Model Liturgical Ceremony
The rapidly growing town of Easteote, near Ruislip, Middlesex, celebrated the opening and blessing of its new church last Sunday.
Only a stone's throw from the wellknown Orthopaedic Hospital for crippled children under the care of the Sisters of Charity stands the plain but sturdily and tastefully built edifice, dedicated to St. Thomas More.
Mgr. Myers, Bishop of Lamus, solemnly blessed the church in the presence of a packed congregation, which included many visitors from London and in particular members of the Grail, whose headquarters adjoin the church.
The singing of the Grail and the whole congregation, under the lead of Dom Bernard McElligott, 0.S.B., rendered the service notable, and few who were present will forget the impressive singing of the Litanies by the entire congregation in this small and unpresurning parish. It has set an example which would be universally followed were it more widely experienced.
During the High Mass the Music of which was likewise sung by the congregation, Fr. Sutton, parish priest of Ruislip, mentioned that among the generous benefactors to the church were the late Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell Lawford, who were killed in
the recent Battersea train crash. Legal formalities had to be completed before that necessity of every Catholic church, the statue of Our Lady presented by these benefactors, could be received.
Mgr. Myers, who preached, spoke of St. Thomas More as the example of a Catholic layman, and expounded the layman's role in the Church. To be a good Catholic did hot mean interfering with or being in oppo sition to the world. " The Church," he said, " is the world sanctified." The true Catholic is helping the world by fulfilling a duty and an apostleship so personal to himself that if he fails in it, no one else can make it up for him.
Only one small blemish marred a perfectly conducted and model liturgical ceremony, and that was the congregation's ignorance of the proper movements during the blessing and even the Mass. Thus the congregation stood during the Litanies and tried to stand when the celebrant read the gospel. No doubt, it is not easy to teach these movements to a congregation, especially one composed largely of visitors, but there is nothing to prevent the Master of Ceremonies from boldly signalling the correct posture.