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Posted January 1, 2001
Godfrey Diekmann, OSB, is a giant of the Liturgical Movement. His faith journey and career as an ecclesiastic, in many ways, parallel the spiritual awakening of the Christian churches of the twentieth century. Vatican II can be seen as the pivotal moment in both the larger movement and Diekmann¿s life¿s work. Perhaps more than any other single figure, Father Godfrey has expounded the vision of Church in which the Church is seen as most itself when it is the Church at prayer. His role in the shaping of the possibilities of renewal within the Roman Church has been an integral one. It is he and his like-minded colleagues who have seen to it that worship not be considered a collection of museum pieces of rubric, but rather that (especially through the use of the vernacular and the `breaking open¿ of ritual gesture and language into even richer statements of faith) the public worship of the Church be a wellspring of nourishment from which comes the strength to attempt to remake and heal the broken world. Kathleen Hughes is an outstanding scholar of the generation of liturgist-theologians which followed Diekmann and have done so much to make the edifice which Diekmann and his colleagues built upon Virgil Michael¿s foundational work a meaningful, beautiful home for modern Christians. Her writing style is clear and compelling, her research skills outstanding. In this volume Hughes pays tribute to a friend and colleague without making her opus sound like a hagiography. Her subject is shown with wit, wisdom and even a few limitations and flaws. Hughes chronicles Diekmann¿s life and work in such a way that the reader can feel the zeal of the young scholar and his frustrations with politics and misunderstanding at various points in his life. This is a highly readable work which should be required reading for anyone who holds a leadership role in the prayer life of a community, regardless of denomination.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.