C.H.' Reporter THE young Benedictine priests at Cockfosters, North London (the oldest is 38), are not impatient; they do not demand to see the fulfilment of their liturgical. monastic and parochial hopes in their own time. Like all monks, they sow. They are quite content to let their successors reap.
Their own pioneering priests came from Belgium 20 years ago, dreaming the great dreams that excited English Catholics of a generation ago; they would build a great church in modern style, a radiant thing in light and colour; they would he in the forefront in the liturgical revival; their priory would be peopled with monks from all over the world to show the universality of peoples under the rule of Christ the King, to Whom Cockfosters is dedicated.
Though building has ternporarily stopped, the grounds behind the existing block arc clear of weeds. apparently ready for the bulldozer when the word is given to start again. The liturgical experiment of 20 years ago, which includes a daily dialogue Mass, and which might have startled some of us then, is continued without the innovations that have made recent news elsewhere.
overalls pick-axed the trenches some years ago are back at the Belgian mother-house living a more settled life. part as follows: the 8 a.m. Sunday with nuns singing the Proper. Mass is congregationally sung, At Cockfosters people play their Masses that follow are dialogued, They now consolidate at Cockthe altar boy turning at the fosters. There is a 900-strong beginning to announce the Mass parish. mostly comfortable middleof the day, and commemorations. class, who are eager to learn and The Proper is read aloud in act, to become apostles, to develop Latin by the people along with the a lamily spirit which should come celebrant. In the evening, COIDnaturally as the result of people pline, the sermon being preceded praying a dialogue Mass together by scriptural reading. The Mass For 20 years. lhe Cockfosters with commentary, which some Fathers have plans for getting liturgists appear to dislike, is not
them to stay together. known at Cockfosters.
OPPORTUNITY To quote Fr. Jones; " In an Once an Anglican Kelham student, Fr. Edmund Jones, who Latin " in the administration of was born in Gloucestershire, is in Baptism, three feet high folding charge. He became a Catholic at panels, with illustrations and suitthe beginning of his training able wording, are placed near Ilse for the ministry. There is Fr. font on a Sunday: people wahine Heron, also a convert, a Belgian for the child to be led through the
priest, and one who is Dutch. waters of Baptism to full Church membership are reminded through Over-enthusiasm for liturgical this visual aid of the Old Testareform, alleged to exist among ment promises, and the Death. convert priests. is absent in Fr. Burial and Resurrection of Our Jones. " Make the fullest use of Lord. the present liturgy for lay particiVestments at Cockfosters are pation," he says, " there are ample in their graceful folds: a opportunities in plenty."
daimatic is ankle-long, and a cope will not need a hood, for the monk who wears it will raise the one attached to his habit, and let it fall over it.
A miniature set of vestments, with altar vessels, all complete, are on view at the entrance of the church. Boys of about six can use them, and from time to time they are encouraged to go through the actions of the Mass at an improvised altar. The missal is in English. the words paraphrased, so that the meaning of the sacrificial Act is made clearer.
For get-togetherness, socially as well as for Catholic Action, areas in the parish will be banded to form little groups to meet at one another's houses, and the parochial Study Group. which has been studying social doctrine for two years and listening to invited speakers. now considers action to be taken to further the aims of Papal Encyclicals. Cock fosters parishioners, conscious of the admiration of other Londoners yearning for a similar ' active liturgy " at their own churches. will now be spurred to further efforts, and their keenness to learn. which Fr. Jones remarks upon with so much satisfaction, will encourage the Fathers to initiate Biblical study courses in due course, in the conviction that no-one can be a true liturgist unless he knows his Holy Bible.