Journey into the Heart of God is a captivating exploration of the history and evolution of the Church Year: the cycle of seasons in the Christian tradition that begins with Advent and culminates with Easter and is marked by the celebrations of saints, feast days, and the reading of Scripture as appointed by the Church.
Primarily through deft examination of the Western Church, Philip H. Pfatteicher reveals how the liturgical calendar has been transformed over thousands of years. It is a work of art--the collaborative achievement of generations of hands and minds. He shows how the church year dramatizes and grounds the strange complexity of the human experience and how it encourages honesty, humility, growth, and maturity in those who live by it.
Pfatteicher also offers insight into the liturgical texts of the Eucharist, the less familiar Daily Office, and the people's theology voiced in hymns from a broad spectrum of ancient and modern traditions. It will be an indispensable resource for both clergy and laity in the liturgical denominations, including Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Anglicanism.
Philip H. Pfatteicher was a parish pastor in South Philadelphia and in the South Bronx. For thirty years he served concurrently as Professor of English and Religious Studies and campus pastor at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. He returned to parish ministry as Associate Pastor of First Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh and taught liturgics and hymnology at Duquesne University. He and his wife now live in Melrose, Massachusetts, and he is a member of the staff of the Church of the Advent in Boston.
What is offered in this book is a unique blend of liturgical history with quite profound devotional and theological commentary on the liturgical year as it is currently practiced in Roman Catholic, American Episcopal and Lutheran traditions. Particularly valuable is the inclusion of reference to hymns commonly sung at the various seasons, together with extracts from patristic homilies and other material that illuminate the relevant liturgical texts.
-Canon Paul F. Bradshaw,
University of Notre Dame
Philip Pfatteicher, a Professor of English and liturgical scholar, begins and ends his book with literature - from Rudyard Kipling to John Bunyan. In the pages between he takes us upon an extraordinary pilgrimage, followed by the Church each year and yet ever renewed in its life. This is a work of mature liturgical scholarship, which wears its learning lightly and never loses the wonder of the journey of the spirit, brought to life most vividly in familiar hymns to which it repeatedly returns and brings to life afresh as the Christian drama of salvation unfolds from Advent to Advent.
-Professor David Jasper,
University of Glasgow
Christians are a pilgrim people on the journey of faith. They are also a forgetful people who need constant reminders of their identity as God's people. In this detailed and helpful resource that utilizes liturgical texts, classic hymns, descriptions of customs, and commentary, Pfatteicher shows how the liturgical year is a reminder of the events of the Gospel, yet also makes them present as a living reality for the church today.
-Karen B. Westerfield Tucker,