The new Missal: the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

There is great diversity in our Church – legitimate diversity, even within the Roman rite. As a small example, my experience this morning: First I attended the morning mass at St Phillip’s, Blackburn North, where Fr Dillon celebrated a Low Mass for the Dead in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. I downloaded the iMass app on my iPhone to guide me along the way (although the rubrics in the iMass don’t tell me when to sit, stand and kneel: can readers please give me a bit of advice on this?). It was, of course, all in Latin except for the closing prayers, and much of it inaudible. I reflected on how in the East the Divine Liturgy is shrouded from sight by the Iconastasis, while in the West a similar impulse of respect for this great mystery led to an audible shrouding in silence.

Then I hopped in my little blue car and tootled off to St Benedict’s in Burwood, where the Archbishop was opening and blessing the new Seminary building for the Missionaries of God’s Love. As fits with their charismatic charism, it was all guitars and clapping to the singing – quite a contrast with my earlier experience (it wasn’t, of course, a mass). Yet the two common denominators with both experiences was: young men in the priesthood or answering the call to the priesthood, and orthodox Catholicism. Thus we see two complementary faces of the future of the Church here in Australia.

And now, here are the propers for the coming week from the new Roman Missal:

Entrance Antiphon:
(cf. Psalm 87 (88):3)
Let my prayer come into your presence.
Incline your ear to my cry for help, O Lord.

Collect
Almighty and merciful God,
graciously keep from us all adversity,
so that, unhindered in mind and body alike,
we may pursue in freedom of heart
the things that are yours.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Prayer over the Offerings
Look with favour, we pray, O Lord,
upon the sacrificial gifts offered here,
that, celebrating in mystery the Passion of your Son,
we may honour it in loving devotion.
Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon
(cf. Psalm 22 (23):1-2)
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose,
near restful waters he leads me.

Or:
(Luke 24:35)
The disciples recognised the Lord Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

Prayer after Communion
Nourished by this sacred gift, O Lord,
we give you thanks and beseech your mercy,
that, by the pouring forth of your Spirit,
the grace of integrity may endure
in those your heavenly power has entered.
Through Christ our Lord.

Latin

Antiphona ad Introitum:
(cf. Psalm 87 (88):3)
Intret orátio mea in conspéctu tuo;
inclína aurem tuam ad precem meam, Dómine.

Collecta
Omnípotens et miséricors Deus,
univérsa nobis adversántia propitiátus exclúde,
ut, mente et córpore páriter expedíti,
quae tua sunt líberis méntibus exsequámur.
Per Dominum…

Super oblata
Sacrifíciis praeséntibus, Dómine,
quaesumus, inténde placátus,
ut, quod passiónis Fílii tui mystério gérimus,
pio consequámur afféctu.
Per Christum…

Ant. ad communionem
(cf. Psalm 22 (23):1-2)
Dóminus regit me, et nihil mihi déerit;
in loco páscuae ibi me collocávit,
super aquam refectiónis educávit me.
Vel:
(Luke 24:35)
Cognovérunt discípuli Dóminum Iesum in fractióne panis.

Post communionem
Grátias tibi, Dómine, reférimus sacro múnere vegetáti,
tuam cleméntiam implorántes,
ut, per infusiónem Spíritus tui,
in quibus caeléstis virtus introívit,
sinceritátis grátia persevéret.
Per Christum…

Old ICEL

Entrance Antiphon:
(cf. Psalm 87 (88):3)
Let my prayer come before you, Lord;
listen, and answer me.

Opening Prayer
God of power and mercy,
protect us from all harm.
Give us freedom of spirit
and health in mind and body
to do your work on earth.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Prayer over the Gifts
God of mercy,
in this Eucharist we proclaim the death of the Lord.
Accept the gifts we present
and help us follow him with love,
for he is Lord for ever and ever.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon
(cf. Psalm 22 (23):1-2)
The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
In green pastures he gives me rest,
he leads me beside the water of peace.

Or:
(Luke 24:35)
The disciples recognised the Lord Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

Prayer after Communion
Lord,
we thank you for the nourishment you give us through your holy gift.
Pour out your Spirit upon us
and in the strength of this food from heaven
keep us single-minded in your service.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

COMMENTS

Not a great deal that is new to comment on in this week’s propers. We see the same translation idiosyncrasies in both Old and New ICEL. The Entrance Antiphon in the new Missal is from the Revised Grail Psalter, with the addition of “for help, O Lord” at the end. The antiphon in the Missale Romanum is not quite the same as the verse in the New Vulgate which has “Intret in conspectu tuo oratio mea” instead of the Missal’s “Intret orátio mea in conspéctu tuo”. The “Dominum” is there in the Missale Romanum (hence that addition), but I am not sure why the new Missal added “for help”, as it isn’t really there in the Latin (which uses “prayer” (“prex”) rather than “cry”). If any change was to be made to the RG translation, a simple exchange of “prayer” for “cry” could have been used. In any case, the second line is closer to the words of the Psalm than the Old ICEL’s “listen, and answer me”. It retains the Hebrew anthropomorphism of God “inclining” his “ear”, which I think is a rather nice and strong image.

Once again, as last week, we get “Almighty and merciful God” instead of “God of power and mercy”. Once again the Collect, in the original Latin and in the new ICEL, has images of running the race, asking that we can “pursue” “unhindered” the “things that are [God’s]” (“quae tua”). Old ICEL completely obliterated this image as usual, and “your work on earth” again unreasonably narrowed the meaning of “quae tua”. While the new translation is accurate, I do think that the two phrases beginning “in” (“in mind and body” and “in freedom of heart”) could have been varied for greater understanding and better cadence along the lines of

so that, unhindered in mind and body alike,
we may pursue with hearts set free
the things that are yours.

In the Prayer over the Offerings, the notions of “sacrifice” and “mystery” are restored to the English translation. “[I]n this Eucharist we proclaim the death of the Lord” simply is not a translation of “quod passiónis Fílii tui mystério gérimus”. The “passion of [the] Son” is more than just “the death of the Lord”, as it embraces the whole Paschal Mystery, and that Paschal “Mystery” is celebrated in the “mystery” of the Sacrament (note that the Greeks have always called the sacraments the “mysteries”).

The first Communion antiphon is exactly the translation in the Revised Grail, which, to be honest, is not a strict translation of the Latin text. The second Communion antiphon from Luke 24:35 is exactly the same as in the old translation and both are good translations of the Latin (not much that could go wrong in such a simple sentence).

Finally, in the Prayer after Communion, both the Old and New ICEL use “nourish” to translate “vegeto”. It is funny that in English, “vegetate” has come to mean lying dormant and inactive, whereas in Latin it means “to arouse, enliven, quicken, animate, invigorate” (LS). Any of those words might have been stronger than “nourish”, which I think is a little overused in the new translation. The prayer really doesn’t refer to “food from heaven”, as in Old ICEL, but “heavenly strength (“virtus”)”, nor does it ask so much for “single-mindedness” in God’s service (Old ICEL) but rather the “grace of sincerity” (or “integrity” as in the New ICEL). Note once again that the word “grace” was not translated in Old ICEL.

A final word. Fr Corrigan, on his blog, commented about the various printed editions of the new Roman Missal, and addressed the question of “phrasing”. This is, without doubt, an important consideration for priests as they begin to use the new corrected translation. It strikes me that this is the case with the Post-Communion prayer, which has many separate ideas in it. Of course, many priests will read it off without giving attention to the sense of the prayer, but if you do, Father, what will you emphasise in order to get the sense across to people who – at this stage – don’t have printed missals before them?

May I suggest:

Nourished by this sacred gift, O Lord,
we give you thanks
and beseech your mercy,
that, by the pouring forth of your Spirit,
the grace of integrity
may endure in those your heavenly power has entered.
Through Christ our Lord.

(BTW, Fr Corrigan might like to change his “about me” page, which still proclaims him as a “transitional deacon”. He has well and truly transitted!).

About Schütz

I am Catholic, married to Cathy, father of Maddy & Mia. Since 2002, I have been the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. I was once a Lutheran pastor, but a "year of grace" and soul-searching led me into the Catholic Church. It was a bumpy ride, but with the support of my (still Lutheran) wife, I was finally confirmed on June 16, 2003.
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32 Responses to The new Missal: the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

  1. Joshua says:

    Dear David,

    As to posture at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, it must first be noted that there was little prescribed as to the posture of the congregation (as opposed to what was often minutely appointed for the priest especially), and so local custom is the general guide. (For example, in Bavaria, the young Ratzinger would have knelt during the Offertory, whereas in Australia one sits at that point.)

    If at a Low Mass, the custom in Australia, so far as I have observed it in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney and so on, is to:
    – kneel in prayer before Mass, as is right;
    – stand when the priest enters;
    – kneel when he begins the prayers, and remain kneeling till the Epistle;
    – sit for the Epistle (it may be instead the custom to remain kneeling);
    – stand for the Gospel (not at the Alleluia, but when the priest arrives at the gospel side of the altar to begin reading the Gospel itself, or when he genuflects in passing across from one side to the other);
    – sit for the sermon, if there is one;
    – stand for the Creed if it is read, genuflecting when the priest does;
    – if there has been a Creed, remain standing for the Dominus vobiscum at the start of the Offertory, otherwise remain seated;
    – sit for the Offertory and all through the Preface;
    – kneel as soon as the Sanctus begins (as the bell is rung), and remain kneeling until it is time to go up to the rails to receive Communion (if receiving);
    – after Communion, remain kneeling at least until the priest has finished the ablutions and returned the ciborium, if used, to the tabernacle, and usually remain kneeling thereafter also;
    – kneel for the blessing;
    – stand for the Last Gospel, genuflecting when the priest does;
    – kneel for the Leonine Prayers (if used);
    – stand when the priest leaves the altar;
    – it is a good thing to kneel down and pray afterward also.

    In other words, at Low Mass, the default posture is kneeling: one only stands for the Gospels and the Creed; during the Epistle and Offertory in particular, one may sit. Amusingly, when at Ordinary Form Mass in Scotland, I found that the locals still more or less followed these rules!

    (All this, be it noted, is what is customary at Low Mass here in Australia – strictly speaking, one of the last pre-Conciliar changes, in 1961 or thereabouts, was to conform the posture of the people at Low Mass to what is the custom at High Mass, mutatis mutandis, but that late change seems not to have been made here, or rather it was swept up in the rash of changes that followed, with the result that posture at Low Mass, for those who go to it, remains what it was prior to that. In my first encounters with the older form of Mass, I sometimes overzealously did as that instruction directed, but found that no one else did, and decided not to be pedantic but to observe the local practice instead.)

    At High Mass, the posture of the congregation is rather different, and more closely corresponds to the parts of the liturgy (hence the intention of that late, abortive change in what was directed for the congregation to observe at Low Mass):
    – normally, one would spend some time kneeling in prayer before Mass;
    – stand for the entry of the clergy and ministers, during the chanting of the Introit (assuming that this is not the principal Sunday Mass, which would be preceded by the Asperges);
    – kneel during their prayers at the foot of the altar;
    – stand when the priest advances up the altar steps;
    – remain standing, unless and until the priest goes to the sedilia during the singing of the Gloria in excelsis, in which case remain sitting while he does;
    – stand (from when the priest returns to the altar) until the end of the Collect (either he remains there to sing the Epistle himself, or, at Solemn High Mass, the subdeacon will sing it, and the priest will go to the sedilia, in which case sit when he sits);
    – sit during the Epistle, Gradual and Alleluia, until the sacred ministers are about to sing the Gospel (either the priest at the altar, or the deacon on the north side of the sanctuary);
    – stand for the Gospel (remain standing until the priest has kissed the gospel-text (and been censed), and has either gone to sit down, or has ascended the pulpit);
    – sit for the sermon;
    – stand for the Creed, genuflecting at the Incarnatus est, and sitting if and when the priest does so;
    – by custom, either stand or sit when the priest sings Dominus vobiscum at the start of the Offertory;
    – sit for the Offertory;
    – stand when the thurifer comes to cense the congregation, bowing to him when he bows to the people before and after censing them;
    – stand when the priest sings the Secret’s ecphonesis Per omnia sæcula sæculorum and on through the following Sursum corda dialogue and the Preface itself;
    – kneel as soon as the Sanctus begins;
    – stand once the Canon is completed with its Amen, and the priest sings Oremus in preface to the Lord’s Prayer;
    – kneel once the Agnus Dei begins, and remain kneeling until and unless one goes up to the altar rails to receive Communion;
    – remain kneeling at least until the sacred vessels have been purified afterward, and remaining Hosts are reposed in the tabernacle (then one may sit);
    – stand when the priest sings Dominus vobiscum in preparation to chant the Postcommunion, and remain standing until the blessing;
    – kneel for the blessing;
    – immediately stand for the Last Gospel, and genuflect when the priest does so;
    – remain standing as the clergy and ministers depart the altar;
    – it is pious to kneel in prayer afterward.

    On penitential days, and in penitential seasons, the rule is to kneel, not stand, for the Collect and Postcommunion.

    As to posture in the sanctuary, some apparently strange rules can apply, such as to kneel during the Canon until after the elevation of the chalice – and then to stand for the remainder of the Canon!

    Sorry for so long a list of apparently finicky details; as Fortescue noted long ago, it is far more tedious to enumerate and describe all such points than actually to observe them. In both cases, whether at Low or High Mass, the ethos of the service unfolds to one familiar with it, and the various changes of posture make good sense in context.

    It may be readily observed how the posture at High Mass, simplified to match the simplification of the Roman liturgy, lies behind the prescribed posture at Ordinary Form Mass today – with sensible alterations, such as standing for the Prayer over the Oblations and the Orate fratres immediately before it, which were not all said aloud in the older form; and minor changes, such as standing to sing the Sanctus and Agnus Dei, since it is easier to sing while standing I suppose. (I recall that in Ireland, it is or was still the case, by local adaptation, that the Penitential Act was done kneeling, just as in the older form of the Mass, and likewise the people knelt to be blessed at the end of the liturgy. Of course, at the Cathedral in Melbourne, the celebrant, assistants and people still sit during a long choral Gloria, whatever the rubrics may say.)

  2. matthias says:

    David you can pick up a copy of THE ORDER OF THE MASS -The Missal of Blessed John XXIII from Fidelity Books in Ormond ,if you have not got one yet. I take it that Fr Dillon is going to have the EF quite regularly at St Phillips .
    As for your comment about the prayers being inaudible,Michael Sternbeck -the perosn who prepared the above book ,says that “The Low Mass had its origin as a private Mass celebrated by a priest;assisted by a minister,no congregation was present.” Perhaps this might be one reason.
    There isa prayer-from the Syriac Ritez- at the back of the above book that I always say to myself ,when kneeling after Mass.” Remain in peace O divine and holy altar of the Lord,I know not if i shall return to you again or no. Grant to me O Lord that i may see you one day in the heavely company of thos ehwo have gone before me ,and of this I have firm hope” It goes on further but it reminds me of Who’s Presence i have been in and that when i go out from Mass He is with me

  3. John Nolan says:

    It’s interesting watching what people do during High Mass in the EF (the same applies to a Missa Cantata). Some treat it as a Low Mass and kneel for most of it. Others adopt the Novus Ordo postures. As far as I know everybody should stand after the elevation of the Chalice, not just the sanctuary party. It was long the custom in France to stand for the elevations. Hilaire Belloc was doing this in Westminster Cathedral when a verger tapped him on the shoulder and reminded him that it was customary to kneel at this point. “Go to hell!” snarled Belloc. “I’m sorry, sir”, replied the verger, “I didn’t realize you were a Catholic”.

    • Peter says:

      Wonderful stuff John!
      Why’ O why have the writings and wisdom of Belloc dropped off the radar?
      The man is a legend.

      • Stephen K says:

        Yes, Peter, it’s a fun story, but it also reveals partly the reason why Belloc is off-screen today: he wasn’t apparently particularly attractive in his dealings with people who crossed him. Belloc’s romanticism led him to espouse hypotheses and hyperbole (“Europe is the Faith”) that doesn’t fit contemporary post world war temper or perception. I personally get entertained by some of his essays (“On Mowing a Field”) and some of his verse (“Lines to a Don”) but can see why what traditionalists admire as robustness can also be reduced to mere pugnaciousness. He reminds me a little of a pro-Catholic version of Richard Dawkins. For those who think Catholicism or Christianity needs more of his style and ideas today, I simply remind readers that he was an anti-Dreyfusard and what the world needs now is love not biffo.

        • Peter says:

          I take your point Stephen,however,Belloc also said something along the lines that the future of Europe depended on it’s allegiance to the Church of Rome.
          Well Europe has largely turned it’s back on the Church of Rome and is now,by any measure,a basket case-economically,socially and spiritually.
          Yes he did call a spade a shovel,but he was usually correct.
          As for some biffo,well I would have thought there is no shortage of individuals and groups who should at least be delivered some intellectual biffo.I would start with those who are actively trying to remove religious influence and practice from the public square.

    • Joshua says:

      Dear John,

      I’d be interested to know where you attend High Mass, since of course the customs do vary from place to place and country to country.

      • John Nolan says:

        Dear Joshua,

        Various places in the UK, although quite often as part of the schola cantorum. I didn’t know about standing after the Elevation of the Chalice until I came across it on a usually authoritive US website.

    • matthias says:

      Ther first EF i went to- on the Day of Pentecost this year- chap in front sat all the way through ,in an attitude of prayer with his 1962 Missal opened and only stood to go up to receive the Blessed Sacrament at the altar rails.

  4. matthias says:

    Well said Peter. I would and do give biffo to those who say “leave religion out of politics” like the young woman from the Sex party who had that on her election pamphlets and i said ” well you are a hypocrite ,because you are operating from your own secular humanistic and hedonistic paradigm ,and people with faith operate from theirs”. She backtracked said she was an Anglican ,and said it should be about a Church or churches being involved in politics and no spearation of Church and State.

  5. Joshua says:

    Essay topic: Compare and contrast the Catholic witness of Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton.

    While there is a push to get the latter canonized, there is no such move I’ve heard of for the former.

  6. John Nolan says:

    Belloc was a genius and a heroic defender of the Faith. When he stood (successfully) for Parliament in the Liberal interest in 1906 he told his electors, many of whom would have been Nonconformists: “I am a Catholic. Whenever possible I hear Mass every day. This is a Rosary. Every day I tell these beads”. To compare him with Dawkins is absurd. Apart from anything else he had a sense of humour. Once when dining in the company of a Jesuit and a well-known atheist the latter asked him, in what would nowadays be termed a wind-up: “Mr Belloc, can a man of your intelligence really believe that a piece of bread can become the body of Christ?” To which Belloc replied: “I would believe it to become an elephant if the Church told me so”. The Jesuit was profoundly shocked.

    When AN Wilson published his excellent biography of Belloc the contributors to a TV review programme kept harping on about his anti-semitism, but this needs to be seen in the context of the man and his time, in particular his disillusionment with politics and the ethics of big business in the wake of the Marconi scandal. To the end of his life he believed Dreyfus to have been guilty (I part company with him here) but he also believed the French Revolution to have been a good thing (I can’t go along with this, either).

    Faced with today’s challenges, when mainstream Christianity seems characterized above all by soppy sentimentality of the “what the world needs now is love” variety – not surprisingly, this is a pop-song lyric – we badly need Belloc’s robustness.

    Heretics all, whoever you be,
    In Tarbes or Nimes or over the sea,
    You never shall have good words from me;
    Caritas non conturbat me.

    But Catholic men who live upon wine
    Are deep in the water and frank and fine;
    Wherever I travel I find it so.
    Benedicamus Domino.

    That said, I’m going to open a bottle of claret and drink to his memory. Requiescat in pace.

    • Schütz says:

      Dawkins has no sense of humour at all. Full stop. Period. If you don’t believe me, google Dawkins and “Andrew Denton” and watch what happens when he comes face to face with some one who does.

      • Stephen K says:

        David, you may be right that Dawkins has no sense of humour. Belloc certainly had, but not everything he said “robustly” was an example of it. (It’s highly arguable whether the examples so far offered fit into that category either). The quality of humour is no doubt nuanced by such things as intent and seriousness.

        No, when I said Belloc reminded me – a little – of Dawkins, I had in mind what might be termed his “apologetic bell(o)cosity” (LOL).

    • Stephen K says:

      John, your defence of Belloc illustrates, amongst other things, what I would describe as his boyish exuberance. His response to the atheist was a perfect example of his romanticism regarding the Church and, in my view, not a particularly witty one.

      It is true his attitudes and his anti-semitism can be contextualised, but to do so does not necessarily justify them.

      Peter originally asked why he had dropped off the radar. I think my answer still holds – his attitude and conclusions do not fit well with latter 20th century modes of thought or expression. Put simply, he is “dated” to a significant extent. Only traditionalist romantics like you – and I was once one – think he makes a good mascot now.

      This is not to say he should not be read: he was certainly a gifted writer, and a journey into his world has its fascinations and historical lessons. But his virtue or eligibility for eulogy or sainthood is not self-evident.

      Incidentally, what part of “what the world needs now is love” do you disagree with?

      • John Nolan says:

        Stephen, all of it; its provenance as a trite pop-lyric, its flower-power vacuousness reminiscent of John Lennon at his worst, the fact that it’s platitudinous to the extent of being meaningless – I could go on.

        The reasons you give for Belloc’s comparative neglect are, of course, correct. Whether this is an indictment of his views or of “latter 20th century modes of thought or expression” is a matter of opinion.

        • Stephen K says:

          Actually, it was Jackie DeShannon, not John Lennon (his was “All You need is Love”).

          A saying only becomes a platitude if it isn’t backed up by commitment and action. I am sure that if Francis of Assisi said these very words, you would disagree with none of it.

          • John Nolan says:

            And if my aunt had wheels, she’d be a bicycle. The problem with modern popular culture is that it confuses sentimentality with sentiment, and is subjective and solipsistic. Politics and the media are awash with platitudes which are essentially empty statements made to seem important. Belloc is of a different stamp – his Catholicism has balls.

            • Stephen K says:

              So, John, what you’re saying is if Francis of Assisi said “what the world needs now is love”, you’d disagree. Well, that clears that up then.

              As for your second statement, it’s wonderfully alliterative but I’ll have to ask you to explain it. I’m not at all sure it means anything either. You criticise modern culture for mistaking sensitivity (“sentimentality”) for personal feeling (“sentiment”) and then for being “subjective”. I’d have thought all are aspects rooted in the thinking, feeling person, whatever stance they take.

              I’m therefore not sure you’re not guilty of an empty statement made to seem important yourself.

              Finally, my only comment on the character of Belloc’s Catholicism is that I think you’ve under-described it: it was not merely testicular but positively rampant. He clearly thought of himself as a latter day crusader fighting battles for the restoration of the Catholic Empire, a concept positively rejected by many Catholics and other Christians as an oxymoron.

        • Peter says:

          John,I suspect it is a product of the soggy “be nice to everybody/don’t offend anybody”philosophy that prevails in so called western democracies at present.
          This of course does not apply to christians who are still fair game for offence and having their beliefs and practices attacked.
          Being from the U.K. and a fan of Belloc,you may also be a fan of Theodore Dalrymple and have read his recent book Spoilt Rotten.He nails most of what is wrong with the world brilliantly.

          • John Nolan says:

            Peter, I couldn’t agree more.

          • Stephen K says:

            Peter, what do you mean by “soggy”? And are you saying you don’t agree with the laws prohibiting racial vilification, or sexual discrimination etc? Isn’t it true that states of all kinds and times have generally set in place some kind of restrictions on what is said? If you could wave your own magic wand, what things would you prohibit or discourage as giving offense to you and yours?

            I think of the place for manners. I grew up with a book called “Mind Your Manners, Young Man!” We were accustomed to standing for the elderly, for women, opening doors, keeping quiet until spoken to, saying “Please”, “Thank you” and “Sorry”. Weren’t these things part of the fabric of not giving offence? Or, at least, of not rushing, Belloc-like so to speak, to the centre of the playground with fists at the ready?

            My argument is not for you to be offended, or to encourage others to offend you, but simply that Belloc is seen by many as fitting in very well with those elements of culture which see confrontation and offence as the default position. By all means share his emotional attachment to the Church if you wish, but why his style?

  7. Peregrinus says:

    Both Belloc and Chesterton are out of fashion. There is too much wicked truth in Thomas Sturge Moore’s criticism of their rolling-English-drunkard style (“two buttocks of one bum”). Chesterton retains some interest because of his more developed economic and social theories, but I’m afraid Belloc will be best remembered for the Cautionary Tales, which are a masterwork. In the end, he did more for comic verse than he did for Catholicism.

    • John Nolan says:

      Yes, and George Orwell rubbished Chesterton, mainly on account of the latter’s Catholicism. Both HB and GKC were out of tune with the intellectual currents of the inter-war years, which now seem more dated than either of them.

  8. matthias says:

    Thanks for sharing your new Missal with me yesterday at Mass at st phillips . I will certainly make that my Church for Sunday Mass attendance .

  9. John Nolan says:

    Stephen K

    Sentimentality is not the same as sensitivity. Some Victorian religious sentiment comes dangerously close to it (even Faber was not immune) and the same charge can be made against some aspects of Franciscan spirituality, although the passage of several centuries has mollified it. Popular culture (especially popular music) delivers instant gratification on a superficial level but is essentially meretricious and debases everything it comes into contact with (a good example is the effect it has had on the liturgy).

    The hysterical outpouring of synthetic grief when Princess Diana died was nauseating, as was the way it was stoked up by the media and opportunist politicians. I hope Australia escaped this, because it made me feel ashamed to be British. If you want to add ‘elitist’ to ‘romantic’ and ‘traditionalist’, feel free to do so. I am one with Horace here: Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.

    • Stephen K says:

      Yes, John, but his next words are “favete linguis”(!)

      Anyway, I agree with you on the Diana aftermath: it did seem out of all proportion.

  10. John Nolan says:

    I shall leave the last words to Belloc, commenting on a case regarding the Church of England. “The controversy was ended by His Lordship who wrote to the incumbent ordering him to remove all illegal ornaments at once, and especially ‘a Female Figure with a Child’ “.

    The Ballade of Illegal Ornaments

    When that the Eternal deigned to look
    On us poor folk to make us free,
    He chose a Maiden whom He took
    From Nazareth in Galilee;
    Since when the islands of the sea,
    The field, the city, and the wild
    Proclaim aloud triumphantly
    A Female Figure with a Child.

    These mysteries profoundly shook
    The Reverend Dr Leigh DD,
    Who therefore stuck into a nook
    (Or niche) in his incumbency
    An image filled with majesty
    To represent the Undefiled,
    The Universal Mother – She –
    A Female Figure with a Child.

    His Bishop, having read a book
    Which proved as plain as plain can be
    That all the mutts had been mistook
    Who talked about the Trinity,
    Wrote off at once to Dr Leigh
    In manner very far from mild,
    And said: “Remove them instantly!
    A Female Figure with a Child!”

    Envoi

    Prince Jesus, in mine Agony,
    Permit me, broken and defiled,
    Through blurred and glazing eyes to see
    A Female Figure with a Child.

    Sentiment? Yes. Sentimentality? Definitely not. I rest my case.

  11. Antonia Romanesca says:

    Hi David,

    great you are supporting the MOGLs – I suspect you meant ‘complementary’ however! [smiles] You are doing such great work, down there in Civilisation. Yes, it is wonderful that John Corrigan has been ordained. Terrific quote from Trollope. Dawkins was so horrible to an orthodox Jew who runs a schule in London – accused him of child abuse, cos he taught Genesis and Exodus to the kids. The Jew was a model of equanimity [how did he do it?!] and Dawkins, having lost his temper and coloured up [presumably because of the Jew’s intransigence, heightened by the fact that Dawkins was not in a zoology class] just behaved like a foul tempered, bratty, self pampering, mama-indulged, silly git. Deff. not my concept of an Anglican gent. Certainly the proof of the pudding, was in the viewing of his “interview” of that London Jew. Brilliant zoology teacher tho – saw him teaching – pity he didn’t stick with it full time and not tinker.

  12. Joshua says:

    It is sad that one so gifted in a particular science is so embarrassingly unaware of how he instantiates the “expert fallacy” – thinking himself master of a field not his own.

    Unfortunately, he and Stephen Fry share a horror of religion which seems not unconnected to their self-understanding of their sexual orientation.

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