HERE is a symposium on The Liturgy and the Future made up of lectures by well-known liturgists (Fowler Wright, 18s.). It is a valuable introduction to the principal themes of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.
The title, however, is something of a misnomer, because a good deal of the speculation put forward has already happened. The Editor—Fr. J. D. Crichton — acknowledges this in his Preface. If anything prophetic is sought, the reader will be disappointed. But the book has considerable value as a compendium of present liturgical thought and action.
Fr. Crichton's own chapter on the meaning of the liturgy is admirable and, together with his concluding chapter on "Art at the service of the Liturgy", should prove of a real pastoral value. Dom Laurence Bevenot, on "Music in Worship", is also to be sought out at a time when we need not only guidance but inspiration in this field.
Dom Edmund Jones has some splendid things to say about the Divine Office and subsequently Bible Services. His thought develops as he writes, but his conclusions are never wholly acceptable to his readers and I would suggest that in this particular sphere he does not take full account of the principle of differentiation of function.
We shall always need those whose vocation in life is inextricably bound up with the Opus Del, just as so many
other vocations have their part to play in the whole body. No matter how much the People of God as a whole come to participate in this (as is undoubtedly to be wished), they will always meet Ninian with her timbre!.
It would be especially sad if the Benedictines were to abdicate or minimise their role in this respect. The Decree itself, to my mind, preserves a true and admirable balance.