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Monday, 7 July 2008

English Oratories and the Liturgy

Last week, the New Liturgical Movement posted a link to an article written by Fr Guy Nicholls of the Birmingham Oratory on "The Contribution of the Oratories to the Liturgical Life of England." (pdf 177kb)

This is an outstanding article in many respects. First of all, it overturns the nonsense that is sometimes spouted, that the liturgical life of the English Orataries is somehow not in accord with the spirit of St Philip Neri. It is also a most conciliatory article, comparing the liturgy and the architecture of the various English Oratories without any of the rancour that is supposed to be prevalent. There is a fascinating comparison of the translations of St Alphonsus' hymn “Viva, viva, Gesú”. Edward Caswall, a disciple of Newman, gave us the stately "Glory be to Jesus" while Fr Faber gave us the more soupy "Hail, Jesus, Hail!" (which was sung in my parish last Saturday after our Missa Cantata.) "Soupy" was not an adjective Fr Guy used, I hasten to add!

Fr Nicholls' expertise in theology and liturgy is accompanied by his musical skill and knowledge - this paper, which I was glad to discover, is a gem and I recommend it to you.
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