Faith Formation Ink Slingers Kerri Mass

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!

Ink Slingers Jessica

“Multiplicity” and the New Roman Missal


I’ve been thinking about the 1996 movie “Multiplicity” lately.  Have you seen it?  It may not have made much money and received mediocre reviews, but certain parts of it have stuck with me over the years that has been brought the forefront of my mind with the new translation of the Roman Missal coming soon.

The film "Multiplicity" as represented by stick figures.

In the movie, Michael Keaton’s character finds a way to make copies of himself so that he can essentially be in two  places at one time.  The original copies are close to being the real him.  Maybe they have certain exaggerated personality aspects, but they pass for him.  One day, the copies are curious, so they make a copy of one of themselves.  The result is a character (known as “4”) that looks exactly like the original, but was nothing like him in his mannerisms and intelligence level.  In the film it is explained that a copy of a copy is never as sharp as the original.  The more times you copy a copy, the result gets fuzzier.

With the new translation of thing Roman Missal coming to Catholic Churches near you in just a few short weeks, there will be some changes to the Mass that we’ve all known and loved for so many years.  Eventually, it’ll be a reaction to say, “And with your spirit” instead of “And also with you.”  (So I guess the ol’ “Star Wars” joke will now be, “May the Force be with you” “And with your spirit.”)

There are plenty of people out there who look forward to changes, but there are just as many (if not more) who are resistant to change.  I’ve heard plenty of people complaining about the new translation and these upcoming changes.  “I just don’t understand why it has to change.”  I can understand those sentiments.  I really can.

It is much easier to grasp when you look at it from a broader angle.  God has guided the Catholic Church for 2000 years.  When it has started down the wrong path, He gently re-centered it.  There’s no way that we have made it through that amount of time as unified as we are without the hand of God being present.  I see the new translation as His way of re-centering us.  It is supposed to be a much closer translation of the original Latin.  He doesn’t want us making copies of copies for centuries on end.  Just as Michael Keaton’s character 4 was far from perfect, we don’t want the Mass to be anything but perfect.

We may stumble over our words with this new translation.  We may have to follow along more at first than we are used to.  It’ll be different, but we’ll get used to it!  In six months, I bet it’ll
be old hat.