Saturday, 16 April 2011

A fresh start

I hope that you are underway with the instructional and formative material in preparation for the introduction of the New Translation of the Roman Missal. We started using the New Translation at the Seminary in Sydney on Ash Wednesday. Five and a half weeks into the experience I can make some provisional comments.

First, I think that it will take us all some time to adapt to the new responses and get over stumbling over the old ones. For those of us who are regular participants in the Mass, the old responses are very much engraved in our being, and some attention and patience will be required by all of us. The new responses will take time to sink in.

Secondly, one of the comments which is offered by a number of speakers on the DVD resource "Become one Body, one Spirit in Christ" is that the priest especially, should read and interiorise the three prayers of the Mass before he proceeds to celebrate. This comment is, I think, of huge value. The only former occasions where I have done this was before celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. However, since Ash Wednesday this year I have looked over the prayers of the Mass every day. This has led me not simply to familiarise myself with the language of the prayers, but more valuably, to focus my heart and mind on the Mysteries which I am about to celebrate. I recommend this pratice to both priests and lay people; it will transform the way we approach the Mass. It is also very helpful to look over the prayer texts in Latin, and for that matter, the new English translation is very helpful for better understanding the Latin texts, precisely because they are a more formal translation of the Latin. The new translation will be a great help to both priests and lay people in the celebration of the new Mass in Latin.

Thirdy, the language of the New Translation is a huge step foward. It is much more Catholic and grace-filled than the previous. In its richness lies a whole life of faith. I think that in time its richness will transform the way we pray and live the Life of Grace. I find myself, in praying the prayers of the Mass, more consciously approaching and crossing the threshold of the Mystery of Christ and of Grace; that the prayers are introducing me more readily to the vast horizon of Grace.

It is hard to believe now that we had the previous English translation for so long. And I am particularly conscious of all those faithful people, who not wanting to lose the Old Mass, never lived to see this richer form of the new Missal.


Sharon said...

I hope that the unfamiliarity with the text will stop, at least for a time, the race to finish the gloria and the creed.

Any word if the vesting prayers are going to be reintroduced - if so the din in the sacristy before Mass would be reduced.

Fr Richard Aladics said...

Well, the vesting prayers, Sharon, have never been dropped - whether they are to be printed in the Missal or not. Unfortunately there have been many oversights during the past 46 years of Liturgical changes and we still need to regain much Liturgical richness which has been forgotten. For instance, the Offertory Antiphon, Ember and Rogation days,and as you say, the Vesting Prayers (not forgetting the Prayer accompanying the washing of the priest's hands before Mass). It is well that there are people like yourself who are conscious of these elements of the Liturgy, and who remember on behalf of many. The main thing, however, remains the question of our focus on Christ and what he does during the Liturgy, and that the human clamour and din subside to make way for genuine, rather than Pelagian, participation in the Liturgy.