Dom Prosper Gueranger (1805-1875) devoted himself to liturgical scholarship, polemics, and the establishment of Benedictine communities in France. The Holy Mass is Gueranger's most extensive treatment of the heart of the liturgy and firmly established him as a leading liturgist. By turns devotional, exegetical and historical, this is therefore a timely publication of one of the great treasures of Catholic liturgical spirituality.
There has never been a book that so well elucidates how the active participation in the Holy Sacrifice, which is the duty of all the laity, can best be accomplished. This was written after The Liturgical Year and was the last book translated by Dom Laurence Shepard, Gueranger’s disciple, before his own death. This book is meant to be a companion volume to the The Liturgical Year, and it perfectly matches the set.
The well-known translator of The Liturgical Year has gone to his rest, but in a twofold sense we may say: his works follow him. This, his last and unfinished work, must therefore come to the readers of The Liturgical Year as a loving farewell from him, a memento of him and of his life-long labors in the cause of Holy Church.
To many, it will be of consoling interest to know that, up to the day of his death, as long as speech was his, Rev. Dom Laurence Shepherd was full of the great passion of his heart — to gain souls to the love of Holy Church. Several times, within even the last month of his painful illness, did he strive to master sinking nature, and once more guide his trembling pen, to tell the faithful something more of the Bride of Christ, the Church of God. Those last pages which came from his failing hand close with the word Lucia, in the explanation of the Nobis quoque peccatoribus, page 158. Before the month was out, his friends had poured forth the consoling prayer put on their lips by Mother Church, et lux perpetua luceat ei! Hope had kindled in every heart the reverential confidence that the Champion of Holy Church had received the “corona justitiae” — had passed to the patria lucis aeternae.
St. Mary’s Abbey, Stanbrook,
June 14, 1885.