Page 2, 15th September 1950

15th September 1950
Page 2
Page 2, 15th September 1950 — VERNACULAR IN THE LITURGY SIR, I have been deeply interested

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Organisations: Anglican Church
People: S. J. GOSLING


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VERNACULAR IN THE LITURGY SIR, I have been deeply interested

by the letters, etc., in your columns on the proposal to have the Mass in the English language. It is a subject so deep that I would not dare to express an opinion. One point. however, perhaps I may make: That it is by no meanslo be taken for granted that mere hearing a liturgy in one's native language will tend to real edification.

In the Church of England paper, The Guardian. they are having a " correspondence page" discussion on " The Prayer Book and the People." One of the writers said (August 18): " Surely we need a simple Prayer Book, written for the man in the street, something which will be an instrument for the conversion of the majority. The present Prayer Book may suit the minority, but in its present form it is unintelligible to the masses. There is no time for further argument or delay. Let us get out of the rut, and produce a Prayer Book that at least contains an alternative and simple form of worship-a Prayer Book that can be used as an instrument of conversion."

As the C. of E. hook is wholly in English. it seems clear that mere use of the vernacular is no solution of liturgical problems.


99 Grosvenor Avenue, Highbury, N.5.

Sue-One of your correspondents asks me what language I would recommend for a vernacular liturgy

in Egypt. Never having been in Egypt I would not know. But a

friend. who is much more knowledgeable than 1 am, writes: "The gentleman is handing you the answer on a plate English is the only language that would probably he known by all the nations mentioned. Most of them would not be likely to know Latin, incidentally, the liturgical language of the Melkites of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem is also their vernacular Arabic.".S. J. GOSLING, The Priest's House, Alton, Stoke-on-Trent.

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