Abbot Cuthbert Johnson’s booklet Understanding the Roman Missal was very well received when it was published earlier in the year. Here, he explains the differences between that one and his new booklets which he sees as companions to it. He points out that they were written to coincide with the priests and people getting used to the new English translation of the Mass, and tells of how the success of his first text was a springboard to writing more, looking at different aspects and consequences of the changes to the Liturgy.
The first booklet Understanding the Roman Missal was written before the texts of the Order of Mass came into use. There had been some concerns about the new translation of the third edition of the Latin Roman Missal which was published in 2002. Since these concerns were dealt with in publications by those who had been more closely involved in the preparation of the texts, it seemed more appropriate for me, as a monk and liturgist, to prepare a more directly liturgical and spiritual commentary in preparation for the introduction of the new text.
It would appear that this small work was much appreciated and I was encouraged to write similar works as part of the catechetical preparation for the introduction of the full Missal in Advent. The Simple Guide to the Mass is designed to be read in the light of the experience of the Order of Mass which was introduced last week. It is similar in style to the booklet Understanding the Roman Missal and is a companion to it. Several of the points touched upon in the first booklet are developed in this short and concise study of the Mass.
The third booklet Participating in the Mass, Celebrating the Liturgy with dignity and beauty is meant to provide practical assistance to both clergy and lay faithful to ensure a celebration of the liturgy which is both spiritually enriching and aesthetically pleasing. Many people have felt that the beautiful dimension of liturgical worship has been undervalued. This work, which could be described as a guide to the art of celebration, should make a contribution to the restoration of what some have described as the “loss of a sense of mystery”.
All of them are available from the CTS website.
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