'Parish draws its life from the altar
*MEMBERS of the Society of St. Gregory-whose aim is to have iVA'the laity play a more active part in the Liturgy-practised what they preached at their summer school last week at the Catholic
Training College, Southampton.
Each day began with a Sung Mass or High Mass. Most of the 150 members joined in the chant and received Holy Communion.
Not all were laity. Regular and secular priests, nuns, brothers and seminarists were there, too.
The theme of the school was "Blessed Pius X and Catholic Worship" because of the 50th anniversary this year of the Pope's Motu Proprio on sacred music and his order that the authentic Gregorian Chant should be used everywhere.
Lecturers brought out the "reason why" of the Liturgy and stressed the importance of layfolk playing their proper part in it.
Since we are baptises! into God's life, the speakers emphasised. we should "act together, work together, worship together."
Revival in parish
Fr. William Raftely, V.F., of St. Wulstan's, Fleetwood. said in the opening address that Blessed Pius X had pointed out the remedy for the leakage of young people from the Church and for the little impact that Catholicism was making on the country at large. He had given to the Catholic world the great message that the Liturgy-and especially the Mass -was "the primary and indispensable source of the Christian spirit."
Revival must come in the parishthe Mystical Body of Christ in miniature-through the laity taking an active part in liturgical worship.
The parish draws its life from the altar, and not from social events and whist drives, however necessary and desirable these may be.
The Communion Mass should he the Sung Mass, so that all may assist at the Sacrifice by Holy Communion and song.
Catholics cannot be satisfied until their public worship clearly expresses their beliefs in such a way that those outside the Church will be attracted by the beauty of holiness and praise.
Other speakers pin-pointed things that hinder the laity from playing their full part in the Liturgy.
The Rector of Upholland, Mgr. Turner, spoke of choirs which steal the people's part. He said there are simple Masses which congregations can learn to sing. and gave Masses 1, 4, 11 and 15 as examples.
Michael de la Bedoyere, Editor of THE CATHOLIC HERALD, spoke of complaints of the "inaudibility of the clergy at Mass." He said it is one of the things most frequently complained of in letters to the paper.
He also deplored a "lack of Liturgical spirit" among Catholics. It is, he said, the spirit and not the letter that counts: we do not want to be put through rubrical drills by ecclesiastical sergeant-majors.
At Pontifical High Mass at St. Edmund's Church, when the school ended on Sunday, Bishop King of Portsmouth said : "When we come to church to take part in any liturgical functions we must always remember that the exactness of ceremonial and singing is the external clothing of an expression of our total oblation to Our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ."