by Canon J. B. O'CONNELL
THE Constitution on the
Liturgy of Vatican II ordered a general revision of the liturgical books (n. 25), with rubrics providing for the participation of the people (n. 31).
The official text of any liturgical book emanates from the Congregation of Divine Worship and is called the typical edition; all other editions published throughout the countries of the Roman Rite must be in strict conformity with this, but the competent territorial authority (normally, the Bishops' Conference) has limited powers of adoption for local use subject to confirmation by, the Apostolic See (nn. 39,40).
The book used by priests in the administration of the sacraments and sacramentals is called the Ritual; the typical edition for this is the Roman Ritual, the last preoonciliar edition of which was published in 1952.
Now the new Roman Ritual has begun to appear, not as one complete book but in parts, and so the marriage rite was issued under date March 19, 1969, the baptismal rite under date May 15, 1969, the funeral rite August 15; 1969.
It then became the duty of the Bishops' Conference to have competent translations made of these rites, and this they did by establishing for the English language an international commission called the International Committee on English in the Liturgy, known as I.C.E.L. This committee has prepared a translation of the marriage rite and of the baptismal rite, which has been accepted by the hierarchy of each English speaking country and confirmed by the Apostolic See. The first new rite to appear has been the marriage rite and the new edition (in the vernacular, of course) for England and Wales embodies what is required by the civil form of marriage in these countries, and is enriched, according to local usagc, by elements from the York and Sarum rituals. This revised rite of marriage was approved for England and Wales. The hierarchy of these countries on April 8, 1970, confirmed by the Apostolic See on August 22, 1970, and came into obligatory use on January 1, 1971.
This new rite has been published by St Paul Publications, in an elegant little booklet at the very moderate price of 20p.
For baptism — the I.C.E.L. version of which was approved in Rome on April 15, 1970—Geoffrey Chapman have issued a book for church use entitled The Rite of Baptism of Children at £1.75 and a very useful booklet called Baptism—The Family Book at 30np for all those assisting at the ceremony, many of whom have now a more active part to play than formerly.
The same firm has published the . Complete Sunday Lectionary and Mass Book (£1.25) giving the Scripture readings for Sundays and major feast
days for the complete three year cycle, the text being that of the Jerusalem Bible with the Grail psalms. It also contains the Order of Mass (with the four Eucharistic Prayers). 'This book is a real boon for those in any parish who undertake the service of lector.
Chapman have also issued the third volume of Commentary on the Sunday Lectionary by Frs. Coughlan and Purdue (90 np) dealing with the readings for the year 1971, a book that will be welcomed by busy priests who have the duty of preparing a homily based on these scriptural excerpts.
Darton, Longman and Todd have come to the aid of the choirs by issuing three books on the Jerusalem Bible Choir Psalter : (a) the words only, pointed for singing to new chants published separately (£1.50); (b) a first chant book with original chants for singing these words (40np); (c) a smaller edition of the words only pointed for singing (50np).
These volumes will be welcomed by harassed choir masters now seeking music for the singing of the psalms in the new words of the Jerusalem Bible.