S'•-• Some advocated forms of Dialogue Mass (or Community Low Mass with hymns) seem to involve definite violation of rubrics. Yet the Pope referring to such forms of Mass in Mediator Dei says: "these methods of taking part in the Sacrifice are to be commended only when they are in exact conformity with the rules of the Church and tho rubrical instructions." (C.T.S. translation, Par. 112).
It is sometimes recommended that the vernacular " entrance hymn " be commenced as the priest approaches the altar and continued during the time of the prayers at the foot of the altar (Indica psalm, Confiteor, etc.). But General Rubric No, 16 of the Missal lists these prayers at the foot of the r.ltar as one of the portions of Low Mass which must be recited aloud (tiara voce) so that those attending (not merely the server) may hear and understand. It is no doubt permissible to plead for a change in this rubric (for certain practical and historical reasons) but it is hardly permissible to plead that the rubric as it stands should be ignored. The parts of Low Mass made audible to the faithful (by Rubric 16) are few enough already. It would be sad to have the Judica psalm. etc., be made inaudible to the people unless at the same time
other parts (e.g. perhaps one Offertory prayer, the whole of Orate Enures. the "Secret" and the final clauses of the Canon, etc.) he made again audible as in former ages (cf. Fr. Murphy's plea in " The Mass and Liturgical Reform," Bruce, Milwaukee. U.S.A.).
The Holy Father's words about singing vernacular hymns at Low Mass (in his Encyclical on Sacred Music) do not suggest. that these hymns may properly be sung during the "loud" parts of Mass. In the diocese of Rome such a practice is strictly forbidden, and that regulation is declared by the Sacred Congregation of Rites to be a directive rule for the rest of the world. In Mediator Del the Hob, Father has clearly shown his intense concern that rubrics he carefully studied and meticulously observed. There seems to be an idea abroad that because a Mass is a Low Mass rubrics need not be taken seriously. There is not an iota of evidence to support such a contention in the Missal, or in Canon LBW, or in Mediator Del. To take matters into one's own hands and decide to ignore certain rubrics is the surest way to prevent the Holy See from granting any of the concessions which liturgylovers desire, When attempts at Mass reform are made apart from Papal directives the usual result is "twoway traffic": the priest goes his way in icy isolation in Latin while the people go their way in the vernacular; priest and people travel not on the same line hut on two parallel lines (which never meet I).
How magnificently the Holy Father avoided this catastrophe in his Concession to France there priest and people are united at the Epistle and Gospel, first in Latin and then in French.
(Dr.) K. F. Mclgurtrie, Oblate O.S.B. Box 166, Pietersburg, S. Africa.