appear that Stuart Reid (Charterhouse, April 25) has not yet read Summorum Pontificum. That is not his fault, because not many parishes have brought it to the attention of their parishioners. It may be bought from the CTS shop near Westminster Cathedral (tel 020 7834 1363). They accept orders by telephone. On reading, it will be seen that there is but one Roman Rite, which now has two forms: the ordinary, and the extraordinary rite.
Vatican II (Sacrosanctum Conciliutn, art. 36, § 1) explained that "the use of the Latin language, with due respect to particular law, is to be preserved in the Latin rite".
It goes on to say in § 2 that the use of the vernacular may frequently be of great advantage to the people and a wider use may be made of it, especially in readings, and in some prayers and chants. Translations from the Latin must, says § 4, be made by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority.
This was followed by two detailed instructions: one on the use of music; the other. a review of the position after three years, approved some proposals by the bishops, and did not accept others.
In March 2001 in Ad Tuendam Fidem the norms to be followed for translations were spelt out, and approved by John Paul 11 on March 20.
Mr Reid, on reading these documents, will see that translating into the vernacular is not an easy exercise. The priest, as Alter Christus, confects the Holy Eucharist. The Liturgy is the work of Christ, who instructed his Apostles what to do, and traditionally faces east, as do parishioners.
Yours faithfully, TOM VAN DER LINDEN West Ewell, Surrey