EDWARD QUINN of Sheffield, and Dennis Boram of Devon may be under a form of delusion in assuming that what most lovers of the old Mass are asking for is a return entirely to that rite.
All sensible thinking Catholics have realised that the changes decided upon at Vatican 11 (albeit possibly by the more radical elements, but that is no matter), have come, and have come to stay, whether we like it'or not.
However, I think it is a little insulting to our priests to ask whether they would be capable of saying the Old Mass, or making sense of it.
I have been to many parishes where the present "New" Mass is said, of course, and believe me each parish has differed from the next.
In the old rite the Epistles and Gospels were always in the language of the congregation. the sermon was always in that language also, so there is no need to fear a sleepy congregation puzzling over what it is all about.
Every Missal produced had the English translation at the side of the Latin, so it was perfectly possible for everyone except any complete idiots there might be in any congregation (and they were remarkably few) to understand the Mass,
Mr Boram is anxious for the youth of the-nation — all power to his elbow — but may 1 remind him that countless generations grew up with the Latin Mass in the old rite, they learned what it was all about at school, they knew all about Transubstantiation, about the importance of reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament (somewhat lacking these days) love of the Sacred Heart and Our Blessed Lady, and frankly they do not seem to have suffered adversely at all.
We had a much stricter discipline then. and while perhaps modern life demands a lessening of some restrictions, well at least we knew where we were.
We knew about mortal sin and venial sin. we knew that marriage was forever, there was never a hint of premarital experience (although I expect it went on at times). and people looked up to Catholics as special, it' perhaps a little odd, people.
We are not asking for a return to the old Mass, we know that will nbt be permitted, and as good Catholics we obey the orders of our Bishops, all we have ever asked for is permission to have the old Mass as well — so that we may attend that rite without incurring the wrath of the Church.
The Maronite Catholics and other Catholics are allowed to continue with their rite, may we not be allowed to have the rite we know and love?
Don't worry Mr Quinn and Mr Boram, it won't be for long. we are a dying breed, but at least let us die happy with something we knew and loved.
Miss M. Hibbert Hants.
THE LANGUAGE of the old Latin Mass always sounded mysterious, but some layfolk came to terms with the mystery in their own ingenious ways.
I heard of one gentleman responding to the Priest's Dornina■ robActrm with his version of ''Et cvm spirit, tuo-. He proclaimed loudly ... "Excuse Bridget's toe."
Another keen liturgist at Benediction was heard to sing the response "Omne delectamentum in se habentem" with his own happy interpretation in the words ... "Ahm delighted, Ladies and Gentlemen."