Thursday, October 27, 2011

Arriving Officially on November 27, 2011

Receiving the New
Roman Missal
Third Article of a Series

We could call it a challenge. We could call it a transition. We could call it many things. Bottom line is that changes are always difficult. American Roman Catholics come to Sunday worship from so many different walks of life, cultures, races, ethnicities, levels of secular education and levels of religious education that the task of presenting the New Roman Missal for use at all Masses is a truly daunting prospect. Some, in spite of their misgivings and concerns, have already wisely launched into the process with efforts to inform and educate the community and gradual introduction of new wording and music. Others seem to have hidden their heads in the sand.

The New Roman Missal is coming knocking at the door. How will we receive it as individuals and as worshipping communities? That is the question. Sister Sandy DeMasi, SSJ and Father Richard Groncki, SJ, members of the Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, suggest that the occasion of this change in our worship calls us to give greater attention to the liturgical theological meaning of the Mass. Such consideration can be a means of spiritually encouraging full, active, conscious, participation in Holy Mass. After all the Mass is "the Source and Summit of our faith". In this level of discussion the issue is not Latin vs. English, the old English vs. the new English translation; not simply the accumulation of intellectual knowledge but rather the nature of the face to face encounter with Jesus Christ and contemplative engagement that takes place at the Eucharistic feast.  Simply speaking, this time can be looked upon as an invitation to go deeper than words. Sister Sandy and Father Groncki spoke of it as “a moment of liturgical catechesis”.

As you wait for the next installment of this series to appear you might find it helpful, illuminating or just plain grounding to meditate upon what it is you experience when you come to Mass. What are you hoping for? What is it in the Eucharistic Rite that most connects with your being? What reveals God to you? What do you think is happening on that altar when the priest blesses the bread and wine and evokes the Holy Spirit? What is Jesus’ specific invitation to you in the words, “This is my body, which will be given up for you”?

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