Next weekend we introduce the revised responses as set out in the Third edition of the Roman Missal. Just after writing the newsletter here and thought I might include the few comments made on the reflection page.
Over the past few months there has been much discussion about the publication of a Revised Missal. Copies of the New Missal were delivered to the Parish this weekend. In looking through the first few pages, it is noteworthy that back in 1975 when the current Missal was published, it included comments along the lines “since this is not the final translation it is certain another Missal will be published”. What was being said was that in the interest of getting the Church familiar with celebrating Mass in the various languages of the world, it was felt that a translation was needed and needed quickly. There seems to have been, however, a deeply-held belief that it was not the final document. In effect then, the Missal about to come into use has been thought about, I’m sure prayed about and worked upon for nearly forty years. The few months discussion, then, comes at the end of a long process.
Is it necessary? Many, myself included, may think not. There would seem to be more important things that could be done. Our Church, it could be argued, is at a low ebb and more practical steps are needed to rebuild and help its voice find its strength, through gentleness, again. And yet, when we really think about it, the Liturgy is the life-blood of our Faith and if those charged with its interpretation believe it is currently falling somewhere short of where it could be and needs to be then yes it may well be necessary. Some view it as an opportunity to re-visit Liturgy and to shake off what may well, but not necessarily, have become habit for us – rote for us – whereby we say words without really thinking about them, utter responses without reflection and pray prayers as words rather than raising our minds and hearts to God – for his Glory and the good of all.
It will not be easy. We will slip here and there, find some of the new responses odd for a while but they will find a place in our hearts, our lives and our Spiritual journey. We’ll do our best.