From a Special Correspondent
SWANSEA. In the large industrial parish of St. Joseph's, Swansea, last week, a seven days' liturgical mission was given by Fr. Illtud Evans, O.P.
The mission, one of a series being given by Fr. Evans in various parts of the country, is designed to encourage the people's participation in the prayer of the Church, which is so strongly commended by the Pope in Mediator Dei.
Each night of the mission a sacrament is demonstrated on a platform in the church : its actions are explained, its words translated, and the congregation makes the responses.
Thus baptismal promises are renewed at the beginning of the mission, and the sacrament of baptism is seen for what it is—the solemn initiation of the member of Christ into the life of His Mystical Body.
Confirmation is emphasised as the sacrament of the lay apostolate.
The sacrament of Penance is seen in its aspect as a sacrament of the Church and not only as one for the
Thus boys surrounding the penitent represent Our Lady and the saints — our accusers until we are contrite for our sins, but then become our intercessors. "Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin . and all the saints to pray to the Lord our God for me."
So, too, the sacrament of the Sick is seen for what it is: the means of grace which restores the sick member of Christ to the unity of the Church.
In the case of Holy Orders, some modifications are necessary, but once again the intention is to show the sacrament as one for the whole Christian community, sincepriests are the ministers of the faithful.
It is, too, a graphic way of encouraging vocations for the priest. hood.
NOT " ENACTED" The Mass is not "enacted," but on the last Sunday the whole congregation at St. Joseph's sang the High Mass with a zeal and unity which sealed the purpose of the week—to help to build up a real community of Christ's faithful, united in the house of God in the offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Each night the prayers of the Mission were the prayers of the Mass, and in this way the words of the Mass became familiar and recognisable as prayers.
The Church herself provides all the means to make the Liturgy live, and the Sacraments are the Church's life—meant to be known not only as truths to be believed in, but as a life to he lived.
And they are administered within the community, in the parish church. and so it was that at St. Joseph's the parish priest himself, Canon Louis Mooney, took the part of the minister of the sacrament, while the missioner commented on what was done and translated the words of the rite. The active response of the congregation was proof of the value of the method. Fr. Illtud Evans' idea is that the Liturgy is not the copyright of the educated or the musical or the artistic. It is the prayer of the Church and of all her members.
But it needs to he explained, so that its riches may be available for those for whom they are intended— all the faithful people of God.