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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A difference between Prosper Gueranger and Lucien Fromage

Canisius | 08 June, 2007 20:15

Correct me if I am wrong, but my recollection is that Dom Gueranger cited liturgical texts and Church Fathers, and that is all. I cannot recall a single instance of his citing a modern author.

Dom Fromage has cited a certain Bishop Pie of Poitier twice now, once in X,182 and once in X,192. The first of these citations is of a homily dated Sept. 8, 1869. Googling around, I find that the good Bishop was made a cardinal at some point.

I like the quotations a lot, and I would like to read something by Cardinal Pie, but it feels like a change in the character of The Liturgical Year. Dom Gueranger's original vision was to steep his readers in the ancient monuments of the tradition, in the mind of the Church. Modern authors can be good, but they are not the same.

This feeling struck me all the more forcibly when Dom Fromage cited Francisco Suarez (X,288), a 16th century scholastic. The whole tone of that entry, in fact, is scholastic rather than patristic--a very different feel from what Dom Gueranger provided.

All of this confirms my general impression that Dom Fromage is more intellectual, in a certain way, than Dom Gueranger. Prosper Gueranger was a man whose strength was not in making fine distinctions; many times, it seems to me, he expressed the truth without nuance. But he gave a forceful expression of the general mind of the Church and rarely what he considered merely his own opinion.

Lucien Fromage seems more nuanced to me, but at the same time his entries are more esoteric--they require more mental effort to follow. And introducing Suarez's barren speculations about what would have happened had Adam and Eve never sinned (would the Word have become incarnate anyway) in the face of an absolute death of biblical testimony--this is not good devotional reading. This is what gives scholasticism a bad name.

I like Fr. Fromage a lot. I am intellectually inclined, myself, and I enjoy the speculative stuff. But I wonder how well this volume of The Liturgical Year was received by the French readership who had been following the series up to then.


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