S1R,-Those who advocate. singing of hymns during Mass may be interested En this quotation from a recent convert's letter :
" When I read letters in the CATHOLTC HERALD wanting popular hymns, etc., to warm up the Liturgy I am appalledespecially as a bait for converts. Anglicans and Nonconformists can do so much better in that line-how can Catholics want to obscure their greatest treasure? I know very little Latin but I can follow in my Missal, and if I didn't, I can at least lose myself in the eternal mystery enacted before me. It is the otherworldliness and impersonalness, if there is such a word, of the Mass, and its completeness, that helps one to pray. It doesn't supply the ' glow ' of devotional services with warming hymns and a stirring sermon perhaps. . . I hope and pray we may all be taught to understand and enter into the Mass more."
If some of your correspondents would get and study Zundel's The Splendour of the Liturgy they would hardly wish for the intrusion of our trivial English hymns Into the Mass. Those of us who have learnt to value the Mass, both as an objective act of worship and as a subjective aid to prayer-communion with God, can only read with deep sadness this demand for hymn singing, for such a demand is nothing less than a confession of failure to understand, and so love, the Mass as the supreme social act of the Christian fellowship.
Even at Benediction the singing of vernacular hymns is strictly under the control of the Bishops. If that is so, how many of the wretched ditties that pass among us for hymns could be tolerated during the Holy Sacrifice?
Our evening services are notoriously ill-attended. Do we want to drive people away from the Mass also?