how are you doing with the new roman missal?

The above picture was posted on Facebook shortly after the New Roman Missal was introduced. It still makes me smile, and elicits a chuckle from all who see it. (I apologize for not giving credit to the original artist.) Hubby and I mimicked the hand-pumping seriousness of this little guy when we remembered the right response. Being a quick study, hubby’s track record was much better than mine. I’m still blurting out the occasional and also with you.

I still can’t wrap my mind and tongue around the Lord, I am not worthy. I’m sorry, but under my roof just sounds strange and clunky. And chalice instead of cup during the consecration prayer is still distracting; images of the holy-grail dance in my head.

The daily Collects (opening prayer) continue to elicit my sympathy for the priests who have to pronounce them. Here is today’s…

We invoke your mercy in humble prayer, O Lord, that you may cause us, your servants, corrected by penance and schooled by good works, to persevere sincerely in your commands and come safely to the paschal festivities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son…

I’ve read many books on the art of writing. The most valuable rule that I have learned is this. Keep your sentences simple. Do not use five words if you can say the same thing with two. Cut, cut, and cut some more! Sentences like the one above are crying out for an editor’s red marker.

The New Roman Missal has been with us for four months now. I am still not comfortable with it. I doubt that I ever will be. I’m still angered by the way it was imposed on us. The pamphlets and music sheets in the pews remind me of the financial burden it placed on parishes. I miss the well-loved mass arrangements that are suddenly banned. I feel sad about the whole mess. But that is me. And, I do tend to hold grudges.

How are you and your parish doing with the New Roman Missal? Has it become a welcome addition to your liturgy or a source of discomfort? Is the newness slowly dissipating with practice? Do you love it, hate it, or just not think about it? I’d love to hear from you.

a nod from the new missal

I always get into a depressive funk in the days prior to a turn of a decade birthday. I dread waking up in the morning knowing that I will be thirty…then forty…then fifty. But, when the day finally arrives, the sun is still in the sky and the world is still spinning around it. I survive another milestone birthday, and feel no worse for the experience. It wasn’t so bad after all!

I’m hoping the same will happen this Sunday. Perhaps all my worries and fears about the new missal will dissipate into nothingness. Perhaps it will be a non-event, barely noticed by those in the pews. Perhaps…

Our diocese has spent the last several years undergoing a so-called liturgical renewal. The purpose, we were told, was to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the liturgy. All we experienced was an obsessive focus on new rules and regulations; from sitting and standing to the liturgically correct way to pass a collection basket.

And, it was announced that we had to make a profound bow before receiving communion. A profound bow is a graceful and meaningful gesture when done simply and naturally, as in many Asian cultures. But it doesn’t come naturally to most North Americans. It`s also a physical challenge for the increasing number of elders in our pews. Numerous bulletin inserts and announcements from the pulpit reminded us of the need to bow, and the right and proper way to do so. (We were slow learners!) As communion lines inched along, we were told to bow while the person in front of us was receiving to speed things along. Now we found ourselves bowing to someone`s back-side!

After all the fuss made over the bow the new missal now decrees that a simple nod of the head as a gesture of respect should be performed before receiving communion. Really???

So, yes! I have underlying issues that have been ignited even more with the new missal. We have already experienced annoyance, upheaval, and anger from having liturgical `renewal` imposed on us. We could have brushed it off as much ado about nothing. But it was an annoying and distracting energy waster. With all the issues facing our church, this is what we`re focusing on? There was anger and frustration at the top-down imposition and lack of consultation with these new regulations. And, it was insulting to be treated as children, with patronizing appeals to unity and obedience.

I was chatting with a friend, a religious sister, about the upcoming changes. Her passion is working with the poor. She tries not to worry about pastors and liturgical politics. She goes to mass for the food. She needs the nourishment of the Eucharist, to be fed and energized for the work she is called to do. She is able to brush aside all the silliness.

I have pondered her words, wondering if I can dig deep within and embrace this attitude myself. But, I`m still struggling.

Making do with a faulty translation..  from the National Catholic Reporter  suggests that we,

Keep these texts, study them. But do not use them to nurse a grudge. If we become bitter and arrested in anger, then we will be losers. 

Ironically, these lines come at the end of an editorial that gives a synopsis of all that is wrong with the new missal. It is hard to put all of that aside and embrace this translation with an open mind and heart.