Implementing the Late Pope's Lead
QIR,-Why do Catholics in this country react so negatively to " the great things that Pope Pius Xll did for us He published " Mediator Der', and some see in this document so full of positive doctrine nothing but a list of "don'ts" for the over enthusiastic; the Paschal Vigil is restored to its proper time, and there arc complaints that it is too late for people to attend (what about Christmas?) or that it takes away the ofrportunity of Holy Communion on the Saturday morning, or that it diminishes congregations on the Sunday morning; the Eucharistic Fast is mitigated, and one hears it said that three hours is too long to fast; the new Ordo for Holy Week is brought in, and some bemoan the passing of the time-honoured ceremonies of the Roman Missal; the new Good Friday liturgy is put in the afternoon, and there are regrets that it takes the time of the Three Hours' Service or that the Vezina Regis has gone.
And now two of your correspondents seem to see the proposals for a threeor four-year cycle of Epistles and Gospels (which would bring to the people so many beautiful passages never before heard at Sunday Mass) only in aspect of dearer and bulkier pocket missals!
The bulk problem could well be overcome by printing the missal in two or more parts like the Breviary, and a litte careful economy in such things as holidays, smokes. drinks, amusements, clothes, etc. would soon save the few pounds required to buy a new missal.
(Canoes) A. S. E. Burnett
45, Broad Street, Alresford, SIR,-In the footnote to the letter " Larger Missal " you say: " Surely the reading of the Epistles and 'Gospels from the pulpits on Sundays would spare the worshipper the need for a larger missal."
Yet regular instructions at every Sunday Mass mean that in a number of churches the Epistles and Gospels are no longer read or not regularly as before.
As one who is completely at home with the missal in Latin or English, the reading of the Epistles and Gospels in English from the pulpits was always irksome to me, but as 1 believe they were intended as a form of instruction for the catechumen the importance of reading them in the native tongue must not be minimised. Likewise the instruction or sermon which at present according to the ruling of the Archbishop is dealing with the Ten Commandments.
Surely the time has come for the re-introduction of one of the minor orders such as the lector. I remember as far back as 1943 when I was serving with H.M. Forces in India and was at a base hospital in Dacca being asked by the American priest whp used to offer Mass for us if I would read the Epistle and Gospel while he was reading the same in Latin.
F. A. Sealy.
The School House, Bromley Hall Road, London, E.14.
RI R,-M ay 1 congratulate you on the stand that your paper has always taken in endeavouring to have the Mass restored to its original conception as a joint Sacrifice in which both priest and congregation should play their respective parts. It was most heartening to read Fr. Coupet's plea for more co-operation between the celebrant and the laity.
Surely it is the bounden duty of all Catholics assisting at Low Mass to follow the service in their missals-and, when encouraged to do so, to make their contribution by joining the server in his responses ?
I have heard it argued that this arrangement interferes with those who wish to say their rosariesor to offer up their private devotiOnS; but I respectfully submit that Mass is not the proper time for such private prayers, but for an active participation in the most important act of worship laid down by the Church.
It seems high time that the mediaeval conception of an illiterate congsegation assisting passively at a service said entirely by the priest and his server, often in an inaudible whisper, should give way to that of the early Christians,
who, as a matter of course, played their full part in the Sacrifice of the Mass.
H. A. Jolyeridgme dLier (et otbirniedres
Many of The points made in these letters written before the netw Liturgical "Instruction", are dealt with in that document.-EarIOR C.H.
Disealced Or Caleed
ST R,-May I quote from THE CATHOLIC HERALD: "The Carmelites of the Ancient Observance . . ." That designation " of the Ancient Observance", as applied to the Friars of Aylesford is completely misleading-thetefor morally wrong.
These monks are calced Carmelites, of the certainly very old, now, but mitigated rule. But. however old or " ancient ", they remain, for ever, the " younger" branch of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Only the original rule has a right to be called the Ancient Observance, that rule, re-established by St. Teresa, is followed only by the discalced Carmelites of the Reformation. Glory, certainly be to
Aylesford-but truth is higher than all.
9 St. Flora's Road, Littlehampton St. Susse.x. SIR,-Your readers may be interested in an example of the successful practice of dialogue Mass.
A year or two ago 1 spent a month at a work-camp run by the Cistercians of Sancta Maria Abbey, in the East Lothians, to further the building of their new abbey. Dialogue Mass in Latin was in force every morning, with 100 per cent. participation by the congregation. Threepenny C.T.S. Mass booklets were used for the purpose.
Those present constituted a cross-section of society, with a heavy preponderance of workers from steelyards and the like. Turnover of workers was for the most part weekly. Few of them can have had previous experience of dialogue Mass. This was no
" small, select, well educated group". But all participated, and all wereinvigorated.
The only special features present (a) The men were good Catholics, and more concerned to worship God in a fitting manner than to hurry home to breakfast.
(h) They were led by a monk of great zeal, effervescent with charity, filled with love for God and for the workers temporarily in his care.
70, Sundorne Crescent, Shrews bury. urytt Swas a pleasure to read this week the letters appreciating the article by " Plain Pastor" in the CATHOLIC HERALD Of September 19.
" Ransomer's" remarks about the Latin dialogue Mass were
rather amusingly confirmed at a recent northern retreat during which the men were reproved for the dullness or lack of enthusiasm with which they rendered Laus tibi, Christe in response to the Gospel. The conductor of the retreat then proceeded to explain the meaning; which goes to show how a dead language does not "instruct the mind, warm the heart or stimulate devotion".,
"The People's Mass Book" (Gill
Son) mentioned by " Plain Pastor" would seem to be an excellent companion for the layman at Mass, but I would suggest that in an edition for use in England a change Or revision of the hymns would be required so that the words and music be wedded together in the perfect manner in which the Grail have rendered the "24 Psalms and a Canticle". (Dom Gregory and Mr Anthony Milner might be persuaded to come to the rescue!) Let us hope that we in this country may no longer lag behind our Continental brethren hut according to the Urgent desire of Pope Pins XII, strive to expedite the creation of a diocesan-nay, nationalliturgical centre which would hasten the advent of participation in the Divine Liturgy and even the conversion of our beloved country.