January - February

Notes from Across the Atlantic

The arrival of the new year means that here in the States we now have less than one year to go until November 27, 2011, the date chosen by our Bishops' Conference for the implementation of the new English translation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal. While there have inevitably been a handful of naysayers attempting to derail this needed reform, the impression of this John-Paul-ll generation priest in a small rural diocese is that...

Read More

Synthesis

FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

On November 27 2010 a publicly staged debate on the motion: "That religion is a force for good in the world" took place in Toronto and was shown on...

Read More

The Problem of Evil

Editorial FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

“The Lord is not slow about his promise...but is patient towards you" 2 Peter 3:9

Part One: How is Evil Possible?

It is said that the...

Read More

Jesus Christ and the Human Heart

Kevin Douglas FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

Fr Kevin Douglas is assistant priest in Livingston. Here he convincingly defends the existence of the human soul — a task strangely...

Read More

The Dehumanisation of Marital Sex

Cormac Burke FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

In a timely piece following upon Pope Benedict's recent remarks concerning condom use outside marriage, Mgr Cormac Burke convincingly...

Read More

Science and Religion Towards a Constructive Dialogue

Alister McGrath FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

There is no doubt that the natural sciences offer one of the most successful ways of exploring the world. A delight in the beauty of...

Read More

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

Dear Father Editor,

Thank you for the July issue of Faith and its splendid editorial ("Budding Hopes and Sudden Storms: Newman's Beatification...

Read More

The Truth will set you Free

Hugh MacKenzie FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO ENCOUNTERING EVIL

Our current editorial reflects upon the reality of evil, as did the March 2010 instalment of...

Read More

Book Reviews

Book Reviews

FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

Beauty for Truth's Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education
by Stratford Caldecott, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Bratfps Press, 2009, U6pp, £12.99

In...

Read More

The Road from Regensburg

FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

From the recent post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Verbum Domini.

For "the work of the Synod to have a real effect on the life of the Church ... I would...

Read More

Comment on the Comments

Comment on the Comments

William Oddie FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

Nothing exceeds the endless voracity of the secular press for a dramatic front page headline. The fact is, they've all got to have...

Read More

Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

The Californian Professor Francisco Ayala, the Spanish winner of this year's Templeton Prize, has now published a short work entitled Am I a Monkey?...

Read More
  • Notes from Across the Atlantic

    Peter Mitchell FAITH Magazine January – February 2011

    INCREASING REVERENCE IN THE ORDINARY FORM OF MASS

    Father Peter Mitchell contextualises the impact of the new translation of the Missal from his vantage point at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Nebraska, where he teaches Latin and Theology His father was born and raised in Hertfordshire.

    The arrival of the new year means that here in the States we now have less than one year to go until November 27, 2011, the date chosen by our Bishops' Conference for the implementation of the new English translation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal. While there have inevitably been a handful of naysayers attempting to derail this needed reform, the impression of this John-Paul-ll generation priest in a small rural diocese is that the majority of faithful Catholics are interested and eager to learn about the upcoming changes to the texts of the Mass, as well as the theological reasons underlying them.

    Although there is unfortunately still no shortage of liturgical abuses to be found in not a few dioceses across the USA, the good news is that such abuses are becoming ever more confined to left-over pockets of resistance.

    From this writer's vantage point there would seem to be two interesting phenomena concerning the increasing momentum towards the new translation. The younger a priest is the more likely he is to be unapologetically enthusiastic about this development. And to the extent that liturgical abuse persists in a given diocese, there will also be in that place a far greater interest in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite as a refuge from liturgical abuse. On the other hand, dioceses that have been protected by wise episcopal guidance from liturgical aberrations in the celebration of the Novus Ordo are generally blessed with both clergy and

    laity who truly love the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. They are excited to see its celebration made even more dignified and reverent by the beauty and splendor of the new translation of the Missal.

    The "new" trend in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy is unmistakably towards what is becoming more clearly one of the hallmarks of Pope Benedict's pontificate: the authentic implementation of the liturgical reform according to the mind of the Second Vatican Council.

    At the Newman Centre on campus at the University of Nebraska we are blessed to have a chanted Latin Mass (Ordinary Form) celebrated once a month. The Mass features a splendid choir chanting the Propers and Ordinary of the Mass as well as various motets in a chapel with outstanding acoustics. The readings are proclaimed in English and the Liturgy is celebrated ad orientem. This Mass was begun five years ago at the initiative of a young priest returning from studies in Rome, who noted with no small amount of irony that it seems the only Mass one cannot find anywhere is the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite as it is envisioned by the current Missale Romanum. It has drawn the interest of a growing number of students and young families and is another sign of thefruitfulness of the ongoing reform of the Conciliar liturgical reform here in the States. The laity who attend this Mass seem to be drawn to the opportunity both to sing and to hear the language of the Church proclaimed clearly and simply. The beautiful rhythm of the chant alternating between priest-celebrant and people as the Mass is prayed, including the occasional chanting of the Roman Canon, is one of the most appealing aspects of the sung Novus Ordo, an embodiment of the "noble simplicity" which is one of the foundational principles of Sacrosanctum Concilium.

    One great light in the midst of the many questions leading up to the

    implementation of the new translation is The Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois. Founded by Francis Cardinal George in the year 2000, the Institute is fast becoming a widely respected resource for bishops and dioceses across the United States in the important work of liturgical formation. The Institute is currently in the process of presenting its workshop, "Mystical Body, Mystical Voice," to the clergy and laity of dozens of dioceses across the country, in anticipation of the arrival of the new translation of the Missal next Advent. The workshop employs a dynamic presentation of the texts of the ritual books themselves as the basis for a rich theological understanding of the way in which the Word becomes flesh in and through thecelebration of the Sacred Liturgy. The Institute's underlying philosophy is rooted in the patristic and sacramental ideals of the liturgical movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, fidelity to the principles of Sacrosanctum Concilium, and the understanding that the principles of the 2001 Instruction Liturgiam authenticam have given the Church an essential key to the ongoing implementation of the Conciliar liturgical reform.

    At our most recent diocesan clergy conference, this workshop was very well received. By the end of the day it was quite clear that the majority of the priests in attendance were excited about the opportunity the new translation affords for a more broad-ranging liturgical catechesis at the parish level. Although the presenters indicated that they had received a less-than-enthusiastic reception in some of the places where they had spoken recently, the many positive comments I heard from my brother priests following the workshop are another encouraging sign about where liturgical practice is going in the United States at the beginning of the 2010s.

    All that being said, there still remains the admittedly challenging prospect of actually instructing the faithful in the pews to change their established habits of prayer next November 27. "And with your spirit" will replace the nearly reflexive "And also with you." How will American Catholics adjust to professing in the Credo that the Lord Jesus "was incarnate of the Virgin Mary" rather than the less theologically precise "was born of the Virgin Mary" that we have been praying for the last forty years? Can Americans handle such lofty English? I for one am confident that we will warm to it and gradually come to appreciate it with gratitude. As our presenter at the workshop on the new translation told us with a smile, "The Brits have been saying this for decades, so I'm sure we can figureit out!"