Category Archives: Decorum

Archbishop Thomas Morris’ Pastoral Letter on Dancing

The Most Rev. Thomas Morris, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, issued the following pastoral letter on dancing on the 2nd September, 1960, and requested the organisers and promoters of dances in his archdiocese to observe the stated principles:

As my office imposes on me a special solicitude for the moral welfare of my flock, I consider that action is necessary with a view to introducing the following principles for the regulation of public dancing in the Archdiocese:

(a) that all dances should end not later than 1 a.m. Summer Time, while Summer Time is in force, and not later than 12 midnight during the remainder of the year;

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Liturgical Reform in Ireland

Many thanks to Jaykay for recounting his experiences of the post-conciliar liturgical reforms:

The new version came in from the first Sunday in January 1970 – at least in Armagh Archdiocese. That would have been Sunday 4th January. I clearly remember that the church was packed. We kids had got our new books just after Christmas (probably again in Woolworths!) and I recall that it was quite confusing as we hadn’t done any of the preparatory stuff in school before Christmas. Even the priests made loads of “mistakes” (and at that time it was still common for older priests to lapse into Latin if they got distracted e.g. to say “Dominus vobis… erm, eh… The Lord be with you…”). Nobody laughed in those days, of course! We had to learn the new versions of the confiteor and Domine non sum dignus (we were still told to strike the breast at the correct places – something me and some people of my generation still do) but otherwise the Ordinary was unchanged – until 1975.

Cardinal Conway was in charge and was quite conservative, so there was very little, if any, “creativity” on the part of priests.  Most of the older priests were also quite conservative so we still had loads of Latin Benedictions, 40 hours, confraternities etc. It really didn’t change until the 80s. It’s still not too bad in my neck of the woods, but the banality is everywhere  e.g. no incense at the main Mass on Easter Sunday and the usual flat, boring “let’s get it over with” attitude. No wonder the average age is about 50+!

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Modesty and Modernity

Boy Meets Girl

The Plain Blunt Man

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