Everyday worship practices—from praying the rosary to moments of recognizing the beauty of God's creation, from being moved by the power of music to praying Vespers on an iPad—not only take place at different locations and during different days of the week but also dynamically interact with one another. The Liturgy of Life examines the interrelationship between the practice of Sunday Eucharist and the many nonofficial worship practices that mark the everyday lives of Christians who continually negotiate the boundaries of official teaching on liturgy.
Drawing on the writings of theologians and sociologists of lived religion and data from an ethnographic research project, this timely work stretches the contextual horizon of liturgical scholarship and presents a provocative and dynamic paradigm of Christian worship for the twenty-first century.
Ricky Manalo, CSP, PhD, is a composer and lecturer of liturgy, culture, and music at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California, and the Jesuit School of Theology/Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. He is a contributor to Give Us This Day published by Liturgical Press.
This is a timely, important, and stimulating book. Through ethnographic research and a rereading of key texts of the liturgical movement, Ricky Manalo maps a way toward a broadened understanding of liturgy, namely, as encompassing all worship practices of the faithful. With this, he contributes to overcoming an older, unhelpful division of worship practices into "liturgy" on the one hand and so-called paraliturgical practices or popular devotions on the other hand (a division that has plagued liturgical scholarship for far too long). I very much appreciate this approach. More power to books like Ricky Manalo's Liturgy of Life.
Teresa Berger, Professor of Liturgical Studies & Thomas E. Golden Jr. Professor of Catholic Theology, Yale Divinity School
"This book will inspire many to incorporate interdisciplinary methodologies in liturgical studies."
If the liturgy is the "summit and source" of church life, as Vatican II asserts, what is the relation between it and daily life? Beside the liturgy celebrated in the church, is there the 'liturgy of life'? If so, what is the relation between these two liturgies? This is no ivory-tower disquisition but a life-and-death issue for Christian life. No one is better equipped to help us understand this connection and live it than Ricky Manalo, who brings his mastery of sociology of religion, ritual studies, liturgiology, popular devotions, spirituality, and cultural studies to bear on this complex issue. His book will be of enormous help not only to theologians and liturgists but also to pastoral ministers, especially bishops and priests.
Peter C. Phan, Ellacuría Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University
"Ricky Manalo addresses the difficulty ever-present in empirical studies of liturgy, namely how to pose questions which are not leading, yet which are developed from a framework of understanding well-crafted to meet the specific needs of the survey. This book provides not only a report on the findings of his study, but perhaps even more so it provides a discussion about method leading to the author's own synthesis."
Daniel McCarthy, Ecclesia orans
In The Liturgy of Life Ricky Manalo has moved the discussion about the relationship between the official liturgy of the church and popular expressions of the faith into new and very productive territory. By studying questions about liturgy and the real worship experience of "the people in the pews" using an interdisciplinary approach employing theology, history, and the social sciences, Fr. Manalo offers new insights that can only benefit pastoral theologians and all those who seek to serve the liturgy.
Mark R. Francis, CSV, President, The Catholic Theological Union
A splendid contribution to contemporary liturgical theology. Ricky Manalo is a refreshing voice who broadens our horizons by reflecting on the lived context of the worship lives of real people. This book is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the relation between religion and culture and how a number of disciplines can enrich our appreciation of liturgy as our lives.
John F. Baldovin, SJ, Professor of Historical and Liturgical Theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Manalo's work is an important addition to the field of liturgical studies. Although the project of studying the liturgy through the lens of its actual performance has been proposed by numerous scholars, Manalo holds that the scope of this study needs to encompass the manifold ways people encounter God outside the confines of the church building and the official liturgy. The Liturgy of Life offers the invitation to examine liturgy from the perspective of the people and, simultaneously, to examine the lives of Christians as a necessary part of worship. This is an engaging book that merits serious attention by liturgical theologians and scholars of ritual studies, and is one that can be readily appreciated by "non-experts" as well.
Stephen S. Wilbricht, Catholic Books Review