Yesterday in Westminster Cathedral there was a special Mass to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the Pope’s visit to the UK. We took the occasion to present the new Missal to the Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols and Bishop Arthur Roche, chair of both the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL), and the Bishops’ Conference Department for Christian Life and Worship.
It was a great moment for us, to present the result of years of work and have it so well and so gratefully received.
Here is what the General Secretary of the Catholic Truth Society, Mr Fergal Martin said in a short address to those present, summing up how important this project has been for us and what its ultimate aims are.
To publish the Roman Missal is for a Catholic publisher a dream beyond compare – nothing could or has given the CTS such great satisfaction and pleasure, in all its 145 years.
The grace and elegance of the new English translation has greatly inspired the grace and beauty of the volume itself in all its details and in all three Ritual Editions. We truly hope the volume adds beauty to the celebration of the liturgy and plays its small part in calling the faithful to prayer and to faith. If so, we would indeed consider our job well done.
May I introduce key people responsible for the design, editing and production of these volumes, Pierpaolo Finaldi (Glenda Swain and Corre Ruse not here today) who have worked brilliantly and worried too much over its design pages, ribbons, illustrations and covers for over two years. Working with the Bishops and Liturgical Offices of England & Wales, Scotland and Australia, and so many other competent bodies, advisers and clergy has been an inspiring experience of communion – all for God’s glory. I’m sure you’ll want to join in my thanks to them, and so many others.
With great joy, therefore, on behalf of the Catholic Truth Society Publishers, I formally present to you the published Ritual Altar Edition of the Roman Missal – both to you personally here in your Cathedral, (on the day of the first Anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict to the United Kingdom), and simultaneously to all the Bishops of England and Wales to each of whom volumes are being sent as I speak.
I express the sentiments to Bishop Roche in presenting him a copy also, as Chair of the Liturgical Commission and of ICEL.”
And the CTS cropped up again when, in his homily, the Archbishop reflected on the Pope’s visit, quoting a member of staff, Rebecca Binney:
“For me a particularly evocative moment was the Vigil of Prayer in Hyde Park, well captured in these words of one young person:
‘The procession of banners revealed the true depth and role of Catholicism in England today. The line was long and diverse – it brought tears to my eyes to see the effort that everyone puts into living out their belief in the sacred value of each human being….
Pope Benedict spoke to us all of Newman’s witness and living in the light of truth. We all stood listening in a disruption to our daily routine that appeared like a wonderful moral and spiritual boost, sent to prepare us for an inspired return into secular society with our own unique God-given mission.
At Adoration, the altar was covered in stars like another night sky and the figure of our Supreme Pontiff stood like the most beautiful moonbeam, with the Eucharist held aloft as the greatest treasure.
As one, we knelt and stood at the instigation of our Holy Father and it felt truly as though we were all one heart, in that field with no roof: one body of worship and a witness to the world around of the great power of love in our faith’ (Rebecca Binney)
Those words, I suggest, sum up the gift and challenge we have received. Yes, we are to be effective witnesses in our society; and we can only be so if we are close to the Lord, strengthened by him in holiness of life.”
You can see other photos of the presentation and the whole Mass here and listen to the whole homily by playing the video below.