Where are the women in liturgical history? In considering the influential liturgical movement in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century, Katharine E. Harmon reveals that the reality is analogous to Matthew's account of the crucifixion of Jesus: "there were also many women there" (Matt. 27:55).
In this groundbreaking study, Harmon considers women's involvement in the movement. Here, readers explore the contributions of Maisie Ward, Dorothy Day, Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Ade Bethune, Therese Mueller, and many others. Harmon shows how movements and institutions such as progressivism, Catholic women's organizations, Catholic Action, the American Grail Movement, and daily Catholic family life played a prominent role in the liturgical renewal. The historical record is clear that women were there, they ministered to the Mystical Body, and their important work must be recognized.
Katharine E. Harmon currently serves as a lecturer in liturgical studies at The Catholic University of America. She holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Notre Dame and is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy.
Katharine Harmon has given us an impressively researched book that allows us to look deeply into the lives of a host of forward-thinking women whose vision for renewed social order drew its inspiration from the liturgy. These women make plain that what happened fifty years ago at Vatican II was no mere liturgical fad but decades in the making. What has liturgy to do with life? Everything-and Harmon's work demonstrates the significant contribution that these courageous women made to understanding that.
Michael Woods, SJ, Gregorian University, Author of Cultivating Soil and Soul: Twentieth-Century Catholic Agrarians Embrace the Liturgical Movement
Katharine Harmon has done a marvelous job of inserting women into the heart of our recounting of the history of the liturgical movement, . . . This is an impressive and engaging work of scholarship. The narrative flows easily; material that could have proven tedious and dense is not. Scholars of history, Catholic studies, women's studies, and liturgical studies would be interested.
Laura Swan, OSB, St. Placid Monastery, Lacey, Washington, Magistra
Harmon's book is a magnificent and much-needed addition to our growing knowledge of women as subjects of liturgy's past, not only as worshipers but also as creative agents of liturgical renewal in their own right. Building on sustained archival research, Harmon is able to bring to light much-needed information about the leading women in the liturgical movement in North America. I highly recommend this book.
Teresa Berger, Yale Institute of Sacred Music & Yale Divinity School