Saturday, November 26, 2011

So, How'd It Go?

Before all else, friends, at the start of a new Ecclesial Year, may all its blessings, joys and gifts be yours -- and, where applicable, with your spirit.

* * *
Well more than usual, of course, this time around it's in with the new....
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Minutes after the first Vigil Masses of this First Sunday had wrapped in the East, one friend quickly sent word on his first experience celebrating with the New Book....

"I survived."

As seemingly everyone else did, too, sounds like things are already looking up.

For the rest, meanwhile, maybe it's not too surprising that the early reax are running the gamut, from servers' complaints over the weight of the new Missal, to congregations that laughed and smiled their way through the expected bumps of the changes, to a priest of some three decades who -- saying that he was "very nervous" going in -- wrote of "feeling like a slave to the book."

"But worse," he added, "at least for the first time, I forgot to pray. When I finished the consecration of the 'chalice' I felt cold."

Then again, as another e.mailer noted, "Within the first 50 years [after] Trent there were five editions of that Missal, so we're somewhat blessed -- or is it just the inertia of the church to move more slowly as she ages."

All around, though, as yet another friend wrote, "This is going to take some getting used to."

And, well, there's at least one thing we can unanimously agree on.

* * *
Now, to capture the experiences and stories of this global rollout as best possible, we're going to do something these pages haven't seen in a very long time.

Long story short, to mark this once-in-a-generation event, the comment box is open, and -- lay or ordained, minister or pewsitter -- hopefully you'll take a few minutes to share with the rest of us how everything went at your place, and what the first use of the new texts was like for you.

To make things as smooth as possible, there are a couple ground rules for this:
  • First, to help avoid any attempts at a further Kardashianization of the ecclesial discourse, comments are being moderated that things don't get out of hand.
  • Second, if you could, give us a general impression of where you're writing from and your place in the assembly (celebrant, minister, in the pews, etc.) -- anonymous or pen-name impressions are fine, but anything that descends into irresponsibility, whether rehashing the Liturgy Wars, critiquing translation principles, promoting one viewpoint over another or probing how many angels dance on the head of a pin won't see the light of day. Academic discussions or op-ed columns are not germane to this exercise, and you can find forums for those in abundance elsewhere; these comments intended to take a snapshot of this rollout's lived experience among our people, and anything that veers from that won't be tolerated. In other words, much as -- to put it mildly -- worship can often be a topic that arouses high emotions (and, indeed, lashing out), be honest, but keep it clean.
  • Third, and above all: Please. Just. Keep. It. Simple. -- What happened? How did you and others react? Was there anything that stuck out? How will the road ahead with this text look in your parish/community? The more you stick to those, the better off we all are.
Given these pointers -- read: that some won't choose to follow them -- not every comment will be posted, hence the usual aversion to the box here. But just as this readership is always the shop's greatest strength, gang, no one can tell the story of this weekend like you can -- in your own, unedited words.

Can't wait to hear how things turned out on your end, and while some judgment will have to be exercised in what goes up to ensure a healthy sense of decorum and communio, this moderator pledges to post things in as precise a proportion as possible to the tenor of the comments that are submitted.

Whatever ensued or the reactions among us, in the words of these pages' chief shepherd, may we all experience the grace that this "historic event... also signal a renewed commitment to the Sunday Eucharist: to celebrate it with greater beauty and dignity and to live from it more profoundly and intently."

And with that, Church, The Floor is yours.... As ever, use it well.



Anonymous Fr Greg Rowles OFM Cap said...

From Australia, we have been using the parts of the Mass including the EP since Pentecost, so no big deal here at least in my parish. The people have been prepared to "give it a go" and have been suprised how easily they have become accustomed to the varying responses. That's not to say there are not a few mistakes occasionally. I made one today much to the amusement of my congregation. But overall it seems the people have accepted and entered into this new translation.
Oh and by the way, the sun came up the day after we used the translation :=))

27/11/11 04:08  
Blogger Agostino said...

A view from the pews
We've been using the Revised Translation in our Parish since September, and things have progressed fairly smoothly. For those of us who attend Daily Mass we've had plenty of opportunity to get used to the new responses, and generally that goes well. There are still some who miss a beat on a Sunday, but it is becoming less frequent. What will be fascinating going forward is the reaction from the once a year brigade when they roll in at Christmas!

27/11/11 04:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Dutch Catholic who attended the English-language vigil Mass, offered for the large international community, in my parish. So, just a simple pewsitter, then.

This is what I wrote as a comment on another blog:

"Here in my parish in the Netherlands we use texts provided by the Archdiocese of Dublin, and while we have been exposed to the people’s responses, the new translations of the prayers was simply a pleasure to hear. I noticed Father struggle a few times, simple because English is not his best language, but he did very well, even if he did fall back to the old translation of the embolism. We also used the Nicene Creed but sadly not the new translation of the Confiteor."

Our priest made sure that the new translation was not completely unknown to the congregation, emphasising the people's parts over the course of the past weeks. As such, everything went by without a hitch, although more than one person automatically replied "and also with you".

I loved the new translations of the prayers. They are so much more prfound than the old ones.

27/11/11 04:21  
Blogger Gin said...

Belmar, NJ pew sitter -

All was well after an initial lack of response from those of us in the pew. Our celebrant greeted us with:
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.

Since that wasn't on the pew cards everyone hesitated out of fear of making a mistake. Our celebrant said "let's try that again." We laughed, and off we went! It really set a nice tone of being in this together.

27/11/11 05:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As pastor, in central PA, we've prepared our people well and, overall, it went VERY well. Only major glitch is turning off auto-pilot when it comes to "and with your Spirit." Once we get that one down, no problem! Even the big "C" word of the creed was an easy transition.

27/11/11 05:48  
Anonymous Stephen Mozier said...

At my parish (Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Tallahassee, Florida), the Saturday Vigil Mass went quite well. The priest did a great job guiding everyone with the use of pew cards that highlight the changes, and everyone seemed to be doing just fine. There appeared to be a bit of a stumble with "through my fault" and "consubstantial", but that was still all right (lack of familiarity, no doubt). What struck me the most was how full and rich the new prayers are, even Eucharistic Prayer II! I am thinking of attending another Mass this morning just to hear it all again.

27/11/11 05:57  
Blogger Frog's hair said...

As a priest, I almost wept while praying the Roman Canon. I was nervous as could be -- but about the same as when I first started celebrating Mass in Spanish. There are certain things about the chants that will take me a little more practice to get used to -- but I am so happy that they are there in the Missal!

27/11/11 06:17  
Anonymous Fr. John Cummings said...

Here in Reynolds, Indiana the transition to the new Missal went pretty smoothly. The new Confiteor and the Creed went well. Good pacing on the phrases. I made an announcement before Mass to stick to the missalette or pew card. By the last "The Lord be with you" the response was about 50/50 old and new. It's just going to take time. I, however, bumbled on a few words, but there are a lot of changes in the texts for the priest. All in all, it went well.

27/11/11 06:25  
Anonymous Conniedl said...

At our parish in Northern Virginia there was no preparation whatsoever, so as the cantor at the Vigil Mass I was some what nervous. I took the congregation through the two musical changes (Holy,Holy, Holy and the Memorial Acclaimation) prior to Mass. It all went pretty well as the setting we are using is the modified version of the one with which they are familiar. Except for the "autopilot" mistakes (I even did one of those) the congregation did well and participated more than I thought, even with the completely new Memorial Acclaimation. I personally liked much of the flow of the Eucharistic Prayer. Elegant, came to mind. Some "frufru" but just different really. I think it is better spoken than read.

27/11/11 06:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a pew sitter this was my second time to say the new texts. Both times the priests were very helpful with coaching us on our parts and the assembly gave it there all. Last evening I came away with two sentiments. This is going to be a bit awkward for a while - but also, how profoundly this can deepen our prayers and participation. One day at a time, or one mass at a time and we can be transformed in God's image.

27/11/11 06:32  
Anonymous N. R. Radloff said...

Pew sitter, military base in Afghanistan.

We've been using part of the Missal (at least the responses of the faithful) for weeks. The community out here isn't that stable and we have different people coming to Mass each week so it's been introduced bit by bit. Since it's a small group, the chapel has enough laminated cards with the new responses for everyone to use. Many don't even use them anymore because they've managed to get the hang of it after a few weeks. This morning, everyone said the responses just fine. It was like we've been doing it for years. It was the priest's first time reading the Canon, so he would pause every now and then. His difficulties weren't obvious and it flowed really well.

27/11/11 06:56  
Blogger Roma locuta est said...

As predicted, the repeated, "And with your Spirit" went fine. It is, after all, repeated five times by the people through the course of the Mass. The Creed and there Confiteor went splendidly as well, as the congregation picked up their pew cards and, for possibly the first time in their faith lives, read the prayers (which I think is a good thing). The shorter parts surrounding the Euchartistic Canon (Suscipiat Dominus, Preface Dialog, and the response to Ecce Agnus Dei) did not go as smoothly, again as predicted. By the time the faithful realized this had a new rendition, the prayer was finished. Nonetheless, our priest was brilliant, praying every word deliberately and reverently. Blessed be God for these new words, and we should continue as a Church to pray for our holy priests - their parts are much more challenging than our own.

27/11/11 07:02  
Anonymous Paul said...

As a celebrant, after just one Mass already I'm conscious of how much more rich the imagery is (even though some of it, like the repetitive use of chalice) seems odd. But phrasing all of the priest's texts correctly did demand special, tiring attention. And the congregation definitely needed not just the cantor's but also the priest's encouragement and cues: it would have been VERY hard to introduce the textual changes for congregation at a Eucharist not celebrated versus populum.

27/11/11 07:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had practice from the cantor and an excellent priest celebrant; however as an ADHD adult I had great difficulty following the Collect and other mumblety-mouthed prayers with their wordiness and stilted phrasing. It's hard to let words go from the priest's mouth to your own heart when you can't make sense out of what he is saying.

Was the priest modeling how we Catholics really should be talking to the Lord? I'm so sad that our priests no longer will be setting an example for the faithful of honest and heartfelt prayer.

I really pity those who will be raising children with this new translation, as they will have a very hard time cultivating and passing on both sacramental and prayer traditions. For example, the 'hosts' no longer is coupled to army imagery, and the word 'chalice' similarly has no meaning outside the doors of the church. The one thing you DON'T want to do with teenagers is to make Our Lord and our relationship with Him seem archaic, formal, and boxed.

And as far as the greeting, it really sounded stupid when I was a kid before the 1973 missal and still sounds stupid now. We shouldn't actively reinforce a dualistic, non-Christian view of the human person that contradicts the integral view of both the Incarnation and the Resurrection of the Body. We left the Kyrie in Greek, and we should have simply reverted to the Dominus Vobiscum in Latin. What a shame that opportunity was lost!

27/11/11 07:16  
Anonymous Msgr. Sean Ogle said...

I'm a pastor in NYC. We've done a lot of prep with the people over the last year. Last night's Mass went smoothly. The only mistake was when I started to intone the Gloria! The people after Mass said they heard no errors from people around them, and to my ear they did fine (with the pew cards, of course). I preached on the collect phrase "run to meet Christ"-- an image not available in the older translation. I found it a very positive experience. No member of the congregation (about 350) complained. Many were complimentary of the translation. It'll be fine.

27/11/11 07:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All is calm here in Michigan! I have been disappointed in the news, though, where they said that some of the words are "too hard" and are words that people don't know or understand. So I pointed out to my congregation that a few years ago, nobody knew what the word "google" meant but we learned it, didn't we? So we are looking at this as an opportunity, not a challenge.

27/11/11 07:48  
Anonymous Jak Regan said...

We've had the people's parts and the EP in the UK since September so this weekend isn't such a big deal for us.

That said though, we have been in a rather odd transition phase which I have found a little irritating. I wasn't the biggest fan of the revised translation at the start (I got over it!) but I thought we should have just got on with it. For the past few months, some parishes have had old musical settings, and some new. A few parishes have even retained the old people's parts.

The problem is just simply that Catholics don't like change. Give it two years though and we won't be able to imagine having ever done it differently!

27/11/11 08:02  
Anonymous Father Rob Waller, Cincinnati, USA said...

I spoke aabout change:

For many people at Mass this weekend, the adjustment in the words of Mass is far from being the biggest adjustment that they are making in life at this moment. There are bigger things in life that throw us off balance, and that cause us to be disoriented, and that make it difficult for us to pray. Compared to changes that you might be navigating in life, these changes in words at Mass are nothing.

As the prophet Isaiah suggests, perhaps the Lord, who is the potter, is forming us, the clay, into a new vessel.

The clay does not know what it is becoming, only that it is in the hands of the potter. While the clay is feeling the spinning about that is taking place on the potter’s wheel, the clay also feels the warmth of the hands of the one who is forming it.

27/11/11 08:08  
Anonymous LizAlexander said...

In our PA Cathedral parish, we have a lot of transient attendees, so everyone's at a different place in their familiarization with the retranslated liturgy. Us regulars have gotten no training other than weekly bulletin inserts since a brief September pre-Mass stand-up by the Music Director.

One respectful woman nearby brought a notated card with a few more inclusive words. "People of an age" nearby picked up on her lead. The cluster of (decidedly non-rabid) conscientious objectors did the best we could, making some pastoral adaptations that allowed us to pray. (I guess we're the "older" people the USCCB referenced.)

Several folks nearby stayed silent during "and with your spirit."

27/11/11 08:13  
Blogger Ed in Brigantine said...

No change here at the English language Catholic community in Ankara. I guess ICEL rules don't apply when the country is not Anglophone though the service is.

27/11/11 08:23  
Blogger Father Bill said...

All the preparation in the world could not prepare the celebrant for his part. 95% of what we will say as celebrants is now changed. As a priest of almost 40 years my first celebration using the new wording was probably the most "nerve wracking" Mass I have ever celebrated - and it wasn't even for a large congregation. In my opinion, this is the version that should have come our after Vat II, and now 40 years later we would have de-mystified it to something closer to what we have just gotten rid of. My prediction is that within 20 years we will go back to a slightly polished version of what we have just dismissed as inadequate! A very sad day for me! I want to know what celebrants of all ages HONESTLY have to say about their experiences.

27/11/11 08:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the parish we were visiting this morning, the priest remarked that he felt like he did at his First Mass... I remember when we changed this over 40 years ago. No preparation back then. Change is good and I must say these translations seem more "prayerful" whatever that means. The one thing that struck me as odd (as "Paul" said above) was the use of "Chalice" a few too many times.

27/11/11 09:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Priest celebrating this translation for the first time, it reminded me of celebrating my first Mass years ago.

There aren't too many chances people have to go back and recall, as vividly as I did last night, such a momentus event in life.

27/11/11 09:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many weeks of preparation with bulletin inserts and singing the new parts of the Mass beforehand was very helpful. I found myself reflecting more as I prayed the Eucharistic Prayers and the people responded quite well.Christmas Day will become the challenge, especially for those who come twice a year. Guided by the Spirit, the new translation will be a joy to experience. Pastor, Diocese of Pittsburgh

27/11/11 09:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am deeply troubled by the new Roman Missal. Like most Catholics, I had little choice but the give it a try this Sunday. Listening to the words spoken was worse than reading them. I already was dubious about the text from reading about it before hand. But listening to the mass from the new missal was worse than I thought that it would be.

The translation is awkward rather that fluent and flowing. The word choice is archaic -- often purposefully so when replacing words with the same meaning from the prior translation with choices of words which are awkward in modern diction.

By the end of the mass, I had completely given up on the new text and was saying all of the old responses and prayers. As a first step, I plan on continuing to do this. Beyond that, I will pray on it.

I sincerely wish that I could find an objector Church and priests who would stand up to a wrong-headed decision by the Holy See and continue to use the previous missal.

27/11/11 09:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a large Catholic parish in a small southern city, unsolicited comments from the pew: "For we over 70's, it sounds like 'back to the future'". And from a 40 year old father of three: "It felt like kissing your sister. May e it will get better". For myself, thirty-plus years ordained, I felt winded by the end. I'm going to have to figure out whole new places to catch my breath while navigating all the run-on sentences.

27/11/11 09:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We survived here in central California.
We created our own worship aid, so that the people could find their exact response or easily find the Nicene Creed without reading through a Gloria and other forms of the penitential act, etc. that are on 'pew cards'. (exactly!)
Our cantor was right on cueing the assembly for every changed response by a simple gesture of holding up the worship aid.
Thus, our vigil celebration was seamless, and as the Music Director, I was so pleased with our pastor's praying the Eucharistic Prayer (III). It was indeed prayerful.
3 more Masses to go this morning!

27/11/11 09:56  
Anonymous CH (CPT) Brian Stanley, US Army said...

I offered two Vigil Masses last night and one this morning here at FOB Union III, Baghdad. The congregation had little preparation -- we are in drawdown here, and it is a very temporary community -- but we had copies of the "Word Among Us" here and OCP's Heritage Missal over at the US Embassy. We had no problems. As far as handling the priest's prayers, I wasn't nervous or distressed as I had reviewed and practiced throughout the past couple of weeks. I am more nervous about offering Mass in Spanish over at the embassy in a few hours. I can tell you that the military community knows how to adapt to change, and I am proud of the congregation here in Baghdad. Hooah!

27/11/11 09:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in Nova Scotia rollout went as expected, most people will go along because we have no option. I personally hate it and as the father of two daughter the lack of inclusivity is for me the final straw.

27/11/11 09:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a pastor in the Bayou-State (Louisiana, USA) I am grateful to Archbishop Aymonds (New Orleans) for recommending to the US Bishops that we could begin siniging the sung parts of the revised translation in September. Now that our parishioners know the new Mass settings, it resulted in a smoother transition today. Actually the congregation sings the new Mass settings better than the ones we used for decades.
I once heard it said that it takes doing something consistently 21 times for it to become a habit. So the people and priests should be quite comfortable with the
revised Roman Missal by Easter Sunday.

27/11/11 10:04  
Anonymous Spokane, WA, USA said...

The congregration's parts went well enough, but sitting in the pew I noticed how difficult it was for the priest. Not only was he working hard not to trip over the new words, but during the consecration the Missal itself had to be placed directly in front of him on the altar so he could read the words. This meant he had to reach awkwardly over the book any time he needed the chalice or ciborium.

Right after the Lamb of God, the celebrant lapsed back into the previous translation, "This is the Lamb of God...," rather than "Behold the Lamb of God...," because he couldn't see the Missal since his arms were in the way as he elevated the ciborium. That caused confusion about our response, and there was quite a mixture of "I am not worthy to receive you," and "I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof."

Overall, it was a good start, though, and I don't think it will take long before the people in the pews get used to the new words.

27/11/11 10:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a priest in Indiana I was pleasantly pleased at how smoothly everything went at the three Masses I celebrated. The people have been well prepared and appeared to be ready to embrace the new translation. I felt glued to the Missal, and at times was more attentive to the words than praying the Eucharist, but I realize it will take time. Overall, it's a beautiful translation and happily not a single person (including the usual's) complained about the changes. It proved to be a great weekend with the new Roman Missal.

27/11/11 10:12  
Anonymous Brian W said...

I'm the choir at my parish in New Brunswick, Canada. The Mass was a bit of a dialogue Mass with our pastor asking everyone to take their pew cards in hand. It was 50/50 in the congregation as some where caught off guard, especially with 'and with thy Spirit.' Our priest too was going back and forth during the Eucharistic Prayer from memory (not having to look at the text to having to consult the new Roman Missal...I'm sure 3 months will pass before we are all in unison once again.

27/11/11 10:26  
Blogger Patricia said...

I loved it, everyone had to really pay attention to what they were saying. Instead of saying words by memory, I was really praying, especially the Creed

27/11/11 10:27  
Anonymous Dcn Pat Cunningham said...

As a deacon, I had little trouble learning the small changes in my ritual prayers and invitations. Our pastor has been rehearsing for a long time, and the sheer beauty of the new English Advent Preface and Eucharistic Prayer III literally left me in tears. The awesome love of God comes through most wonderfully, and leaves me feeling very inadequate. Now the "old seventies music" we still use is what doesn't fit at all--rather jarring, in fact.

27/11/11 10:34  
Anonymous Matthew said...

Matthew As a person in the pews I am surprised how smoothly the transition has gone. We have been preparing here in the north of England for weeks now. Some of the words are a mouthful but overall the effect is much more solemn and capable of carrying the weight of what the Mass is doing. The only criticism is the lack of preparation for singing the new translation which will take years to develop it appears.

27/11/11 10:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having a great deal of experience with the Latin of the Mass, it was very pleasant to say out loud more faithful translations of the Holy Mass. For me, it flowed very naturally and I do think that within a few months, we won't even remember the old translation. Our parish in southern West Virgina seemed to do well, too. No big controversy at all.

27/11/11 11:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian from Illinois. I live on the border of the Rockford Diocese and the Archdiocese of Chicago. Last night, I served Mass at a parish in the Rockford Diocese. They've already been saying most of the new prayers and responses for about a month. This morning, we went to Mass at our home Parish of St. Peter's in Volo, Illinois (Archdiocese of Chicago). The Parish is run by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. At Volo, we hadn't done any previous practice with the new prayers and responses, but it went very well today. The pew cards helped people a lot!

27/11/11 11:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a seminarian from a diocese in New England. I attended Mass this morning for the first time with the revised missal. Practically, it went well. Good "worship aids" certainly helped, and I'm confident that they will be needed for a long time to come (especially for the Creed). There was some minor stumbling during the responses of the people. The celebrant did very well with all of his parts, including Eucharistic Prayer I. They had two missals: one at the chair on a lectern (so that a server would not need to hold the massive missal for an extended period of time) and one for the altar. For my part, let alone some of the stumbling with responses, I found the proper prayers of the Mass and the Eucharistic prayer to be incredibly beautiful. I think in time more and more will realize how blessed we are to have this new translation. It will help us pray better.

27/11/11 11:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All went well. I received very positive comments from the faithful after saying the Roman Canon at two Masses so far. I also got a comment that they appreciated having the 'mea culpas' back. I know I was saying Mass slowly and perhaps a little disjointedly in places... as if a new priest again, just learning it anew. I was taken in by the extended imagery of the "miraculous exchange" language regarding the gifts in the post-institution part of the Canon... what God offers us that we offer back to him. Until actually praying it, this theme really did not come out in my study and practice.

We didn't do a lot of preparation with the faithful. We ran through the words of Mass one weekend during the homily, and we have been practicing the new music. The people so far have picked it up fine... now the real liturgical education/formation can begin as we hear the words over and over again and do some 'mystagogy' on it...

Mass was not perfect, but it was completely valid. I absent-mindedly responded right into the microphone "and also with you" to the deacon at the gospel. Oops. At the second Mass I did not rehearse the singing of the preface dialogue as I did at the vigil Mass, and it was a little messy for the third response "It is right and just". I find that singing the preface takes a bit more restraint--like singing it from the 1962 missal does... more melismatic elements that slow me down and make me make sure that I am executing the chant correctly. Whereas the streeses by musical movement seemed to be put on prepositions and transition words in the previous translation, the current translation puts stresses on bigger, multisyllabic words that take a bit more attention and careful articulation.

There will be people who are challenged by the language and the formality of the translation. Christmas will be a mess this year, no doubt. I see this as a necessary and long-overdue step to realizing the aims of the Council with respect to Mass in the local languages. We now have an English translation which has finally matured which will be a model of prayer for us, not only at Mass, but elsewhere as well. That's a good thing.

The Church did not fall in, Vatican II was not rescinded, people did not walk out with a confused look on their faces, the book publishers are laughing all the way to the bank, and we all get to try it again next weekend (as well as tomorrow and the day after and the day after that...)

All in all, a good weekend so far.

27/11/11 11:07  
Blogger Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

We've been doing the corrected translation since September and it is great, more prayerful and it will in time lead to greater reverence for the Sacred Mysteries. I am very pleased with the priest's orations and Eucharistic prayers. They actually sound prayerful and should be prayed, not proclaimed as though the priest is reading these to congregation. Our congregation since September have made a valiant attempt to do it right. No one has complained and by now it's old hat and in our blood.
Fr. Allan J. McDonald
Macon, GA

27/11/11 11:11  
Blogger Fr. Rodolfo D. Vasquez said...

It was a rather unique experience. I've been a priest for 8 years and a server since the second grade, but I must say I was about as excited a child for the "First" Mass with the new translations. The people were as prepared as possible and I'd say made few errors. Before Mass I encouraged everyone to follow along with the missalettes until we got the hang of it. I used Eucharistic Prayer I (since this day is a once in a lifetime historical day in the Liturgical life of the Church). It is absolutely beautiful. Its quite different actually reading the new texts within the Mass as opposed to my office or at home preparing. No complaints, as the people of God are very receptive to the direction of the Church. If the priest has a good attitude, so will the people. So much homiletic material for years to come. Thank you Lord, what a great gift!
Fr. Rodolfo D. Vasquez
Corpus Christi, Texas

27/11/11 11:27  
Blogger Fr. Brendan said...

As a priest helping in Wells ME, today's experience brought back to mind all that delightful confusion that accompanied the 1973 Missal at the time I was ordained.

The new Missal had not arrived here, so I used the same Missalette as the congregation. We were at least on the same page! Since it did not have the entire Mass, I had to supplement it with the excellent (and free) iBreviary app on my iPod Touch. Thanks, Fr. Paolo Padrini and Steve Jobs!

In the Portland ME diocese, the priests were asked to sing "The Lord be with you" to alert the folks in the pews that a different response was needed. Before Mass I mentioned this and sang it with the response and people joined in. Once Mass began it was a different story and confusion reigned with the responses. Fortunately, prayerful humour triumphed.

The new Missal requires the celebrant to prepare all prayers carefully before Mass, as the sentences are long and sometimes awkward at first sight. You cannot pick up this translation and start reading. Today's prayer after Communion meant no easing up at the end. Early preparation and good breath control are needed to pull it off so there is a proper flow.

27/11/11 11:33  
Blogger ejcjrl said...

We consider ourselves a run-of-the-mill Catholic family. My wife and I are active in our parish. We have two children, a fifteen year old sophomore in high school and a ten year-old fifth grader. Both attend Catholic schools in suburban Philadelphia. Because our Pastor has done a good job of making all aware of the changes to come, everyone in our family was aware that Mass would be different starting this week. Here are our initial reactions:

After Mass, my fifteen year-old daughter, commented that she thought there must be priests with too much free time on their hands…..

My ten year old son, an alter boy, followed along closely to make sure that there were no changes he needed to know about. He was particularly worried that something would change when he had to ring the bells. He was relieved that none of the changes will “mess up” what he has to do next Sunday.

My wife’s observation was that she thought the author(s) of the new text wish they could set the clock back and bring the Church back to a different place in time. Even if they can’t take us back to pre-Vatican II liturgy, the author(s) wish they could take us back before the scandals to a time when the Church had more respect, more authority, more influence over our daily lives

As for me, “Consubstantial” sure is a mouthful. That and the other changes will take time to get used to. The simplest explanations such as “the new version is more true to the Latin” don’t seem to resonate with me, but I am ill-equipped to debate the pros and cons of the new translation. I don’t have an understanding of what was wrong with what have jettisoned or why the new version is better. I look forward to the time when the changes are no longer changes, but second nature. I pray for our senior and retired priests. The changes may be very difficult for some of them.

King of Prussia PA

27/11/11 11:43  
Anonymous Phillip said...

Just came from 8:30 Mass at St. Paul's Cathedral in B'ham Alabama. Everyone seemed to get the hang of it after Father reminded everyone at the start of his Homily that there were cards in place showing the new prayers and responses./

This will take some getting used to but we are blessed here to have a Rector who is very traditional oriented and was very excited to start using this new Missal.

27/11/11 11:46  
Blogger Fr. John Robert Skeldon said...

The celebration of the Mass went quite well at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Washington, DC. I am a priest in residence at the parish while studying at Catholic University of America. The people have been preparing for a couple of months now. I also helped to prompt during the course of the mass, using it as an opportunity for a little catechesis. All in all, it went well. I found it a beautiful celebration.

Fr. John Robert Skeldon
Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas

27/11/11 11:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Presider form Joliet, IL diocese:

To paraphrase Emp. Franz Joseph II in Amadeus -- "Too many words! Too many words!"

I replaces the last "them" in the Prayer after Communion with "these sacred mysteries."

Mat 6:7

27/11/11 11:57  
Anonymous Fr. MIchael J. Kavanaugh said...

I can appreciate the need for a fuller translation of the Latin prayers, but I lament the artificial requirement that Latin sentence structure be maintained. The result is sentences that are very hard to 1) pray or 2) hear.

I have practiced making sense of the multiple phrases and clauses, yet the overabundance of these works against clarity and understanding. These prayers do not fulfill well their goal - communicating the saving mysteries of Jesus Christ to the People of God.

In time the fits and starts will be overcome by familiarity and repeated usage. But the inherent clumsiness and awkward phrasing will remain.

27/11/11 11:59  
Anonymous Fr. Tony said...

Upstate NY priest here - - it felt like "opening night" for those who are in theater...a mix of joy, nerves and exhilaration. I was unsure as to how I would "breathe" through the lionshare of the EP, and will need to work on 'timing' and spacing, etc. the people all seemed pretty ok, with the exception of the response to the showing of the consectrated elements..."Lord, I am not worthy..." this was a challenge (and, I might add NOT Biblically accurate!!!!) so we'll have to work on that a bit...but I too found it hard to "pray" the texts, as I was too concerned with getting the words right. Hopefully in time this will work itself out. on a scale of 1 - 10, I'd give myself an 8.5 and the people a strong 9!

27/11/11 12:02  
Blogger Michael Barber said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27/11/11 12:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xave, celbrant, from WI

The translation seems awkward, the Missal is way too large (heavy), and not easy to find one's place if you use eye contact with the congregation. I think, from comments from folks with which I agree, that it makes God seem way too formal, far off. Some seemingly unnecessary circumlocutions.

27/11/11 12:12  
Blogger Michele said...

Everything went pretty smoothly here at the Cathedral in Arlington, VA. Our celebrant messed up a bit during the Eucharistic prayer and each "the Lord be with you" was followed with about 50-50 "and with your spirit" and "and also with you."

27/11/11 12:27  
Blogger Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Pew Catholic from a parish on the South Side of Chicago.

Found the experience jarring and, for the most part, uninspiring. The prayer after communion was unintelligible. Was inspired by the words of the latter part of Eucharistic Prayer III. Wish my pastor had spent more time preparing the chanted sections. During these dialogues we stumbled and fell. This will take some getting used to.

27/11/11 12:31  
Anonymous Fr. Llane said...

I just offered Mass using the new translations and chants for the first time and it was more sublime than my first Mass. (I've now been a priest for a year and a half.) Overall, things went went and the people responded well especially when the parts were being sung. I slightly misintoned a couple of the chanted parts and have a couple of things to clean up, but overall I am quite satisfied.

Overall, I give the congregation a 9 out of 10 with a little room for improvement. Overall, I felt that my participation in the role of the priest celebrant was more fruitful and prayerful tahn with the former translation.

27/11/11 12:36  
Anonymous blahedo said...

Pew-sitter, Diocese of Richmond (Virginia). It basically went fine, with some (expected) stumbling, but there were quite a few places where following the priest was hard---not because he was tripping, but because the sentence was a tangle of modifier phrases. I guess that must work better in Latin, and I suppose it would have been easier if I'd been reading it instead of hearing it.

The congregation played along pretty gamely, although on the "Lord I am not worthy", the guy next to me stared at the text with a puzzled look and mumbled, "what the heck is *that* about?" (I assume about the "roof" bit). His wife whispered an answer to him that I wish I could've heard, but the whispered conversation went back and forth a few times before they turned back to face the altar.

27/11/11 12:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had grown a bit anxious the last few weeks, concerned that our parish had not done enough to prepare us for the change. Oh me of little faith! Today’s 8 am Mass was lovely. It seemed the congregation was very much in sync on the new texts, responding confidently and certainly with more volume than usual. The other thing I noticed was that during the priest’s prayers, especially the Roman Canon, the folks in the pews were much more quiet. There didn’t seem to be the usual rustling around. Our young parochial vicar delivered a fine homily explaining the reasons for the new translation. He even instituted some new actions for the servers: candle bearers at the Gospel proclamation, and also at each station for the distribution of holy communion. I had never seen that at a Novus Ordo, and what a reverent impression it makes!

It was very evident that he had prepared well, as I heard no stumbles over the supposedly un-proclaim-able orations. It was a wonderful launch for the new translation. We have much for which to be thankful in the English-speaking church!

27/11/11 12:53  
Blogger Unknown said...

Fr. Brent Maher - Baton Rouge, LA

Having prepared the congregation reasonably well, short of simply going through the pew cards word for word before hand, things went pretty smoothly. Of course there were glitches with "and with your spirit" and mishaps with words here and there, but overall it went fine. I think my own stumbling a few times made the congregation more comfortable with it, realizing it'll take some time to get used to it. I heard few words about it after Mass, but what I heard was positive. As a priest only ordained 6 months, it was a bit frustrating to finally have the wording and ars celebrandi down only to have to change, but I absolutely welcome the changes themselves. I look forward to where we'll be a few months from now, when the changes have stuck in our minds and begun to bear spiritual fruit in our lives.

27/11/11 12:56  
Anonymous Father Joe Cocucci said...

Here at the Cathedral of St. Peter (Wilmington), the transition went swimmingly. We have three "Sunday" Masses (4PM Vigil, 8 and 11 AM Sunday morning) and only at one of them did a very small handful of people respond "and also with you" at the introductory greeting. Otherwise, all went quite well. I'm glad I had reviewed all the texts (and ribbon placements) a lot, though I'll admit I still felt tense from time to time. Having to refer so often to the book certainly changed the dynamic of prayer for me, but it was still very very prayerful.

27/11/11 12:56  
Anonymous Fr. Roger (Canada) said...

I celebrated Mass last night and this morning and everything has gone very smoothly. Sure, many in the assembly were still saying "and also with you" (including myself when the Deacon proclaimed the Gospel this morning), but that's to be expected for a couple of weeks. Last night when I proclaimed the Gospel, after the very poor response to the greeting, I looked at the assembly, smiled and said, "Let's try that again... The Lord be with you...", and everyone smiled and responded properly.

But I'm not at all worried. After ordination a year ago it only took me a couple of months to fully memorize the various secret and comon prayers (in two languages). I don't expect it to take much longer this time around.

I spent the last two months preaching on the meaning and nature of the changes, and the response from the assembly has been tremendously exciting. We will need only be vigilant about what we're saying, and that's not a bad thing, especially in this blessed season.

27/11/11 13:01  
Anonymous Nicole said...

I like what someone else said about being in this together. I really had that feeling as we prayed and smiled together. The priest had an excited nervousness about him; the pastor gave a pep talk before Mass and ended it with a "good luck!" There was a general good spirit.

I'm a campus minister at a Catholic High School; when we have our first school-wide Mass in a week, now that will be interesting.

27/11/11 13:02  
Anonymous Father Terry in Florida said...

Since September, we’ve been introducing into our parish’s Eucharist the (new to us) “Glendalough Mass.” No longer new to us, the Holy, Mystery of Faith, (Doxology and) Great Amen, and the Lamb of God were like marvelous little islands of familiarity and comfort in a sea of Getting-It-Right stress (about the spoken parts of the Mass). I’ve never heard our congregation sing more mightily!

27/11/11 13:03  
Anonymous Fr. Martin Linebach said...

Fr. Martin Linebach here from the Archdiocese of Louisville - Saint Patrick Parish. I was quite pleased for the inaugural event featuring the Missal 3 on Advent 1. The folks were focused, engaged and prayerful. I only made 3 mistakes ... well ... for the first Mass ... and I appreciated the chants. And lest we forget Christ is coming ... the my personal meditation for the day ... Dante reports that when he finally arrived in Paradise after his arduous climb from the Inferno, he heard the choirs of angels singing praises to the Trinity and, he says, “It seemed like the laughter of the universe.” According to Dante, in hell there is no hope and no laughter; in purgatory, there is no laughter but there is hope, whereas in heaven, hope is no longer necessary and laughter reigns.

27/11/11 13:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am pastor of a large suburban parish in southern Indiana. We have been preparing for the Third Edition of the Roman Missal both through general liturgical catechesis and preaching and faith formation sessions on the revised texts themselves over the past few months. I am also chaplain at a Catholic high school and visited each of the Theology classes in the school to talk about the changes. We were well prepared.

I was very pleased with our Masses this weekend - after all the preparation, I felt that we were able to pray the Mass - not just recite some words. I chanted the dialogues, which helped cue the new response - and how uplifting it was to hear a church full of people chanting "And with your spirit!" Of course, many people will take time to get used to the new translations, but the work of our musicians and liturgy committee helped us find prayer even with the changes. When prayed well, the new texts are beautiful and rich - the imagery and poetry of the Eucharistic Prayers especially make these prayers more meaningful than the previous translation. Like others, I preached on the phrase from the Collect, "run forth to meet Christ with righteous deeds." It is a wonderful biblical image that is now made explicit in the prayers of the Mass.

I look forward to continuing to unfold the riches of the Roman Missal!

27/11/11 13:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a priest celebrant in the Archdiocese of St. Louis- At the fourth Mass I celebrated this weekend with the new translation, I greeted the people before the Gospel, "The Lord be with you." Back came the response, "And also with you." "Wrong answer." I said and everyone laughed. "Let's try this again. The Lord be with you." This time the congregation got it right. I smirked through most of the gospel and the experience did help to break the tension of dealing with the new translation.

27/11/11 13:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a priest I would like to repeat what a brother priest said on here earlier. This is truth!! The fuller translation is beautiful but the phrasing and syntax need to go!!!!

"I can appreciate the need for a fuller translation of the Latin prayers, but I lament the artificial requirement that Latin sentence structure be maintained. The result is sentences that are very hard to 1) pray or 2) hear.

I have practiced making sense of the multiple phrases and clauses, yet the overabundance of these works against clarity and understanding. These prayers do not fulfill well their goal - communicating the saving mysteries of Jesus Christ to the People of God.

In time the fits and starts will be overcome by familiarity and repeated usage. But the inherent clumsiness and awkward phrasing will remain".

27/11/11 13:23  
Anonymous Msgr. Eric Barr said...

Msgr. Eric Barr here, vicar general of the Rockford Diocese and responsible for diocesan implementation of the New Missal. I have a parish of 500 families and we did just fine. We laughed over the many who still said, And also with you; I assured them that I was making as many mistakes, and we all left each of the three masses pretty pleased with how well it went. The language was not over the people's heads nor was it grammatically unintellible. Amazing! Kudos to the translators--this is a far more beautiful liturgy. In a month, we all will be pros at it.

27/11/11 13:29  
Anonymous Fr. Neil Buchlein said...

I thought my three Masses went very well. Throughout the last three months many articles were made available in the weekly bulletin as well as a "cheat sheet" which gave all of the changes for the people so they could become more familiar with it at home. We also had a presentation by a lay person from outside the parish who gave a powerppoint presentation and his perspective. Upon entering the church there was a laminated card with all of the responses. As for myself some of the flow of the wording was a little different but I really felt a great sense of peace in praying the prayers. Rather than being on "autopilot" one has to really enter into the liturgy with mind, body, and spirit. It will be VERY INTERESTING to see the reaction for the Christmas Masses when the "C & E" Catholics come out.

27/11/11 13:37  
Blogger Concord Pastor said...

Since yesterday afternoon I've presided at Mass three times with the new translation. The experience has put me in mind of buying a new pair of shoes.

I always find myself telling the salesperson, "I think these are too tight" but the clerk assures me the shoes are my size and that after I've worn them for a while, they'll fit just fine.

Sometimes I go along with that but sometimes I say, "No, these are just too tight - let me try another size or style."

At the shoe store, you get to make the decision but in the case of the new Missal, one size is supposed to fit all and we all leave the store wearing the same shoe regardless of how well we believe they fit.

I'll be walking around in these new shoes for many years and only time will tell how well they'll come to fit.

But this afternoon, my feet are sore.

27/11/11 13:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a celebrant, I was looking forward to using the new translation. There were a few mistakes made at the Mass last evening, and at this morning's Mass. That was expected. I made a couple mistakes also.

I appreciated the spirit of prayer that flows from this new translation. This isn't just a new English translation but a more liturgical translation of the Mass parts. There is something mystical about the prayers and the Eucharistic Prayer, which I appreciate.

My sense is that future generations of Catholics will envy those of us who lived to see the day when this new English translation was introduced into the Mass.

27/11/11 13:40  
Blogger Fr. Frank Schuster said...

How many Catholics does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: Change?! Change?! Actually, I am very impressed with my parishioners. They are handling the new responses well. They reverted back to "And also with you" before the Gospel reading at two of the Masses so far. Jesus' first words in the Gospel reading, "Be watchful! Be alert!" got a big chuckle from the faithful. I meanwhile find myself feeling like I did when I celebrated my first mass years ago, so much to remember and forget. My goal is to celebrate a perfectly licit Mass by the end of today. I am grateful for the love and support of the People of God. I think the new translation will enrich our worship with a little more practice.

27/11/11 13:42  
Blogger Fred said...

after 8 weeks of doing the responses using pew cards and 4 weeks of using the music, Mass went very well. As our pastor reminded us last week, this is the big week for him — because this is the week everything changes for him. He has told us that although he will miss the old translation, he believes that this translation will make us better as a people.

For my part, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the Father has a "serene and kindly countenance". It feels warmer and more intimate.

27/11/11 13:44  
Anonymous Maxwell Waters said...

Lay, Choir, Washington University's Newman Center, St. Louis

Overall the transition was smooth. I could hear that our pastor had practiced, especially as he said Eucharistic Prayer III with passion and good intonation; everyone used their pew cards well, and for the most part we seem to be well on our way.

We need to get used to "and with your spirit"; we were about 60-40 toward the latter, so that's good, but we still need work -- the entire congregation slipped back to "And also with you" during the preface to the sign of Peace :P

For all intents and purposes, however, things are going swimmingly, and we're already figuring out how to make these new words our own.

27/11/11 13:46  
Anonymous Louisville, KY said...

As a layman in Louisville, KY, I found the new translation absolutely beautiful. Perhaps a few words were a little more flowery than I would have preferred myself, but overall I was extremely pleased. I kept hearing things all through the Mass that made me think, "Woah, that's deep!" One of the most beneficial things about the new translation for me is that it allowed me to really pay attention to both what I and the priest were saying - I think it's a good thing that none of us will be able to go through Mass on autopilot for a while. I also only slipped up once with an "And also with you" at the Gospel, so I count that a success for the first day. =

Overall, I think the rest of the congregation did fairly well: the priest made an announcement before Mass to make sure everyone used the pew cards and practiced some of the sung responses. I heard a lot of "also with you's" mingled in with "and with your spirit's", but for the most part, including the Creed, I think we did fairly well.

The priest highlighted some of the changes in his homily, and it is amazing to me how both the old and the new are translations of the same, unchanged Latin text! The new translation is so much more visual, more poetic, more prayerful, and more beautiful. I believe that it will bring nothing but good to the Church.

27/11/11 13:54  
Anonymous TNCath said...

Well, ours went ok. Yes, a few “And also with yous” here and there. The celebrant still ad libbed the introduction to the Penitential Rite and used Eucharistic Prayer II and added the prayer for Masses for the Dead. At the conclusion of the Agnus Dei, he recited the private prayer of the priest aloud before the “Ecce Agnus Dei,” which he ad libbed as he always did before. And, at the Final Blessing, he did his usual “May Almighty God bless you, IN THE NAME OF THE Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.”

Thankfully, he did not do his usual ad libbing at the “Orate fratres,” and the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer.

All in all, it could have been a lot worse! I was actually surprised he was as faithful to the new translation as he was!

27/11/11 13:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pendulum has Swungeth too Fareth...

27/11/11 14:00  
Blogger Oonie said...

Thanks for opening comments; this has been very interesting.

I am writing as laity, in a suburban Philadelphia parish.

Our parish has had some recent turmoil so while the GERM was certainly something we knew was coming, we hadn't adopted anything yet, but the priest went accordingly and teased us with a good natured "WRONG!" when we all answered "And also with you" the first time. The pew cards helped.

For those complaining the new missals are too heavy, tell your parish (nicely); ours were exactly the same as the old ones and were not a burden at all. (Maybe yours were lighter than ours were but that there are many different versions of the new missal might be helpful for some parishes where weighty books are an issue.)

Personal reactions: while as a class-A nerd, I love using the right word at the right moment, like "consubstantial," but I had three issues at Mass, and judging from the whispers and looks of those around me, I'm not the only one.

1) "For the many." Who's left out?

2) The Creed. The whole point of Mass is that WE come together to pray as a community. I can say the first-person singular on my own in my room, watching Mass on cable. And I will miss saying "We believe..." in my personal prayer life, as it was a reminder of the connection that we Catholics have.

3) I cannot get past the rewrite of what was for me the most meaningful moment of Mass--"Lord, I am not worthy to receive You..." The introduction of "roof" is distracting (which roof? my house? my mouth?) and while I understand and celebrate returning to words closer to what Our Lord actually said, returning to the words of one citizen who happened to be quoted is not as meaningful to me.

Another thing that I can live with but others were whispering over was "chalice" for "cup." I saw many rolled eyes for that one and think that most of our congregation is closer to Indiana Jones than Rome on this one. And as someone who used to have grape juice from paper cups, and was no less blessed, this seems silly.

I completely agree with the King of Prussia commenter earlier. This seems like a cranky argument from an AP Latin Class rather than anything else.

I do like some of the vocabulary, and I go back and forth between being happy to pay more careful attention to the Mass and missing it being second nature.

And I'll admit some despair on reading "and with they spirit" is in Canada. I thought the idea was to get us all on the same page.

27/11/11 14:05  
Anonymous OLBH said...

The Saturday evening Mass at Our Lady of the Black Hills in South Dakota, in general, went well. However, with a baptism during Mass, not all of the changes were fully "noticed" because of it. Our Parish and Diocese has been preparing for the changes for a long time, which I think helped greatly. The only part, at least from my perspective as a Eucharistic Minister was the "Invitation to Communion" - the "Lord, I am not worthy...". It was one part of the mass we hadn't "practiced" chanting the response, so with the word changes, it kind of fell apart. But overall, the first 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal Mass was good.

27/11/11 14:08  
Anonymous Midwestern Priest said...

All went well at my parish. Sure, there were the mistakes, especially the lapses before the Gospel and before the blessing where the response is changed.

Most of all, as a priest praying the English texts, I finally felt like I was offering the Mass. In my own prayer life, I pray with very simple words--straight and to the point. And the old translation was this. Yet, the majesty of God is so much more than that, and I am glad we now have a translation to truly lift my mind to God--for that is exactly how I felt while saying (and praying) the new words. This was most especially true in the Eucharistic Prayers.

I agree that given a year or two, we will hardly remember anything else. We don't need any great exertion. We don't need any superhuman intellect. We just need time and repetition.

27/11/11 14:17  
Anonymous ASR said...

(Cantor): In my parish in the Diocese of Salt Lake, the Vigil Mass went pretty smoothly. I was suprised how well the Creed went. The participation by the congregation was impressive. The only thing that stood out was when Father said, "LET US PROCLAIM the mystery of faith." Other than that, went well.

27/11/11 14:18  
Blogger Rich said...

As a layman in College Station, TX, we were well prepared for the translations, and everything was fine. The parish setup worship aids with the new responses and new ordinaries so that no other books would need to be handled. That way people could just have the one sheet. It worked fine.

As a former member of an Anglican Use parish, I found the translations similar. The Anglican Use is a very majestic liturgy both in form and language. I found myself more aware of the fact that I was doing something that was sacred and not merely routine.

27/11/11 14:22  
Anonymous fr. Boniface said...

On the whole, things went well in our parish here in Seattle. The priests have been practicing for some weeks in their chapel when they didn't have public Mass, and we intruduced a new Mass setting over a month ago.

Responses were a little more muted than usual, but on the whole people seem not to mind as much as was feared, although we also did a lot of catechesis.

For myself, I generally like it, in spite of a few critiques. I find it more prayerful and beautiful.

27/11/11 14:23  
Anonymous Mack Hall said...

Our Lady of LaSalette Mission
Kirbyville, Texas
Eucharistic minister / lector / pewsitter

WONDERFUL! As a convert I was aware that the liturgy once featured GROWN-UP languange, and now here it is!

Forgive my puerile, all-caps gushing, but the restored language is a beautiful, respectful gift for us to offer humbly to God.

27/11/11 14:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nathan from North Carolina: I was shocked at how rich the prayers were. It left me very grateful to be here to see this happen.

27/11/11 14:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

two masses as a visiting priest from abroad in an inner-city parish:

a) I'm not sure that most people even noticed the difference--they may have thought it went with my strange accent, especially since one congregation had never seen me before.

b) not my parish, so it was not really my place to cajole them. So the changes in the people's responses largely didn't happen.

c) a great improvement to be able to use the Apostles' Creed, which I introduced by telling them that it's so much our prayer that we can say it as one person (which I think is the official rationale). We are almost saying 'I believe' means 'we believe' ... but the point can be made without ridicule. It's actually important not to let this change make us any more individualistic than we already are.

d) with a little prudent massaging (of the kind we always did with 1973 anyway), the texts are livable with. I will need time for EP 2 but EP 3 is in some respects improved. Second time round I gave up with the postcommunion and adlibbed. The long sentence in the Preface, despite some serious criticisms that can be made of it as translation, actually worked in a way I did not expect.

27/11/11 14:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This new transalation is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

27/11/11 14:34  
Anonymous Buckeye Pastor said...

Our congregation did better than the Buckeyes. There were a few slip-ups here and there by both priest and people, but we'll make it. I appreciated the poetry and imagery, especially in the Collect and in Eucharistic Prayer I. I can't wait for the first grade-school Mass. The kids have been practicing -- the first graders are so sincere -- and so loud. I might get blown right through the back wall of the sanctuary.

27/11/11 14:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr. J. - celebrant
It felt like I was saying my first Mass again, which happened 20 yrs ago. Was wonderful reading and praying the new Mass. Some "pewsitters" were quietly sobbing with joy at the new wording. All in all a welcomed and good change to the Mass.

27/11/11 14:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No big problems that time and practice will not overcome. As a priest I was expecting the proclamation to be a bit of a challenge but it went smoothly. The imagery and Scriptural references are rich. And you're right,NCR does get the prize for most over the top reaction..."feeling like loosers" and all.

27/11/11 15:09  
Blogger Father Len said...

Father Len Stoviak say ...

All went well at the three Masses at our parish of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in North Huntingdon, PA (Greensburg Diocese). As Father Mike Kavanaugh and others have said, I find the Latin sentence structure hard to pray and hard to hear. But we will adapt.

One funny moment happened following the blessing at the 8:30 Mass. I ended with the dismissal "Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord" to silence. Either they missed the "Go" or were waiting for the Mass is ended. We laughed.

On a personal note, I found that I read the mass (attention to detail), instead of my usual practice for the last 38 years of praying the words. This, too, will change.

27/11/11 15:10  
Anonymous cliff, pew sitter said...

Went very well. No one seemed uptight about it; the priest was probably the most nervous. The prayers were most notably reverential to my ears, maybe because they were new and slowly done. The priest did choose Eucharistic Prayer III, which has not been used in our parish in years, and maybe that was why he did it, new to us and to him. It seemed that everyone expected mistakes so no one was bothered by them when made, except maybe the priest; he was the only one that I saw who even grinned as they happened, but he did joke when he made them himself (probably his own nervous tic), which was unnecessarily disruptive. The number of references to the prayer card ("I now invite you to take up the prayer card" repeatedly) made it seem stilted and detracted from the otherwise fairly prayerful service, but these should reduce over time. Just doing it without so many administrative interludes, seems to me, would have been better, even the first time through. I heard very few comments after Mass about the changes; most seemed just to take them in stride.
(Shreveport, LA)

27/11/11 15:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a pew-sitter:

Is it just a faulty memory, or are some of these new prayers and responses similar to, if not word-for-word the same, as the English translation of the Latin in my St Joseph Missal, circa 1963...the year of my First Communion?

In "The Mass of the Catechumens" (interesting, that...), the Confiteor has us saying, in English, "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault"...which I remember saying, Autumn of 1963, when part of the Mass was in hastily cobbled together English, and the other, more profound portions, was still in Latin.

For me, it isn't so much auto-pilot that is going to trip me up, as it is returning to that which I had once memorised in the 3rd and 4th Grades before the Missalettes standardised everything.

And The Nicene Creed, originally written in Greek, twice, in the 4thC still is wrong. ;)

Things that make me go, "hmmm"...

27/11/11 15:18  
Anonymous Chris said...

At our parish in the Milwaukee area, we practiced and educated for months. Now that the "big day" arrived, it was a relief for everyone, I think.
In fact, when people made a mistake, they were able to laugh at themselves - just a little - as if to say "We've been practicing this. We should have known better!"

After all, doesn't that just prove that we are real, live, human beings in the midst of a great ritual? One parishioner remarked that God must be laughing this morning as well.

27/11/11 15:30  
Blogger John said...

I found that practicing the cadence and "voice" of the prayers beforehand helped enormously. I was skeptical, but it turned out to be quite good. As for the responses of the people, they appear not to be a big deal to them. In short order that will become second nature.

27/11/11 15:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The changes to the wording left me unmoved -- neither angry nor relieved nor delighted -- but what I did find surprisingly refreshing was the realization that the church CAN, in fact, change. Even a little. For this under-50 Catholic, just having a little fresh air blowing in was kind of nice.

27/11/11 15:40  
Anonymous Fr Brendan Murray said...

Went well here in Dover NJ. Someone who had been at Mass later posted a birthday greeting to me (it is my b'day): Happy Birthday to your spirit, Fr Brendan!

27/11/11 15:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connecticut Celebrant

When expressing my concern for the language, and what I perceived to be violence that has been done to the English speaking Catholics throughout the world, a priest friend of mine said to me, "Suck it up and get over it"

Good advice. The Roman Missal has arrived. Probably there is little chance of getting an indult for the Paul VI Mass from the Holy See in the near future.

I do wish to express my gratitude to the men and women of the Office of Divine Worship at the USCCB and the many presenters who offered workshops for us in preparation of the roll out. Men and women of great learning and love for the liturgy and the Church, thank you for the example of your obedience and honesty.

Finally to the Bishop Trautman and others, who spoke with conviction and from the depths of your conscience. You too have offered us a good example of love for the Church, care for the people entrusted to you, and obedience. Thank you.

27/11/11 15:42  
Anonymous Robert P. Kirschmann, Sr. said...

I am a fairly conservative 30 year old, sing in the choir at my parish (Holy Trinity in Wallingford, Connecticut), and am a religion teacher at a Catholic high school, and was all ready to embrace the changes this weekend, not having been a particular fan of the former translation. However, I am not sure that I was prepared for the Mass, despite having been practicing the Mass parts for the past two months during choir rehearsals, and working with my students on getting them prepared.

I think, perhaps, that I, like everyone else in the pews, was far too focused on the changes WE would have to make, without considering the changes the priests would be making themselves. Our celebrant was the assistant pastor, a man who lived through the changes of the Council as a seminarian, left because he found it so confusing, and eventually got ordained, years later, as a rather left-leaning priest. I have never seen him pay so much attention to a Missal before, which was, admittedly, a nice change to the ad-libbing one so often gets (which, nonetheless, did creep in at some points). However, I myself was unprepared for the rhythmic changes of the Eucharistic Prayer, and probably maintained a less than prayerful attitude about it, if only because it sounded so different. The priest, too, struggled with the words, particularly at the consecration, focusing so hard on getting them right that he was not at all focused on the more important Thing happening.

I have no doubt that, eventually, things will seem more comfortable, but part of me laments the loss of several familiar phrases, which have been a part of my entire life. At the same time, though, I can't help but wish that my parents' and grandparents' generation had done a better job of translating the Mass in the first place, so that none of this would be necessary now.

27/11/11 15:44  
Anonymous Father Peter said...

I have been giving workshops around my diocese and a neighboring one for several months, going through the history and explaining the prayers. I warned people that the hardest shift will be "and with your Spirit" since the "and also with you" is so engrained in us and we say it several times durig the Mass. All went well today in my parish, but as I suspected, "and with your Spirit" was the tricky one.

27/11/11 15:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a member of the laity, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

This morning's celebration of the Eucharist was probably at par with many of the other descriptions shown in this comment thread--an awkward reading of the Missal by the celebrant, even more awkward responses by the congregation, etc... As a person who grew up with the previous English translation of the Missal of Paul VI, the first encounter with the new English translation was a mixed event. I think I know how the previous generations felt in the 1960s and early 1970s with the previous liturgical reforms.

Will the new translation help the People of God to encounter Christ more fully in the celebration of the Eucharist? We can only pray that it will.

My only other prayer is that the era of liturgical reform and change be over once and for all.

27/11/11 16:05  
Anonymous Matt H. said...

I attended the conventual Mass at a Dominican priory in Northern California this morning. Before the liturgy began, one of the student brothers made an announcement reminding us that the new translation would come into effect today. He also pointed us toward cards with the responses printed on them, which had been deployed in the choir stalls.

The heightened solemnity of the new translation, and the greater fidelity of the words to the Latin, was apparent in all of the responses and prayers. Most striking to my ear, however, were the revisions to the Confiteor and to the Eucharistic prayer. With respect to the former, the more exact rendition of the Latin lent a certain gravity to the whole penitential rite that the old version could not, in my opinion, impart quite as effectively. As for the latter, the celebrant opted for the Roman Canon, and I was able to note the presence there of many words that were simply absent from the previous translation. The result was a longer, more repetitious, but also more reverent prayer.

Many people responded to "The Lord by with you" by saying "And also with you" rather than "And with your spirit." There were also a few slip-ups on the assembly's part in the other responses, but not in as noticeable a manner. The celebrant stumbled over the words only a few times that I was able to notice. In a brief parting remark before the dismissal, he expressed the hope that future celebrations would go more smoothly as we all became accustomed to the new translation. On the whole, though, I thought that everything went rather well; I like the new translation, and I am glad that it is here to stay.

27/11/11 16:07  
Blogger Steven P. Millies said...

Pew-sitter in the Diocese of Charleston (SC)

Like most of the commenters here, a mixed 50/50 on the responses from the congregation and a few missteps from the altar. Many people seem to be trying to be good sports. But is the test really how it goes today? In several months, we will know whether these changes have been rejected or (more likely) whether people have tuned them out and gone on autopilot. I have wondered a lot whether we will be able to tell whether the translation has been accepted. Won't tuning out a Mass offered at the reading level of a graduate seminar just look like acceptance from the altar? I very much hope CARA or somebody else has put thought into developing a metric that will tell us whether this new translation has deepened people's prayer, or just put them off even more.

27/11/11 16:11  
Blogger Dawn Eden Goldstein said...

I attended at St. Anselm's Abbey in Washington, D.C., and was struck by the beauty of Eucharistic Prayer I in the new translation. It was wonderful to hear the celebrant ask the Father to "accept and bless these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices"--finally, the authentic ancient Roman prayer in English!

27/11/11 16:13  
Blogger Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am impressed with how many comments you got on this subject given the fact that you don't allow for comments on your other posts. What is so heartening and also hopeful for the Church in the USA is that so many of those commenting seem to be a rather wonderful cross section of the Church, don't appear angry at any authority or have axes to grind but love the Lord and want to worship Him as Catholics. Thanks for opening this to comments, I'm edified by what I've read!
Fr. Allan J. McDonald
Macon, GA

27/11/11 16:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parishioner of the Archdiocese of Washington, 28, Latinist working on PhD, husband and father of two:

I love the new translation as a better translation of the text.

I was surprised (and a little saddened) when the celebrant this morning showed how he felt about the new translation by pretending that it didn't exist and simply used the old one.

We had pew cards with the new responses, and about 70% of the congregation used them, although the prompts said by the priest were not the prompts on the cards.

27/11/11 16:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended the Saturday Vigil Mass at Christ the King Cathedral in the Diocese of Lubbock, Texas. As a convert from Lutheranism (with a couple years in between as an Anglican), I was very much looking forward to the changes. Although our parish hasn't done too much practice, it was a remarkably good effort for a first time.

We used the 3rd form of the Kyrie, which was kind of disappointing - I was very much looking forward to the new confiteor. Since we had a baptism, the Credo was omitted. Our priest put quite a bit of effort into it, and seemed like he had practiced more than the congregation - a very good thing.

The only complaint is that our Cantor tried too hard to keep our responses correct by leading us in them over the mic, causing the congregation to say them out of unison, which was mildly annoying.

As a side note, I would not be surprised if the size of the book caused a move towards all-male servers (not that I would object)!

27/11/11 16:37  
Anonymous Barb said...

Things went well here for the most part. Several "and also with you's" but more mistake than defiance. Priests did well. Pew cards were very helpful. At Christmas we're going to do a run through of the changes again for the C & E folks. (Probably at Easter, too.

27/11/11 16:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr Mike from Boca Raton, Florida writes: All went well. We started singing the new parts of the mass a few weeks ago. They went well. I also sung "The Lord be with you" each time it appeared. The people did very well singing back "And with your spirit". We had practiced the response before mass. I plan on doing this until all are familiar with "And with your Spirit".

The pew cards we had (Liturgy Training Publications) made it easy for the people to follow the unsung parts.

The new prayers are a bit wordy. I wonder if anyone would be able to diagram some of the sentences in the prayers! But, all in all it went well.

27/11/11 16:43  
Blogger Christopher M. Zelonis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27/11/11 16:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the Cathedral in Chicago. Cardinal George preached and admitted that enough was close to what we had been using "to be aggravating" and that he, along with everyone else, had to pay close attention.

Things went well. As others have said, about 50/50 in the responses. I'm sure that it will feel like old hat to us by this time next year.

I've followed this for ten years of 'liturgy wars' and spent hours prepping teachers and catechists, so I was unprepared to be surprised at something.

That something was the preface. As it was being chanted, I totally lost the train of thought. I realized, probably for the first time, how much the preface sets the stage for how I pray during the Eucharistic prayer. (Funny,that.) I found myself longing for the familiar phrases. When I came home, I read it, and it is fine read on the page, but while hearing it, it is hard to keep track. Maybe I'll have to do as much prior prep as the presiders to know what we are saying.

27/11/11 16:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At our parish in Northern Virginia, we were well prepared by our priests. Compared to the upheaval when the Mass went from Latin to English, this was a breeze. It is a relief to have the old responses restored. Thank you JPII and B16!

27/11/11 16:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved it! Tears came to my eyes at the beauty of some of the Mass, esp. the Priest's part in Eucharistic Prayer III. It was beautiful and I am delighted. Also, as a woman, I feel entirely included! -- Marybeth from CT

27/11/11 16:58  
Anonymous Servant of the Liturgy said...

Sacristan/MC in central NJ

Our retired wkend assistant bumbled through it a bit, but it could've been a lot worse. I went over the placement of the prayers in the Missal with him prior, as far as ribbons and tabs.

The people were really great. 1 out of the 4 Masses stumbled twice at the "and with your spirit", but besides that really not that bad. They were on cue for all others parts of the Mass, with pew cards in hand. Most of them seemed interested and really gave it a shot.

The Gloria will be interesting come Dec 8th, as we were the only Diocese to not introduce the sung parts of the Mass along with the rest of the conference. (OK, OK, we cheated, but don't tell our Bishop)

This is not the end of the world, people.

Also, Rocco- thanks for opening comments up on this. I was hoping someone who had a wide-reaching audience would! Keep up the good work, friend.

27/11/11 17:02  
Blogger --Dwight Lindley said...

The view of a pew-sitter at St. Anthony's Church, Hillsdale Michigan, Diocese of Lansing:

It went off pretty well without a hitch. There was some hiccupping over the "under my roof" change, and a few others, though our pastor worked hard to make it as comfortable a shift as possible. For instance, he wove commentary into the mass in three or four different places, accenting some of the changes and the reasoning behind them. I think it also helped that he sang the "the Lord be with you" and we sang the new response--somehow this was easier than just saying something new.

General impressions: the priest seemed quietly happy about the change, and most others I spoke with took it pretty well in stride. Overall, no big waves of the kind prophesied in some quarters.

Here's praying that we take this opportunity to re-imagine the truths behind our liturgical language.

27/11/11 17:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the pews in central (Centreal?) Pennsylvania:

I attended Mass bright and early at a parish that is maybe a click to the traditional side (for example, we have a Gregorian Chant schola, regular Adoration, etc). The priest reminded us all that it's the Big Day, introduced us to the cheat sheet tucked in every missal, and reminded us that it's going to be a learning experience for all of us, and that we'd have our noses in the books for a while.

And then we moved on. It sounded like a fifty-fifty split of "And with your spirit" vs "And also with you," which I imagine is close to normal. (I've been saying "And with your spirit" under my breath for over a year to get ready, which means that I know the words but I have to train myself to say them aloud!)

Anyway, from what I could tell listening to those around me we seemed to be approaching it with good humor, and my guess we'll be good to go in a month or two. We rolled out the new Gloria, etc a while back and got used to those sung mass parts pretty quickly.

The other parish in town is usually a little (ok, a lot) more progressive; I considered going there instead to check out the scene, but decided that was a bad reason to pick one parish over another...

27/11/11 17:11  
Blogger Gus & Veronica said...

Choir member, small town parish in SC

Our bishop allowed the use of certain parts since September and prior to that our pastor had been giving us reminders and a 2 min instruction every other week about the changes. So in September we started with the new Gloria, Sanctus and the Memorial acclamation. Today I'd say that 80% to 90% of people got everything right thanks to the instruction our pastor has been giving us way in advance. You could tell he was excited about the changes. He used today Eucharistic Prayer 1 and itbwas absolutely beautiful . So it ran very smoothly in our church. Coming from a Spanish speaking country I welcome the new translation. It is definitely the same we have in Spanish.

27/11/11 17:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pew sitter from the Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables, Florida, USA.

We've been using the new translation piece-meal since September, so everything was smooth and enriching this First Sunday of Advent.

27/11/11 17:17  
Blogger Fran said...

I had no idea you had comments here today -thank you so much.

Overall in my parish, things went well. If I were to make one remark about something that took me by surprise and in the most positive way it was this... we all seemed more "together" than usual. I had not noticed that we were "apart" before, but not everyone sings or responds. It seems more people did both yesterday and more clearly.

We all stumbled, Father did too, but all in all, we were there and it was not as bad as I had at one time worried about or imagined.

27/11/11 17:21  
Blogger Fr. Andy Moore said...

I am a priest in the Diocese of Beaumont. I have celebrated 4 Masses this weekend, with one to go. Overhead projectors helped smoothe our transition. Overall, people were mostly prepared after many months of talking it up. After 14 years celebrating Mass with the now-abrogated Sacramentary, it was awkward for me at first, but it was so nice to celebrate the Mass without drifting off into "auto-pilot" mode. I actually paid attention to the words of the prayers... and how beautiful they are. In the long run this will be a lasting and fruitful gift to the Anglophile Church from Blessed JPII!

27/11/11 17:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Music Ministry , parish in Maryland, Archdiocese of Washington and Director of Campus Ministry at local Catholic high school

I sing at the 5 pm mass in my home parish and for me it was a very sad experience. While I'm sure we will grow into this with more experience, everyone, including the celebrant, was so focused on 'getting it right' that I did not feel that I had truly been praying. We have been using the new sung responses for about 2 months now so those were fine. And really even the people's responses weren't that big a deal. Although, the 'enter under my roof' is just ridiculous - I get the whole quoting scripture thing, but we aren't asking Jesus to enter our house, we're asking him to enter our bodies - so it's not even like it makes sense!

However, the Eucharistic Prayer was just so difficult. The presider had obviously been practicing, and really did try. BUT... the sentence structure just doesn't make sense in ENGLISH! As a theology major who did study Latin, I could see the parallels and the obviously Latin origins, but as someone who worships in English it was distracting and to some degree irreverent how much I had to think about it rather than pray it.

I am also the Director of Campus Ministry at a local Catholic high school with about a 40% Catholic student / faculty population. And that's on paper... who knows how many are actually practicing weekly at their parishes. We will gather next week for the Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion and truly that will be a VERY interesting experience. We have been doing catechesis in the religion classrooms and are doing a school-wide Advent Prayer Service tomorrow that will also have us practice some of the responses and have a reflection on how they are an invitation to a deeper love of the Mass as we prepare for Christmas (have to sell it somehow!). BUT we barely have participation with the responses that we have been using for the students' and most faculty members' entire lives, so I'm not exactly hopeful about it being a positive experience.

Pray for us.....

27/11/11 17:33  
Anonymous Fr John Nolan said...

Things went well in central Illinois at St. Joseph the Worker in Chatham. We use projection screens and were able to "prompt" the people whenever a response was upcoming. The sung Mass texts were already familiar. We had a couple of long pauses, but overall the comments were positive. It seemed there was a more full and active participation. Fr. John Nolan, VF, Pastor.

27/11/11 17:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a cantor in Northeast Pennsylvania:

As is common in my area, my parish has more than its fair share of older members, so I worried a bit about how receptive the congregation would be to the changes. I was surprised to find the opposite was true: the younger and middle aged congregants seemed a bit more wary, while some of the older ladies joked with the priests after the Masses that it would take time.

I didn't notice any hiccups, even when we got to "consubstantial." While I was originally a bit skittish about the long sentences (and I do think the phrasing must be difficult for celebrants) I did find the texts to be more poetic and elegant, especially the preface (I guess "Thones and Dominations" sounds a bit better than it looks when you read it).

All in all, it went well.

27/11/11 17:50  
Anonymous Tony Mohr said...

On the Sunshine Coast of Australia. No change, we are staying with the old.

27/11/11 17:53  
Anonymous Matt in CC, TX said...

Matt, lay person, from Corpus Christi, TX

-I help out behind the scenes at mass at my parish, so I was at three masses this morning. We started singing the new Gloria and Sanctus about a month ago, so the congregation was well prepared for that. I would say that the other responses were about 50/50. The priests had a few hiccups too, which helped the rest of us to feel alright about making mistakes.

-Some of the wording is awkward at places, but overall I think that the new translation is leaps and bounds above the old translation. It's so much more poetic. I was just about in tears of joy the first time I heard chalice instead of cup. And the collects were wonderful too. There's something about the idea of "[running] forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming" that is far more evocative than Christ "[finding] an eager welcome at his coming," and I know that I, for one, will enjoy chewing on the new poetic images.

27/11/11 17:57  
Anonymous Msgr. Tim said...

Things went well in northern Minnesota. The folks seemed to be very accepting of the changes. It will take a while for the response, and with your Spirit to catch on but it will be fine. We welcome tha change as we journey to the future.

27/11/11 18:01  
Blogger Laura R. said...

Choir member, cathedral in southeastern U.S.

Everything was printed in the pew handouts so it was easy for the congregation to get most things right. The main glitches seemed to be over "And with your spirit" as the old response is so automatic -- but that will surely change. My own feeling was that the new translation is beautiful and I was honored to have some part, however small, in the leading and support of this historic change.

27/11/11 18:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's Mass was an exercise in English as a foreign language.

27/11/11 18:29  
Anonymous Jeff Rexhausen said...

For several years, we have used a projection system for song lyrics. For the past 12 weeks, we used it for the new sung Glory and to go through the upcoming changes. Today, it really helped people to participate more fully.

Every time "And with your spirit" was the expected response, we planned to chant the preceding line; this worked quite well, except when the deacon simply spoke "The Lord be with you" at the beginning of the Gospel, to which almost everyone responded "And also with you."

The singing was strong. So were most of the people's responses; the creed was noticeably weaker on the unfamiliar phrases.

Our pastor (in his 80s) has been strongly encouraging people to follow his example of approaching this positively. Despite his smile and energy, it was clear that he was struggling with the new translation. (He privately confided that he has spent a good deal of time in preparation, and he confessed one adaptation: for the prayers that are said quietly, he has pulled the pages out of an old Latin Missal so that he doesn't have to learn them in a new translation.)

27/11/11 18:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pew sitter Nova Scotia
At some point in time I am sure that this will become prayer but for now it is just words.Some times we think of the words as merely rote responses but there comes a point where they truely become prayer, and it will be a long time before this does, but it might....

27/11/11 18:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is actually a comment about Masses I celebrated in two different parishes in the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois last weekend -- the Solemnity of Christ the King. I'm a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

At the end of Mass, I suggested that the "reason" for the change in the opening dialogue comes from a priest somewhere who started Mass by tapping the microphone and saying "There's something wrong with this microphone." To which the parishioners heartily responded, "and also with you."

Since this is the last time we'll use "and also with you," enjoy saying it. And so, after saying "The Lord be with you," the response from the pews was a hearty "and also with you."

Parishioners have a sense of humor, for sure. My celebration of the Mass today in Chicago went well, but I hadn't adequately prepared the preface chant. So, I'd give more credit to the faithful than to myself.

27/11/11 18:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the Mass I concelebrated this morning with the parish priest, the Mass and even the revised hymns went smoothly. The main celebrant used the first Eucharistic Prayer -- we used to call it the Canon of the Mass. What a msterpiece, even in its new English rendering. The text is so rich in scriptural references, theology, imagery, symbolism, poetic cadences. What a gift to the English-speaking Church. If the rest of the new English translation is like the First Eucharistic Prayer, Catholics are in for an esthetic and spiritual experience beyond words. For me every word is a source of meditation. ** by Gino **

27/11/11 19:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had been preparing for months, it seems, at St. Thomas More in Decatur, GA. There was a sense of "we can do this" and Mass went so smoothly. I like the way the new liturgy makes me think about what I say at Mass.

27/11/11 19:15  
Anonymous J.D. Aquila said...

As someone responsible for "teaching" the Roman Missal in the Diocese of Providence, the responses came easily to me. Mass at our local Dominican parish went smoothly despite a few "and also with you's". The celebrant did a wonderful job introducing the changes before Mass and during his homily.

27/11/11 19:15  
Blogger Margaret Duffy said...

I'm an Extraordinary Minister in a parish in Manhattan, NYC. I was sitting in the choir stalls of the church with the lector, the cantor and another EM. From there we can see both the priest and the congregation. I thought it went very well. Our parish was prepared by having our clergy talk about the changes in their homilies for the last four weekends, concentrating on different aspects of the new wording. Still, there were a few glitches for both the priest and the congregation.

For myself, I was tripped up every time the priest sang "The Lord be with you". I kept wanting to sing the old "And also..", but that will go with time. By the end of Mass I was singing "And also with your spirit". All I have to do now is drop the "also".

Aside from my own bloopers I was struck by two things. 1) The congregation was really paying attention and following in the new supplementary missals and 2) the power of the Eucharisitic Prayer (#IV) where, just before the Holy, Holy, he says "And so, in your presence are countless hosts of Angels, who serve you day and night and, gazing upon the glory of your face, glorify you without ceasing. With them we, too, confess your name in exultation, giving voice to every creature under heaven as we acclaim:" It was, like, WHOA!!! That's strong stuff on a cosmic scale! If that's what we can expect from the prayers, it'll be dynamite.

Bottom line. In six months no one will remember the "old" language.

27/11/11 19:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a parishioner of a mid-sized suburban parish in Cleveland, Ohio, who has a great interest in things liturgical:

We have been practicing our new Mass setting (Mass of St. Paul the Apostle) since October, so that went smoothly. We also practiced some new advent music (from our new music minister) before Mass. The pastor reminded the congregation before the Mass began of the changes, urged everyone to have a sense of humor as we all learn the new parts, and reminded us to refer to the pew cards and/or missalette to follow along with the changes. The only thing he specifically practiced was "And with your spirit." There were some automatic responses of "And also with you," (particularly before the Gospel), and the pastor kind of messed up the concluding doxology of the EP, but I heard no negative comments. The pastor did seem glued to the book and was very careful and deliberate in his delivery, much more so than I have ever seen him do. Overall, things went smoothly. The Collect and particularly the Prayer after Communion were less than stellar translations, IMHO, particularly the poor English word order of the latter, "...for even now, as we walk amid passing things, you teach us by them to love the things of heaven." Huh?! I know that's not what the prayer actually means, but couldn't have someone edited it more effectively?

I bet we'll get used to the changes in a few months.

27/11/11 19:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Mass at a church here in Fort Lauderdale for the Saturday Vigil. The pastor, usually mild and conciliatory, morphed into a rabid cheerleader for the new missal, telling us that we had fallen into rote memorization of the former liturgical language, and this new Missal was the Holy Spirit’s way of making us all Catholics. He had done preparation work in the parish for weeks, and a lot of people used the cards in the pew, but a lot didn’t. I heard deliberate “and also with you” responses around me.

I listened intently, trying to gauge the congregation’s response until the point where the celebrant said “like dewfall” during the Consecration. At that point, I think I let out a “Ha!” just as an unfiltered reaction, and one phrase come up into my consciousness: Hot House Religion.

Overall, it was a sad occasion; I felt something intimate and dear and concise was being abandoned. The priest seemed vocabulary-bound and over-intellectualized, not the Father who was our Brother the week before as he celebrated Mass with us. The Mass had a distinct absence of joyfulness. I felt I was more an observer than a fellow traveler with our celebrant.

As for me, I lost sleep over the whole thing last night. In the nineties, I came back to the mainstream church after decades in the underground (‘valid but illicit’) church in the seventies and eighties. This morning I attended a wonderful, inclusive, spirited and happy Protestant service with a friend. The contrast between the two liturgies was unsettling.

After much agonizing, I think my solution will be to attend the Protestant services, and when in need of Eucharist, I will find a Spanish language Mass and receive there. (I do not receive Communion at the Protestant service--I am a Roman Catholic, after all.)

A note: thank you for giving the lay people a place to express our experiences; it has helped me personally to be able to say in print what I have said.

27/11/11 19:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sacristan/Lector/Eucharistic Minister/Music Ministry

Parish in Vancouver USA, Archdiocese of Seattle (just across the river from Portland in Oregon)

All in all, the introduction of the new translation went pretty smoothly today. We had the same, to be expected, issues as others have commented on already, e.g., "and also with you" vs. "and with your spirit".

Our pastor did a good, though low key, job in preparing the parish for the changes.

We did have "pew cards" and we also projected the changes to try & make things easier. Father did a great job reminding folks of the changes & told everyone to please make use of the pew cards.

Most of the changes for we in the pews are minimal. Some are bothersome -- "consubstantial"; give me a break! The change in the Domine non sum dignis is also problematic for most.

As with most things in life, change is not good nor bad; it simply is. Given time, we'll all get used to it.

I do feel for the Presiders. They have numerous changes & in many cases, the language of the new translation simply does not roll of the tongue which, I fear, makes it harder to listen to, follow & pray with.

27/11/11 19:49  
Anonymous Bob said...

Graduate student in theology/lay person in the pew:

1) The congregation was not surprised something happened, but they were definitely not prepared for what would happen. This left people scrambling for far too few pew cards. It would be a challenge to say anyone was doing anything more than trying to follow along. Heartfelt prayer was a challenge. I know time goes on this will obviously all change when normalization occurs. I only wonder how long until the priest and the congregation can truly lift their voices in true prayer without worrying the whole time.

2) In my young 20s I have had no experience aside from the prayers in the previous translation, though I have heard stories of pre-Vatican II Masses where the priest mumbled the prayers and the congregation sat docile. Tonight I came close to this experience, given the challenge presented to priests generally with the new Missal and the fact that our associate pastor is foreign with deficient (but growing!) English skills. During the Eucharistic Prayer, I could make out almost nothing due to this priest's earnest, but fledgling attempt. I found myself just reciting parts of old Eucharistic prayers at the appropriate actions.

These seem to be growing pains, but who knows how long adjusting will take!

27/11/11 20:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Eucharistic Prayer used today was very clunky and hard to follow. It just didn't sound right. I don't think this is something I want to hear each Sunday.

27/11/11 20:03  
Blogger Unknown said...

Things went extremely well here in San Luis Obispo, CA at the Old Mission Parish despire very limited pre-training of Mass attendees. The changes are not only beautiful they are subtle. With the wonderful worship aids we used today the change is just not that big of a deal. Any problems will be political rather than substantive in nature.

27/11/11 20:05  
Anonymous Bob from Maryland said...

I worship in a parish full of immigrants, many of whom who do not speak English as their first language. As a native English speaker, I was baffled at hearing this morning's Collect, and I wonder if they got anything out of it. Not because it used poetic imagery (I liked that), but because it was a chopped up syntactical mess.
"Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.

My ear heard "your" first, was wondering who that referred to, when I had processed that it was referring to "almighty God," I was suddenly back to trying to figure out whose "resolve" we were discussing, and was left wondering if I was somehow implicated in this prayer, why was I being referred to indirectly in the third-person plural? That's not poetry, that is just bad writing.
Would it have been so terrible if the Collect had been translated as follows:
"Almighty God, we pray that you grant us, your faithful, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming. Gathered at his right hand,
may we be found worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom."
Just as poetic, perhaps even slightly more faithful to the implied imagery from Matthew 25, and certainly easier to process via the spoken word. All of the Collect and other prayers for each specific Sunday will only be heard once every 3 years by the faithful -- if the point of the new translation of the Mass is to enrich and deepen this aspect of our common prayer, then I think they need to be written from the point of view of being intelligible to the ear.

27/11/11 20:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mass at Newman Hall in Berkeley, CA, I thought we did a credible job with the new translations. The Priest seemed to be reading more than speaking, and we seemed to skip the penitential rites, but other than that it was a smooth transition. Some of the older parishioners are very unhappy about the changes, so I was happy to see that the changes didn't throw anyone for a visible loop. I'm a pewsitter currently discerning a vocation.

27/11/11 20:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a seminarian currently in my pastoral year at a parish in Florida. We have been preparing since early September and everything went quite smoothly. The new translations are much richer theologically than the previous ones. They are alive with wonderful imagery and turns of phrase, even if, admittedly, some tend towards the unwieldy. Personally, I can't wait to be ordained and pray the prayers of the new Missal. If the law of prayer truly establishes the law of belief, the Anglophone Church can only benefit from the new translations.

27/11/11 20:20  
Blogger Fr. Fred said...

Fr. Fred here from West Michigan, pastor of three clustered rural parishes.
We started singing ordinary parts of the Mass in Sept. This weekend I used paperclips in the missalette to give page numbers as we went through the Mass - seemed to go well. I PRACTICED and PRACTICED the prayers so I could pray them not just recite them. While the English is a bit stilted, there are some really great sentiments in them. I think I'm going to like them. People were appreciative of the effort and a little humor kept us from getting overwhelmed. I can hardly wait for the school Masses (2 schools) this week to see how the students do. All in all a positive experience.

27/11/11 20:26  
Anonymous Fr. Eric Hastings said...

From a Pastor of a 500 family parish in Norhtern Minnesota...For us God was glorified and his people were sanctified all bit it with a little awkwardness and, thankfully, some wholesome chuckles at our stumbling together as we go to meet Christ. These past months of preparation have really helped to enter more deeply into the spiritual profundity of the Mass. I look forward to the months and years ahead of reflection on a text which, I admit is while a bit awkward at times in English, is very faithful to the Latin text. As for the "under my roof imagery", are we not temples of the Holy Spririt and are our hearts not meant to be tabernacles of the Holy Presence? This understanding makes the most sense to me. Thanks Rocco for the terrific blog.

27/11/11 20:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Music Director - large Michigan parish

Things went more smoothly than I thought they might. We started music in September, which helped greatly. Custom pew cards with Mass setting were easy to follow. Seemed about an even 50-50 split with "and with your spirit," but we're allowed a first time! Two priests: one very accommodating and helpful for the people. The other oblivious to the people and did not help them in any way. Lesson: ars celebrandi goes a long way toward helping people with the transition.

27/11/11 20:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Central Florida pew-sitter here. I assisted at two Masses today, one at my "mother" parish (big one, that) and one at the Monastery chapel (which I favor for its intimacy -- but boy, do they pack 'em in! So, it's "intimate" depending on how you define "intimate".)

Few glitches in these parts, I'm happy to report. A very small handful of people who seem not to wish to make the effort, but overall, things went very well! This may be a small step, but I find it very exciting, and thank God I'm here to see it.

27/11/11 20:45  
Anonymous Carol S. said...

Orlando, FL
Rocco, thanks for opening this up...
the first time I have a sense of your blog community and its widespread locations.
Seems, from the comments, that preparation was the key in how things "went"...
From my pew, two things: it felt more like a "dress rehearsal" than the real play, so focused were we on getting it "right"...but we did have to stay alert (Gospel) and there was a sense of struggling together with it. My second feeling was that I was hurtled back to the 50's, with both language and prayer card. I remember the large Latin/English Mass cards we used to have. So, I suppose reactions to a certain extent depend upon one's age bracket....I agree with the earlier comment about the "we" of the Creed being replaced by I.....much prefer the word that gives us a bond in belief for that critical profession of faith!

Final comment: (please don't edit this out, Rocco!!!) I want to take advantage of this forum to encourage all of Rocco's readers to consider donating a monthly amount so that he can continue his excellent and unique service to us in the church! It would remove some of the stress from his life.
I can do $25 a month and hope some of you might be able to match that.

27/11/11 20:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pew sitter in California.

There were quite a bit of hiccups throughout the Mass, but everyone was able to take it in stride.

The congregation had a collective, "oopsie" when it came time to say "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof..." It sounded like half of us remembered to follow along on the pew card, while the rest of us went on auto pilot. It's comforting to know that even when our prayers sound like gibberish, the heart of the prayer still came through.

The Eucharistic prayer sounds so poetic and beautiful.

We, most definitely, are trying our best to pray through the new translation. It's such a beautiful process.

27/11/11 20:48  
Anonymous Vlad said...

I'm the MC at a suburban parish in Ontario, Canada and the transition to the new missal was actually pretty smooth. We had pew cards which had the responses, we also put up the responses in the projectors and had the choir miked and responding loudly so the congregation can follow along. A couple of times, you can hear the likes of "And also with... your spirit" but overall, it was a positive experience. Personally, as the prayers were generally familiar but new, it made me more attentive to the Liturgy.

Sidenote: For our parish, the new translation was accompanied by another transition - we moved from using Missals to having Bibles in the pews so on top of learning new responses, people were learning how to find Isaiah, Corinthians and Mark in the Bible.

27/11/11 21:04  
Anonymous Fr. Jay Finelli said...

I have never head such an enthusiastic response from my parish. And not one complaint from all three weekend Masses. One person said she felt a deep unity with the Universal Church. It was indeed a grace filled experience.

27/11/11 21:13  
Anonymous OSB Monk said...

From the choir stall...
My community of Benedictine monks began using the new texts of the Eucharistic Acclamations in September and new setting of the Gloria in October (to date we've learned 5 versions of the Sanctus and Mem. Accl. and 3 new English settings of the Gloria- I suppose that is a benefit of our monastic schedule). As a community we didn't have a great deal of formal preparation, aside from a brief study day and a communal read-through of the texts. Our choirmaster and his assistants took the time to notate all the prayers that would be chanted, to give consistency from one monk-Celebrant to the next (we sing the prayers on all Sundays, Feasts and Solemnities) and to give the Celebrants one less thing to be concerned with "in the moment." All in all, things went well. Our guests/Assembly were given a comprehensive worship aid, concelebrants had bound copies of the Eucharist Prayer. There was only one "goof" during the course of the liturgy and that was the response, "And with you spirit," given during the "Pax."
On a more personal note, I'm glad that this is finally done. There will continue to be stumbling. I hope that a spirit of patience, charity, and discretion, will mark the coming days. Today was only the beginning, but I think we are off to a good start.

27/11/11 21:18  
Anonymous Ryan Ellis said...

Am an active parishioner at St. Rita's in Alexandria, VA (Diocese of Arlington). This is a very orthodox and reverent parish, and we've been looking forward to the corrected translation for a long time.

We took the opportunity to also implement two other great reforms--at the weekly "High Mass", we will from now on do the Liturgy of the Eucharist in an "ad orientem" direction. We also restored optional use of the communion rail for those who want to kneel to receive.

Very few mistakes, mostly because the parishioners were so active in their participation (and preparation).

This was, of course, in addition to our usual "Confiteor" penitential rite, the Roman Canon, and all three Simple English Propers. Latin here and there.

All in all, a wonderful day at a wonderful parish.

27/11/11 21:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the suburb to the North of NYC...I am Director of Music & Liturgy in 3 different locations. One is a medium-sized parish, one is a large religious community of men and the other is a small religious community of women.
All-in-all, it went well. The parish was by far the best. There was a great deal of preparation. We began using a very simple and new musical setting in September and there was a bit of catechesis every week.
The men's community was near disastrous, even with the head honcho as the presider. Much work to be done...
The women's community was somewhere in between.
Great focus, care and (above all) patience will be the key in coming weeks and months (and years).
The greatest "congealed" response was "And also with your spirit."
The funniest two IMO were when reciting the creed, some people began "WE believe", some "I believe" which made it sound to the passing observer as "Why believe" AND when one of the presiders said "...Angels and Dominations" during the preface.
This will take time...and have I mentioned patience?

27/11/11 21:28  
Blogger SJ said...

The 30-something (me) felt like I was at work. I was able to turn off the autopilot. I also guided the 80-something (grandma) next to me, lots of passing her my missal and whispering of page numbers. We will get used to it but boy... Christmas Eve at 6, that is gonna be something. So will our school mass on Friday morning.

27/11/11 21:30  
Anonymous Fr. Z said...

Here in Bristol RI, all went well. It will take a little to get use to, but no one got hurt!

27/11/11 21:30  
Anonymous Fr. Doug said...

As a priest who has celebrated the Mass according to the Anglican Rite for many years and now according to the Roman Rite for a number of years, I found the new translation WONDERFUL! Certainly there was some awkwardness, but that happens with text revision, ask the Episcoplaians, they went through it in 1979. Truth to be told, I love the fact that what was pedantic language has been replaced by poetry, and that completely horizontal imagery has been made again cruciform by including the transcendent.

I am elated!

27/11/11 21:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pew sitter from Michigan--pew cards were all in place today. We have been "rehearsing" the Gloria for weeks, as we would not be using it until Christmas again. But then today, we were told we will be using the Gloria through Advent so that we will know it by Christmas! The Apostles Creed was used instead of the Nicene Creed, perhaps because we are too illiterate to grasp the BIG words in the Nicene Creed now. All in all, responses went vey well, but couldn't help but feel that we are being talked down to. I welcome the beautiful, prayerful changes.

27/11/11 22:08  
Blogger InfiniteGrace said...

We were away this weekend so we weren’t at our home parish, but we were excited to attend Mass at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Cape May, NJ. Seemed to go smoothly. I think I was trying too hard not to mess it up! After a reminder from my awesome priest at home that the changes for the priest are so much bigger than ours - I found myself praying that the celebrant was okay up there and I hoped that the priests at my home parish were having a good weekend. I think the "and with your spirit" just may bring back some respect for our good and holy priests. Anyway, I was just excited to be there and look forward to next Sunday at home. I'm a VII baby but my church held out till I was about 10 until they changed everything so I'm looking at this as my second chance at CCD!

27/11/11 22:21  
Anonymous Tim said...

I'm a high school theology teacher in the Diocese of Dallas. For the past two months we (at my school, in our department, and in the diocese at large) have been catechizing our students and the faithful about the impending changes. At mass this morning my wife and I as well as our two small children all survived! I personally think the changes are beautiful. However, if the Church in Her wisdom had decided to mandate we speak our parts in pig-Latin I would have been cool with that. I learned long ago to listen to Mama. As for our experience at St. Ann's in Coppell, TX the priest only slipped up twice and quickly corrected himself. He did an excellent job with this transition. The people for the most part got it right on the money. We had been using some of the new musical settings for a while now so that went well. All in all, not a bad start to a new year!

27/11/11 22:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't call me a "pew-sitter." That is insulting to my life-long efforts, as a lay Catholic, to participate in worship and to build up the communal life of my parish. It also encapsulates everything that has been wrong with the process by which this new translation has been imposed on priests and people alike.

My large midwestern parish did fine today; our priest had rehearsed at some length and we tried to keep our eyes on the cards even when we might have preferred to focus on the words and gestures happening in front of us. As an accomplished Latinist, I find little beauty in texts that are often badly translated into awkward English or even flat-out wrong. As our bishop has recently reminded us, there can be no beauty when truth is absent.

27/11/11 22:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cantor in central Indiana:

Too worried about getting my cues right to do any actual "praying." We've been doing Gloria/Sanctus/Mem. Acclamation for a few weeks, but the sudden introduction of chant responses was a bit unsettling.

We had prepared our own pew cards but they weren't completely right, plus poorly laid out, so that added to some angst/confusion. But we got through it quite well.

I/we'll get there someday, but I can't help but be a little peeved at being told - again - how I should pray.

27/11/11 22:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mass went smoothly at 10pm in South Orange, NJ. I think that was thanks to the priest reminding the parishioners when it was time to use the pamphlet by lifting his own pamphlet in the air each time. Loving the new translation!

27/11/11 23:00  
Anonymous Deacon Frank said...

Deacon at the 10:00 am Mass here in Denver. Father started off the Mass by saying that this was going to take some getting used to and that all of us needed to take a deep breath, chill out and read the read from the cards provided in the pews. Immediately after the first, "The Lord be with you" when everyone answered "And also with you", he paused, everyone laughed and tried it again. This time with more "Spirit" in it. After that, things went well.

27/11/11 23:02  
Anonymous Fr. John Rooney said...

This is from the perspective of a pastor in a rural community in Nebraska.

I was nervous in starting the first Mass in the new translation, mostly because I didn't think I was ready with the chant tone for the presidential prayers (so we spoke them). When the congregation said the Confiteor with confidence, though, I knew we were on track. The preparation of the responses and chants and the preaching on the Mass seemed to come together for me at that moment. Then I was able to start praying the Mass. While the presidential prayers flow less smoothly, my heart was drawn into the prayers because they struck me as being much "bigger" prayers, asking God for so much more with more specificity. It reminded me of St. Paul's exhortation to enlarge your hearts because the prayers seemed to call us to expand our hearts to let God fill them with more.

At the second time of celebrating Mass, I had worked through the phrasing of the presidential prayers so when I did chant them, I was able to help the meaning come through more clearly. This will need to become part of my preparation for Mass.

In preparing the parish as well as in preparing myself, I found that, rather than entering into debate or critique, it was more helpful to adopt the posture of receiving what the Church is providing for us and trying to pave the way for a prayerful reception of the new translation as a way for us all to be renewed in our praying the Mass. I believe it worked. I am delighted, and I look forward to praying the Mass with these texts and letting them expand my heart.

27/11/11 23:13  
Blogger Paul Snatchko said...

I went to the 11 a.m. Mass at the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine in northern Manhattan in NYC.

The Magnificat pew cards were passed out to everyone upon arrival. There was a brief music practice prior to Mass. The celebrant paused several times and pointed out moments for using the new translations.

The "and with your spirit" responses and the "Holy, Holy" went well. But, it was 50-50 on some of the others, including "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof ... "

The celebrant used the simple option B for the Penitential Right, as well as the option of saying the Apostles Creed.

27/11/11 23:29  
Blogger Fr. Jim Chern said...

As a Priest who's a Campus Minister at a public university, I was excited at this opportunity. I felt a bit anxious the days leading up - like I did before celebrating Mass for the first time. But it was well worth it. I did a "teaching Mass" where I explained each of the changes and what those parts of the Mass meant and found the college students were more than receptive but appreciative and more reverent.

This is a gift that we will appreciate more and more with each passing day...

27/11/11 23:30  
Anonymous Daniel Green said...

I am a seminarian and we had our first mass here today at 4 PM. I kept trying to remember to say the new responses and for the most part it went pretty well. Most seminarians and priest used the booklets that were available in the pews to respond and pray the prayers. Overall, I think it went very well and we all embraced this and look forward to how it will help us enter the mystery of the liturgy more as we learn it better.

27/11/11 23:36  
Blogger Father Chas said...

I was lucky to be a concelebrant this first day, interesting.

There are trade-offs in everything, including the new translation. As someone who knows Latin well, I was occasionally distracted when the so-called faithful translation deviated from the Latin words I remember. It's only as I was speaking everything that I notice more.

All in all, it went well in the church, with only a minimum of stumbling. Monday I take my place for the first time as celebrant. It should be fun. I pray it's prayerful for everyone, myself included.

27/11/11 23:42  
Anonymous Fr. Steve G said...

From my perspective as a celebrant, today's Masses at St. Joseph in Middletown, Delaware were really uplifting. Here in the Diocese of Wilmington, the bishop accepted suggestions from the Implementation Team and requested a uniform implementmentation, which I believe was very wise. All are asked to use Eucharistic Prayer III for Advent/Christmas (Ordinal Time/ Lent will see Euch. II and Easter Euch. I); use third form of Penitential Rite until Lent (when we all will introduce new Confiteor); sing "The Lord be with you" each time it is used; and common pew cards for all parishes were provided by state K of C so that those who attend different churches will be more comfortable.
All 3 priests who celebrated Masses this weekend preached on the new wording in the Profession of Faith, and we will continue to explore some of the new phrases and words throughout the coming months.
My observation after reading the comments here is that the success and comfort of the people in the pews are directly related to the preparation and enthusiasm of the celebrant. Brothers, the train has left the station, so get on board and help make the passengers comfortable!

27/11/11 23:44  
Anonymous Anthony said...

As an ordinary Catholic in the pew I'm coming to this with a slightly perspective. Here in New Zealand, we've been using the missal (or at least the people's parts) since last year. That said, I was in the UK last year where the old translation flourished until about mid-way through this year... when I was in Spain! After 1 Mass in the UK stumbling through the new translation, I brought my stumblings back home to NZ. after about 6 Masses, I seem to be stumbling less and flowing more although a few things (like the Sanctus) still trip me up. As far as language goes, my parish priest refuses to use the Nicene Creed becuase of a dislike of the word "consubstantial". I'm not saying he doesn't have a point, but is it really any worse (or archaic) than "incarnate"?

28/11/11 00:13  
Blogger Andy said...

Choir member. In Pittsburgh, things went well in my parish. The good would have happened with any new translation; people have to pay attention to the words.

The loss is the sense of prayer that accompanies, the unconscious response. I'm thinking of the way I don't think about the rosary when I pray it. That'll be lost for a while, and with luck, these words, awkward as they are, will become our words, which they are, and we'll pray again, as we did.

In a different institution, we'd be able to compare these words with the translation that was submitted in 1999(?) to Rome and was rejected. In a different institution.

These are our words. If you get hung up on consubstantial, roof, or grievous faults, remember, the Eucharist is the Eucharist. The words, they're just dressing. In time, they'll change again.

28/11/11 00:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Priest-Celebrant in Archdiocese of Baltimore here. We've been singing the new acclamations for a couple of months, so no problem there. The congregation struggled with "and with your spirit." I've joked that they can put a quarter in the poor box each time they slip up. In many ways it is like celebrating as a newly-ordained priest: navigating the new missal with a different layout, growing accustomed to the new language, etc. The big difference was never having experienced this "new liturgy" from the other side of the altar first. No real negative comments regarding the translation. I personally find it richer and more poetic and see it as a great opportunity for catechesis. Eventually our people will understand what "consubstantial" means. What a homily topic for Christmas!

28/11/11 00:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Presbyter/pastor in Pacific NW

The old saying, "the people will always save the Church," was true this weekend. Good-natured, a few mistakes, and great tolerance for my verbal stumbling and lack of eye contact with them.

The translation sometimes reads like purple prose; but perhaps there's a place for increasing our prayer vocabulary.

28/11/11 00:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pewsitter (well, EMHC, but that's not a "speaking part") at a military chapel at a deployed location

The Military Archdiocese had adopted the new Sanctus and preface dialouge early, so that part was easy. Elsewhere, it was 50/50 on the "And with your spirit" but the new creed translation went over well. There was stumbling from priest and congregation but everyone maintained reverence - the urge to chuckle at mistakes overcome by the urge to "get this right" and learn it.

28/11/11 02:40  
Blogger Roderick Alvernaz said...

Roderick A
Brentwood, CA (Contra Costa County)
From the pew.

We went to the Vigil Mass. And thanks to the thorough preparation of our pastor over the last several months we've been well prepared. Course he, and we, all held our collective breath as we began, and then let out a sigh of relief -and a chuckle- as we all answered "And with your spirit".

As there was a baptism at that Mass we didn't get to say the Nicene Creed (instead stating "I do" to the articles of faith as read by the celebrant).

The Preface Dialogue was sung without incident. And we managed to get through the to the end of the Mass with only a few people (I'm sure only by rote) answering "And also with you" instead of And with your spirit.

The Eucharistic prayer was especially beautiful.

Words really do make a difference!

28/11/11 03:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We here in NZ have no idea what the new translation sounds like because our bishops messed up the printing of their own Missal (rather than going in with other English speaking countries) and now it looks like we won't have it printed until after Lent next year. It's a real disappointment.

28/11/11 03:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to clarify what Anthony said above. In NZ we have been using the people's parts since last Advent, but the full Missal has not been implemented yet, and now there are further delays due to a massive printing mess up. So we won't know what the actual prayers sound like until later next year. Printing 1000 Missals in NZ is no small task. We're gutted that things weren't handled properly.

28/11/11 03:51  
Anonymous Luke said...

Didn't really notice/care about most of it, found pro multis disgusting!

28/11/11 04:49  
Anonymous Michael Dixon said...

In the Hobart Cathedral Parish, Tasmania Australia, like so many others it seems from the comments above we were well prepared as we had used the new translation for some time. We have been issued with pew cards and sheets with the new music for the sung responses. So other than the fact that occasionally we forgot the new responses it has been seemless. It does seem to me, as a member of the congregation, much ado about very little. The changes are slight and overall an improvement. I have one definite dislike that is the word consubstantial. it seems a silly slide into the unintelligible to me. Michael Dixon

28/11/11 04:49  
Blogger Father David Reinhart said...

I am a military chaplain. Praying the new translation was simply beautiful! We will get through the clumsiness. The words certainly helped lift my spirit.

28/11/11 06:50  
Blogger Bob Moore said...

I attended mass in an off season coastal resort. The presider had a great deal of difficulty, and frequently became confused, and started reading the wrong page. Afterwards, he said that the version he was reading contained music and was difficult to follow. The congregation had been prepared, but most used "and also with you" There was laughing at some of the language (incarnate, consubstantial, oblation - pronounced obligation(). Overall. it was a mess

28/11/11 07:03  
Blogger Virginia said...

I belong to a parish in coastal Delaware where our pastor and musicians have done their best to prepare us for the new translation. In spite of their efforts and my own to maintain an open mind and heart, I experienced feelings of personal sorrow and loss throughout the liturgy I attended.

The new translation may be considered more poetic and beautiful, but for me it fails in simplicity and ease of understanding (elements necessary to foster unity in common prayer). I had studied the Collect ahead of time, yet hearing it read aloud did nothing to dispell my lingering confusion as to why we are praying about ourselves in the third person while searching for the antecedent to "they."

Perhaps as time goes by, I will get use to the awkward phrasing of these incidental prayers, but I know I will never stop grieving each time I hear the the theologically problematic words "for many" during the consecration.

28/11/11 08:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At St James Cathedral in Seattle, the pastor (who had written "What if we said 'Wait'?" in America magazine) spent half of his homily pointing out his objections to the translation and asking the congregation to voice their opinion in the coming weeks. Almost sounded like he was trying to rouse them to his cause. I wish he used the time instead to reflect on the many new phrases (like "run forth to meet your Christ") that were being said for the first time.

The parish tried to prepare us as best it could in the weeks prior. Overall, it went very well. A server told me afterwards that the sacramentary was noticeably heavier in physical weight, but he also thought it went well overall.

28/11/11 08:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The prayers were proper and perfect, the celebrant was right on at every part. The gloria was omitted as proper during this season of preparation. The servers were male and did not miss a prayer or motion. You did not need to be a "latinist" to understand the mass since the translation is right there on the other side of the page, but most of those present did not need it because this is the mass they attend every week. Good luck with the changes. "Deck chairs on the Titanic". ROTFLOL.


28/11/11 08:57  
Anonymous Tom McDonald said...

I pulled into the parking lot for the 5pm Saturday mass at my South Jersey parish, saw the car of the priest who never, ever follows the text of the mass (he just makes most of it up) and pulled right back out again. I returned at 11am the next morning ... and it was the same priest. Message received, God: this is where I'm supposed to be.

He did the text straight as written. He was a bit stilted since it was a new text and he was used to just freeforming, but he did just fine, with only his standard gender-neutralizing still on display. (Dropping "man" or--awkwardly--changing it to "human," because we all know how women clench their fists in silent rage every time they're reminded that Jesus is a man.) A bit stiff, but that's to be expected. The first "And with your spirit" was the loudest, most enthusiastic response I have heard in ages. It really took me by surprise. Some minor flubs on the people's parts, but overall it went quite well. I'm excited about it. I like the language (I'm a professional writer and editor), and I like the way it reverses the My Pal Jesus trends of recent years for a more formal, respectful type of worship.

One telling note: at the end of the mass, the priest said, "Now you can tell your bishop I followed the text." Clearly, someone had been complaining about his improvisations.

28/11/11 09:06  
Blogger Paul S. said...

Convert, 29 years old

On Sunday, I cantored two Masses at a parish in Ann Arbor - 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. - and then "pew-sat" the last half of an evening Mass in neighboring Ypsilanti.

The whole Diocese of Lansing has been working hard on preparing for the new translation, including practicing the "Mass for a Servant Church," these last 8 weeks. The sung parts - Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus - went well at each Mass, as did the Nicese Creed (presumably the faithful made the effort to inspect the pew cards). For the other responses, it seemed that about 40% were following the pew cards and getting it. I think the numbers would have been even higher if the priests had been singing those parts of the Mass as well.

Personally, I gave the corrected responses less that 50% of the time at the 7:30 a.m. Mass (thankfully I was not mic'ed for anything but music!) but was up to full speed by the time of the 12:30 p.m. Mass - so I have great hope that we'll all be doing just fine within a couple of weeks.

The priests were working at it and I found the new prayers to be more substantial and beautiful.

28/11/11 09:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well received here in the South. Even with a text, the spontaneity of words long used trumped the new translation several times. The vocabulary of prayers is more robust, but the sentence structure is a bear. I noted that the whole preface is but 3 sentences long ... the middle one about nine lines. And the use of "chalice" during the consecration vs. "cup" in the acclamation was noted. What was the intention of the translators? All in all, folks are committed to the change.

28/11/11 09:21  
Blogger miserere said...

I was having a hard time at Mass today, and finally walked out. I have been advocating against the new 'translation' since I heard about it. For me it is so wrong on so many levels. Grammar, word choice, process of 'approval', promulgation and implementation - all very disappointing - not our best moment as Church. I cannot be complicit in this - nor can I walk away without voicing my concerns. After 50 years of being Catholic - I'm church-less.

Thank God that God's 'real presence' is really present before the first prayer is uttered and long after the last echo of the music dies away. God is never really absent in any meaningful way. This always-already-present God is my hope as I set out in search for a new worshiping community.

28/11/11 09:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a young lay Catholic, I found the changes to be interesting, although a bit distracting to attempt to follow and figure out what to say next, but I am sure that will pass soon enough.

I did feel sorry for the several older folks around me who seemed even more confused. They were visibly frustrated with trying to discern which response to make, or by continually saying the wrong things.

I'm confident the Church will weather this storm just as she has every other, hopefully with a renewed focus on the liturgy and catechesis, and without any souls left behind in pain and frustration.

28/11/11 10:26  
Blogger Mark Brumley said...

Things went fine at the 9 AM Mass at St Apollinaris in Napa, CA. It'll take a while to use the new translation as smoothly as the old. Everybody knows that or should. We'll be somewhat self-conscious for a bit, then we'll forget how we prayed differently. Now, let's get on with Advent.

28/11/11 10:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only complaint that my wife finds it's difficult is the part before Communion, "...Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof." I know this is from Matthew 8:8 but how does this relate to pre-Communion ?

28/11/11 10:48  
Blogger Nina said...

Pew-sitter at St Michael's in Atlantic City: Pastor gave 20 minute overview and instruction, then Mass commenced. Beautiful because of instruction - especially Eucharistic Prayer (#3 was used). Normal attendance at this morning's daily Mass was doubled. 'Nuf said.

28/11/11 10:49  
Anonymous Siobhan said...

Pew-sitter and convert from St. Raphael's in Garden City, MI. Our pastor introduced the changes gradually over a period of 2 months; he switched to the new prayers himself last week. So we were well prepared, and it went smoothly. The new translation is beautiful, it lifts the Mass to a higher level of worship, and personally, I love it.

28/11/11 10:56  
Blogger Aaron Shaw said...

As a pew sitter, I felt that everything went very well. My priest at the beginning of Mass did a very good job with some humor, in letting us know that we are all in this together and will take us all a little while to get use to the changes. My daughter who is 6, has gotten very good over the past year and a half in saying the responses, took her only one time at saying "And also with you" to start saying it correctly. I felt the mood at mass was light but also very reverent.

28/11/11 11:10  
Anonymous Joe said...

Went to the 6 PM Mass on Sunday, so Rocco, I missed most of the beat down the Patriots put on your Eagles! :)

Church Militant in the Archdiocese of Washington (Maryland side).....

Went well. I normally go to an EF Parish but wanted to see the OF in the new settings. The two Forms are getting closer, which is good. The reaction by others to certain responses were, to me, the same as what I read and say (albeit in Latin) in my EF parish(es).

But, the music was still the same old songs, the Propers were missing (not that they've been seen in this parish or anywhere in the Archdiocese for the past 30 years), and communion is still under both species.

So a small change, but there is still a ways to go.

28/11/11 11:31  
Anonymous Mike said...

IN Massachusetts, the priest would say, "follow the responses on page 29", whenever there was new wording for the people to follow. Responses were still muddled, but overall I thought it went well.

I love the richness and prayerful mystery of the new wordings.

My son, who hasn't been in church for a few years, came to mass for some reason. He avidly read the missalette looking for the changes. His comments:
-why are they bothering with this when there are so many more important things?
-why didn't they change the word 'men' in the creed-- they retranslated everything, yet have insulted 1/2 the population?!
-looks like the people translating were all obsessed with using technical jargon.

I tried to explain the reasons for 'incarnate' and 'consubstantial', but we got totally stuck on 'men'. Sigh.

I mailed him a booklet on the new translation, hoping he'll read for understanding rather than criticizing.

28/11/11 11:33  
Anonymous Sr. Margaret Mary said...

From a Sister of St Francis of Perpetual Adoration out of Mishawaka, Indiana: Aside from a few sisters responding "And also with YOUR SPIRIT!", most of our sisters felt taken up to the heavenly liturgy - especially when father prayed phrases such as "he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands...". Our OFM priest of 80+ years and failing eyesight, prayed the Mass beautifully. Thank you all you wonderful holy priests!

28/11/11 11:34  
Blogger Father Bill said...

Someone asked about the reason for Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof......The gospel passage for today explains it perfectly, and in quite a timely manner...Jesus told the centurion that he was amazed: not even in Israel had he found this much faith. This is the reason: just moments before receiving our Divine Savior in Holy Communion we must muster up as much faith as we possibly can: because what we receive makes absolutely no sense at all - without FAITH!,. Indeed our whole lives in communion with the Church and in the world makes no sense without faith!

28/11/11 11:34  
Anonymous Louis G said...

At our Anglican Use parish, a good deal of the Mass text is the same as the Roman Missal. We used the new translation and experienced the same little flubs that others have written about. No one bellyached about it. Indeed, there was little comment after Mass, I think because ex-Episcopalians have been hoping for a long time to recover some of what was lost liturgically in swimming the Tiber.

Because we have used a more elevated language in the "Anglican heritage" parts of the liturgy, the improvement in the new translation was both welcome and harmonizing.

The change has to be challenging to a greater or lesser extent for pretty much everyone. The comments here make me think that the change is a stumbling block only to those determined to resist it.

28/11/11 11:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a priest for over forty years, I found the collects hard to chant and harder to understand; I used euch prayer III and it seemed that every other word was "sacrifice"; two college students told me after Mass "that's not language we use when we pray" so the hierarchy can be satisfied that it has raised the bar in the style of language! One additional note: the new vox clara committee picked and chose what it wanted to translate literally

28/11/11 11:57  

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