Today is a first class feast in all diocese of England & Wales, according to the Church's 1962 calendar, of the martyrs St John Fisher and St Thomas More. St Mary's Shrine is blessed to have an English Martyrs Chapel with statues of these two formidable saints.
We are fortunate to have been given several old missals from local parishes which have the full Mass texts for the English feasts (pro aliquibus locis).
Although glad to have these old missals, it was a shock to turn the page to the Canon and discover how it has been defaced. It is never pleasant to see markings made in a sacred book, and the ones photographed below are particularly sad.
The three signs of the Cross in the Te igitur have been reduced to one. The five signs of the Cross in the Unde et memores have all been scratched out, even though these blessings signify the Five Wounds of Christ. The rubric 'osculatur altar', which instructs the priest to kiss the altar during the Supplices te,has been crossed out, though the altar signifies Christ and contains relics of His saints. The instruction to genuflect after the Per quem haec omnia has been erased, although our Lord is present on the altar. And whereas translations have been inserted for some prayers, the amount of crossing out within these English versions demonstrates how difficult it is to find stable formulas in the vernacular. This is partly because we are so sensitive to nuance in our mother tongue, whereas Latin, as a 'dead' language, is practically immune from generational changes in taste.