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ral ad Calum J. B. 01701itiell of Ce Ruin Wells, Brcconshire. as consultors of the standing Ill ItImie for imply.") isseilling lite Liturgical Cauisii.; union. Cardinal Lerearo, the 0 president of the committee, 0 has assigned them to the sub5. committee for the study of Me 5 rubrics of the Rininui Missal 0 and Rres iary.
stance, there is no reference to High Masses or Sung Masses, which will probably remain unchanged except for the reading of the Epistle and Gospel in English.
The reference to the introduction of the vernacular for "the concludinf prayers at the end of the Mass' would seem misleading, since the Leonine prayers (for the conversion of Russia) are already in the vernacular.
In fact, the reference is correct since it is widely anticipated that before long there will be an interim change in the Mass rite itself. The Liturgical Standing Committee in Rome is expected to announce very soon the removal of the opening Psalm 42 (Indira me, Deus ...). the Last Gospel and the Leonine prayers. The Mass would then end in the vernacular with the Ile missa est and the Blessing. 'this is what is referred to in the statement.
The statement also suggests that the changes will be introduced in two stages. It is possible. however, that the bishops will decide :tt the July meeting to introduce both stage simultaneously. Al the same meeting, a date for the introduction of the changes will be announced. This is confidently expected to be the first Sunday of Advent (November 2).
For the next few years. there will probably be variations in between one place and another as to the texts used. The three approved versions of the Scriptures are the Douay, Knox and Confraternity versions. Still to be approved are the missals from which the vernacular versions of the Collects and Post Communion will be read.
As regards the Divine Office. several priests have already been given permission to use an English translation. The vertical now approved is the Collegeville Breviary, published by thc Benedictine Liturgical Press in Minnesota, but the Grail translation of the Psalms may also be used.
Fr. Charles Davis. Professor of Dogmatic Theology, St. Edmund's College, Ware, comments : "The provision of the vernacular in the early part of the Mass is very generous, more generous, in fact, than has been applied for and approved for other countries.
At the same time, the central part of the Mass is left in Latin, This arrangement may he open to criticism liturgically. It 'would be more logical to put all the people's
Part of the Mass in the vernacular instead of introducing a vertical and superficial division of the Mass inlo separate parts. hitt it will help the faithful to make the transition more easily and will allow for the progressive development of congregational partieipanon."
Fr. J. I). Crichton, author of "The Church's Worship." a commentary On the Liturgical Constitution, said : "The bishops' statement is highly gratifying. first, because it shows that the work of implementing the Liturgical Constitution is proceeding, second, because the bishops wish. to keep us informed. and, third, because the measure of English promised is very generous.
"II seems, however. that it is an interim statement and that perhaps some details are not finally settled. The statement also suggests that this is an interim arrangement insular as only the Gloria, reading of the Scriptures and the Credo will be in English for the time being. We would plead that even in the first stage the other prayers ill the Ordinary (Confirm., Kyrie, etc.) as well as the preparatory Psalm if it is to he retained. should be allowed in English.
"A very welcome and important part of the statement is that the Collect and Post-Communion will eyentually be in English. These prayers are not only sonw of the linest in the missal. but they arc, in fact. the prayers of the liturgical assembly and the people need to hear them in their own language."
Fr. Crichton said that unless the Secret is to be read aloud there is no point al this stage in putting it into English.
"The statement gives very great hope." he concluded. "The work has begun on making the liturgy understandable to the people as the C'onslitution requires. We arc at the beginning of a new and important era in the Catholic life of this country, and it is to be hoped that both clergy and laity will welcome the statement with enthusiasm and pursue the work of making the liturgy available to the people."