PASTOR’S CORNER – Sept. 18
By now, most if not everyone has heard about the new translation of the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal—the book that contains all the prayers used in the Holy Mass. In the USA, the Roman Missal is called the Sacramentary, harking back to the term used in the ancient Church. In the USA, the full use of the new translation goes into effect on the 1st Sunday of Advent, 27 Nov 2011, the beginning of the new Church year. As we progress towards the full use of the new translation, Bp. Galante, following the lead of the U.S. Bishop’s Conference, has encouraged the gradual introduction of certain Mass parts in order to slowly and more fruitfully ease into the use of the newly worded texts. Accordingly, Fr. Chris and a small team of parishioners have come up with a plan to facilitate as much as possible the smooth transition to the new translation—a plan which is highlighted for us in this edition of the Pastor’s Corner.
But why? Why did they have to go and change the translation in the first place?
First let me underscore that the new translation is NOT A NEW MASS. The structure of the Holy Mass as we know it is completely unchanged from start to finish. We are not returning to Mass in a language few could understand. The Holy Mass as such remains entirely familiar. Yet, many—but not all—of the words we pray will change. Some changes will be significant and even awkward, especially at first. Unfortunately, focusing on specific changes will have to wait for future bulletins.
But again, why? Wasn’t the old translation good enough?
One of the things that Blessed Pope John Paul II did to celebrate the onset of the third Christian millennium was to ask for a new edition of the Roman Missal in Latin, the official language of the Church. The 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal would include Latin prayers to celebrate the many new Saints canonized since Vatican II. At the same time, there has been an ongoing controversy in the English-speaking world over how to make appropriate use of gender inclusive English. All of that, coupled with other legitimate liturgical, theological and linguistic developments culminated in the new translation we are beginning to use, a translation that brings our ancient liturgy forward into the new millennium.
In brief, here is our strategic implementation plan for the new translation:
1. For the next 9 weeks leading up to Advent, the homily will consist of an 8 min. video clip answering the question “why” in greater detail;
Continued Pastor Corner
2. For the next 9 weeks we will pray at all Sunday Masses a novena for liturgical renewal and the fruitful implementation of the new translation of the Roman Missal; and,
3. Catechetical booklets will be available for each family desiring to reflect and understand more the new translation and prepare for a Q/A session on 24 Oct 2011 with Steve Obarski from the diocesan Worship Office.
Surprise, surprise, surprise!
I am hopeful that after the initial “speed bumps” we all will hurdle together to learn—and eventually—pray the new translation of the Roman Missal, your appreciation and enthusiasm for the new texts will prevail. My understanding of the Holy Mass has already been deepened by the more beautiful and profound English words we will use to worship Almighty God. You will also be pleasantly surprised.