The review Ecclesia Orans celebrateci the. tenth anniversary of its founding on February 2, an event which was commemorated by an academic convocation some two weeks later. We have reproduced the original foundation document, giving the names of the founding members of the editorial board. We note with sadness that one of the signers, Father Daniel Gelsi, has since gone home to God.
The first number of the review, in 1984, clearly delineated the objectives of the founders. In spite of the temptation to attract more subscribers, we have remained true to our originai purpose.
With ten years of experience behind us it is not difficult to assess the pros and cons. In certain areas the review must make some improvements and take more definite positions. To mention only one area – the book reviews – we have established a fixed policy: our liturgical sense obliges us to review only those works which demonstrate a scientific treatment of the liturgy. It is a fact that certain publications undertake a systematic survey of everything that appears on the subject in any language. It would be fruitless to embark on such a course. But we ha ve not always applied the same criteria in selecting books to review. We seem to review what well-intentioned reviewers are kind enough to send us. In the matter of choosing books for review the editorial board will have to make a clear policy decision: what service do book reviews provide for our readers? We would like to have our readers’ opinions on this subject.
It may be helpful to summarize what Ecclesia Orans has accomplished in the last ten years. Our readers could certainly do this for themselves, but we will save them the trouble! We be gin with statistics an d then come t o content.
In the 28 numbers published in the past ten years there is a total of 3388 printed pages. Excluding editorials, chronicles und book reviews, 125 articles covering 3026 pages have appeared. We have contacted about 100 potential authors, and 77 ha ve written for us; 21 of them have written one article, the rest eight, six, five, four, three and two. There have been 83 book reviews, habitually thorough and comparatively lengthy.
It is not easy to classify the contents of the articles. Generally they fall under three or four disciplines: Scripture, history, patristics and theology. We can only approximate their dominant themes. Some 55 articles dealt primarily with history, ritual or textual criticism, about 60 with biblical or theological themes, and some 12 with chant and art. While publishing a variety of articles we have maintained editorial consistency.
We can say without hesitation that since it began, the review has remained faithful to its principles. We pass over here the reasons leading to the general editorial policy of the review. Those reasons are clearly explained in the first number and are in line with the teaching methodology of the Faculty of Liturgy, which treats the liturgical texts in their historical context; whether dealing with Scripture, the Fathers or ritual concerns. It bases its theology on these principles.
Has everything been perfect? Indeed no. We stili have a distance to go as regards: the appearance of the printed page, eliminating typing and spelling errors (so difficult to spot when publishing in several languages), the exactness of the publication schedule, and especially regarding the choice of books to review. But ali things considered and with ali modesty we can be justly proud of what the review has accomplished during its first 10 years of existence.
The .review’s success would have been impossible without the willing help of so many competent authors, the meticulous and untiring efforts of our secretary, the often unnoticed labor of producing the annua! indices, the fidelity of the chroniclers. The professional appearance of the review contributes to its international renown.
To assure the continuity of the review an assistant to the director has been appointed. He is Father Cassian Folsom, SLD, professor in the Institute and monk of St. Meinrad Archabbey, USA. We know he will be welcomed by our readers.
We are always open to suggestions from our readers and take this opportunity to thank them in advance. We enter on this new year with well-founded optimism.