Sir,-"Change people, not the Mass", may seem to raise the subject to a level at which, possibly, it is an impertinence for the laity to break silence. Yet surely it is obvious that it misses the whole point: whoever wants, in whatever way, and however rightly or wrongly to "change the Mass" (not a happy phrase), the whole and sole intention and desire is to "change people".
A week-end was given at Spode House in November to "English in the Liturgy." and no-one present can fail to have been impressed by the realistic, the earnest, the serious desire to "change people"-and not least oneself, it being observed that practically all the people who wanted some English were in fact people who themselves had Latin.
" Changing the Mass." tout court. is a phrase calculated to arouse the maximum prejudice; but can one read Pius Xll's Mediator Del and continue prejudiced? "According to the circumstances and the needs of the Faithful, divine worship takes shape, develops and is embellished with new rites and forms" (para 22, C. T. S. transl.); "1 he hierarchy of the Church . . . has even introduced changes-always respecting the substance of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Sacraments . .. For in the liturgy there are human elements as well as divine. The latter. obviously. having been established by the divine Redeemer, cannot under any circumstances be changed by men; but the human elements may he modified .. "(53-4)-and so on-it is difficult to stop quoting.
It is remarkable how constantly this subect focuses on the Mass. The real, active, energetic revival of the people's worship-i.e. liturgymust, one sees, eventually be consummated in the Mass itself: St. Thomas Aquinas's taus plena, sonora, must one day he given voice therein-as the Popes from St. Pius X, in our time, have wished and prayed. Meantime the most startling development is perhaps the Gelineau vernacular psalms. and the English Vespers and Compline of Fr. Sebastian Bullough, 0.P., and Mr. Anthony Milner. In three recent B.B.C. services, two from training colleges, the third from a Lancashire Catholic church. the English versions of one or two of the Gelineau were sung (in one case, Our Lady's Canticle); and one's wildest dreams seemed almost within reach.
C. M. Crabtree.
88 Rocky Lane,
Monton, Eccles, Manchester.
Sir, As a choir-boy at Westminster Cathedral thirty-six years ago I have a clear recollection that we sang four carols each day after Compline from Christmas to the Epiphany. They included a very wide range of caroliana both as to composer and period and even nationality. Sixteenth century composition and traditional melodies were freely mixed with works by Horst. Howells, Terry, 1 ollemache and the rest.
They certainly were not of the pudding variety but some had a moral note and the one about
Dives and Lazarus was rather
minatory in character.
"As it fell out upon a day Rich Dives made a feast And invited many guests And gentry of the hest
Then Laz'rus laid him down and
down 'Een down at Dives' door
'Some meat, some drink, Brother
Bestow upon the poor'."
The rest of the verses were like