“I hope my booklets help deepen liturgical life” – An interview with Abbot Cuthbert Johnson OSB, part 4

In the 4th and final part of his exclusive interview with journalist Peter Jennings, Abbot Cuthbert Johnson OSB reacts to a compliment and talks about working with the CTS.

Peter Jennings: Someone wrote on a blog (this very blog in fact) that your CTS booklet “Participating in the Mass” should be obligatory reading. What is your reaction to this?

Abbot Cuthbert Johnson: I welcome the blogger’s remark as a compliment rather than a call to impose it on anyone. The late Cardinal Virgilio Noe’, former Master of Ceremonies to Pope Paul VI, with whom I worked in the Congregation for Divine Worship, once said to me: “We are not policemen; we are here to serve, to assist the Holy Father and the Church”. It is worth recalling that Cardinal Noe’s father was actually an Italian policeman!

Like every short study this booklet has its limitations. I have tried to write something that will encourage both priests and lay-faithful to deepen their liturgical life. Priests today need to be encouraged. Priests do not have any easy task and the good they do is not always seen or appreciated. If we all try to make improvements, then little by little we will see positive results. But whatever we do it must always be done in such a way that as Saint Benedict says: “In all things God may be glorified”.

Peter Jennings: Finally, I should like to ask you one further question. You have already contributed three booklets published by the CTS about the liturgy. The two titles already mentioned – see below – and a third, “A Simple Guide to the Mass“. Are you working or planning any further publications?

Abbot Cuthbert Johnson: The CTS has dedicated itself in an admirable way to providing for the liturgical needs of the Church in Great Britain.

The quality of these works, especially the edition of the Missal, is evident and a real and lasting contribution to the beautiful character of the liturgy.
Fergal Martin, General Secretary of the CTS, and his staff, have been most helpful to me. I have enjoyed collaborating with them. I have been encouraged to continue to produce more pastoral liturgical publications and am looking forward to starting work on these new projects.

Participating in the Mass is available from the CTS website priced £2.50

Of related interest:

D745 Simple Guide to the Mass – Abbot Cuthbert Johnson OSB, a Consultor to the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, provides a simple and concise guide to the new translation of the Mass introduced by the Church on Sunday, 4 September 2011. Pope Benedict XVI has expressed the wish that the introduction of the new translation will mark the beginning of: “A renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world”.
Participating in the Mass –Abbot Cuthbert Johnson OSB, in this companion to his widely acclaimed CTS booklet Understanding the Roman Missal, provides an informative, step-by-step guide to the celebration of the Mass, to enable the Liturgy to be celebrated with reverence.
Understanding the Roman Missal – the New Translation –A presentation and explanation of the new translation, accompanied by liturgical and spiritual reflections. This presentation and explanation of the new translation is accompanied by a series of liturgical and spiritual reflections.

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