Expert Answer Forum
history of the liturgy QUESTION from David Thomas January 17, 2001 I have a degree in Historical and Theological Studies from a Protestant university. I am considering converting to the Roman Catholic church but would like to do some research about the early history of the liturgy. Many protestant books compare it to ancient pagan rites and accuse the Church of synchretism. Can you recommend some books which trace the current rubrics of the Mass back to the early church? Thanks!
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on January 22, 2001 Dear Mr. Thomas:
The earliest example of a Mass liturgy, which is remarkably similar to the way the Church does it now, is the Didache written around 60 AD.
There are hundreds of books on this subject since the Eucharist is the central focus of our faith. One definitive book on Eucharistic devotion is In the Presence of Our Lord: The History, Theology, and Psychology of Eucharistic Devotion by Father Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R. and James Monti. The bibliography in that book will take you to many wonderful resources.
There is also the article in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia at: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09306a.htm
These sources should get your started.
God Bless Bro. Ignatius
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