November 20, 2011

Seven Days Till Missal Launch

It is now one week before the revised English translation is implemented in dioceses throughout the United States. I for one say, "OK let's get this going."  I have refrained from writing about the revised texts basically because I have been heavily involved with these texts for a long time. I have working on them on the parish and diocesan level for a few years. Since Advent of 2009 I have been writing articles and blurbs in our bulletin about the texts. I will, as of this coming Tuesday, have presented twelve sessions on the Missal in several parishes, certainly not as many as some of my colleagues but it was a significant number. I have written two brief articles on the revision published by Liturgy Training Publication. I have traveled around the country attending workshops conducted by the Bishops Committee on Divine Worship and the Federation of Diocesan Federation of Liturgy Commission. You could say I have been immersed in the Missal.

The workshops I attended were fun and I learned a lot from some of those who were on the ground level of preparing the texts. Presenting workshops was fun as well and I did not hear many objections to the texts from those in attendance, which is a good thing.  I must admit that when I first saw the "green book," the original texts that the bishops had to work with, I did not care for the texts at all. But over the years in following the debates, reading revisions and more revisions, studying them, and most of all, praying with the texts, I have come to appreciate the beauty in them. They are poetic, sacred, and express important theological terms and concepts much better than the current text.

Today at Mass, our priests briefly spoke about the texts. The pastor even practiced "And with your spirit" with the people. I am excited!  I confess I have already been saying the new texts softly for the past few months, but I am sure I too will need to glance at the laminated pew cards we will have tucked in with the missallettes.  As I wrote in our bulletin this week, and as our priests mentioned at Mass, we will need to be patient with our priests, for while in reality only a few words in the prayers  we in the assembly will pray are changing, for the priests there are significant changes, and they will have to have their eyes glued to the texts for awhile.  Also there are less instances where they could use "these or similar words." My pastor also informed us that there are slight differences in the layout of the new Missal compared with the present one. 

With seven days to go, I think it is important this week to keep our priests in prayer and to pray that these first few weeks of transition to the new texts goes smoothly so that these revisions will enhance our appreciation of the sacrifice of the Mass, lead us to reflect on the texts we pray, and most of all, to worship the Lord with our whole hearts and minds so that having been nourished by God's Word and His Eucharist we may "go in peace, glorifying the Lord with (our) lives."

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