Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The "New" Mass

For all English-speaking Catholics out there, a very important event took place yesterday that went largely unnoticed by the average Joe in the pew.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released the new, approved texts for the Ordinary of the Mass, which includes the congregation's responses.

After reading through the various parts of the Mass, and especially the four Eucharistic Prayers, I find myself frustrated and somewhat disheartened. It takes a little work to try to figure out exactly what is being said, as the sentence structure is very complicated - dare I say "clunky."

My primary concern is that this new translation will be a disaster in the average parish, especially rural ones. In the places I've visited, there's still a great deal of confusion regarding standing before the

Pray, brothers and sisters, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father
- let alone the reasons why. This was a change that was instituted six years ago!

Unless extensive catechises is implemented both in group sessions as well as within the Liturgy itself, confusion and frustration will prevail. Though these changes will not take place for a number of years, (I've heard as late as 2011) I'm afraid that a majority of Catholics are completely unaware that it's even coming down the line.

In the meantime, take a look at the new translation, available here. It might also be helpful to look at the Order of the Mass and Eucharistic Prayers which we are currently using. A good run-down of the whole situation can be found over at the America Blog.

As apprehensive as I am about this new translation, there are a few things that I do like. The new dismissals at the end of Mass much more strongly convey what we are supposed to do once we exit the church doors, other than "Go in peace." We will soon be told to "Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord" and "Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life."

No comments: