At Mass last Sunday I once again struggled to hear and appreciate a homily. It was given by a priest stuck up somewhere at the back of the sanctuary, in a voice at odds with reverberating acoustics that distorted the microphones, and the yells of a small child. What upset me was that the content of his address was not worth the effort of listening. As 1 have understood .Vatican the Word of God holds a high place in the renewal of the liturgy, so surely the preaching of it to the People of God is of supreme importance. To hear our clergy. especially secular priests, and to see the pylpits in our churches relegated to useless bits of furniture, one could he forgiven for thinking it is held in contempt.
What in heaven's name is wrong with a priest going up into the pulpit and preaching a dynamic sermon, inspired and inspiring? We need the fire of real communication — it is the expression of community and communion after all. Christ, the Word, preached. Surely our priests, today more than at any time, should be supreme communicators of the Word.
To hear the weak, pedestrian burblings from the lecterns of many of our churches one would never know we possessed the treasury of 2.000 years of Christian spirituality and theology, and if the homilies of the Fathers were anything to gd by. the faithful of the early Church were not often bored by irrelevancies.
One hears a lot about a charismatic renewal in the Church. One can only hope it touches the tongues of some of our priests so that they can present the Word through Scripture as well as the Sacrament.
(Miss) Pearl Cecilia Penrose 114a The Philog,
Whitchurch, Cardiff, Mr Paul Jennings' article and Mr Merriam's letter in your issue of October 4, raises the question of the quality of language used in the liturgy. Both writers think that this is a matter of importance. The official view would seem to be that it is not.
To begin with, the ICEL aims at producing a version which will be equally acceptable wherever English is spoken. The result is, predictably, what someone has called "midAtlantic" — a kind of English Esperanto, to "make all things new" — with results that seem to me very unfortunate.
Patrick D. Archard 76 Hobleythick Lane, Westcliff, Essex.