Page 2, 3rd April 1958

3rd April 1958
Page 2
Page 2, 3rd April 1958 — The P.P. on Sermons

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The P.P. on Sermons

SIR.-Years of experience in parish your comment that even the instruction.

work makes me agree with practising Catholic needs

In the parishes in which I have served I have discovered that the well-educated Catholic is often hazy and even ignorant on quite important points of Christian doctrine. Hence I welcome the lead given at the metropolitan Cathedral of so timing the Sunday Masses that opportunity for a short sermon is given. The results of the habit of regularly anending a sermonless Mass. so that people do not get any Christian teaching after their school (or catechism-class) days are over, seem only too obvious. I fully agree that the better the sermon the better it is for all. But not every priest can be a Pericles, a Chrysostorn or even a Ronnie Knox.

We rightly admire the great missioners who enhance our parish pulpits from time to time, but they are often in the fortunate position of being able to prepare some twenty sermons, learn them to the last detail of tone and gesture, and then preach them over and over again, but always in different churches, It is not quite so easy for the man who has to face the same congregation week in and week out, and yet he is the one entrusted with the ordinary carrying out of Our Lord's command, "preach the Gospel to every creature". A point that does not seem to have been sufficiently emphasised in this correspondence is that the sermon at Mass is not merely a matter of a theologian. as a teacher. instructing the people. It is, in truth, a message from God.

God once spoke to men through the prophets and now he speaks through His Son, His Son speaks through the Church; the Bishops are the successors of the Apostles. and every priest Who preaches does so in the name, and by the authority. of his Bishop.

So we should not think of ourselves listening to Fr. X teaching. but rather as receiving the word of God through the perhaps nonetoo-efficient instrumentality of Fr. X. So I doubt if it is quite right or fair to draw a very close parallel between the lecturer on the radio and the priest in the pulpit.

Ananias (P.P.).

SIR'-Since the inclusion of an

instruction at every Sunday Mass, the reading of the Epistle and Gospel in English at the earlier Masses has been discontinued in some churches.

The reading of the tpistle and Gospel in English by a priest or lay reader while the celebrant reads in Latin at the altar, provides the ample solution.

(Miss) Sheridsus IS Esmond Road. W t

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