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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Gems from Adrian Fortescue

'The old Roman rite, in spite of its dignity and archaic simplicity, had the disadvantage of being dull.'

'And the practice of saying a Low Mass while the choir sings bits of things is too dreadful to be described.'

'Certainly we in the West may be very glad that we have the Roman rite in the form of Pius V's missal.'

'The prejudice that imagines that everything Eastern must be old is a mistake. All Eastern rites have been modified later too; some of them quite late. No Eastern rite now used is so archaic as the Roman Mass.'

The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy (London, 1930 [1912]), pp.184, 191 n.1, 208, 213 n.3.

A triumph of scholarship unaffected by partisanship, while wearing its opinions unashamedly on its sleeve. (And O for the days when 'archaic' was a Good Thing!)