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The Divine Symphony: An Exordium to the Theology of the Catholic Mass Kindle Edition
The exposition of that presupposition resulted in this unique book on the Theology of the Catholic Mass. The Divine Symphony presents a wonderful and seamless presentation of the liturgical continuity of the history, meaning, and mystery of the central and highest expression of worship and prayer in the Catholic Church.
For the past century and longer, nearly every book written by Catholics about the Catholic Mass has taken to the approach to explain the liturgy by dissecting it into separate parts and pieces. Contrary to this staunchly popular style of teaching, the Catholic Mass is not a disjointed litany of things laity says, things the Priest says, times they stand, times they kneel, things they do, and things they don’t do. Rather, in all of its liturgical expressions, from East to West, the Catholic Mass is a singular and Divinely inspired composition; a familial song of prayers and confessions. It truly is a Divine Symphony called the ‘Ite, Missa est.’
This is what makes David L. Gray’s work groundbreaking, in that finally there comes along a book that presents a harmonious symphony of the Catholic Mass.
Although Mr. Gray uses the Novus Ordo rite as the outline to narrate and guide the reader through the liturgical movements, he also draws into text much older Latin and Eastern rites, for the objectives of deeper study and explanation of the purpose, meaning, mystery, and orientation of the sacred liturgy. Such incorporation of so many various rites demonstrates, most beautifully, the universality and continuity of Christ Jesus’ memorial sacrifice.
A second unique feature of this work is Mr. Gray’s use of the classical symphony orchestra as a way to explain the structure and flow of the Catholic Mass. Even if the reader is not trained in the classical works, Gray gives them enough history and examples to give the reader a good reason to appreciate and understand their many similarities of form and purpose.
A third unique aspect of the book is that rather than attempt to explain the Mass through Scriptural proof-texts, the author has rightly moved to explain the Scriptures through the Mass. For, as the Scriptures tells the story of salvation history, it is the Mass, which brings the promise of the story to their fulfillment.
Through beautiful prose and a concrete presentation of the Divine Symphony’s history, meaning, mystery, and liturgical continuity, David L. Gray, in this exordium, gives reason to all to know, love and pray the Mass.
This well written and accessible a book is not only for Catholics, but for anyone who is looking to developing a deeper understanding and appreciation for what the Priests, Deacons, and the People are doing when they pray and confess the Ite, Missa Est.
To know the Mass is to love it and to love it is to pray it.
From the Publisher
David L. Gray, Catholic Author, Theologian, and Historian
David L. Gray is an American Catholic Theologian and Historian. Since converting to Catholicism in 2006, David has authored several books and hundreds of articles on the intersection between Catholic theology and the praxis of the faith. The primary theological focus of his work is exploring how the real meaning of the liturgy of the Mass can be more effectively taught and explained.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central State University (Ohio)
- Master of Arts in Catholic Theology from Ohio Dominican University
- President of Saint Dominic's Media, Inc.
The Divine Symphony
An Exordium to the Theology of the Catholic Mass
The Divine Symphony presents a wonderful and seamless presentation of the liturgical continuity of the history, meaning, and mystery of the central and highest expression of worship and prayer in the Catholic Church.
Using the construct of the classical symphony orchestra and its four movements, David L. Gray provides us with the most durable and effective way to understand and fall deeper in love with the Catholic Mass in its various parts, traditions, and rites.
- Exordium to the Introductory Rite
- Exordium to the Liturgy of the Word
- Exordium to the Liturgy of the Eucharist
- Exordium to the Concluding Rite
About the Author
"I learned countless things from reading the book, and I think that everyone would as well. Even having been Catholic now for 17 years, and doing apologetics, this book reminded me of how much I have to learn even in the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith." - Author Devin Rose, St. Joseph's Vanguard Catholic Apologetics for the Average Joe
"In The Divine Symphony, David's skill is on full display as he pulls quotes and lessons from the Bible, the Early Church Fathers, theologians of the modern and older eras, popes, and cardinals . . . David's book is worthy of your time. You can peruse it, or you can deep dive each page. It's a simple but thorough book sure to please any sort of reader." - Author Shaun McAfee, EpicPew.COM --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B07CYSV7LK
- Publisher : Saint Dominic's Media, Inc.; 3rd edition (May 14, 2018)
- Publication date : May 14, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 619 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 194 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1732178410
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,585,861 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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I particularly appreciated the female voice on the audio book as it brings to life The scene of The Bible Story of The wedding at Cana when The Mother of Jesus says to the stewards after they've run out of wine, " DO whatever HE Tells You !." Thanks for that, it brings me great solace to imagine my Mother Mary teaching us how to love HER Lord and Savior Divine Son Jesus. This book has the clarity and depth that will inspire the novice as well as the masters! I appreciate David using his God given gifts to help us lay people get into HIStory and accept the invitation to join the family of Jesus . Regards, Markie Marie Works
The Mass As Divine Symphony
The "red thread" through the book that David makes is the analogy of the Mass to a symphony: it is broken up into multiple movements and has parts to it that resemble a symphonic piece of music.
I admit that I had to look up what "exordium" meant in the subtitle: it is the introductory part of a treatise or piece of music.
Before diving into the parts of the Mass and exploring them, David gives a good overview of what the book is and is not. He explains that he is not arguing for any particular Rite or sub-tradition within a Rite but rather focusing on the overarching similarities across all Rites, even in the Orthodox liturgies, as they all represent the same theological meaning.
So, for instance, he is not concerned with proving that the Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) of the Roman Rite is superior or inferior to the Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin Mass). He is not interested in claiming that the Byzantine divine liturgy is better or worse than, say, the Maronite one. He shows how each of these are substantially similar.
I appreciate David's purpose in writing this book. He is not a traditionalist, but he values the Traditional Latin Mass and almost switched from being a Latin Rite Catholic to one of the Eastern Rites (Byzantine et. al.). He definitely seeks to refute those more extreme traditionalists who claim that the Novus Ordo is invalid; I am not one of those traditionalists so I had no disagreement with him here.
Where I did differ is that I would claim the Traditional Latin Mass is superior to the Novus Ordo. Yes both are valid, but that does not mean that one does not surpass the other in terms of beauty, theological exactness and power of expression, and depth of tradition. So while the Novus Ordo does hit all the notes of the Divine Symphony--to use his analogy--those notes are not as true, or deep in timbre, as the Traditional Latin Mass's are.
That said, he makes very clear that his purpose is not to give a full on defense of the Novus Ordo against the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.
Maybe that will be in a future book.
What I Like in the Book
I really liked that David went through the Mass step-by-step. Each part, each important phrase, was explained and illuminated.
He includes insights from Pope Benedict, Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Francis, Cardinal Sarah, and many other writings, including those of the Church Fathers, which offer meaty food for thought on the Holy Mass.
I learned countless things from reading the book, and I think that everyone would as well. Even having been Catholic now for 17 years, and doing apologetics, this book reminded me of how much I have to learn even in the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith.
Kudos to David for writing this intriguing and informative book.
As a cradle Catholic, I have a lifetime of love for the Mass. Yet, never before have I perceived it as a symphony; The Divine Symphony, as does David L. Bray in this remarkable book.
I read the book slowly, taking in the very familiar parts of the Ite Missa est, but seeing them in a new light--not as the Mass I’ve become used to, standing kneeling, responding, without much thought as to why we do all that--but as the particular movements of a symphonic journey revealing the Incarnation, and Christianity itself. David Bray reclaims our theology in this book, and reframes what we believe and why we believe it. He takes us through the essential life-giving act of God given to us in the Old Testament, and found in the memorial Passover sacrifice instituted before the exodus, then subsequently played out in the Crucifixion in the New Testament, and now, offered daily in Masses all over the world.
For those lifetime Catholics like me, this is a book for you. For those who are not Catholic and have wondered just what the Catholic Mass is--this book will reveal it. With examples from the Latin Rite, the Novus Ordo, Melkite, Orthodox—all—because, as David Bray says, “As God is one, so is there only one Mass that is expressed through various liturgical traditions that are rooted in a Divinely inspired cross-pollination with each other, especially for the first seven centuries of the Church."
Backed up by biblical history, both Old and New Testament, along with the earliest church writers, David Bray has set his very keen eye on our beautiful Mass and laid before us an impeccable encapsulation of our faith. In one sentence, this is the one of the most valuable books I have read about the Catholic faith.