It has seemed fitting that the review, Ecclesia Orans, which is being initiated by the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, located at the Primatial Abbey of Sant’Anselmo, be presented to the Congress of Benedictine Abbots, meeting in Rome in September of 1984. This first volume of the review is therefore intended as a complimentary copy for the Benedictine abbots.
This particular purpose explains the presence of two articles, one concerning the monastic liturgy of the hours and the other the cloister in its biblical and liturgical aspects, which, although of interest to anyone concerned with the liturgy, are intended especially for the monastic reader. Although it is in no way intended that this periodical be destined only for monks and monasteries, but rather that it be directed to all who dedicate themselves seriously to the study of the liturgy, it has nevertheless been considered necessary in this first issue to render homage to the monastic milieu out of which it has arisen.
The review does not intend habitually to present a single theme, although this possibility is not excluded. The present issue, keeping in mind the special circumstances of its publication, gives an idea of the lines the periodical intends to follow. Understandably, this issue does not include book-reviews, an aspect which will be included once the publication has established itself. The reviews in the present volume are limited to works in the series Analecta Liturgica; published by the Liturgical Institute.
Two articles study a problem of euchologia in the liturgical celebration.
Professor A. Chavasse, whom we thank especially for his valuable collaboration offered in spite of poor health, studies the course of the development of the antiphons for the Introit, Gradual, Offertory and Communion for the Sundays after Pentecost as well as the Graduals of the sanctoral cycle. He has thus completed, and at times corrected, the important contributions in this field, made by Dom Hesbert, recently deceased.
While the article of Professor Chavasse is directed primarily towards literary concerns, J. Pinell, professor of the Liturgical Institute, offers in his article, Repertorio del «Sacrificium» (Canto ofertorial del rito hispanico) para el ciclo dominical «De quotidiano», the critical edition of the entire repertory of the sacrificium (offertory chant) for the cycle De quotidiano, along with the historical and doctrinal study which precedes it. This article is a monograph which forms part of the preparatory work for the revision and reedition of the Hispanic-Mozarabic Missal, entrusted by the Spanish Episcopal Conference to a committee headed by the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo, to which the author serves as technical director. The repertory consists of thirty-three texts drawn from Scripture but skillfully reelaborated which are intended as the texts of a no less skillful musical arrangement. They constitute a sequence of so many pictures of the history of salvation, wherein the sacrifices of the Old Testament are described. The reflections which flow from them lead to an ardent contemplation of the holiness of the priesthood and the cultic dignity of the People of God.
Along the same historical, liturgical and theological lines, P. Verbraken, director of the Revue Bénédictine, which recently celebrated its first centenary, and successor to G. Morin and C. Lambot in his research on the sermons of Saint Augustine offers the critical text of Sermon LVIII on the Traditio of the Pater. From the four sermons which have been preserved on the traditio of the Pater, a small sum when one considers the long episcopate of the Bishop of Hippo, Dom Verbraken presents Sermon LVIII which was given at Hippo and which, on the base of certain attacks against the Pelagians, can be dated to the years 412-416.
The article of A. Chupungco leads into an equally interesting field which treats more directly of pastoral practice based on history and theology. The article is concerned with a reconsideration of article 106 of the decree Sacrosanctum Concilium regarding the importance of Sunday in the liturgical year. Such a reconsideration brings forth new elements which must be taken into account in the spirituality and pastoral practice concerning Sunday. The article follows step by step the difficult development of article 106 and thus arrives at a complete and correct theology of the Lord’s Day.
B. Neunheuser offers an article on the monastic divine office which extends beyond the interest of just the monastic world. The development of the arrangement of the office, its basic principles and the possibilities of adaptation to local conditions surpass the monastic ambient and give rise to reflections on a liturgical model valid for all that concerns the question of the liturgy of the churches in the one Church.
C. Valenziano presents the ideal vision of a little-studied element of monastic architecture. The cloister in its biblical-liturgical aspects has hardly been the object of investigation. The study offered here for our reflection is far from those narrow and limited views which would lay the cloister to rest as a mere medieval invention which is now outdated and without value. This article gives rise rather to architectural and truly monastic reflections in the most contemporary sense of the word.