The Once and Future Roman Rite: Returning to the Traditional Latin Liturgy after Seventy Years of Exile

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In his latest book, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski argues that, ever since the new liturgical books following the Second Vatican Council came into force, Roman Catholic faithful have suffered the effects of a hasty and far-reaching reform permeated with nominalism, voluntarism, Protestantism, rationalism, antiquarianism, hyperpapalism, and other modern errors. Man is not master over divine liturgy, Dr. Kwasniewski emphasizes; rather, all of us are called to be stewards of the sacred, from the lowest-ranking layman to the pope himself.

Dr. Kwasnieski shows that sacred Tradition is the guiding principle for all authentic Christian liturgy, which originates from Christ and is guided by the Holy Spirit throughout the life of the Church. His principal thesis in this work is that the prominent identifying traits of the classical Roman Rite—and indeed of all traditional rites, Eastern and Western—are absent from the Novus Ordo, estranging it from their company and making it impossible to call it “the Roman Rite.”

To respond to this crisis of rupture, Dr. Kwasniewski calls for a full return to the traditional rite, the Roman Rite in its robust, perennial richness, for which no special permission is or could ever be needed—as exposited by Pope Benedict XVI.

Fidelity to the traditional Latin Liturgy is, at its root, fidelity to the Roman Church and to Christ Himself, Who has lovingly inspired the growth and perfection of our religious rites for two thousand years. This awe-inspiring gift of Tradition allows us to taste, even now, the banquet of the promised land of heaven.

Peter Kwasniewski, PhD
TAN Books
Publication Date:

Editorial Reviews

Dr. John C. Rao

“If you want to know why youthful instinct, scholarly knowledge, and priestly self-awareness cannot help but lead believers ‘back to our future’ in all of its fullness, then you must study Dr. Kwasniewski’s detailed and unanswerable paean to Christ in Sacred Tradition.”

Fr. Thomas Crean, OP (author of The Mass and the Saints)

“At once logical and lyrical, this book is a profound reflection on the meaning of tradition both in general and in the Roman liturgy in particular. The author’s knowledge of his subject is at once speculative and practical, while his writing is both heartfelt and humorous, and, if sometimes polemical, never unjust. While not everyone may agree with his conclusions, this is a book that no one who is interested in the health of the Church should neglect.”

Roberto de Mattei (author of Love for the Papacy and Filial Resistance to the Pope in the History of the Church)

“The welcome celebration, throughout the world, of an increasing number of Masses according to the usus antiquior must be accompanied by a keen awareness of what the Church’s “living liturgical tradition” actually is. Peter Kwasniewski’s study makes an important contribution to the in-depth understanding of this tradition. At once liturgical, historical, theological, and spiritual, The Once and Future Roman Rite assures the author a place of first rank among the scholars of the Revolution that, since 1969, has opposed the ritus modernus of Paul VI to the rite of the Latin Church’s Tradition. ”

Fr. John Hunwicke

“Since the liturgical revolution which followed Vatican II, sound Catholic scholars, mostly lay men and women, have studied, laboured, discussed, written, and lectured about Liturgy and have painstakingly established a fact-based consensus in favor of Tradition. Dr. Kwasniewski synthesises the academic discoveries of the last half-century.”

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