Vernacular in Britain
SIR,-The kind letter last week which set out the aims and other particulars of The Vernacular Society of Great Britain brought to my mind the Wooden Horse of Troy.
There are a number of priests, myself included, and a number of laity as well who would support a society that "exists to promote the use of the vernacular in the liturgical worship of the Catholic Church in Great Britain"-so long as the use of the vernacular were confined to the occasional services, such as Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Marriage, the Churching of Women, the Visitation of the Sick, the Last, Sacraments. Funerals, and the various Blessings, that is to say, confined to the Rituale Romanum.
Maybe there are many priests who would also he in favour of the use of the vernacular in the Divine Office excepting perhaps the lessons of the Second Nocturn, which might decently he left in Lat in.
But I cannot help noticing that although these specific matters are given, very laudably, I think, first place as (a) and (b), in your correspondent's letter; nevertheless one finds in actual practice among the Vernacularists that the emphasis changes. Very much so. The emphasis is on the Englisbing of the Mass.
Here is an example. Compare the amount of space so generously given in your columns to articles ott Englishing the Mass by such vigorous Vernacularists as Fr. Clifford Howell, Si.. with the amount of space given to articles on Englishing the Rituale. It is out of all proportion and quite contrary to the impression one might receive from the letter of your correspondent on the aims of the Vernacular Society.
It would be unfortunate if Rome should get the impression from what has been printed in England of late years on the use of the Vernacular in the Pastoral Liturgy or, from the delegation which has been taking part, during the past few days in the International Congress of the Pastoral Liturgy at Assisi, that there is any great demand in England for the use of the vernacular in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; solid reasons can
be advanced against its use in the
Mass(Rev.) Robert Goold.
It is not for us to speak about the Vernacular Society, but. so far as we know. Fr. Clifford Howell is far more interested• in the pastoral effects of a fuller understanding of the significance of the Liturgy and participation In it than in any specific changes, and least of all the use of the Vernacular in the Mass. He has constantly denied in public that he is, in the usual sense, a "Vernacularist." -.Editor Catholic Herald.