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Dom Gueranger explains every part of the Mass (from beginning to end) in a clear, yet profound, way. You get a good dose of liturgical history and spirituality as he explains how each part fits together and why.
Gueranger wrote this book after his magnum opus the Liturgical Year and it is meant to complement it.
In three main parts:
-Explanation of the Holy Mass (where the main parts of the Mass are explained)
-The Canon (where each prayer of the Canon is explained)
-The Ordinary of the Mass (where the prayers of the Ordinary, but not of the Canon, are systematically explained).
"Between the Epistle and the Gospel, we have the Gradual. It consists of a Responsory and its Versicle. Formerly, the whole Responsory was repeated both before and after the Versicle, in the way now used with the brief responsories, only the Responsory was exceedingly rich in notes. The Gradual is really the most musical piece in the whole liturgy; and, as the rendering of it requires great skill, there were never more than two chanters permitted to sing it. When about to sing it, they went to the ambo, which was a sort of marble pulpit, placed in the church; and it was on account of the steps which led to the ambo, that this portion of the chant got the name of Gradual; just as the Gradual Psalms were those which the Jews used to sing whilst ascending the steps of the Temple." (p.29)
"We must make this excellent book available to the faithful." - Fr. Kenneth Novak.