Mr Alfred Marnau, of the Latin Mass Society, states (October 10) that "the Pope granted to England and Wales an Indult which permits the use of the old Roman missal."
This unqualified statement, under the heading "Variety in the Liturgy," gives the impression that it is lawful for any priest to celebrate in the old rite whenever he thinks fit, But this is not so.
The Indult specifies several conditions: the rite to be used is the one in use after 1967 no Judica, no Last Gospel, many simplifications of the rubrics.
Permission has to be sought each time from the bishop of the diocese. And the celebration has to be for some special group (such as the Latin Mass Society, or the relatives and friends of someone who, in their testament or last words, asked for a Requiem and funeral in the old rites).
This is very different from what Mr Marnau's unqualified statement implies: that "old rite" and "new rite" are simply alternatives to he freely chosen in any circumstances and without any special permission. The statement made by our hierarchy after their Low Week meeting this year made it quite plain that, apart from the indult, the so-called Tridentine Mass is now forbidden.
Charles Melling 27 Maple Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Many Anglicans of the High Church variety (to give. us a label which people may easily recognise but which is strictly speaking Maccurate) and some of us are laymen, not clergy, have definite interest in and views about the current tensions in the Catholic Church which result from the imposition of a new rite for Mass.
We are ourselves not able to be present very often at our Eucharist in its old form — I mean the English Missal order, if the Tridentine Mass with the central prayer of Consecration in either (a) the Book of Common Prayer wording or (b) the Catholic Missal wording.
We are in a state of flux. ferment, or chaos too! We have more variety legally permitted these days than the variety of recent years, which was the result of individual priests being uneartonical and using their own neo-Catholic forms of Mass for Anglican congregations; but somehow I for one feet that the intentions of the liturgical innovators and modernisers have not been fulfilled,
True, there is a more active and vocal participation by laity these days, with processions of the elements and laymen reading the lessons and taking intercessions, and very often these laymen are of the feminine gender and perform their tasks with efficiency and a sense of reverence for what they are doing.
I note that women are less likely to be heard in the Catholic Church than in ours, but I understand that the rules permit women to act as lectors at Catholic Masses.
One feature of recent days is the reporting of the Catholic parish priest who refuses to give up saying his masses in the old Tridentine manner.
This prompts me to smile at the thought of his hierarchy hounding hint for doing exactly what many Church or England bishops accused Anglican priests of doing earlier on in this century using an illegal rite, but the same rite, except yours (Catholic) is in Latin and ours was in English. The wheel certainly has turned a full circle.
In the Catholic Herald of October 17 your correspondent Mr T. W. Gadd gives us at great length, but with little in the way of easy comprehensibility, his account of the known differences between the Tridentine Mass and Eucharistic Prayer No. I.
I am grateful to him for making me think again along the lines he postulates, and broadly I follow his argument and agree with hint. However, I cannot see that for a genuine and real offering of Mass there can be anything more required than a validly ordained offer, the correct elements, the intention to perpetuate the instructions of Our Blessed Lord, and the Biblical words of consecration. Anything else in the way of a theological explanation of what is happening. or readings and prayers to surround the action (for Mass is a fourfold action) may be desirable for one reason or another, and it may be of importance that the Catholic doctrine of the Mass is not therein contradicted, but these cannot he called essential parts of the service.
For this reason I am able to take part in any Anglican or Catholic Mass whenever a permitted rite is used from the great number of permutations currently available.
'there is even more discussion about the Mass within the denominations nowadays than there was between them, and this is a good thing. Perhaps soon we shall see the whole Church once again content with its liturgy and showing the secular world that we are a "happy band of pilgrims." I devoutly hope and pray that this may soon he so.
Joseph Cartwright Edmundscote, 45A High Street, Broom, Bidford on Avon, Nr. Alcester, Warwickshire.
Even wearing my sun-glasses to avoid the dazzle of Mr Thomas W. Gadd's letter oi' October l7 with its "historical-event crucifixtonal blood-shedding." "faith-tense," "faithful (in faith)," "intention presence" and the rest of his theological "newspeak," I can still discern his request to have the Consecration wording "as taken from the Tridentine usage: and in full, and properly translated from the Latin." Very well.
First, does he really intend to make a fuss about the dropping of the unscriptural phrase Mysterium Fidei, apart from which the Novas Ordo seems to me quite a full tor lin:portant, Mr Gadd must mns(13trietir: really make up nis mind whether he wants on the one hand the Book of Common Prayer. which. like him, uses Lk 22:20 — "this is my Blood or the New Testament which is shed ...": Or. on the other hand. the Tridentine Missal, which distinctly (if nil perhaps scripturally!) says effundetur, a clear future tense.
A cup, by the way, is not poured uut for drinking: only those clever Spaniards drink by pouring, and they use a special vessel,
"Many": Mr Gadd should look at his Greek again; "many" here does mean all — the common usage of hoi polka, contrary to its later current) in English, was. according to the lexicon, to signify "the greater number. the people, the commonalty, the multitude" — anless there is a desire to limit the effects of Christ's redemption, as if his Blood were shed not for the good of mankind (whether they actually availed themselves of it or not), but only for a chosen number; which leads us straight back to Calvin.
God knows. there are faults in the Novas Ordo and particularly in its English version, in style, rhythms and so forth (no one squirms more than I do at, eg, the jingle of "Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth") but to attack it on grounds of faith is to raise the question. which much of your correspondence of late has implied. Do some of us believe, in fact, that the true authority of the Church somehow disappeared or evaporated during the course of the Second Vatican Council? Because if !his is so, whin are we to think of these people who are now. OR the bishops of the Church, including the Pope, claiming that authority, and where are we to look for the real voice of truth?
70 l'i I ford Road,
Referring to Michael McMahon's letter of October 3. which is so charitable in thought and spirit.
He makes three valid points concerning the old and new liturgy with which I suggest Route does agree. In July, while on a family holiday. we attended a 10 a.m. Sunday Mass in St Peter's, standing on the edge of a French pilgrimage. We prayed and sang in Latin, listened to the sermon in French and Italian, and later saw and heard the Pope speak to us in five languages.
The controversy in this country concerning the rights and wrongs of the old and new riles is local and self-inflicted. Those who insist on only the old or only the new are out of time with Vatican (Mrs) Norma Campbell Alt ties.