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A New Song for the Lord: Faith in Christ and Liturgy Today Paperback – November 1, 1996
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
About the Author
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was professor of theology at the universities of Bonn, Munster, Tubingen, and Regensburg before becoming Archbishop of Munich in 1977 and prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1981.
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Participating as a Deacon at the Liturgy can very easily become a matter of routine, mere ritual. One must spiritually "pinch" oneself periodically to bring about a renewed sense of the importance of this, the Catholic's central act of worship. This particular book is just that; a spiritual shot in the arm to renew one's faith and love in our most beloved treasure, the Eucharistic Liturgy.
A NEW SONG FOR THE LORD is far more than just about song at the Liturgy. There's Scripture, History, Theology. This group of collected essays builds a fundamental basis for the Liturgy itself as the book's sub-title suggests, "Faith in Christ and Liturgy Today." We must once again refocus our liturgical attention upon that to which it belongs: Jesus / God / Adoration. Cardinal Ratzinger points out the danger of the congregation focusing upon itself, of the community celebrating itself and thereby becoming a vehicle for merely social purposes.
We get the "Song" right when we have gotten the fundamentals of the Liturgy right. We thereupon can join with the angels in a most beautiful act of worship on that special day called the "Lord's." We've been prepared for it because already the Cardinal has given us a renewed appreciation for that day of days: the "third," the "first," the "eighth."
In contrast to some of the other of Cardinal Ratzinger's books, this one is a fairly easy read. Anyone seriously interested in the Mass and its attendant liturgy should find this book a most valuable encouragement that the Church truly does understand itself and its worship. Liturgists and church musicians alike should make available a special spot on their book shelf for this important, little tome. In fact, every Catholic should find in A NEW SONG FOR THE LORD a valuable source of rejuvenation and edification.
I give this one a five star rating for everyone.