I recently ordered this new book by Brian Williams. In short, I really enjoyed it.
It is very short, more of a booklet than a book. It has eleven very short essays on all the important issues surrounding the traditional liturgy.
Here is the table of contents:
I found the essays to be very good. They were concise and to the point, and made good arguments. The first essay is rather hard-hitting. It doesn’t say anything bad about the Second Vatican Council, but it does strongly criticize the post-Vatican II attitudes that lead to many liturgical abuses:
“What followed [the 1970s] was largely a rush to the bottom, as the pedestrian and profane was extolled and the transcendent was escorted from the stage” (4).
Williams laments the loss of Gregorian Chant, high altars, altar rails, statuary, Communion on the tongue, Latin, and authentic Catholic education. He argues that in throwing off the past and the traditions that have stood firm for centuries, society became disordered, characterized by chaos and instability. With regards to the movement to establish the Traditional Latin Mass he says:
“An increasing number of the faithful have discovered that we need tradition, and we need it now. We need order and peace. Restoring the sacred, returning to the Traditional Mass, is an intentional decision. It is fortification against disorder” (6).
I can strongly identify with this quote about why many people are turning to the Latin Mass:
“It is finding the peace that comes from order, the order that comes from ritual, and the ritual that leads us to God” (6). Couldn’t have said it better myself.
He goes on to give excellent arguments for preserving the use of Latin in the liturgy and for traditional liturgical practices. Throughout the book he includes powerful quotes from authorities, such as Ratzinger, Church documents, and Council documents. He answers all the common objections you may routinely hear, and he does so in a short, powerful manner, in simple language, without clouding the issues with a lot of rhetoric and complicated arguments.
One thing I really appreciate is that the tone is balanced and logical. There is no mention of Masons or conspiracy theories, no bashing of the Ordinary Form, no talk of “false popes”, and no unsubstantiated accusations against any of the Council Fathers. There is nothing extreme or radical about it. He simply makes logical arguments that are fully in-line with Church teaching and that conform to the documents of Vatican II. It also gives encouragement to those in the clergy wishing to implement more traditional reforms, by citing statistics and anecdotes.
I highly recommend this book. It is like a pocket apologetics for the Traditional Latin Mass. I will be ordering more copies to hand out to people.
If you do read it, go ahead and leave a rating and review on Amazon.