From Age to Age: How Christians Have Celebrated the Eucharist

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2009 Catholic Press Association Award Winner!
From age to age you gather a people to yourself, so that from east to west a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name."

Eucharist is the fullest expression of our life with God, a life we share with Christians throughout the ages. It is also a sensory experience, engaging us in the sights and sounds, tastes and touch of the worship. Edward Foley's revised and expanded From Age to Age draws readers into that sensory experience. He traces the development of Christian Eucharist from its Jewish roots to our own time. In addition to exploring the architecture, music, books, and vessels that contributed to each period's liturgical expressions, this edition introduces readers to the theology of each age as well as the historical and cultural contexts that shaped the Eucharist. Richly illustrated with numerous images and quotations from period texts, this book is a feast for the mind and eye. Through many examples of the visual and auditory symbols that are central to Eucharist, readers will discover how Christian worship is embodied worship that from age to age gives glory to God and sanctifies people.

Also available in Spanish. Tambian esta disponible en espanol.

Edward Foley, Capuchin, PhD, is Professor of Liturgy and Music and founding Director of the Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union. A prolific author, he is coeditor of and contributor to a commentary on the General Instruction of the RomanMissal (Liturgical Press, 2008) and coauthor ofMighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals: The Intersection of Worship and Pastoral Care (Jossey-Bass, 1998).


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

What a useful book! So many histories of the Eucharist deal primarily with its theological development, it is a pleasure to have a book in a format large enough to accommodate architectural drawings, substantial apposite quotations in the margins, photos of liturgical vessels from Roman times to the present, substantial sections on the written forms of liturgical texts from scrolls to books, the development of music from single voice poetic recitation of psalms and prayers.
Catholic Books Review

The original edition of Foley’s book found a broad audience because it distilled an enormous amount of state-of-the-art liturgical scholarship into an informative, reader-friendly overview of the history of the Roman Mass. This edition repeats that accomplishment and does it even better.
Theological Studies

Edward Foley’s large and graphically grand new edition of From Age to Age helps all of us realize that our Christian roots (in eternity, of course, but also in time, in the form of ceremonies, chalices, architecture) are thoroughly fascinating and humbling, endearing and supportive.
Review for Religious

Edward Foley’s revised and expanded edition of From Age to Age is an even more valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding and appreciating the Christian Eucharist than the original proved to be sixteen years ago. This revision, at nearly twice the size of the original, is a welcome addition to any liturgical library. For all who have not had the opportunity to discover the riches of the first edition, this book is a must for your reading list. You will be sure to walk away with a renewed love of, appreciation for, and understanding of the Eucharist as it has evolved throughout the ages.
Pastoral Music

From Age to Age is the definitive reference and resource for anyone studying this venerable tradition of Christian worship.
The Midwest Book Review

As a text for an undergraduate course on the history of worship, there is simply nothing to compare to it for breadth of material in an engaging format.
Tom Lawson, DMin, Ozark Christian College, Joplin, Missouri

It seems to me that we are living in a time in the life of the Church when there are some who wish to ‘reform’ the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, often in complete ignorance. Alive contemporary liturgy is rooted in preserving the best practices of the past and being open to God’s creative spirit in the present. I believe that Ed Foley’s newly revised and expanded liturgical work From Age to Age is an essential and classic text in helping local parishes and pastors enliven our liturgies. More than just providing an excellent historic overview of liturgy, Ed’s very creative work helps us to understand the theological and cultural settings from which our liturgy has, and continues to, emerge.
Monsignor Robert M. Perkins, Pastor, Church of the Immaculate Conception, Hampton, Virginia

The genius of this book is that it is almost a multimedia experience between two covers. . . . Most impressive, though, is the vast number of images throughout the text—art pieces, book illustrations, schematic drawings, floor plans, photographs of buildings and artifacts, musical notation—all of which supplement the author’s argument that to understand the history of the Eucharist fully one needs to look broadly at the culture that surrounded it as well as at the liturgical texts and theological underpinnings. This is a great text for the interested nonprofessional as well as the academic. Parish study groups and liturgy committees would both enjoy this book and benefit greatly from it.
U.S. Catholic

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814630785
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Foley, Capuchin, the Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality and Professor of Liturgy and Music at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Emerging Christianity: The First Century 1

Ch. 2 The Domestic Church: 100-313 39

Ch. 3 The Rise of the Roman Church: 313-750 79

Ch. 4 The Germanization of the Liturgy: 750-1073 133

Ch. 5 Synthesis and Antithesis as Prelude to Reform: 1073-1517 185

Ch. 6 Reform and Counter-Reform: 1517-1903 241

Ch. 7 Renewal, Reaction, and an Unfolding Vision: 1903 to Tomorrow 297

Acknowledgments 355

Bibliography 359

Index 373

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2011

    Thorough yet accessible

    My parish recently sponsored a lecture series based on this book. I was surprised to find such a deeply researched yet easy to read and follow story of our Church. I could easily see this being as a text book for an intermediate to advanced level class -- and I would definitely want to take avail of that class if it were to be offered.

    There is an odd visual aspect that runs throughout the book though: Many of the black and white reproductions almost look like they are from a copy machine and just thrown in as holders, as if in a printer's galley. It seems as if this text was proofed via a computer monitor as opposed to in print.

    Still, it was great information at a good price.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    illustrated history of the sacrament of the Eucharist

    Foley did this new edition following the original by 16 years to "enhance the scope and content of the book so that it might be more useful as a textbook [in religious studies], even at the graduate level." Thus, this revision has more technical terms and words in languages other than English. This tilt of the content is modest, however, and does not stray much from the author's "original write an accessible book for lay people that would introduce them to something of the richness of our eucharistic history." The non-English words, for example, are explained and translated upon their first appearance in the text.<BR/><BR/>This major study of eucharistic history may now be even of more interest to lay persons as well as students with the considerable expansion of the illustrations and quotations. Many of the quotes, often fairly lengthy, are run in the wide outer margins; they alone offer a sketch of eucharistic history. And the varied illustrations are so plentiful that the work could be described as an "illustrated history."<BR/><BR/>The sacrament of the Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion, has been a fundamental part of Christianity since its inception. The Last Supper where the twelve apostles shared bread and wine with Jesus before his crucifixion is seen as the origins of the Eucharist. As one of the holiest, meaningful, and venerated parts of Catholicism and some Christian sects, the Eucharist hasn't changed that much since its origin. Devout participants believe, as they always have, they are engaging in communion with Christ by having tokens of bread and wine consecrated by a priest in a mass. For the most, the history of the Eucharist is not a history of ideas or theories or controversies about it, but rather a history of material culture surrounding it. Foley thus follows the architecture of the dwellings (beginning with homes followed by churches and cathedrals), vessels and other objects such as platters, liturgy as recorded in books, music, and artistic representations and imagery regarding the Eucharist.<BR/><BR/>As the sacrament is performed at an altar in a church, the location of the altar is significant. Floor plans and architectural drawings of churches through the ages locate the altar in the changed architecture of different eras. As the design of altars and areas for them changed from era to era, so too did religious music change to mirror the secular music of different eras. Changes in vessels and liturgy were not so pronounced as with church architecture and music; though Foley gives due attention to these.<BR/><BR/>The new, revised edition is only an improvement on what was already a basic text striking just the right tone of informative breadth and depth, scholarship, visual content, and thoroughness to appeal to all readers with an interest in its central religious topic.

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