Collects of the Roman Missals: A Comparative Study of the Sundays in Proper Seasons before and after the Second Vatican Council (T&T Clark Studies in Fundamental Liturgy) by Lauren Pristas

Any time spent on this website reveals my passion for the collect tradition and rendering that great tradition appropriate for our contemporary context. Over several years, Dr Lauren Pristas (Professor of Theology, Caldwell College, New Jersey) has been researching and presenting the changes to the collects in the Roman Rite after Vatican II. This research has been collected, expanded, and presented in this book. For me, it provides history of collects going back to our shared (pre-Reformation) Western Christian heritage, a heritage often evident even still in contemporary liturgy.

Some of the inherited collects have been abandoned, altered, or new ones have been pasted together from pieces of ancient ones. All this is presented clearly in this book.

The theological shifts are analysed, and the conclusion is that there have been changes but that the same Christian gospel is presented (differently) in the post-Vatican II texts. She also highlights the inadequacy of human speech in praying to God. This dovetails with my own obsession that liturgy is, and should be, primarily not the words used.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in collects, in the development of liturgical texts, or in the shifts in recent theological emphases. My only disappointment is that the work is limited to proper seasons – I would like to see similar work for the other half of the year – the collects in Ordinary Time.

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