OUR priests deserve sympathy over the difficult problem of adapting churches to conform with the new way of saying Mass facing the people. But (even as a temporary expedient) is it necessary to use altars—as is frequently done today—of such mean and unworthy proportions? A vivid example of this was the otherwise impressive Requiem Mass for Dr. Adenauer televised from Cologne Cathedral.
Through the centuries the altar has been the focal centre of Catholic worship and the whole design of our churches has been geared to this fact. In the past the large high altar dominated by crucifix and high candlesticks provided a fitting climax to the building in which it was housed.
If today for practical reasons the crucifix and candlesticks have drastically to be reduced in size or else placed somewhere in the background, it is surely all the more important that the altar itself should be prominent and proportionately large to the building which it is intended to dominate. The prevalent box-like improvisations are a near-insult to Our Lord and say nothing to the faithful of the mystery and wonder of the Holy Sacrifice there offered.
William Bathurst Broadstairs, Kent.
LAST Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the coming of the Holy Spirit. The second most important Sunday in the Church's calendar. To the non-Church goer, this feast past unnoticed. Particularly so with the absence of the usual Whit Monday Bank Holiday. Are we becoming more pagan in England? Pre-Reformation, every Holy Day was a holiday, as its name implies. These have now disappeared. Why, oh why change Whitsun too? Apart from the confusion of altering the Bank Holiday itself; this seems just another instance of our rejection of the Holy Spirit.
(Mrs.) P. M. Trueman Blaenanerch, Cards.
VENTURE to suggest that the Family Mass that your correspondent, Mrs. M. Comerford, is seeking is to be discovered at St. Aidan's, Coulsdon, every Sunday morning at 11 a.m.
S. A. H. Rees
T WAS very touched to re ceive from an anonymous mother, who had read your article on Child Poverty (April 21), two postal orders for £5 each. This represented her family allowance money for, I imagine, several weeks. I should like her to know that her extraordinary generous present has helped to provide not only food, but beds and blankets, for two very poor families,
Audrey Harvey (Mrs.) Child Poverty Action Group. 1 Macklin Street, W.C.2.
T READ on the first page of your issue of April 28 that the new Catholic Truth Society bible at Es. 6d. is believed to be the cheapest in the world. Bible societies here in East Africa sell a very good vernacular bible—not paperback, but in hard cover—for 5s. The CTS bible will probably sell for 10s. here—which often means two days' work for an African.
Fr. T. Agostini Secretary for Information Uganda Episcopal Conference. Kampala.
.WHICH art in Heaven." Yes — perhaps Maria F. de Laguna is correct (May 5) in calling it an Anglican grammatical error. But "Our Father who art in Heaven" sounds clumsy to me, an Anglican. What is wrong with "Our Father in Heaven, hallowed by Thy Name"?
W. E. Watts (Canon) Hambleden Rectory, Henley-on-Thames.
NOW that Claudia Cardinale has been received (cordially) at the Vatican in her mini-skirt, can I be assured that my wife will not be again interrupted at her prayers in Volterra Cathedral by an irate bigot drawing attention to her summer frock?
W. G. Murray Waterloo, Liverpool.
ALTHOUGH I had looked forward to watching the opening of the Liverpool Cathedral, I found it very disappointing. it, was purely a hierarchal affair and the congregation might just as well not have been there.
One wonders why the trouble was taken to invite 2,000 people to be present, if they were there just to look on. It would have been a really impressive communal act of worship if those in the Cathedral and the viewers at home would have been able to participate. As it was, it was just boring and I am sure many non-Catholics present must have found it so too.
(Miss) H. Langerak London, W.14.
IT'S good to hear Peter Harris (May 5) expressing himself on Revelation. Theology and truth are not messages in code to a managing director, but a far, far wider diffusion to the whole of mankind. The truth has many facets and many shapes and she is discovered through the collective soul of being and growing awareness. This ,experience is obviously not an academic study. We will.find more inspiration and revelation of truth and Jove through relationship with people. Or through poetry and literature, as Fr. Harris suggests, and all creative experience: painting, sculpting, music, dance and drama. Therein is the breath of theoology. But alas, the entrance to this is through the heart and feelings as well as through the mind. I guess this will prove a sticky, if not impossible wicket, for most theologians.
Paul Bench London, S.E.15.
IOHN RYAN'S cartoons are the first thing I look at in the CATHOLIC HERALD and Radio Times. More power to his elbow!
Myfanwy R. Stone (Miss)