Last man standing!

Last man standing!

Anne Lastman

Dear Mr Editor, I'm under siege!

First Dr Mobbs, then Mr Westmore and his wretched apps, and Audrey English defending him and them, and now Mr Charles Shann.

I feel a bit like Thomas a'Becket and Henry II's famous words, "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" I feel like the "meddlesome priest."

To answer Mr Shann's statement that for the most part, people who read from their missal pay more attention to the Mass than those who don't: I would have to say, "Baloney!"

If one does not know what readings are about, it is because of inattention, and so being consciously "present" would ensure a knowledge of Scripture passages being proclaimed. Those who read from missals do not have added advantages except to say that a lector is unnecessary.

To be able to proclaim beautifully the Word of God (except the Gospel) is a great privilege, so why disdain this privilege?

Mr Shann believes that greater attention was paid to the Canon in the past than is now the case. However, veneration has nothing to do with language. It has to do with the state of mind of the celebrant and the congregation.

If the celebrant believes in the holiness of his action then this will be translated to his congregation, and they in turn will respond.

I believe that the most beautiful gift of the Holy Spirit in our time was the gift of the Holy Eucharist in the vernacular. It fulfils the prophecy found in Acts 2 at Pentecost: "How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language?"

The holy language is given to each so that we can understand and participate in worship in our own language.

Since the days of Babel no one could understand each other. Now it became again possible to worship and understand the worship. I also grew up with the convent Mass and Latin but have not retained it.

Mr Shann asked if I had EWTN and watched the Pope saying Mass. I don't have EWTN, but have done several interviews for them and my book Redeeming Grief has been featured on their programs.

As for the Pope and priests reading from the Missal, indeed he is the celebrant and must needs ensure correct liturgy. He stands before God, leading his congregation in their worship.

As for travelling overseas and needing a missal with Latin to participate in the Eucharist, I have travelled extensively and always find the nearest church to where I am staying to ensure that I can go to Mass.

I will ask someone which readings are to be used and then I know what is going to be said. As for the responses, I say them quietly in English or Italian.

And finally, how do apps encourage better singing? And what have they to do with decent hymns and their rarity in these days?

ANNE LASTMAN,
Melbourne, Vic.

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