This book is intended as an introduction to the principal forms and orders of Western liturgy between about 900 and 1700, to explain their nature and basic historical origin, and to present in detail the contents and orders of principal services as well as additional and special forms of worship. The book emphasizes the mainstream of Western liturgy derived from the medieval Roman Rite as found in secular and monastic churches. After the Reformation it concentrates
on the rites of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. There is consideration of the nature of liturgy, a historical summary, and individual chapters on medieval
churches and their communities, the Christian calendar, medieval liturgical books, the Psalms, the Office, the Mass, Processions and Additional Observances, Holy Week and Easter, the Tridentine Rite, and the English Book of Common Prayer. There are two further chapters which raise the problems of establishing the order of a liturgical service, and introduce selected medieval sources accessible in facsimile or edition. A select, annotated bibliography and a glossary of ecclesiastical and
liturgical terms are included.
`It presents a clear and lucid introduction to the terminology, structure and content of the Wetern liturgies.'
`This is the kind of book that is difficult to put down once it has been started. John Harper writes in an easy style but it does not mask the great love and impeccable research which has gone into producing such an exciting book.'
Magazine of the Guild of Church Musicians
`Of particular value to the general reader who wishes to understand the context of the medieval and renaissance music that he hears as well as to those with a more practical interest in reconstructing services is The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the Tenth to the Eighteenth Century ... I have nothing but admiration for Harper's skilful account, and those who enjoy early music but who have not had a Catholic or Anglican
upbringing will benefit immensely from reading the opening chapters.'
Early Music News
'This book fulfils a basic need for all who are interested in the liturgy of the early Church, its nature and purpose. This is the kind of book which is difficult to put down once it has been started. John Harper writes in an easy style, but it does not mask the great love and impeccable research which has gone into producing such an exciting book. Oxford University Press has priced this book well within the reach of those who will wish to add it to their
library. It is a must for all church musicians and - with the Christmas season to hand - what more useful gift could be found?'
'Professor Harper's book provides an exceptionally clear and comprehensive account of the sources and structures of virtually all the forms of service of the Western Church. It is an essential work of reference for all serious students of church music and liturgy.'
Jill Pinnock, Theological Book Review, May 1992 (vol. 4 no. 3)
'this is a useful book'
Richard M. Nardone, Seton Hall University, The Catholic Historical Review, April 1993
'a succinct and clearly organized introduction to the main forms of the Roman Latin rite and its Anglican offspring ... It will certainly prove a helpful volume for those trying to come to grips with ... a modern edition or facsimile of a medieval book ... Availability in paperback form places the results within reach of the readership for which the volume was designed, and I hope ample use will be made of it.'
David Hiley, Universität Regensburg, Notes, June 1993
'the additions to the current edition make the work even better than the original'
Mark Bighley, CrossAccent
`a compendious work arisen out of practical experience that will doubtless serve well its intended purpose'
Anthony Ward, SM, Ephemerides Liturgicae 106 (1992)
Part I: Liturgy in the Western Church; Part II: Medieval Liturgy; Part III: After the Reformation; Part IV: Using Liturgical Sources; Appendices