By Fr. Clifford Howell, S.J.
AUSTRALIAN LITURGICAL WEEK, (Advocate Press, Melbourne, 18s. 6d.) THIS book contains the text of the speeches made and the papers read at the extraordinarily succesful National Liturgical Week held in Australia early in 1955. It was a big affair, sponsored by Archbishop Mannix ; it was opened in Melbourne by Archbishop Carboni, the Apostolic Delegate; more than eight hundred attended, including many of the hierarchy; about half those present were priests or religious.
That the " Proceedings " of so important a gathering should now be available to all is an excellent thing; for the papers and discussions printed in the book are of an extremely high standard, full of interest and at the same time prat ical. Archbishop Simonds spoke on " Doctrinal Aspects of 1 he Liturgy " and Archbishop Young on " The Mass: a Sacrament and a Sacrifice "; and if these two papers are here specially commended it is not just because they were written by archbishops — it is for their intrinsic worth. Both are indeed masterly treatments of subjects absolutely basic to the liturgical movement.
Teaching the Mass
" Masterly " is the most fitting word to apply also to the lecture on " The Teaching of the Mass " by the well-known authority Mgr. McMahon. While being extremely simple he is also very deep: the essence of everything which matters is concentrated in his few pages. Those familiar with his admirable text-book " Pray the Mass " will realise what erudition and experience lie behind his contribution to the congress.
With regard to the teaching of the Mass to children this book contains valuable papers by Sister M. Edwardine, Fr. Lennon, Fr. Ryan and Fr. Kelly, who all handle the problems very ably from different angles. Other papers are on liturgy in home and parish; both city parishes and country parishes are explicitly considered. The subject of music in 'the liturgy is not neglected though it has only the secondary place which is its clue; Fr. Cross and Fr. Henry, who deal with it, show that it is possible to be an idealist and yet have one's feet on the ground.
There is much else in the book deserving of praise, but no space in which to write of it. If the price seems high, this is but apparent; for there are more than 200 pages well bound in a stiff cloth cover. All concerned in it, — contributors, editors and printer — deserve congratulation.