In assessing the nineteenth-century
edition of Dan Jeremy's book, retitled by its editor Thomas Frederick Simmons
The Lay Folks' Mass Book, Ong asserts that Simmons was incorrect
when he presents lay participation in the Mass as destined to die out.
Ong acknowledges that lay participation was certainly threatened during
the Middle Ages by a variety of factors, including Charlemagne's imposition
of ritual that discouraged contributions to the Mass by common people,
an emphasis on the mystery of Christ, distancing the laity from Communion,
the retaining of Latin in the Mass rather than the use of a vernacular
language, and the presence of private devotional literature for the laity's
use during the Mass. Yet, the fact that lay participation exists
at all in Dan Jeremy's book is, according to Ong, as sign of its resilience
rather than its demise.