Presiding over the liturgy takes more than following instructions. Good presiding is artful presiding. It is knowledgeable and inspirational. It faithfully grasps the church’s heritage and gives it personal expression.
In Ars Celebrandi, Father Paul Turner offers a guide for priests in preparing for and celebrating the Mass. Building on a liturgy which adheres to the liturgical books, Turner examines styles of presiding and reflects on principles that will help the presider to foster active participation of the faithful.
Paul Turner is pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri and director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. He holds a doctorate in sacred theology from Sant' Anselmo in Rome. His publications include Glory in the Cross, Let Us Pray, Inseparable Love, One Love, Whose Mass Is It? Light in the Darkness, When Other Christians Become Catholic, and The Stations of the Cross in Atonement for Abuse and for the Healing of All, published by Liturgical Press. He is a contributor to Give Us This Day.
In addressing this important task of liturgical presiding, Father Paul Turner offers more than just a "how to do it" guide through the liturgy. Rather, he points to a foundational vision for the Ars Celebrandi—a way of thinking about it—with keen insight into the inner disposition necessary to celebrate the liturgy authentically and well. This foundational understanding then, is woven into a well-grounded hermeneutic of the rites as they are now given to us and undergirds the practical, concrete, and detailed recommendations that follow. This has long been needed and will be an important addition to the library of every liturgical minister.
Rev. R. Bruce Cinquegrani, D. Min., Pastor, St. Anne Catholic Church, Memphis, Tennessee
In one inspiring volume, Father Turner reviews countless details which impact the art of celebration. Instead of engaging in liturgical debates, the author consistently shows a deep respect for the Order of Mass, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, and the beauty of the liturgical texts. He combines sound theology and liturgical history with logic, reason, humor and a generous helping of pastoral advice. This book should become mandatory reading in every seminary and a thoughtful "examen" every time one prepares to lead God’s people in the Church’s liturgy.
Rita A. Thiron, Executive Director, Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions
Fr. Paul Turner explores the rubrics of the Mass and its unwritten elements to assist presiders to access, and lead the faithful into, the full richness of the liturgy they celebrate. Written with charity and clarity, Ars Celebrandi will give all who care about the Mass a deepened understanding of the "noble simplicity of the Roman rite."
Letitia Thornton, Director, Office of Worship, Diocese of Boise
As a seminary professor who teaches candidates for the priesthood how to celebrate Mass, Father Paul Turner’s comprehensive guide is the course textbook I’ve been searching for, for years! He expertly presents the many theological, spiritual, pastoral, and rubrical considerations which, together, make up the priestly ars celebrandi. Throughout, the importance of celebrating the sacred mysteries with faithfulness, artistic sensitivity, and pastoral care is made with clarity and precision. Seminarians and seasoned presiders alike will benefit greatly from this thoughtful, detailed, and approachable study of the priestly ars celebrandi.
Father Matthew Ernest, STD, Director and Professor of Liturgy, Saint Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie); Director of the Office of Liturgy, Archdiocese of New York