Despite Sacrosanctum Concilium and the twenty-five years' worth of scholarship that followed, much still needs to be said and discovered about the relationship between liturgy and theology.
This work is situated within the present debate over liturgical theology in at least three ways: it concerns methods for the study of liturgy, it explores the meanings that the term liturgical theology can have, and it contributes to the evaluation and critique of present and possible future forms of liturgical rites. In addition, it articulates how the study of liturgy is essentially pastoral theology in that liturgical rites shape the faith and life of believing participants.
The historical, theological, and pastoral investigation of the liturgy required by the constitution on the Sacred Liturgy forms the background and part of the rationale for this work. It is both a proposal for and an example of an investigation of the Church's liturgical praxis from a liturgical-theological perspective. What the reader gains is principles for interpreting the various aspects of liturgy (texts, symbols, ritual gestures) in relation to each other in a theological way and for articulating some theological and spiritual implications derived from liturgy.