I WAS most interested to read Fr Mark Elvins' article (May 20) on changes in church furnishings and the losses of many churches in sanctuary reordering to permit "missa versus populum". However, sad as it is to see high altars, reredoses and Rood screens being heedlessly torn out, it is only a small sign of a greater loss which has been the replacement of the ancient mass by a new rite devoid of beauty and tradition and open to wide abuse.
The ancient churches of the middle ages were unparalleled in splendour and were inspired by the awesome ritual for which they were designed.
This has now been enthusiastically abandoned and even prohibited with the result that old churches have been despoiled and new ones lack any beauty. Until the Church returns to traditional forms of worship there is no point in condemning the sad state of church furnishings.
If Mass is just, or predominantly, a meal and can be celebrated on a kitchen table then why bother to build great temples? Let us not hear complaints from those who embrace the new liturgy and regret the architectural ugliness of buildings for that liturgy. The two are part of the same revolution. Only the ancient Catholic Mass of all time is worthy of great churches.
William Hudson Magadalene College Cambridge