It Is Right and Just: Mass Changes One Year Later

It has been almost one full year since the new translation of the Mass has been implemented in the Roman Rite. Can you believe it has been almost a year already?? I certainly can’t.

A little over a year ago I wrote a post about change in our every day lives. In that post I discussed how change can be wonderful, difficult, joyful, stressful, and so much more. We can experience all those emotions individually or simultaneously. But in the end, change is often a good thing, even if we don’t recognize it as good at first.

A year later I’m now pleased to report that my boys are now well on their way to being 18 months old, they are doing great, and we are still slowly learning this parenting thing.

What a difference a year makes!

The “new catalog rules” at work that I mentioned last year are nearing their time of implementation. I was at a conference recently where other librarians were stressing about these upcoming changes and I found myself rather calm about them. I like that feeling.

The construction at my parish is basically complete. Sort of (we are now getting a new organ as well).  Last year I mentioned four big projects that we hoped would be completed in time for the Church’s new year, i.e. Advent. I’m pleased to report that our sanctuary was mostly complete in time for the first Sunday of Advent 2011 and we were able to have Mass back in our sanctuary again.

Construction of the new tabernacle and altar

What a great feeling to move into an old space made new and to use the new translation of the Mass for the first time. All at the same time!

Our Bishop praying before Our Lord in the Tabernacle at the dedication earlier this year.
(c) Cindy Olson, 2012

It was an extraordinary feeling to have so many of  my senses engaged at once. My visuals were different because the altar looked different. I had to listen more carefully and be more fully engaged in the liturgy in order to hear what was different and say the parts that were different. The tabernacle itself wasn’t yet installed, but a few months later when it was we all had to get used to genuflecting where we used to bow.

Over the last year all the various construction projects have been completed (and the new organ is being installed now). We now have a brand new baptistery  a beautiful adoration chapel, a new more roomy rectory for our priests, and a stunning tabernacle for our Lord to reside in. And throughout all these changes to our space, we are also getting used to the changes in the translation of the Mass.

I picked up on parts of the new translation easily and others I struggled with. To this day I still catch myself saying “It is right to give Him …”  instead of “It is right and just.” That one gets me almost every time. I struggle some because my children became more difficult during Mass in this past year. Juggling children and trying to keep them from running off and falling into the baptistery means I can’t always have a cheat sheet in front of me. I still stumble over some words here and there, but those new parts of the Mass that are usually sung have been the easiest for me to pick up on. Music is such a wonderful aid!

How about you? Have you internalized the new translation yet? Has it been easier over the last year than you anticipated it would be? Are you still struggling some? I’d love to hear your experiences!

  • Gina NakagawaNovember 16, 2012 - 8:24 am

    There are certain advantages to being an “old croc.” For me the “new” translations were a case of back to the future-deja vue all over again! 🙂 I am so old that I still say, “and on earth peace to *men* of good will” in the Gloria.

    Great article. Thanks for sharing your parish adventures, and those two beautiful little boys.ReplyCancel

  • jenniferNovember 16, 2012 - 6:56 pm

    After reading about your year all I can say is wow! It must be amazing to have your church renovated so beautifully along with the new translation, too. I absolutely love the new translation- it is better in every way and soooo profoundly poetic. I am looking forward to the revision of the liturgy of the hours.ReplyCancel

  • Paul LimNovember 16, 2012 - 9:30 pm

    Well written!

    I’ve pretty much got it down, but once in a while I’m caught off guard. The new edition of the Roman Missal has allowed me to develop a favorite part of the Mass. I wrote about it here:

  • KerriNovember 16, 2012 - 9:43 pm

    Thanks for all your comments and thanks for sharing that link, Paul, I enjoyed reading your reflection on the Mass.ReplyCancel

  • Allison H.November 19, 2012 - 3:04 am

    Yes, yes, if I’m distracted at Mass (Ha) then I absentmindedly murmur the old way (I’m a convert so it’s old to me!), but my favorite part of this post is the pics of your sons and church!ReplyCancel

  • ChristineDecember 6, 2012 - 6:45 am

    Found this interesting. I have been surprised by the duration of my distress over the new translation. I still feel awkward and uncomfortable using the new translation.ReplyCancel

    • MartinaDecember 6, 2012 - 9:30 am

      Christine, after much thought and consideration, I removed your link to US Catholic because that article is clearly very hostile towards the changes of the Mass {or better said, the reversion to the original Latin words used}. I understand that some do not like change, and I can respect an honest dialogue of those observations. To write an entire article that essentially blasts the use of the reversion, which is actually a return to how the Mass was always intended to be celebrated, is not acceptable in my opinion. The article was swirling with drama and emotion that you could hardly attach a respectable debate to it.

      I hope that you will stick with us and instead of lamenting the changes, pray for God to place it on your heart to understand the purpose of the changes as being a return to the original Latin text.ReplyCancel

  • KerriDecember 6, 2012 - 8:20 am

    I found it somewhat awkward in the beginning in some places, but after 12 months, I am much more used to it. I think attending Mass more than once a week when I can has helped too. There really is a lot of beauty in the new words. I found the link you posted very distressing. It sounds like many of the people quoted in that article just have not given the new translation a chance and have been resistant. How sad that many people say they are intentionally using old responses. It also makes me question the type of readership this particular website has.ReplyCancel

  • ChristineDecember 6, 2012 - 1:44 pm

    OK. It’s your blog and you can censor as you wish. I liked the survey because it asked 1200 Priests and not just lay people.ReplyCancel

  • KerriDecember 6, 2012 - 1:53 pm

    We decided that having links to dissident sites claiming to be Catholic was not something we wanted on our blog. Sorry. And 1200 priests is not a lot. I looked up the current number of priests in the U.S. and that number is only 3% of the total priests in this country. If the survey was just diocesan priests that percentage goes up slightly to 4.5%. Still pretty small. Those kind of percentages are nowhere close to being representative of the priests in the U.S. I’m sorry you still feel that the new translation is not good. I hope you will continue to be open to the beauty of the language and the reverence it is supposed to convey in the Mass and will one day accept it lovingly. Just stay open and keep praying. Thanks for visiting!ReplyCancel