23 May 2018

A kind American priest ...

Some eight years ago, a kind American priest very graciously sent me some extremely interesting books; most of which bear the autograph (and annotations) of a Fr J B O'Connell ... a name which seems familiar ... whose reactions to emerging 'reforms' from the 1940s to the 1960s one could trace. (Tucked inside one of them was a 1946 envelope, with rough notes on the back, from 'Great Southern Hotels'; the Irish Hotel group which includes Parknasilla, where G B Shaw wrote plays, having got there travelling bolt-upright in the back of his Rolls Royce all the way through the Rebel County of Cork ... and where my family played golf while I read and watched the otters and kingfishers on a then-secluded ruined quay ... it's a small world ... is that ruined quay still 'undeveloped'?).

One volume bears a stamp of ICEL in its earliest days; it is Mary Pierre Ellebracht's highly erudite and still very useful Remarks on the Vocabulary of the ancient Orations in the Missale Romanum of 1964. Other volumes include many papers on Latinity by the ever-great, ever-admirable Christine Mohrmann.

Over these eight years, this blog has been very much enriched by that benefaction. If you read this, thank you very much, Father.

7 comments:

Ben of the Bayou said...

Rev. J.B. O'Connell is best known these days for his rubrical guide "Celebration of the Mass". As you briefly allude to, his ideas about tinkering with the sacred liturgy (both the tinkerings that had been made and the ones he would like to see made) are much in evidence on a few pages and in a few footnotes. The Rationalistic spirit seems to have left few things or persons untouched at that time and this.

I, for one, would be delighted to read here a listing and commentary of your observations on the same.

Romulus said...

Fr. O'Connell is author of The Celebration of the Mass, indispensable for clergy and MCs devoted to the Vetus Ordo. I believe Fr. O'Connell also edited various past editions of Fortescue.

Tony V said...

Those of who aren't lucky enough to have a tangible copy of Miss (?) Ellebracht's Remarks can get a virtual one here.

Miss (?) Mohrmann's lectures (Liturgical Latin: Its Origins and Character) seems a little hard to come by, at least on the internet. I was recently in NYC and spent some time in the Public Library, where I was able to photocopy the entire thing with the help of this wonderful thing caled an 'Adobe Scan' app. I didn't do a great job but I'd like to find out if the book (published 1957 by Cath U of America Press) is still under copyright--if not I'd like to upload it to Internet Archive. It's a fantastic book, right up there with Stella Brook's Language of the BCP.

Denys said...

I believe most of his library went to Prinknash Abbey and the monks sold it off when they moved from their 'car park' back to the lovely old Abbey on the hill.

Tony V said...

PS. If you can't get your hands on Mohrmann's English-language essays, her briefer (26 page) essay Le latin liturgique is freely available from Gallica. These back issues of La Maison-Dieu are fascinating, reminding us of the state of the 'liturgical movement' back in the 1940s and 1950s...and what happened after.

William Arthurs said...

On the subject of Fortescue, ed. O'Connell, I could not resist this quotation:

“It is one of the bizarre flukes in authorial reception-history in twentieth century Catholicism that it was precisely for shouldering the ‘hateful burden of verifying in Merati, Martinucci, La Vavasseur, Van der Stappen, what each person does in the course of these interminable ceremonies’ that Adrian Fortescue’s name lingered in the presbyteries of the English-speaking world.” -- Aidan Nichols, The Latin Clerk

Liturgical Latin is still in copyright. I think it was reprinted as a paperback in the US in recent years, though not here in the UK. Thus, my copy, also, is a photocopy of a library copy.

Samuel J. Howard said...

Mohrmann's lectures should not still be in copyright in the United States. Books published from 1923 through 1963 are in the public domain unless their copyright was renewed. No works by Mohrmann are listed in the Stanford database of copyright renewals as having had their copyrights renewed.