Hughes deserves thanks for his " Easter Liturgy"
article. It is high time that papal teaching on the liturgy was put into practice everywhere and not just where a liturgically minded priest happens to be pastor. The phrase "liturgical crank" ought to be given a long rest-unless its users are willing to apply it to the author of Mediator Dei!
In the bulk of his article Fr. Hughes assumes that instructions on Holy Week and Easter are being given, but a glance at sonic of the official sermon Schemes shows that this is not so everywhere. If any instruction is given, it must be at Benediction at which only a proportion of the parishioners are present.
The bustle which greeted the opening of the Lourdes Holy Year is not everywhere matched by a bustle during Lent to prepare for the celebration of Our Lord's Passion and Resurrection. which suggests that we are not putting first things first.
The rubrics which demand the active participation of the faithful are not always observed, though the volume of sound at the renewal of the baptismal vows suggests that with a little encouragement the people would take their own part in the liturgy. (If the use of English produces active participation, the moral is not far to seek.) Regular Dialogue Mass would be excellent practice for Holy Week.
Fr. Hughes' complaint about hole-in-the-corner baptisms is justified. Here is a sacrament on which the Church has lavished word and symbol and gesture to bring home to us its full meaning, but ask even educated Catholics what the salient ceremonies mean and you get no sure answer. The baptismal service alone could provide a fruitful course of Lenten instructions orientated towards the celebration of the Paschal M ystery.
The liturgical and Biblical movement go hand in hand. The Roman liturgy is so profoundly Biblical that without some knowledge of the Scriptures we cannot receive the full fruits which the Pope desires us to gain from the restored Order of Holy Week.
The Bible could provide a lifetime of Lenten instructions, but it should also be preached outside Lent and not treated as a mere quarry for disconnected texts to nail a sermon or crush an opponent.
Fr. Hughes remarks on the jerky and hasty celebration of the services. We go-ahead. time-ismoney Westerners could learn from the Orientals how to celebrate Divine Worship with dignity and reverence.
The liturgy may take longer but the climate of prayer has time to develop. The 20-minute Mass is not the sign of a superior culture.
George Thompeon Kirkland Street, Dairy, Castle Douglas.