28 May 2009


If there are other participants in Saturday's CIEL Conference at the Oratory, as well as Sue, who see this blog, may I make suggestions in the hope that they, too, if they were to agree with me, might express their views to the CIEL secretary?

Since 'we' moved from Spanish Place, we have not had a sermon. Perhaps I'm just, deep down, an unreconstructed Protestant (that's a rhetorical question), but I like the homily. Not just for its own sake, but because it seems to punctuate the Mass rather nicely. Pausing after the contemplation of the rites which dignify the Word seems to me the correct thing to do, rather than rushing on at once and feeling, at the end of the Mass, that it has slipped away just a little too quickly. And I do believe that the Proclaimed Word of Christ our God does involve a form of Transubstantiation; the Words which emerge from the mouth of Christ's diaconal minister are, by divine power and the ordained minister's charism, truly the Words of the Lord; they are not a record of something said 2000 years ago but teaching and commands uttered by the Redeemer in His actual Now, calling now for my reverence and submission. That is why the traditional dignities of chanting are so appropriate, and why, just as at the elevations of the transubstantiated Body and Blood, incense is offered. A bit of Gospel informally read in a 'meaningful' way by a jolly chappy would be deeply wrong. This is why I believe the Gospel should be accorded both dignity and contemplation before the Priest sings Dominus vobiscum and begins the Adorable Sacrifice.

Secondly, I was disappointed not to hear discussion of Fr Crean's paper giving reasons for prefering the pre-Conciliar forms of Unction and Commendation. I felt both clergy and laity could have exchanged experiences and viesws, to our mutual profit.

1 comment:

Sue Sims said...

Totally in accord - I shall write to the Secretary and make both suggestions.

Could the lack of a homily be down to time constraints? I know that the LMS Westminster Cathedral annual High Mass has a tendency to be slotted in between other Masses, and thus frequently has to banish the sermon slot. (It was ironic that last year when the Cardinal was over and they did, of course, allow him to speak, most of us in the nave couldn't make out anything he was saying.)

As for the conference, I must admit that I missed largish chunks of both talks...at least, they might have been largish chunks or smallish bites, because of my incorrigible habit of dozing off spasmodically in warm rooms when people other than myself are talking. (I keep doing it at department meetings at school when the subject under discussion doesn't concern any of the years I teach.) But the bits I did hear were excellent.

But we should definitely label ourselves - or perhaps wear some identifying symbol, like the pink chrysanthemum which Freddie Threepwood confuses with a carnation in 'Leave it to Psmith'. A chrysanthemum would certainly be spottable...