Every parish priest in England will be given a copy of the new "Pope John Sunday Missal" by next weekend. The missal!' which will be officially launched on Sunday, February 18, is the product of 18 months' work by Mgr Michael Buckley, the executive editor and a team of eight specialists.
Cardinal Hume will receive a copy of the missal at a formal presentation in Archbishop's House, Westminster, next Wednesday.
Mgr Michael Buckley is sure all his work will prive worthwhile. he said on Monday: "This is not only a missal — it's also a prayerbook which combines all that's best in the new with all that is hallowed in the old.
"It has a deeply theological content, but at the same time is easy and attractive to read. It contains a valuable explanation of the theology of the sacraments and liturgical renewal and also a detailed examination of the structures of the Mass."
Editing the missal was a labour of love for Mgr Buckley, and the natural culmination of a lifetime's involvement in liturgical renewal. As a curate, he held explanatory liturgical courses in his parish.
As director of the Ecumenical Centre at Wood Hall, Yorkshire, he became increasingly convinced of the crucial importance of a living, dynamic liturgy. A sabbatical year after leaving Wood Hall in 1977 gave him more time to concentrate on helping peopole to understand the Mass.
"When I was offered the opportunity to work on the missal. I jumped at the chance. It is what every priest would love to do," he said.
* The Pope John Sunday Missal is published by Kevin Mayhew at £4.50.
Belize row analysed
An analysis of the long-standing dispute between Britain and the Central American republic of Guatemala over Belize, one of Britain's last remaining colonies, has been produced by the Latin America Bureau and is available from LAB, PO Box 134, London, NWI, price f I .50.