In the 1970s, as the Episcopal Church was preparing to inflict a watered-down version of the Prayer Book on a laity that did not want it, as ascertained in a Gallup Poll, William F. Buckley Jr., an architect of contemporary American conservatism, wrote this column on the revision of the liturgy. His rapier pen cut to the heart of the matter.
New Liturgists: Lord, they know not what they do
As a Catholic, I have abandoned hope for the liturgy, which, in the typical American church, is as ugly and as maladroit as if it had been composed by Robert Ingersoll and H. L. Mencken for the purpose of driving people away. The modern liturgists are doing a remarkably good job, attendance at Catholic mass on Sunday having dropped sharply in the 10 years since a few well-meaning cretins got hold of the power to vernacularize the mass, and the money to scour the earth in search of the most unmusical men and women to preside over the translation.
THE NEXT liturgical ceremony conducted primarily...