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The Mass: The Glory, The Mystery, The Tradition

      This coming Saturday, February 12 Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, will celebrate the 12:10pm Mass in the Crypt Church.  Following the Mass Cardinal Wuerl will again sign his new book, The Mass: The Glory, The Mystery, The Tradition until 2:00pm, at the National Shrine’s Book Store on the lower level of the Basilica.

About the Book

      The Mass is at the center of Catholic life, but many times even the most devout can miss the rich history and spiritual significance to its many parts.


Book Cover

      Now, as the Church prepares for upcoming changes to the Mass with a new edition of the English translated Roman Missal to go into effect in 2011, it is the perfect opportunity for a clearer understanding of this most fundamental practice.

      The authors, Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina, note, “We find the experience more rewarding when we understand the Mass and pray it. And that’s the reason for this book.”  With eloquent prose, Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina together explain the deep importance behind each part of the Mass, from the perspective of both a priest and a lay Catholic, offering the reader a panoramic view.  Showing that every word and every gesture has a history, a significance, and a meaning, they explore every element including: defining the word “Mass”, the furnishings, the vestments, the Church calendar, the readings, Holy Communion, the Sign of the Cross, the dismissal, and everything in between. 

      Each subject matter is addressed with a fresh look and explained in a palatable way. The book is fully illustrated with black and white photos, taken by the official photographer of the Archdiocese of Washington, so readers can witness all the action of the altar up close.The Mass also includes introductory words from the Archbishop J. Augustine, Di Noia, O.P., the Vatican Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago. 

About the Authors

      Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the sixth Archbishop of Washington. He has led the Church in Washington since 2006 after serving eighteen years as the Bishop of Pittsburgh. He is especially renowned for his work in Catholic education and faith formation. His books include The Catholic Way: Faith for Living Today, The Teaching of Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults, and The Gift of Faith: A Question and Answer Catechism. Cardinal Wuerl has headed many committees at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including Education, Evangelization, and Catechesis. He was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II in 1986, and was named a Cardinal in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.

      Mike Aquilina is executive vice-president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology (SalvationHistory.com). He is author or editor of more than thirty books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. With theologian Scott Hahn, he has been co-host of eight series that air on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).  Mr. Aquilina is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and is past editor of New Covenant magazine and the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper.  He blogs about the early Church at FathersOfTheChurch.com. He and his wife, Terri, live in Pennsylvania, with their six children.

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