"I am increasingly convinced that the decisive question that demands an answer from us is not so much how believers experience the liturgy, but whether believers live from the liturgy they celebrate." With these few words Goffredo Boselli captures the essence of this present work.
Believers can celebrate the liturgy throughout their lifetimes without ever really drawing their lives from it. And this is true of all believers—laity, clergy, or monastics. More than a century after the start of the liturgical movement and half a century after the start of the postconciliar liturgical reform, we must ask the difficult question of whether the liturgy has or has not become the source of the spiritual life of believers. For only by living from the liturgy can they receive the nourishment necessary to maintain a life of faith in today's world.
In The Spiritual Meaning of the Liturgy, Goffredo Boselli—one of Europe's foremost liturgical theologians—offers an accessible and important guide for both scholars and interested laypeople to understand the meaning that permeates the liturgy and its implications for daily living. Readers will find here a resource to help understand the liturgy more fully, interiorize it more effectively, and live it more authentically.
Goffredo Boselli is a monk of the community of Bose in Italy. He is a member of the organizing committee of the International Liturgical Congress held annually at Bose and serves as an advisor on the liturgy to the Italian Bishops Conference. He is also on the editorial board of the journals Rivista Liturgica and Arts Sacrés.
Today perhaps more than ever we need to deepen our spiritual understanding of the church's liturgy. Boselli provides us with a genuine mystagogy, leading to a profound appreciation of the depths of the liturgy and rooted solidly in the Scriptures and the early Christian writers. His work brings out the nature of the liturgy as primarily a gift from God, God's work among us, calling us to listen to his word and respond. It will be of enormous value to ministers, scholars, and the worshiping faithful alike.
John F. Baldovin, SJ, Professor of Historical and Liturgical Theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Reading Boselli's book is like going on retreat. He has meditated deeply on links between liturgical actions and the words of Scripture. You will enter a profound reflection on the Eucharist you share and the life you lead.
Paul Turner, Pastor, St. Anthony Parish, Kansas City, Missouri; Facilitator, International Commission on English in the Liturgy
This book offers a sound mystagogy based primarily on Scripture and the writings of the fathers that will be of value to those engaged in the task of liturgical formation.
Paul F. Bradshaw, Professor of Liturgy (Emeritus), University of Notre Dame
This important book reminds us again and again that the liturgy is primarily not about what we do for God but what God does for us in a unique way through the liturgy. Throughout Boselli penetrates to the spiritual heart of the liturgy. A much-needed book at a time when debates about liturgy are all too often about externals, not the inner depth of what liturgy is and does. The author's invitation that we truly `listen' to God speaking to us through word and sacrament-as simple as that sounds-is a much-needed lesson not only about liturgy but about the Christian life.
Rev Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin, The Catholic University of America
In this book, we come to understand better the connections between what we do in the liturgy and our spiritual relationship with Christ. Contemplation and interiority arise from ritual action and communal experience: this is the paradox that makes this volume a precious occasion for personal and communal reflection on the topic.
Andrea Grillo, Professor of Sacramental Theology, Pontifical Atheneum of Saint Anselm, Rome
"This book can be of enormous value to ministers, scholars, and the worshiping faithful alike, stimulating new responses, new research and new ecclesial action in response to contemporary challenges."
James Leachman, Ecclesia orans
The Spiritual Meaning of the Liturgy comes from one of Europe's premier liturgical theologians and provides a collection especially recommended for scholars and theologians interested in the meaning of the liturgy and its applications to everyday life and spirituality. . . . The result is a powerful spiritual analysis highly recommended for any Christian thinker.
Midwest Book Review
"To anyone who wishes to understand the essence of liturgy, this book provides a very sound and clear grounding. I recommend to all liturgical students, scholars, and ordinary faithful."