Catholic Traditionalism & the Liturgy: A Bibliography

This should be the last bibliography post for a while, as I am busy with writing and teaching at the moment. But I compiled a list of books by authors either associated with the Traditionalist movement or cited by them, and thought it worthwhile to post it here. I say this because I don’t think most people realize how much actual work the Traditionalist movement has done in this area. This is mainly because they have no power in the Church, and so are easily ignored. As I made clear in my series on the movement, I found many of their arguments convincing, and their overall point that the new liturgy was a mistake basically correct (even if they get certain important details wrong, in my opinion). Anyway, I thought their works should be more widely known, so here they are. Pax Christi!

Traditionalism & the Liturgy

Hugh Ross Williamson, The Great Betrayal (1970)* [These two works comprise one of the earliest critiques by an English convert from Anglicanism, as well as an historian.]

———-The Modern Mass: a Reversion to the Reforms of Cranmer (1969)

Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy (1993)* [Probably the most important critique of the new mass, since Gamber was not a traditionalist but a liturgist at Trier, and friends with Ratzinger. He makes many similar arguments to what Trads had been saying since the beginning.]

Michael Davies, The Liturgical Revolution, 3 vols., (1977-1980, 1995, 2008-09) [Multi-volume work by Davies, former president of Una Voce, the international body promoting the old liturgy. Compares the changes made by the Council to that of Thomas Cranmer, following Williamson.]

Yves Chiron, Annibale Bugnini: Reformer of the Liturgy (2018)*[Biography of the main force behind the creation of the new write, by a traditionalist historian. Well researched, and even handed.]

Alcuin Reid, The Organic Development of the Liturgy (2005)*[Younger scholar, Reid is a Benedictine monk, who in this tries to establish a distinction between organic and inorganic changes in the liturgy.]

————ed., Looking Again at the Question of the Liturgy with Cardinal Ratzinger (2001) [From a conference held at the Abbey of Fontgombault, important mainly for Cardinal Ratzinger’s contribution, which is highly critical of the new liturgy but also the new liturgical establishment.]

————ed., T&T Clark Companion to Liturgy (2015) [Collection of essays on the liturgy]

Joseph Shaw, ed., The Case for Liturgical Restoration (2019)* [Shaw is the current president of Una Voce, and this book is a collection of position papers by that organization on various topics. Useful for getting a sense of the positive case for the old rite, as opposed to a critique of the new.]

Laszlo Dobszay, The Bugnini Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform (2003)†

————The Restoration and Organic Development of the Roman Rite (2010)

Matthew Hazell, The Post-Communion Prayers in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite (2020) [Hazell’s books analyze and in some cases quantify the differences between the old and new rites, without necessarily arguing against the new, though he is a proponent of the old rite.]

————Index Lectionum: A Comparative Table of Readings for the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite (2016)*

————The Proper of the Time in the Post-Vatican II Reforms (2018)

Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., Looking at the Liturgy: A Critique of its Contemporary Form (1996)* [Another work by someone who is not a trad, but a very accomplished theologian. Beside Gamber’s, I felt it the most helpful. It critiques the new liturgy from an anthropological perspective as well as a theological one, a key for understanding the general thrust against the new mass.]

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy (1998)*[Again, not a trad, and not necessarily agreeing with them, but his asides on the old liturgy are noteworthy.]

Lauren Pristas, Collects of the Roman Missals: A Comparative Study of the Sundays in Proper Seasons before and after the Second Vatican Council (2013) [Another book comparing the prayers of the new rites and documenting the differences.]

Martin Mosebach, The Heresy of Formlessness (2006)*[An artist’s perspective on the liturgy. Mosebach is a German novelist and proponent of the old rite. His work captures the symbolic differences between the old and new rites in a series of essays.]

Geoffrey Hull, The Banished Heart: Origins of Heteropraxis in the Catholic Church (2010)

Nicola Giampietro, The Development of the Liturgical Reform (2010) [Narrative of the liturgical reform through 1970, based of the diary and notes of Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli, who worked on the Concilium and came to regret some of its decisions.]

Fr. Thomas Kocik, Reform of the Reform: a Liturgical Debate (2003)

Fr. Michael Uwe Lang, Turning Toward the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer (2008) [Argument for the liturgy prayed facing east, i.e, “ad orientum.”]

Stratford Caldecott, Beyond the Prosaic: Renewing the Liturgical Movement (1998)

Anthony Cekeda, The Work of Human Hands: a Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI (2010) [Cekada, now deceased, was a sedevacantist. I have not read his works, but they are sometimes cited by traditionalist authors.]

————The Problems With the Prayers of the Modern Mass (1991)

Michael Fiedrowicz, The Traditional Mass: History, Form and Theology of the Classical Roman Rite (2020) [An explanation of the old liturgy from a German priest and professor at Trier, where Klaus Gamber also worked.]

Peter Kwasniewski, Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness (2017)

————Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis (2015)

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