From the Bishop of Pella
SIR, In regard to the public recitation of the Rosary at Muss, it seems to be lost sight of that the Rosaryby Papal command must still be Said daily in October, either at Mass, Of before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. In his Encyclical on the Holy Rosary, 1937, Pius XI specially commends this recitation as a powerful means of frustrating the attacks on religion by the enemies of God's Chinch. Some miests to avoid recitation at Mass wish to have Benediction immediately after Mass, and thus comply with the order. But the decree lays down that Rosary at Benediction may nottake place earlier than noon, i do nol think this is generally known. For various reasons quite a number of small churches cannot have Benediction daily in October, Many. priests find the Rosary seriously distracting when celebrating Holy Mass, and I share that difficulty. But so do I find the singing by the choir at High Mass. But I have to put up with it As to the Public Rosary during Mass outside October, am told it is common both in Italy and Palestine. Usually a member of the congregation leads the prayers and many churches have a rota for the 'purpose. It looks as if Pope Leo XIII made compulsory for October what in many places is done throughout the year It should not be forgotten that this Pope enriched the Liturgy by compiling the Office and Mass for Rosary Sunday and the Feast of SS. Cyril and Methodius, Ii may surprise son-le to he told that when he was Pope there were vigorous attempts to induce people to usea Missal at Mass, and there was a Gregorian Society to promote the use
of Plain Chant. I heard them sing. There's nothing new.
Olt WILLIAM F. Beneve, Bishop of Pella.
St. Anne, Vauxhall, London S.E.11.
Sua-Certain statements on the saying of the Rosary during Mass that are really wide of the point have been appealed to in this controversy. A more or less mechanical saying cf the Rosary does not ensure the ideal of active participation Neither for that matter does a mechanical reading of the Missal. The question reduces itself to this: Can the • sayine ot the Rosary during Mass be made into active participation ? Thr answer is: It certainty can. Let it be a Luc.baristic saying of the Rosary. Since the mysteries and the prayers of the Rosary ale in harmony with the official liturgy all that is necessary is to moviete a leaflet with Eucharistic: reflection. fo each mystery.
I agree with Canon E. 3. Mahony that the Archbishop of Chime() showed " the most admirablr judgment " in the
following remark " The Rosary breathei; a certain liturgical .spirit and seems to us to be one ot those popular devotions so akin to liturgical prayer as to allow its being regarded as the rruit of • deep participation in the liturgy." Canon Mahony sees in this plea for the use of the beads side by side with iitur:gical worship, an implied warning against exaggerating the importance cif the latter." (C:lergy Revlex, Vol exit, 1942 I We can never read too often the important statements of the recent Popes on ihe value of liturgical prayer. But it is import:int-it we wish not to injure the cause we intend to serve-to study these statements in relation to their context. Otherwise we may he guilty of an exaggeration which Pope Pius XII has recently deplored There are, the Pp a warns us. "scene . who suggest that private prayers to God are to he accounted of little value, inaernuoh As it is rather the public prayers offered in the name ra the Church which have real woith. since they proceed from the Mystical Body of Jests Christ. This suggesdiOn is quite untrue. For the Divine Redeemer holds in close sedan with Himself not only His Church, as His Beloved Bride h...1 in Her also the souls of each one of the faithful. with whom He ardently desires to have intimate converse. especially after they have received Holy. Communion." rEncycl, Meade; Corporis Christi, Eng. Trans. C.T.S.L.. p. 51.1 The spirit of the liturgy is indeed indierienseble-thai can never be repeated often enough. But Christ uttered ri solemn warning about the spirit and the letter.
ROBERT CULHANE C.S.S.R (Rev.).
Cluain Mhuire. Galway.
515,-Ii is with reluctance that I write once more on a question which has been the occasion of some irrelevant tatters and not a few regrettable statements There is not the slightest doubt concerning the value of Liturgical Prayer as a means of assisting at Holy Mass, nor is there aim doubt in my mind. Considered in itself. it is the most perfect of all the means at the dispo-saI of the layman. But Almighty God does not demand that all men should u.se the most perfect means, just as He does not call all to the most perfect stem or life, the religious file. He demands no more than good use of whatever means His grace suggests us to adopt. Hence when advocating, and advocating strongly. Liturgical Prayer for the laity, priests should be cireful to speak with respect of other legitimate forms of participation in the Holy Sacrifice. Theological subtleties are both out of place and venturesome when deciding what is or what is not such a legitimate form. The fundamental principle involved is the very simple one that the Mass is the memorial and continuation of Calvary. Hence any form of prayer -not otherwise objectionable-which attunes the mind and heart to Calvary is legitimate in itself, and may be the one most appropriate for a particular individual, The Rosary, partiete lady in its Sorrowful Mysteries (the recitation of which involves meditation on the Passion and Death of our Lord. and is not a mere parrot-like repetition of formula) is unquestionably a prayer of the kind.
I trust 1 shall be believed sincere in adding that I ehould be as ready to defend Liturgical Prayer as I have been to defend the Rosary, if it were attacked
Rosary the Rosa has been. BERNARD J. KELLY, C.S.Sp., D.D. Kimmage. Dublin.
Sift.-May I add a remark to your already lengthy controversy on "Rosary at Massa' It may have some bearing on the question.
The Rosary-not invented by Si. Dominic-came into use at a time when there were practically no books and when often no one in the Church except for the priest, could read.
In the days of Leo XIII some 90 per cent. of Italian congregations were illiterate. It would have been idle to ask them to follow Mass in their Here is a suggestion. If the Rosary is a suitable devotion during the Mass, would not the Stations of the Cross read aloud by a member of thc congregation while perambulating the church be more suitable still '1 And wouldn't it help the celebrant to concentrate on the prayers of the Mass ?
E. Rosa (Rev.).
The Catholic Church,