It was with some amusement, and bemusement, that I read Mrs Lastman's response to my letter in the November issue of AD2000. The fact that she feels like Saint Thomas a'Becket, because a signicant number of people disagree with her regarding the use of missals, is true "Baloney!" Must we all agree with Mrs Lastman's dictums? Are all other opinions irrelevant?
Nothing I have read of her opinions is going to change my view, or that of the people who rang me or sent messages of congratulation regarding my letter.
In fact, this morning at a weekday Mass, with between sixty and seventy people attending, I noted that many of them had their weekday missals, and this allows the laity to read the lessons of the day at home which can only be good.
I find the statement that, people who follow the Mass in their missals, make lectors unnecessary, ridiculous. I have been a reader for forty-five years or so, and I certainly am not offended to see people following the readings in their missals, despite the fact that I take trouble to give the readings their full beauty and meaning.
I am unable to enlighten Mrs Lastman as to why apps encourage better singing. As one who was originally opposed to them, I have noted that here at St. Mary's, Warwick, which is a cathedral sized church, the singing has improved considerably since their introduction last year. Possibly people who don't read missals, don't bother to read hymn sheets either?
Happily, as one who loves music, I am able to agree with Mrs Lastman, God bless her, regarding the standard of modern hymns, and the even more pathetic tunes to which many are set, especially as we have hundreds of old genuinely religious teaching hymns with great tunes available, but no longer used.
CHARLES M. SHANN