Friday, September 4, 2009
De Ecclesiasticis Officiis
Recently I picked up a recent English translation of the Latin, De Ecclesiasticis Officiis by Isidore of Seville (c. 560 - 636). This writing would be of most interest to those interested in liturgical history and the education of clergy, which are two emphases of Isidore here. The reason for these emphases was the Visigoths had recently converted from Arianism to Orthodoxy and Isidore was responsible for moving toward ending the remaining influences of Arianism.
The Mozarabic Rite, or "the old Spanish liturgy" (Fortescue), is one of the western Rites that pre-dates the Roman Rite. Although this Rite is in limited use today the history and practice of this Rite is helpful in understanding the development of the eucharistic liturgy. Book I describes the liturgy. Book II describes the office of clerics and other offices of the Church. The translation includes notes and a selected bibliography at the end.
Isidore is writing for the Church. Those interested in the history and development of the liturgy and the offices of the Church and how both continued in difficult times should read this book.