Book Review: The History of the International Una Voce Movement

By all accounts, the usus antiquior has played no small role in the development and maintenance of the arts, liturgical and otherwise.  Indeed, the Church's ancient liturgical practices are an important part of a living tradition to be cherished and coveted in the modern life of the Church.

These same liturgical practices bear witness to their own authenticity by way of the lives of the saints they produced and nurtured, as well as the arts they inspired and cultivated.     

As the history of the movement for the ancient Roman liturgy is written, one thing becomes clear - this movement in the specific form of the FŒDERATIO INTERNATIONALIS UNA VOCE (FIUV) was one of the very first international lay movements in the modern history of the Church.

It must be repeated: the role of the laity in this global movement cannot be underestimated.  Their goal? To maintain and cultivate the beauty of the liturgy.   

Englishman and former FIUV President, Mr. Leo Darroch, has written a book on the history of the FIUV that distinguishes itself as a fundamental effort to document the relevance of this movement; a movement founded 50 years ago for the defense and maintenance of the classical Roman liturgy.

Largely a behind-the-scenes effort, the FIUV has always been active in Rome and other liturgical centers.  Under the successive guidance of various presidents, beginning with Dr. Eric de Saventhem (†) and Prof. Michael Davies (†), a tremendous contribution was made toward the freeing of the ancient Roman Rite, brought to the Latin Church by the authority of the Roman Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, through his monumental motu proprio of 07-07-07, Summorum Pontificum.

The FIUV has continued its labors under the presidencies of Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, SMOM (†), Mr. Jack Oostveen, Mr. Ralph Siebenburger, Mr. Leo Darroch, Col. James Bogle and Mr. Felipe Alanís Suárez (the current president).  Other very active members, such as Mr. Rodolfo Vargas Rubio, have made an immense contribution.   

This very interesting history of Una Voce will remain an important source for scholars who want to better study and understand the role of lay associations in the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the Third Millennium, especially with regard to the problems raised by the hermeneutic of rupture and the post-conciliar liturgical reform. Of course as we all know, history is the best judge of men and institutions.  This book is a most welcome contribution and I believe history will judge it in a positive light.  Without beauty in the liturgy, we are trounced.   

The book is available for purchase from Gracewing.  

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