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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A concise and up to date summary of the Church's thinking on the Sacred Liturgy, September 4, 2006
By 
Alcuin Reid (Fréjus-Toulon, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Celebrating the Holy Eucharist (Paperback)
As we await Pope Benedict's Apostolic Exhortation following last year's Synod on the Holy Eucharist, this volume from the pen of the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship might well provide a taste of what is to come. For it was no coincidence that the experienced and straight-talking Cardinal Arinze was put in charge of Divine Worship in 2002, and it is no secret that he and Cardinal Ratzinger worked closely together since then attempting to bring some clarity and stability to the Church's liturgical life.

Whilst our Holy Father's document may contain a few surprises of his own, he will almost certainly echo the themes enunciated in Cardinal Arinze's Celebrating the Holy Eucharist: that the Eucharist is indeed the Sacrifice of the Mass according to the teaching of the Council of Trent; that the Mass is not just a celebration of the local community but the worship of the whole Church in heaven and on earth; that reverence is required of all who worship and that different people have distinct roles in the Liturgy the limits of which must be respected; that active participation primarily means being and not doing; that adaptation and inculturation of the Liturgy is only possible in accordance with the clearly established norms; that liturgical norms and rubrics do still exist and that they are binding; that the Holy Eucharist is central to the Church's life and mission; that the worship of the Holy Eucharist outside of Mass (exposition and benediction) are to be encouraged once more; and that sound liturgical formation is essential in seminaries and in parishes.

If one has followed Cardinal Arinze's various discourses over the past four years - including his address in Westminster last April 1st - there is nothing startling to be found here. However this volume provides all involved in the preparation, celebration and study of the modern Liturgy with a concise and up to date summary of the Church's thinking. It should be read by all clergy and by all laity involved in liturgical ministries as a guide and even as an examination of conscience. My only quibble - which does not take away from this book's value as a primer for reviving the liturgical spirit in the modern liturgy - is that Cardinal Arinze's discussion of liturgical changes doesn't seem to appreciate the significance of the debate about the legitimacy of the post-conciliar changes. But the Holy Father most certainly does appreciate this - and he may well indeed surprise us.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal must-read!!, April 23, 2007
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This review is from: Celebrating the Holy Eucharist (Paperback)
This is quite easily one of the greatest books I have read on the Eucharist. What shines through is Cardinal Arinze's understanding of the Eucharist and it's place in the life of the Church, it is not simply a matter of dry doctrine, but of deep love, and that is found throughout this book. He covers a wide variety of topics, and while he does address some errors of practice and belief it is done in a great pastoral manner and with great love for the Eucharist and the Church. I highly recommend this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Eucharist, February 28, 2013
This review is from: Celebrating the Holy Eucharist (Paperback)
Fans of Cardinal Arinze will certainly appreciate this book. The same candor, wit and humor that one finds in his interviews and public speeches is also to be found here. The good cardinal covers various aspects of "celebrating the Holy Eucharist" but is most particularly informative in matters liturgical. This book will affirm your faith the in Holy Eucharist and the changes (properly understood) made at the Second Vatican Council. Arinze is very quotable and offers much for mediation most appropriately made before the Holy Eucharist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Celebrating the Holy Eucharist, October 20, 2011
By 
This review is from: Celebrating the Holy Eucharist (Paperback)
Celebrating the Holy Eucharist
by Francis Cardinal Arinze
San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006
Pp. 126. Paper edition $9.95. No index
ISBN: 978-1-58617-158-2
Library of Congress Control Number 2006921885

Reviewed by Reverend Brian Van Hove, S.J.
Alma, Michigan

First published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, vol. 108, no. 11-12 (August-September 2008): 81

The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has given us a series of what he calls "reflections" at a time when there is a spate of books in the same vein.
This book is partly meditation, partly devotion, and partly admonition. It is this last attribute which I will explore briefly.
From different perspectives, most of us in the church agree there is a liturgical crisis. The clergy trained immediately after the Second Vatican Council were usually taught that the reform was a break with the past, thus dislocating it from the symbols, language, art form and orientation which had nourished the Western Church for centuries. Authority has shown itself powerless to correct the misguided notions that persist, despite the younger generation which wants the true reform to be discovered and implemented.
Having been entrusted with authority, Cardinal Arinze is aware more than most about the failure of the liturgical reform after Vatican II. There is an undertone of irritation and annoyance in what he writes, and rightly so. He does not tell us anything new about the Eucharist. He repeats what everybody should know, and what aging, graying "trend-setters" reject.
The reader is not sure who is the intended audience for Arinze's reflections. Seminarians already have lots to read on this subject (Reid, Robinson, Crouan, Kocik, Hitchcock, Oury, Gamber, Lang). They also have a string of official post-conciliar rulings from Inaestimabile Donum to Redemptionis Sacramentum. In fact, on page 12 the author gives a lengthy list of papal and curial documents, going back to Pius XII. The literate laity has the same resources.
This fine little book adds nothing to what we know but reinforces what we always knew. Those who have been listening all along do not need it, and those who are not listening will not be provoked to listen by the dear cardinal's words. We are in an age of secularism and apostasy. We are suffering in the industrialized West from a failed liturgical reform, and this crisis shows no signs of abating. The next generation, hardly catechized, will find Arinze's reflections on the Eucharist quite a treasure. Meanwhile, I would put it on the list of recommended readings for the local parish's RCIA.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cardinal Arinze will set you straight..., December 28, 2008
This review is from: Celebrating the Holy Eucharist (Paperback)
I have been a big Cardinal Arinze fan ever since I found his podcast. This no-nonsense Cardinal was one of the men favored to replace Pope John Paul II. He is testimony to the fact that Africa is the future of the Church. Although this reading may be a bit dry to some, it will give the lay Catholic a good working knowledge of how the liturgy is supposed to look, and will also let you know if your local bishop or parish priest if overstepping his authority. I look forward to reading more books from the Cardinal, and pray that he is chosen to be our next Pope.
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Celebrating the Holy Eucharist
Celebrating the Holy Eucharist by Francis A. Arinze (Paperback - October 1, 2006)
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