If you go to the United States Bishops’ website for the new English translation of the Roman Missal, you’ll see a counter in the top right corner, counting down the days until November 27, 2011, when we begin use of the translation in the U.S. As of today (September 22, 2010), we have 431 days left. If you’re on the cynical side, this countdown could be like a doomsday clock and maybe the Mayans were right—the world does end in 2012. Or if you’re among the can’t-wait-to-get-started group, it’s like you’re six again, and Christmas can’t come soon enough.
But if you’re where I think most parish leaders are, you’re looking at that counter and thinking about how you can best use those 431 days to get your parish ready. For those born after Vatican II, like I was, this will likely be the only time in our lives that everyone who pays even minimal attention to the Catholic Church—from CNS to CNN, to families at the dinner table, couples in the car, priests from the pulpit, and church secretaries in the bulletin—will be talking about the liturgy. As many have said here and elsewhere, the event of this new translation is a golden opportunity.