occasion of some confusion, —there is a so-called interim calendar which is being followed this year and which presumably will continue for the next few years. Third, there is the final calendar whose introduction will only be possible once the revised missal and breviary are ready.
Just as Dr. Beeching had to curtail many of the less important services so as to make way for the principal inter-city expresses, many saints' feasts are either being removed from the universal calendar or at least their date is being altered. As a result, it is now much easier to appreciate the dominant theme of the whole liturgical year, our salvation accomplished by the passover of Jesus Christ our Lord from this world to the Father.
Of course, it is not suggested that the Catholic Church's calendar can simply be compared with a railway time-table. In the case of the railways an uneconomic and little-used branch is simply closed down but, in the case of the less important saints and their liturgical observance it is a different matter. While many of them have quite properly disappeared from the obligatory universal calendar, if there is genuine local devotion to this or that saint, the Church offers every encouragement to the observance of his feast in an individual country or diocese or even in a part of a diocese. The hallmark of Catholicism is not a rigid and monolithic universal conformity.
It is clear that these changes demand that priests use their imagination and that over the next few years all of us, priests and laity, exercise a little patience. The complete new liturgical books for the Mass and the Office are being prepared and our local calendars for English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish saints will need to be revised. Needless to say, all this takes time.
As matters stand at present, the average layman is often not in a position to know which saint is being celebrated in a particular church on any given weekday and, as expressly suggested by the new rules, when he greets the people at the beginning of Mass, the celebrant should make a point of announcing this.