From the Revd Geoffrey Squire
Sir, - Your report "Liturgy 'needs poetry and formality'" (
News, 26 July) refers to congregational spoken responses' being
described as "really weird". I am not sure if "weird" is the right
word; but I agree that said responses can be very odd and very
When attending an ecumenical do in another part of the country,
I was provided with B&B at the local Roman Catholic presbytery.
When I arrived, the elderly Irish priest came to the door to greet
me. His young assistant priest was behind him, and got into
uncontrollable laughter. They later explained what it was all
In the week beforehand, they had attended the enthronement of
the new Anglican Bishop, and noted that the Dean greeted him at the
west door with the words "In the name of the Lord we greet you,"
before having to drag the said response in the same words from the
people. These two priests said that Anglican liturgy was usually
good, but that this was appalling.
Then, the previous night, they had heard the same thing again at
the induction of a C of E priest.
The young priest asked his senior colleague whether, because I
was an Anglican, he should greet me with those words, which they
kept repeating, as they seemed so weird.
In France, I heard the Divine Praises sung together to a simple
little chant. How much better than the priest's solemnly saying
something and then the people's repeating it in copycat
And how much more united the people were when it was the
tradition to chant or sing the creeds rather than say them.
Advertisers know that if you wish people to remember something, you
set it to a simple tune.
It needs the International Consultation on English Texts (ICET)
to explore matters like this ecumenically.
Little Cross, Goodleigh
Devon EX32 7NR
From the Revd Paul Hutchinson
Sir, - Your report on the "Worship 2013" conference lists
"bishops, archdeacons, cathedral canons, and parish priests" as
attending the conference. But there were laity present, too. Lay
liturgists, musicians (from the RSCM and elsewhere), diocesan
officials, publishers, and Readers.
Fr Edward Foley OFM Cap may be correct in asserting that
leitourgia is an act of service for the public, but the
work of the liturgy is by no means restricted to the clergy.
The Rectory, Leven Close
N. Yorks TS9 5AP