A book on liturgy; a quick way to learn

I love reading and learning about liturgy.

There is the multidisciplinary piece that makes academic liturgics an ideal way to form a liberal education (librarianship is another) and there is a practical piece, too. A liturgical education helps form better worship. Win-win, I say, and a lot less creepy, say, than an armchair survey of the history of disease, which is also multidisciplinary and practical (especially if you are avoiding the Ebola virus.)

It isn’t the easiest field to enter, and the jargon, especially the Latin jargon, is stunning. But if you’re up to it, I can recommend an old work, now in the public domain and available online.

Take a look at Percy Dearmer’s Everyman’s History of the Prayer Book

This little Anglican work can be read in a long sitting, and I wish I had read it when I was getting started. Download all the pages in one felled swoop and enjoy. You might need a dictionary for some of the technical words (some are just the common Latin names for psalms) that would have been commonplace to Anglican worshipers in the 1910s. Get a copy of the 1549 and 1662 prayer books (linked from within the book) while you’re at it to follow along the notations.

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