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Liturgical books in early modern Christianity

Liturgical books in early modern Christianity

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Location: Walker Room, Heythrop College

Welcome to the Michaelmas Term's Staff Research Seminar series.  This session will see Dr Michael Lang presenting a paper on 'The printing of liturgical books, episcopal control, and the shift towards liturgy as text in early modern Christianity'.

Liturgical scholars, such as Aidan Kavanagh, have identified a reduction of liturgy from experiencing a system of symbols to a comprehension of texts in the Renaissance and Reformations periods. Moreover, the possibility of printing liturgical books has been considered a catalyst for standardisation, as manifested in the codification of rubrics. However, the role of printing in this process is ambivalent, as the new technique was mostly beyond episcopal control, and decisions on the contents of missals, for instance, were taken by enterprising printers themselves. It was only around the Council of Trent that, galvanised by the Protestant Reformation, the papacy effected a standardisation of liturgical books and a focus on the printed word, the consequences of which are still felt today.


We will celebrate the seminar with tea and pastries, and a glass of wine or juice during the discussion. Refreshments will be from 4 pm and the presentation will start at 4:30 pm.

Dr Michael Lang is a priest of the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in London, holds a doctorate in theology from Oxford University and has taught Church history at Heythrop College since 2012. From 2008 to 2012 he was a staff member of Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. His publications include Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer (Ignatius Press, 2nd edition 2009), The Voice of the Church at Prayer: Reflections on Liturgy and Language (Ignatius Press, 2012), and Signs of the Holy One: Liturgy, Ritual and the Expression of the Sacred (Ignatius Press, 2015), as well as articles in patristic and liturgical studies. He is the Editor of Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal.    

Contact Name: Johannes Hoff
Contact Email: j.hoff@heythrop.ac.uk