Book Notices: Cardinal Schuster's The Sacramentary (and Conciliar Limericks)

While our focus here is primarily the liturgical arts, these do not exist outside liturgical history and for that reason we wanted to inform our readers about the timely reprint of one the classics of liturgical history, Cardinal Ildefonso Schuster's The Sacramentary: Historical and Liturgical Notes on the Roman Missal.  Schuster is well enough known to many of our readers, a Blessed, Benedictine monk and the one time Cardinal Archbishop of Milan. His work is a cross between a scholarly treatment of liturgical history and a devotional and theological commentary akin to Dom Prosper Gueranger's Liturgical Year. 

This work has long been out of print and it often struck me as curious that no one had ever taken to reprinting it -- and fortunately Arouca Press has now changed that. Prior to this reprint one would have to wait until it turned up on secondhand book sites, often at exorbitant prices (and, as often as not, incomplete at that). 

Like the original set, this new printing comes in five volumes, available as a whole or in its individual volumes. 

I was pleased to receive a hardcover copy of this. It has a case wrap cover with a dustjacket and the quality is very good. 

As for the price, the set is a steal at $100 USD for the softcover and $140 for the hardcover. 

While I am on the subject of Arouca Press, I'd also take this opportunity to mention another interesting offering coming from them: A Limerickal Commentary on the Second Vatican Council
Separating the occasional high points of the formal sessions of Vatican II were long stretches of procedural tedium and usually ponderous Latin speeches. Some of the anglophone council fathers found fleeting relief in recording their reactions, frustrations and opinions in limerick form. Many of these were collected in a typed manuscript together with their translations into Latin by Bishop Bernard Wall of Brentwood. The English limericks are a whimsical primary source for the history of Vatican II which add a little extra humour, colour and insight to the formal record of the council's proceedings; their contemporary Latin translations remind us that Latin is far from being a dead language. The editor has provided notes that situate the limericks in a clearer context.
Here is an sample of the contents:

Looks like an interesting little volume to say the least that will offer some unique historical insight into the climate of the time. 

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