While the place of the church and its organization in pre-Norman Ireland has been extensively studied, relatively little has been published on the eucharistic liturgy as celebrated in the pre-Norman church or as understood by its worshippers. The Eucharist in Pre-Norman Ireland fills an important gap in a field that has not been addressed in depth since F. E. Warren's Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church (1881).
Neil Xavier O'Donoghue provides a necessary, updated synthesis, one that incorporates advances made in liturgical studies and liturgical theology since the early twentieth century. In addition to reassessing and supplementing the texts discussed by Warren, O'Donoghue considers the social dimension of the Eucharist, its treatment in art and architecture, and its treatment as reflected by the spirituality of the time, placing this new analysis within a western European cultural and liturgical context. Most important, O'Donoghue shows that pre-Norman Ireland was very much a part of the Western (Gallican) liturgical tradition; he argues that what we know of the Eucharist in Ireland must be integrated with our knowledge and study of the Eucharist in the rest of western Europe in order to understand its central role in the West.
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