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Pre-Vatican II

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 Contents - Oct 2011AD2000 October 2011 - Buy a copy now
Angelus Message: Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7) - Pope Benedict XVI
Episcopacy: Cardinal Pell: the responsibilities of Church leadership - Cardinal George Pell
World Youth Day 2011, Madrid: Australia's participation - Br Barry Coldrey
News: The Church Around the World
Pastoral care: One of the Catholic Church's best kept secrets - Marie Mason
Pro-life: Signs of hope from the United States - Babette Francis
Planetary spirituality: what next! - Frank Mobbs
History: Lepanto, history's most decisive naval battle - Bob Denahy
Catholic Schools: Saint Mary MacKillop Colleges, Wagga Wagga: progress report - Sr Mary Augustine OP
Letters: Anglican Ordinariate - Bishop Harry Entwhistle
Letters: World Youth Day - Arnold Jago
Letters: Bishop Morris - Michael Smith
Letters: One-sided - Charles M. Shann
Letters: Old or young earth? - Fr Brian Harrison OS
Letters: Cart before horse - John Young
Letters: Genesis debate - Anne Lastman
Letters: Pre-Vatican II - Kevin McManus
Letters: Same sex 'marriage' - Richard Congram
Letters: Invalid concept - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Letters: Sermons - Rev. Fr. J. Conway
Books: BENEDICT XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Tracey Rowland - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: ROME AND THE EASTERN CHURCHES: A Study in Schism (2nd ed), Aidan Nichols OP - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: MEDJUGORJE REVISITED: 30 Years of Visions or Religious Fraud? - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Donations: 2011 Fighting Fund contributions
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Benedict XVI's Final Mass homily for World Youth Day - Pope Benedict XVI

While we must respect Mrs Cleary's experience of Mass, both pre- and post-Vatican II (August AD2000), it has been not the experience of all of us.

Especially so when we see the rapidly shrinking crowd at current Sunday Masses as compared with the packed ones pre-Vatican II. Where have all the young people gone?

While we accept the desire of Vatican II for liturgical change, much of what the liturgists did to us since then was neither constructive nor helpful - which is why we are welcoming the Missal retranslation as a first step back to normalcy.

The only time I have experienced packed churches full of singing people was 50 years ago, at various sodality Masses such as Holy Name Sundays. Do we ever see a church of men or of women in full voice today? Why not?

The Church has yet to tell us specifically what it means by active (more correctly actual) participation. There is little opportunity for activity of the whole congregation unless, as seems likely, when there will be only ten or twelve people present at future Sunday Masses: two for readings; two for the Offertory procession; two for extraordinary ministers; two or three for the choir; two or three altar servers.

Contrary to Mrs Cleary's observation, I have yet to see any of the recent hymns being related to the liturgy or readings of the day. That is one of the liturgists' furphies.

More commonly, what we are inflicted with are "Come as you are", "Come to the table of bread and wine" or "Go tell everyone".

These are a far cry from the hymns of praise and belief in the Body and Blood of Christ of 50 years ago.

While nearly everyone sang 50 years ago very few people sing now (although all will sing the Our Father).

Back then most of us carried the Saint Joseph's bilingual Missal to Mass which is why we later realised that serious mistranslations had occurred with the subsequent post-Vatican II vernacular versions.

I am delighted that groups of Anglicans have been invited to join the Catholic Church. We can learn a lot from them regarding hymns and reverence.

Perhaps this is what Pope Benedict's "reform of the reform" is about.

Ashfield, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 24 No 9 (October 2011), p. 15

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