How would the history of Roman Catholic worship look if it were viewed first from the perspective of the "people in the pews" rather than through the deliberations of popes and church councils or the writings of theologians? How did the "common people" down through the ages understand what they were doing when they came together in worship-and was this understanding always the same as the "official" interpretation of the church authorities? In Local Worship, Global Church, Mark Francis explores the history of the liturgy from "the bottom up" rather than from "the top down" and comes to conclusions that complement our understanding of the history of the liturgy and its relationship to faithful Christians from the first century CE to our own time.
Mark Francis, CSV, is president of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and the author of Shape a Circle Ever Wider: Inculturating the Liturgy in the United States. He previously served as superior general of Viatorians and taught at the Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome.