The Sacramentary - Five Volume Set (Cardinal Schuster)

Arouca Press

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Republished by Arouca Press | Available in Paperback or Hardcover | 15 x 22.5 cm (6 x 9 in)

The whole of theology will be found contained in the revered and time-honoured Roman formulas of the holy sacrifice; and faith, moreover, reminds me that our divine Saviour has constituted the Church to be the depository of the mystical science of prayer, and has given her, through the unspeakable groanings of the Spirit, the key to the very heart of God himself.

— Blessed Ildephonsus Schuster

Modern reprint of Blessed Ildefonso Schuster's five-volume work, The Sacramentary (Liber Sacramentorum): Historical and Liturgical Notes on the Roman Missal. Originally published between 1924-1930 and translated into English by Arthur Levelis-Marke and W. Fairfax-Cholmeley (Vol.5 only).  

Volume 1 features a new foreword by Gregory DiPippo. 

When Ildefonso Schuster (1880–1954) transformed his copious and insightful lecture notes on the Roman liturgy into the five volumes of Liber Sacramentorum—known to us in English as The Sacramentary, and presented here for the first time in a modern reprint—he stated his purpose: “sharing with devout and studious souls, especially among my brother priests, whatever sentiments of faith and reverence Our Lord may have deigned to grant me, His unworthy servant, in the course of my daily meditation on the Roman Missal.” The work is neither “exclusively for the learned,” nor “a mere manual of piety”; the author approaches his subject as a scholar and a teacher, but also “with the fearful reverence of the believer.”

Praise for the book(s): 

“In addition to having been a worthy son of Saint Benedict and, later, successor of Saint Ambrose, Blessed Ildefonso Schuster was a notable figure of the early Liturgical Movement, one whose scholarship deserves to be better known in the anglophone world. Arouca Press has done a great service toward that end by republishing the English translation of his long out-of-print seminal work.  Although scholarship has progressed in some areas in the last century, it remains a valuable commentary on the living tradition that is the older Roman Rite, on a par with Dom Guéranger's magnum opus, The Liturgical Year.” – Fr. Thomas Kocik, KHS, author of Singing His Song: A Short Introduction to the Liturgical Movement

“Cardinal Schuster was among the towering figures of the Liturgical Movement in its healthy phase, where the overriding concern was to study the family history in the spirit of descendents keen to know their glorious heritage, so that they might carry on long-standing customs with grateful understanding, and rediscover lost, forgotten, or neglected treasures. He combined a scholar’s diligent attention to primary sources with a pastor’s warm-hearted embrace of all the gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed on the Church over the ages. This carefully limned commentary, spacious and leisurely, plunges us into the pure font of tradition and intensifies our participation in the life-giving mysteries of Christ.” – Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, author of Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages 

When the newly consecrated monk-Archbishop of Milan visited his seminary in 1929 he was invited to explain Benedictine spirituality. “There is no such thing,” he replied. “It is nothing other than the spirituality of the Church: the praying of the Sacred Liturgy.” For Blessed Ildefonso Schuster—monk, abbot, cardinal and archbishop—that reality was a constant. The Sacred Liturgy was the source and summit of his entire Christian life and work, as these volumes testify. Scholarship has progressed in the century since higher duties called Schuster from the classroom, certainly. Yet in these pages his thirst for learning is as palpable as is the true liturgical spirit—indeed sanctity—that animates his exposition of the nature of the liturgy and his meditations on the seasons and feasts of the liturgical year. From these we can learn a great deal, not only in respect of our approach to liturgical study and celebration, but also regarding the fundamental nature of Christian life and spirituality. That these volumes are once again in print is a singular grace. - Dom Alcuin Reid, Prior, Monastère Saint-Benoît, Fréjus-Toulon, France; author of The Organic Development of the Liturgy

The achievement of Blessed Ildefonso’s Schuster Liber Sacramentorum was to build a bridge between liturgical scholarship and spiritual commentary on the Mass. The reprint of this great contribution to liturgical renewal in the twentieth century is most welcome at a time when the older form of the Roman Rite is being rediscovered by new generations of Catholics. Anyone diving into this monumental work of erudition and piety will find it an inspiring guide to the riches of the liturgical year. – Fr. Uwe Michael Lang, Cong.Orat., Mater Ecclesiae College, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London

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