The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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The end of Gueranger's opus

Canisius | 02 June, 2007 05:48

Today we read the last of Dom Gueranger's entries in The Liturgical Year. Heaven called him away before he finished his project, and volumes 10 through 15 were written by his disciple, Dom Lucien Fromage.

In this his last week of commentary, Dom Gueranger has given us a systematic reflection on the Holy Spirit's activity. From Whit Sunday through Whit Thursday, he devoted his meditation to the way the Spirit forms the Church; Friday and Saturday he spoke of how the Spirit acts on the individual soul. On each day of the week he has offered an explanation of one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so he has really devoted an entire week to the Spirit's action on the individual soul.

Just as his meditations were devoted to the Church from Sunday through Thursday but to the individual soul on Thursday and Saturday, so his explanations of the gifts of the Spirit focused on the life of action from Sunday through Thursday, but then on the way of proficients and the way of the perfect on Friday and Saturday respectively. The division is at the same point.

As it turns out, all of this was preparation for what he expected would be his next volume. Following what he says is Dom Gueranger's plan, Dom Fromage explains the character of the time after Pentecost (X,3-4): From Advent through the Easter season, we have followed Christ's earthly life step by step, with the purpose that Christ should be formed in us; the liturgy of the time after Pentecost signifies and expresses this regenerated life, which is to be spent on the model of Christ's life, and under the direction of his spirit.

Fr. Fromage goes on to explain that this signification of time after Pentecost has two elements (X,4-5). On the one hand, the history of Christ's life led up to the history of the Church on earth, and this time after Pentecost signifies the Church's time from Pentecost to the end of time. On the other hand, the same season signifies the spiritual life of the individual Christian, which is, as Fr. Fromage puts it, "but a compendium of that of the Church." In other words, just as the liturgical year from Advent through Easter presents us Christ's life and forms us to it, so the time after Pentecost presents us the Church's long journey and invites us to correspond to it.

Dom Gueranger's systematic exposition of the Spirit's action on the Church and on the individual soul is, therefore, leading into the principal themes of the coming season and showing the continuity between the parts of the liturgical year. It is, I think, masterfully done.


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