 5:7, Danial 9:20, Nehemiah 1:6, etc. In re Confession, Sri included other biblical references from the Old and New Testament.
The Catholic Introductory Rites are followed by The Liturgy of the Word which usually has sections of the Old Testament, the Psalms, the Epistles, and Gospels. What may surprise non-Catholics is that anyone who attends Mass every day of the week would have an exposure to almost the entire Bible v1a the three cycle. The Ancient Hebrews and Jews had their own readings. What may interest readers the Septuagint(c. 287-247 BC) which was a Greek translation of much of the Heberew Bible and is surprisingly a more accurate translation. Some of the Ancient Hebrews had different Hebrew texts, but the translators of the Septuagint had access to older and more accurate Hebrew texts. In fact, the canon of the Hebrew Bible was not settled until 90 AD.
The Homily is followed by The Prayer of the Faithful which is as old as St. Justin Martyr (c. 155 AD). The Book of Acts 12:1-7 refers to such a prayer. The role of the Priests' intercession is referenced by 1 Peter 2:9, Revelations, 1:5-6, and John's Godpel (chatper17).
Sri was careful in explaining the roots of the Eucharist. The use of bread meant more than food in Old Testament references (Genesis 32:54, 37: 25, 1 Kings 13:8-9, 16-19, Leviticus26:26, etc.). Similar Old Testament references explained the sacred use of wine. The Eucharist was based on these references, and the early Catholic Church included the concept of the Real Presence. Sri mentioned the Real Presence was mentioned in John 6: 53-64 and The Last Supper. The Eucharist was clearly stated in the DIDACHE mentioned above. Sri made an interesing comment re the Words of Institution and Consecration. Sri wrote that these words are familar to Catholics, but their repeated mention may make these phrases too familar because Cathholics may take these phrases for granted without realizing just how important they are. The book under review and a careful reading of the Catholic Catechism may help Catholics to fully appreciate the Eucharist.
Sri explained that the concluding Rites and dismissal are reminders that Catholcism is a religion of renewal, and the reminders of the Mass ought to remain with Catholics until a renewal of the next Mass. In other words, devout Catholics should not leave the Mass unaffected.
Edward Sri's book A BIBLICAL WALK THROUGH THE MASS enhanced the meaning of Holy Mass for devout Catholics. The book is also useful in providing a reasoned explanation of the Catholic Sacraments to those who are not familar with Catholcism. The book should have a bibligraphy to help with further study. Sri's book is a clear explanation of the Mysteries of the Faith.
James E. Egolf
February 4, 2012
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I thought I'd have to endure this book, and I started it because I'm fascinated with the upcoming changes in the Roman missal. Having heard the author interviewed, I had hopes, but nothing prepared me for the passion and beauty of this book. Sri writes with a tenderness about the Mass and reminded me of what I so love about the Eucharist. Behind the facts contained in this book is the deep water of true love for Jesus. Highly recommended.