Missal Implementation IV

See earlier posts: part one and part two and part three.

Sooner rather than later. Gotta get this done on schedule. Presentation text will have to be it, for the most part. Someone will have to bring the conferences in line and tell them how this is going to work. No time for objections and delays.


    1. Rita, sorry, really wish I could say. All I can say is, “Pray Tell stands by its sources.”

  1. Sooner rather than later. Gotta get this done on schedule. Presentation text will have to be it, for the most part. Someone will have to bring the conferences in line and tell them how this is going to work. No time for objections and delays.

    I wonder how that person thinks the possible 5000 modifications from Rome fit into the picture, then…. The presentation text as it stands may not be an option, it appears, since there are allegedly more changes on the way.

    Tony Sherman is reported to have said this morning that October is the expected date for recognitio and the final text. Dennis McManus is reported on another thread as saying that he doesn’t expect a final text much before the end of the year.

    Even when the final text is received by a conference, it will take another 60 days (according to ICEL) to check the changes and input them, which could account for the two-month gap between Sherman’s and McManus’s estimates.

    1. It’s actually 10,000 modifications, not 5. My mistake…. I was thinking of the informant who told me that this calculation is based on an estimated average of 5 changes across 2,000 texts.

  2. Pardon my ignorance, but has the “sooner rather than later” approach been a tradition of the Church? What was the implementation period of the new missal in 1969? And does anyone have any idea what the missal implementation period was after Trent?

  3. I think no one really knows, or can know, because it depends on what several people and several conferences do in the next couple weeks (and months). The presentaton text makes OVER 10,000 changes to the text the conferences submitted – but that’s just in the propers, BTW, doesn’t include all the changes to the Order of Mass which got recognitio in 2008. Now there is talk of only 7 changes to the presentation text…or of more changes than this. There could be a big push to get it through quickly, which would probably mean the presentation text is pretty much the final. Or, there could be delays until end of summer…or October…or later… if they make more changes to the presentation text. Then the assumption is that the national conferences accept it and publish it. This is most likely but not 100% sure. From the date the conferences get the text, accept it, and set implementation date, quite a bit of steps have to be done, which is why it has to be at least a year before it goes into effect.

  4. Some brilliant bulb among the implementing Powers That Be should consider 2/22/2012 for the transition (Ash Wednesday), the next succeeding date that begins a season where the Gloria is not required (transitioning with such a season helps lighten the immediate load for the congregation, as it were).

    1. The problem with that is that you would then be faced with using a brand new Gloria text for the first time during the Easter Triduum — probably not the best time to be starting with an unknown text and new music for it.

      1. The same thing is also true of Christmas, which is what would happen if Advent 1 is the launch date. In my experience, Triduum was often a time when a new festive settings of the Ordinary were trotted out (Christmas, much more rarely – the reason being that Christmastide is so short, any Mass setting for the season only that is only introduced for that season becomes something of a misfit setting – Eastertide is so much longer), to be used for Eastertide. It’s not risk-free, but it’s also an opportunity. Nothing prevents rehearsing the Gloria before Mass during Lent.

  5. My suggestion is begin implementation on the first Sunday in ordinary time after Corpus Christi, that is the beginning of the summer season.

    Often it is a time when choirs take vacation for the summer. The choir could have practiced it and gotten in shape during the paschal season.

    During the summer the choir, musicians & staff can give undivided attention to helping the people learn all their new parts, e.g. Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei for Ordinary time, practicing before Mass, etc.

    Now, hopefully there will also be special settings for the Gloria, etc for Christmas, and/or Easter but they could be introduced later in the Fall after the people have learned the new texts with the settings for Ordinary time. Often parishes have special events around the fall that might be good occasions to first use the special settings.

    Would also give all of Summer and Fall for catechesis, and not have that overlap with Advent, Christmas, Lent or Easter.

    1. The problem with that is that congregations often thin out, too, so summer is typically the least effective time to teach congregations new settings.

      (October is typically highest attendance outside of Xmas-Easter – outside of school vacation season, weather doesn’t disrupt, et cet.)

  6. Yes, there is some good research data out there on seasonal variation which I intend to submit as a future post.

    The idea would be precisely to go against the seasonal variation, to make ordinary time more special by placing the implementation squarely at the heart of Ordinary Time.

    As I understand it the idea of the New Missal is to make all Masses more solemn, more elevated in tone. We do that by concentrating on ordinary time not the special seasons.

  7. I wholeheartedly regret believing that, regardless of what form the final translation takes, this implementation process has devolved into a dramatic exercise of ecclesial politics and varying lingustic ideologies. Perhaps the Spirit will be found in some of the “objections and delays” which are bound to blossom like a summer afternoon thunderstorm. This is yet another nail (or set of nails) into the coffin of collegiality.

  8. What would happen if Rome permitted bishops a window of time to introduce the new translation? Karl notes that highest attendance is in October — why not a roll-out from Michaelmas to the 1st Sunday of Advent? Bishops could choose an introduction date or week according to the needs of their dioceses. Dioceses with a large bilingual population might require more time for catechesis and planning. I suspect that many bishops will run it to the wire. Still, a phase-in offers some flexibility.

    Even though I have mixed feelings about EWTN (let’s not go there please), media outlets that air daily Mass could be given an early indult to celebrate according to the new books. Advanced celebration on TV will familiarize some Catholics with the changes that will soon appear in their parish.

  9. All these things are relative, and in fact there is no ideal time to make these changes. In England and Wales, the current plan is to implement the Order of Mass at the beginning of September 2011 (the start of a new academic year) and the full Missal on the 1st Sunday of Advent 2011. But if recognitio and a final text are delayed, this will be put back.

    However, the basic plan is still to implement the Order of Mass first, use it for three months with accompanying catechesis, and then embark on the complete Missal. Prior to the implementation of the Order of Mass, formation will be required for those who would spearhead the implementation (clergy, parish implementation steering groups, parish pastoral councils, ministry coordinators).

    1. I agree: there is no ideal time. You just have to jump into the cold water, and it will be uncomfortable at first whenever you do it.

      I say Mass at the county jail once a month. I’m wondering how to implement it there. Adult literacy is not high in that population. Many of the inmates know the responses by heart from their past life. How will we make the transition? I suppose with handouts and overhead projector – but I fear this will be a shameful experience for a number of people who won’t really be able to read the new texts and will sort of mumble along or try to fake it. (I’d be very curious what they did at the jail in 1966 when the vernacular first came!)


      1. A somewhat related issue will arise in eldercare facilities.

        My mother can no longer read due to ARMD, and her hearing (especially of loud amplified sounds in a resonant space) is not the best, so it will likely be a trial for her. My parents saw the new Ordo last year (when my mother could still read a bit), and I think in principle like the people’s parts, but they will likely have to rely on memory from the Interim Missal (the changes do resemble the texts we used in 1965-1970) and that’s not reliable at this juncture. This was, of course, an issue in the initial changes, and will remain an issue for as long as we used an evolving vernacular (and I don’t view that as a reason to avoid the vernacular, just to be clear). It’s been an issue in communities that in the past self-imposed gender-neutral language, but one did not hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth about unfairness of this kind (which is why I have faith and hope about the essential resilience of the PIPs in this regard*). We must be careful not to let anxiety, however well-founded, become self-fulfilling due to confirmation bias.

        * The one inexcusable thing in the pews is for congregants to be aggressively shouting the new words over those who stumble or use the old words, or to be passively aggressively clinging in a conspicuous way to the old words to show rejection of the new words. Go directly to the front row (the Catholic liturgical version of Jail), do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

      2. Fr. Anthony, do you know what type of formation, if any, they have at the jail? I’ve tried to coordinate a little with our jail/prison ministry team here, but they don’t really know what this is all about. It’s just something the “new liturgy guy” wants to do.

        This is a real pastoral question for jails, nursing homes, and other places they may not have exposure to communal or adequate formation. Hmmmm . . .

  10. I currently see two challenges associated with implementing a new translation.

    First, there is the pastoral challenge of guiding the ecclesia away from the prayers they know by heart. Fr. Anthony brings up the very important point that the worshipping ecclesia can be found in many different settings and contexts (e.g., parishes, jails, universities, and nursing homes). Each of these settings and contexts have particular needs (e.g., above-average illiteracy in jails and varying disabilities in nursing homes) that must be addressed.

    Second, there is the theological challenge of explaining to the ecclesia why this translation is needed. How will this be done, especially in light of all the inconsistencies that have plagued this translation and its implementation?

    With that said, I believe the most ideal time for implementing any new translation would be in September. I give two reasons. First, since the North American Church largely runs on an academic calendar, parish staff changes and vacation absences are generally at a minimum in September. Second, since any implementation will take at least several weeks, “Ordered” Time is probably the most appropriate time of the year to engage such an endeavor.

    1. October would be even better. Lots of churches in the North do not have climate control, and lingering September heat and storms can still skew congregational attendance. Also those choral ministries that have a summer off still need time to get back in the saddle. And September can be used to preview coming attractions, as it were.

      But not October ’11. We’ve passed the juncture where that is plausible.

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