In 1985, Gail Ramshaw wrote Christ in Sacred Speech
, a book about the metaphoric meaning of liturgical language. When considering a reissue, Ramshaw wished the book to reflect the scholarship and evolution in thought of those intervening years. Reviving Sacred Speech incorporates that original work and adds her “Second Thoughts” at the conclusion of each chapter.
From the “Introduction”:
“On some of my original positions I stand firm. I remain committed to the weekly eucharistic worship of the Christian Church and to a liturgy that is both shaped by centuries of Christian tradition and informed by today’s speech. Mediocre Sunday worship notwithstanding, I persist in the belief that there is more height and depth to ten minutes of the classic eucharistic liturgy than we can know or perhaps bear. As a Christian considering liturgical language, I approach that ancient yet still luminous burning bush, and there in that small tree glimpse among the mysterious branches the wood of the cross, aflame with the fire of the Spirit. I trust that in that fiery tree there is life for us all.”
“Careful attention to the rich ambiguity and layers of meaning in liturgical language . . . make this book one of the very best mystagogies of liturgical language one can find.”
—GIL OSTDIEK, Past President, North American Academy of Liturgy