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Jeg bestilte for ikke lenge siden (og mottok i dag – fra Fraternity Publicatins) Rev. J. B. O’Connells The Celebration of the Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Liturgy (1962). Forordet begynner ganske ineressant:

A priest is ordained to offer sacrifice to God. His chief duty, his dearest privilege, is to celebrate Mass. The offering of the Christian Sacrifice is a divine act, but it is done in an entirely human way. Its essential elements were determined by the Chief Priest – who is at the same time the august Victim – our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, but the setting in which this sublime act should take place, the rite in which it was to be enshrined for all time, was left to His Church to settle. And the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, has in the course of centuries created this rite, and has fixed in detail the manner in which Mass is to be celebrated.

In her chief liturgical book for the Latin Church, the Roman Missal, the Church sets forth the order of the offering of the Sacrifice in:
1. The general rubrics of the Missal (new Codex, 1960),
2. The rite to be observed in the celebration of Mass, and
3. The defects that may occur in the celebration of Mass.

This book is a study of the rubrics of the Missal. It is an endeavor to give a detailed and accurate explanation and interpretation of these rubrics. To do this it has been necessary to study not only the text of the rubrics of the Missal, but also the rubrics of other liturgical books (such as the Caeremoniale Episcoporum, the Memoriale Rituum, the Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae Instauratus, and the Roman Ritual), the Code of Canon Law (chiefly Book III, Title 111), and the decisions of the Congregation of Sacred Rites and other Roman Congregations, in so far as all these are concerned with the celebration of Mass. Account has had to be taken also of legitimate custom as a source of liturgical law, and generally accepted usage as an interpreter of law.

The rubrics themselves and their authentic interpretation alone have binding force. Concerning matters not determined by the rubrics each celebrant of Mass has the right to act as he thinks best. The explanation given of such points in this book is based on the general principles of liturgical ceremonial, on practical convenience, and on the generally accepted teaching of the leading commentators on the rubrics of the Missal.

As each statement of any moment is controlled by a reference in the footnotes to a rubric, or to a decision of S.R.C., or to some other official source, the reader can readily determine what is of obligation and what is merely the opinion of rubricians or the accepted way of performing a particular ceremonial act. … …

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