—Or the Missal ?
Sta,—As some confusion seems to be coming into this discussion perhaps it would be as well if your correspondents considered the following points. I write as an enthusiastic advocate of the return to liturgical worship, an enthusiastic preacher of daily Communion, and as one who learned the Rosary at the knee of a Donegal mother and joined for years in the family Rosary complete with " trimmings."
It seems to me that there is a mistake in supposing that the mere substitution of the Missal for the Rosary, especially among the oldeepeople, will be sure to lead to more frequent Communions. I know the North and the South and have come into close contact with people at Mass in all parts of England and Scotland. Now I admit that people who use the Missal and enter into the liturgical spirit ought to receive daily. But experience has shown me that they do not always adopt that logical conclusion. I have seen parishes in mining districts where very few used Missals, and yet one parish-priest in Scotland told me that with 1,300 people he had 42,000 Holy Communions in the year! And he showed me the receipt for the altar-breads. In other parts of the country, particularly in the South, I have seen practically every member of the congregation with a Missal and yet the number of those who received Holy Communion was very small. The spread of the Missal, very unfortunately, is not always due to the spread of the liturgical spirit. In some cases it is merely the fashionable thing to have. Those who have it do not take the trouble to study it.
Nor may it be said that the Rosary is quite unsuited for use at Mass. Without entering into all that has been said about the month of October, the decree of Leo XIII shows that it is quite a suitable prayer for saying during the Holy Sacrifice. Further is it correct to say that the Rosary is non-liturgical? If the singing of motets drawn from the Office of Corpus Christi or some other Office that is said once a year is not considered out of place at the Offertory, why should we rigidly rule out an orderly repetition of the Pater, the Ave and the Gloria, which are recited not merely once a year but over and over in the Liturgy every day? Is the reason, conscious or unconscious, that we must not pay too much devotion to Our Immaculate Mother?
Perhaps my brethren in the priesthood of Christ who have been writing will let their minds go back to a very dull period in their college days and they will remember how they learned to prove that wonderful principle, " Quidquid recipitur ad rnodum eecipientis recipitur." If the old man who said his beads throughout Mass could not Understand the reasons why he should have used the Missal, at least he knew the secret of reaching the Heart of the Great High Priest, "Ad Jesum per Mariam." And by thinking over the mysteries he entered more closely into the spirit of the Liturgy, namely public prayer "Per Jesum, et cum Ipso et in Ipso," than those who merely run over the prayers of the Missal without bothering much about what they contain, That he did not go to Holy Communion is to be deeply regretted, but that is probably due to his having been brought up in the old tradition which existed prior to Pius X's decrees.
It is clear that he is a traditionalist for he followed those eminent liturgicists who arranged for monastic liturgy. He could not join in the prayers of the choir so he said his Paters and his Ave.s with the laybrothers outside. And I feel it in my bones that he put his coppea-s in the plate.