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Book Review

Stephen Conway (Editor)
Living the Eucharist

Affirming Catholicism and the Liturgy
ISBN 1-232-52421-1
DLT, London, 2001, £10.95

(price at publication of review)

Reviewed January 2002; © Copyright, The Society of Saint Francis, 2001

'The more deeply I am converted, the more hungry I become, the more deeply I realise my unconversion.' (p.47) This attitude to faith immediately claims my attention and sympathy and encourages me to continue the search for the God whom I know but long to know better. Rowan Williams is one of a star-studded list of contributors to a book that collects the talks and papers given at the Affirming Catholicism Conference in Durham in September 2000. If, like me, you missed the Conference, this is the next-best thing. Reading the text, therefore, is more like hearing the talk than studying an essay and makes easy reading with time to digest the thought-provoking material on virtually every page.

The collection of talks is helpful in the wider context of our absorbing the possibilities for planning the Eucharistic Liturgy in Common Worship. What are the opportunities at the Gathering and the Dismissal? Stephen Cottrell makes some good points to consider, as does Monica Attias who powerfully searches the depths of reconciliation and the Eucharist. Rowan Williams takes the Word, and Jack Nichols reflects on his experience at Athos and questions our wordiness at the Intercession, Frances Young teases out what is at the heart of the Great Thanksgiving Prayer which David Stancliffe skilfully exploits as he examines the shape of the whole Liturgy, drawing attention to the two peaks of proclaiming the presence of  Christ in the Word and the breaking of bread. And there is more quality talk from quality speakers.

For me, reading this book became something of a personal renewal.

Damian SSF


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