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A New Song for the Lord:
Faith in Christ and Liturgy Today

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
(Pope Benedict XVI)

Format: Book
Edition: Softcover
Published by: Crossroad Publishing Company
Translator: Martha M. Matesich

This book is a collection of essays written by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger when he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Published in 1995 in German with the title, Ein neues Lied für den Herrn: Christusglaube und Liturgie in der Gegenwart, the book contains among its chapters a sermon by the cardinal on the occasion of the retirement of his brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, as choirmaster of Regensburg Cathedral. This chapter, In the Presence of the Angels I Will Sing Your Praise: The Regensburg Tradition and the Reform of the Liturgy, shows an example of how Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) imagines the proper realization of the directives of the Vatican II document, Sacrosanctum concilium.

Pope Benedict XVI understands liturgy, not only in a deep theological, ecclesiological and spiritual sense, but also as an amateur musician — he plays piano quite well, he has studied organ and he is a devotee of Mozart. With ten chapters on a variety of liturgical topics, A New Song for the Lord gives a clear overview of the pope's views on liturgy, in particular its relationhip to Christ, the Church, and to us. Here's an excerpt from the Preface:

Throughout the years of the Liturgical Movement, as well as at the outset of the Second Vatican Council's reform of the liturgy, it appeared to many as if striving for correct liturgical form were a purely pragmatic matter, a search for the form of worship most accessible to the people of our time. Since then it has become increasingly clear that liturgy involves our understanding of God and the world and our relationship to Christ, the Church and ourselves. How we attend to liturgy determines the fate of the faith and the Church. For this reason liturgical matters have acquired an importance today that we were unable to envision before.


Translator's Note

Part One: Jesus Christ, Center of Faith and Foundation of Our Hope
  1. Jesus Christ Today
    • Comments of the Origin and Purpose of This Text
    • Preliminary Remarks: Today, Yesterday, and Forever
    • Christ, the Way: Exodus and Liberation
    • Christ, the Truth: Truth, Freedom, and Poverty
    • Christ, the Life: Existence for Others [Proexistenz]
  2. Christ and the Church: Current Problems in Theology and Consequences for Catechesis
  3. God's Power — Our Hope
    • Laying the Foundations
      • Introductory Observations on the Essence of Power
      • Two Biblical Texts on the Question of Power:
        1. The Mountain of Temptation
        2. The Mountain of Mission
      • The Nature of Jesus' Power:
        1. Power in Obedience
        2. Power Accepted As Responsibility
      • Two Modes of Power:
        1. The Power of Domination
        2. The Power of Obedience
    • Applications
      • Faith as the Door for God's Power
      • Scripture as the Place of God's Hope-Instilling Power
      • The Authority of the Church and the Power of God
Part Two: Worship in Accord with the Logos (Romans 12:1)
Liturgy and Christology
  1. The Resurrection as the Foundation of Christian Liturgy — On the Meaning of Sunday for Christian Prayer and Christian Life
    • What Is the Issue Here?
    • The Theology of the Lord's Day
    • Sabbath and Sunday
      • The Problem
      • The Theology of the Sabbath
      • The Christian Synthesis
    • Applications
      • Priestless Sunday Services
      • Weekend Culture and the Christian Sunday
Glory and Glorification
  1. "Built from Living Stones": The House of God and the Christian Way of Worshiping God
    • The Biblical Message about the Temple Made from Living Stones
      • Old Testament Roots
      • New Testament Fulfillment
    • What Prompted the Building of Christian Churches?
    • Consequences for Today
  2. "Sing Artistically for God": Biblical Directives for Church Music
    • Preliminary Remarks on the Situation of Church and Culture
    • A Psalm Verse as Mirror of the Biblical Directives for Music in Worship
    • On the Adoption of the Biblical Directives in the Liturgical Life of the Church
    • Consequences for Today
      • Against Aestheticism as an End in Itself
      • Against Practical Pragmatism as an End in Itself
      • Openness to Tomorrow in the Continuity of Faith
  3. The Image of the World and of Human Beings in the Liturgy and Its Expression in Church Music
    • Surpassing the Council? A New Conception of Liturgy
    • The Philosophical Basis of the Concept and Its Questionable Aspects
    • The Anthropological Model of the Church's Liturgy
    • Consequences for Liturgical Music
      • Fundamentals
      • Comments on the Present Situation
      • A Final Word: Liturgy, Music, and Cosmos
  4. "In the Presence of the Angels I Will Sing Your Praise": The Regensburg Tradition and the Reform of the Liturgy
    • Earthly and Heavenly Liturgy: The View of the Fathers
    • Highlighting the Potconciliar Dispute on Liturgy
    • On the Essence of Liturgy and the Criteria of Reform
    • Foundation and Role of Music in Worship
    • Choir and Congregation: The Question of Language
    • Specific Questions: Sanctus — Benedictus — Agnus Dei
Conversion, Penance, and Renewal
  1. A Discussion between F. Greiner and J. Ratzinger
  2. Preparation for Priestly Ministry
    • Let Youself Be Built into a Spiritual House: Formation into the Family of God
    • Passion for the Truth
    • House and Temple: Serving the Word Which became flesh
    • Word and Sacrament: The Place of Ritual
Sources for the Essays


Order #: 9110
Price: $19.95


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