Page 5, 26th March 1943

26th March 1943
Page 5
Page 5, 26th March 1943 — LITURGY

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A Significant Move

4Contentiea tram pas I.) naturally. The Blessings, too, now largely neglected, would he much more sougin after if the laity were more conversant with their meaning and use. It would not appear that anything more is required for these changes than the permission of the Ordinary, who might, however, insist on the retention of Latin for the aetual "form" for the administration of a sacrament ; the translation, too, would need official confirmation.

(2). Vespers and Compline, to which may be adued the liturgical blessing ot candies, ashes and palms, together with an extension ot the vernacular prayers and hymns now allowed at the service of Benediction.

It should be noted that there are already various vernacular devotions, of very unequal merit, that have episcopal sanction under the general description of " Evening Service." It is difficult to see, therefore, what objection could be raised to an English version of the liturgical offices, provided that the text were officially approved and the music worthy.

(3). The Mass. The Mass obviously stands in a category by itself for reasons that we need not enter into here. But even with regard to the Mass it is clear that the mind of the Church is open to suggestions for the better understanding of the liturgy by the faithful, as shown by the movement for the Dialogue Mass and the re-introduction of the office of " lectors."


As thus set out, the proposals are not ihe violent and flIVOILILIOILD) enangcs that toe conservatives teat. lire Church IS a living courcn and sot bolts to her cluluren to suggest the kind ot retorm 01 alteration that is caued for by a cnanged set cu. circumstances. Naturally, Such caunges can only concern non-esscnuals, I ne best. example of SUell an adaptation to coalesce' cucunisiances wee when the main body 01 the Western Chin cn cnangeu over from a Greek to a Laun liturgy, because Greek had ceased to be understood in the West. Ful twelve centuries after that, Latin remained a living language among alt educated people. But since the fouiteenth century Latin has become less anct less understood. The leasons that prompted the CliurCh to change fiom Greek to Latin are the same reasons that we rely on for the consideration a a lurther change, [torn a vernaculai Latin to a non-Latin vernacular liturgy.

Important changes have in fact been made, one in our own time, in the reform of the Breviary, and it does not seem impracticable or inconceivable that—aftet caieful prayer and study— such recommendations might with the approval of the theratcny tee made to the Holy Father that would induce him to grant the use of a vernacular liturgy where it would be to the greater honour and glory of God and the spiritual profit of the faithlul.

So we appeal to all those who are interested in the idea of a vernacular liturgy to join together with the object of studying the question and keeping it before the Catholic public. Meetings and conferences are out of the question in these days. The best we can suggest for the time being is to form a " Correspondence Circle " to keep the members in touch with one another and to enable them to discuss the problem and its difficulties among themselves so that, if possible, an

agreed report of our proceedings may be leid before the Bishops.

To make a beginning it is necessary to collect names and addresses, and the views and suggestions of the writers. The undersigned will gladly undertake this preliminary task. When the Circle has been formed we can then consider future activities and developments.


H. F. Davis (Vice-Rector, Oscott College, Birmingham), Wilfrid Doran (Cotton College. North Staffordshire), Thomas J. Eadesforth (Canon St. David's, Mold, North Wales), S. J.

Gosling (Alton. Stoke-on-Trent), Clement Parsons (Finchley Grammar School, 53, Nether Street, North Einchley, N.12, J. H. S. Wharton (St. Joseph's, Upton-on-Severn, Worcestershire), Arthur Valentin (Catholic Rectory, Stevenage, Herts), Donald Attwater, Christopher Clarke, William Connick, Frederick J. Furniss, Joseph Hogan, Gerald Jackson, R. H. Nicholson, M. J. Richardson.

In the above list of signatories those whose addresses are appended have consented to collect names and receive correspondence pending the appointment of a Secretary to the Circle.

Parishioners of St. Wilfrid's Boulevard, Hull, who lost both church and temporary church as results of enemy raids, are actively promoting a new church fund, and £22 was raised for this object by a ball on St. Patrick's Night.

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