The Priest and God's People at Prayer by Joseph Champlain (Chapman £1)
Sunday & Weekday Readings from Advent to Pentecost (Daily Pocket Lectionary); (Chapman £2.50) 70 Themes—Pastoral Themes for Sunday Mass and Holy Days (Year 11 (Grail 45p) More Biblical Hymns and Psalms by Lucien Deiss, C.S.Sp. (Chapman £1) Rejoice Books — Come to School and 5 other titles (Sheed & Ward 15p each or 85p for set of six)
FR. CHAMPLAIN tells us he has addressed some 11.000 priests and 15,000 religious and laity in the US. Recalling a "National Catholic Reporter" (American) advertisement for a book of 100 Eucharistic Prayers, all of them guaranteed not approved by the Church, I feared the worst. Unfairly. Fr. Champlain readily follows and often quotes conciliar documents and above all the General instruction (rubrics) of the new Roman Missal as invariably telling us what to do but often allowing scope in the way we do it. Here for the most Part is a lively account of how some American priests have succeeded or failed to adapt to their own circumstances the "norms and guidelines" of the missal.
Entertainment value high. Best funny story is one about the curate who stuffed a sheet in the tabernacle .. .
The new Daily Pocket Lectionary is perhaps the most handsomely produced liturgical book for private use since the "changes" — one of two volumes. This book will only fail you if the celebrant on a weekday departs from the continuous reading to observe a feast or suit a votive Mass (as sometimes he should according to the rubrics).
It is of course held that the best practice is to listen to the word of God proclaimed, but many will wish to read the text at home, especially when unable to get to church.
Also printed arc psalm and verse between readings. and the full Order of Mass. This doesn't in fact fit any pocket of mine!
Priests should and many will use their own wits and pastoral concern to provide homily and appropriate comment during the Liturgy of the Word, but for anyone hindered the Grail Themes give the gist of the readings and suggest invitations and conclusions to bidding prayers. Also provided are thematically developed versions of the third penitential rite.
Personally I think that better than one long explanatory paragraph about readings would have been brief notes indicating good starting places, from the day's readings, to develop a variety of homily themes.
It seems that last year's book was also used by study groups etc.
Of Fr. Deiss's compositions not many fit the popular notion of a hymn. Most have antiphons. some set for several voices. and verses that could be sung by a cantor. This is ideal, especially when the antiphons are simple enough to be picked up by the people — for processional chants at entrance, offertory, communion. and exit. Many parishes and schools will have become familiar with the technique if they have already used Gdlineau properly.
Here is a remarkable liturgical and scriptural content, explained in an appendix. It should recommend this collection especially to religious communities. The melodies appear to be rather chantlike and solemn.
A collection of colourful books for tots of three and upwards is intended to be an "awakening to the sheer joy of life." Each has about 12 pictures with a few lines of text, which sooner or later bring God in; one even teaches a Hello Mary. I hope the text suits the tots, but doubt that at three even I would have cried with sheer joy, "Lord, you have given me a mind to understand things."
These are translations, betrayed by the fact that when we "like to carry the bread and eat a piece of crust" it is a loaf three feet long.
Fr. S. G. A. La