Marketing or Mystagogy: Reception of the New Roman Missal and Reverse Catechesis

From the current issue of Liturgical Ministry: “Marketing or Mystagogy: Reception of the New Roman Missal and Reverse Catechesis”  by Edward Foley, Capuchin.


  1. Thanks for this article – I will look forward to reading it after dinner. Right now I am setting up church for the morning mass.

    We did a lot of preparation for this, but I made it clear that all the preparation ended last weekend. We did not add any words of direction, instruction or reminder – we just went ahead as if we knew what we were doing. The technique seemed fairly effective.

    There were not many comments after mass – people seemed more interested in getting tags off the “giving tree.”

    Functionally the transition to the new text went well, although it was hard not to notice the ugliness of the text itself.

    I will look forward to reading Foley’s thoughts and reading the comments after dinner (turkey leftovers – my favorite!) in a little while.

    Fr. Jim

  2. We did three sessions of transition workshops with about 20% of the usual congregation. We discussed the reasons for change but also, and more importantly, we discussed the whole reason we come to Mass, words changes or not. We have laughed through the past few weeks as some remember all the responses, others don’t and others have gone silent. It is all accepted in fairly good grace. It is not what you say – it’s what you mean.

  3. Many thanks for this article by Fr Foley. Admirably balanced, it provides much food for sober thought and inward digestion. It is of a tone and depth commendable to all of us.

    And, Fr Blue – I’m sorry that you think the new translation is ugly. I have found that the more I denigrate the ’73 translation the more I begin to feel sorry for it – so I’m careful in saying that you and I would perhaps use the same negatives (and positives) in reference to two different translations.

  4. I appreciated the article, in fact I wish I would have read it ten months ago when I was preparing our parish workshops on the Vox Clara 2010 text.

    I think here we remained somewhere between the two ‘poles’ that Ed described. There was transparency and hopefully not any unwarranted criticism. And we are certainly not advocating the wholesale rejection of the text.

    The description of mystogia was very helpful – and had I the opportunity again I would have included some of the great ideas Ed espoused in his article.

  5. Well, our first Mass using the new translation went pretty well. The congregation did better than I did– I stumbled a bit. But all in all, my worries proved to be needless. Our Catholic people are a good lot; lordy, with all they’ve endured a revised translation isn’t going to sidetrack them.
    I can see how all this really is a golden opportunity– an ongoing ‘mystagogy’ is a ‘given’– a real chance to teach, enlighten, inspire. Even the less-than-ideal translations will prompt us presiders to brush up on our skills as communicators.
    I hope tomorrow goes as well as today.
    Cautiousy very hopeful.

    1. In the nearby parish which has excellent liturgies with a sung EP it seems so far the net change is that the Prefaces that previously wore spoken are now sung.

      They are keeping the Mass of Creation. One has to consult the new people’s texts often which are pasted in the covers of the hymnal. In general the first Sunday of Advent was much like last year otherwise.

      It was obvious that the presider was challenged by the more complicated texts. It takes some effort to phrase the whole thing well whether spoken or sung. But I was able to follow the texts though not as easily as before.

      Oh, the list of hymns in the bulletin are now called chants, i.e. Entrance Chant, Communion Chant but they are all the same hymns as before. Maybe this is what a more sacral language comes down to. Not exactly the chant revolution they want over at that other blog,

  6. No doubt the hybridity has already begun, and on a wider scale that he envisages. It would be interesting to hear how celebrants have altered the ugly new nexts.

    1. Joe – – –

      I kept it pretty straight. I have a copy of the ICEL 1998 EP’s in my binder but did not use them – I stayed pretty close to the VC 2010 except I did correct “chalice” and “many.”

      I think Bishop Trautman is correct, the prayers are essentially unproclaimable.

      – – – Jim

      1. Fr Blue – respectfully: you and others on this blog keep saying that the collects and prayers of the new translation are ‘unproclaimable’. Perhaps if you tried prayerfully praying them instead of proclaiming them? This, after all, is what one does with a prayer: he or she prays it. A prayer or collect is not a proclamation!

      2. Sean, he definitely has a choice — go Episcopalian, or Lutheran, or independent. In fact, his conscience may force him to do exactly that, even if it requires giving up a cushy rectory and the clericalized pretense of “holy orders” (sic). No one has to put up with the violent ritual abuse and other thuggery of the Ratzinger clique, and no one in good conscience can perpetuate the cycle of violence on the innocent People of God. Kyrie eleison.

      3. You know, the constant references to different sections of church “law” that keep appearing on the discussions about the new missal, only go to emphasize why people despise lawyers and politicians, so much.

      4. Our parish priest was greeted with “and with you”. “Cup” replaced “chalice”, and, as we’ve been doing for a little while now, psalms replaced the hymn at the introit, offertory, and communion. I think the canon was taken from the 1973 missal..

        We have had a borrowing from the TLM for some time now, the prayers at the foot of the altar with the psalm “Judica me Deus” added. It’s all said in English and replaces the usual Pauline introductory introductory rite.

        In our church everything up to the readings is done at the altar. The celebrant’s throne-like chair at the side was removed. We now have a beautiful neo-gothic oak sedilia recently completely refinished. With a beautiful brass eagle lectern as a recent gift.

        The incensation of the altar includes a great incensation of the
        whole church as the offertory psalm and hymn following are sung. It all went very well and our clergy received nice kudos from just about everyone at the coffee and pastry hour.

        A good example of moderate liturgical experimentation tastefully done with restrained creativity.

      5. Mr. Osborne is incorrect. The collect has, since Gregory the Great’s time, been a presidential prayer to be sung or said out loud. What part of “proclaim” does not not apply here?

  7. Fr. Edward Foley: “This witless approach [a possible indult for the Sacramentary] overlooks the fact that the 1973 translation was always considered provisional, that English as a living language is dynamic and evolving, and that flash-freezing a liturgical translation from the Nixon era is about as advisable as promoting a word-for-word revival of US foreign policy from the same era.” (from above pdf, page 168, my brackets)

    I agree with Fr. Foley that celebrating the Sacramentary under indult and with no organic changes for an extended period will result in an ossified liturgy which reflects of an increasingly irrelevant thin slice in time.

    The EF is a good example of how liturgical ossification is not only possible but sometimes even desired by adherents. Reforms to the 1962 missal called for not only by Sancrosanctum Consilium but Pope Benedict in Summorum Pontificum have gone unheeded. In my experience for example, most EF celebrants still say the lections in Latin at Low Mass even though the Pope has encouraged the use of the vernacular. I am amenable to some vernacularization of the EF in keeping with SC, but I have sensed over the years that many EF adherents do not want any change. I suspect that this resistance to change stems from the liturgical upheavals of the 1960s. For some of the EF faithful, any vernacular is just a slippery slope to the OF.

    Those who support an indult for the Sacramentary must ask if the adherents of this particular liturgy will be amenable to eventual change given the trauma which has surrounded the introduction of the new translation. Some who adhere to the Sacramentary might desire ossification. Those who support an indult should think critically about this possibility.

    1. The EF is a good example of how liturgical ossification is not only possible but sometimes even desired by adherents. Reforms to the 1962 missal called for not only by Sancrosanctum Consilium but Pope Benedict in Summorum Pontificum have gone unheeded.

      In fact, it’s widely acknowledged that celebrations of the EF are not ossified, but substantially different than the way the rite was celebrated in 1962. The ways that it has changed are different than the ways that were anticipated and desired by the liturgical avant garde (e.g. almost no one has ever seen a “commentator”) but they’re no less different.

      In my experience for example, most EF celebrants still say the lections in Latin at Low Mass even though the Pope has encouraged the use of the vernacular.

      That which is permitted is not necessarily by that fact “encouraged” and in fact it’s among the SSPX that this practice is seen most often.

      . I am amenable to some vernacularization of the EF in keeping with SC, but I have sensed over the years that many EF adherents do not want any change.

      That they don’t want to see that change doesn’t mean they don’t want to see change.

      1. RE: Samuel J. Howard on November 26, 2011 – 10:09 pm

        Yes, the celebration of the EF has changed significantly since the 1950s and early 1960s. Sung and Solemn Masses are much more frequent than before the Council. Dialogue Low Mass, to varying degrees in different places, is not uncommon. Much has changed for the better.

        Nevertheless, there are significant problems with the EF that have resulted from resistance in certain quarters. The EF does not have commemorations for saints canonized after 1962. The EF also lacks feasts introduced after Bl. Pope John XXIII. If the Sacramentary were to continue on in indult, there would have to be a way to incorporate new saints. Yes, the Commons can be used in both cases. Still, it is not uncommon for certain saints or devotional feasts (i.e. Divine Mercy) to have special propers.

        The challenge of celebrating “legacy” liturgies is the maintenance of congruence with the ever-evolving church year. I had hoped that Pope Benedict would have issued a new edition of the Tridentine Missale Romanum to correct the sanctoral cycle issues. This has not happened. Similarly, if the Sacramentary is to remain a living liturgy, it would also require periodic revision. The fact that the 1962 Missal is a fly in amber makes me wonder if the same would happen to the Sacramentary. Maybe our progressive brothers and sisters who hold onto the Sacramentary would be more amenable to incremental changes than Tridentines.

      2. Jordan, I agree. In my youth I only ever attended one Solemn High Mass in my parish, and that was a very special occasion. The usual fare was a High Mass on Sunday with a few low masses. The only congregational participation was the sung responses at High Mass. The minor propers usually were chanted by the choir on a psalm tone. Not even hymns at low mass. The EF masses I have attended recently are quite the opposite. Mass is often a High Mass. There are 2 vernacular hymns (before and after). The choir or cantor sings the minor propers from the Liber U. The congregation sings the Asperges and in one parish, the complete ordinary. Singing is robust, even more so than a lot of NO masses. That is not surprising given that the EF community has consciously chosen that rite and as a whole are significantly more engaged (observation, not necessarily fact). Low masses are a combo of dialogue and silent.

        I think it is wise that no revisions to the 62 missal take place at this time The EF “movement” is still in its infancy and just getting it celebrated is a huge undertaking in many places. It needs to settle in. I believe the Ecclesia Dei commission is working on adding some new prefaces and revising the calendar to include more recent feasts, etc. I don’t hear any calls for changes from the faithful.

    2. Some of the words were always going to change, that why ICEL worked on the missal for 30 years. Change is not a problem in and of itself. The problem is that the meaning of the Mass is being changed as a result of a coup.

    3. if the words were going to change, then the church took too long to change them. They allowed them to become a part of people’s spiritual being, to become a part of the very fibre of their beliefs, and now they’re ripping them out whether we want it done or not. I call this violation Spiritual Rape, and the hierarchy has committed it.

      Telling someone to just accept the inevitable is like telling a person who is being physically raped to just lie back and enjoy it.

      1. I’m just going to guess that you don’t have much experience with victims of sexual assault, or you would not compare having to use a translation you don’t like to being violently penetrated or fondled.

        Get a grip. You’re losing perspective.

    4. I am amenable to some vernacularization of the EF in keeping with SC, but I have sensed over the years that many EF adherents do not want any change. I suspect that this resistance to change stems from the liturgical upheavals of the 1960s. For some of the EF faithful, any vernacular is just a slippery slope to the OF.
      Yes, and an even more slippery slope for the EF faithful will be
      an Anglican Ordinariate liturgy and spreading AO parishes. The next great sucking sound you hear may be moderate Catholic traditionalists who can’t tolerate the 2011 missal or the EF stampeding to join those parishes.

  8. In many of the prayers, I thought many of the sentences were garbled to the point of being complete nonsense. Did no one proofread this stuff?

  9. Key could be introducing the new texts in a manner that allows the laity actually to exercise the texts in ways ordinarily not available to them during the celebration of the official liturgy. For example, Roman Catholics never have the opportunity to hear women or children proclaim these prayers. As part of the introduction of these texts, instead of simply showing the texts to parishioners, or having the clergy read them, it could be instructive to have different groups of people proclaim these texts. What if a group of grade schoolers acted out or did a choral recitation of one of the eucharistic prayers? What might we learn if we heard a grandmother or college-age woman proclaim these texts? Could their proclamations help the clergy figure out how to interpret these texts?

    This is a great suggestion; it would make parish liturgy study more like bible study, actually something like group lectio divina. I would like to hear not only various people proclaim the text but also have people interpret what they hear and say.

    It is interesting that while parishes seem to be willing to empower lay leaders without much expertise to facilitate group bible study using a program such as Little Rock, when it comes to liturgy is seems like we have to have the “experts” in control.

    One of the advantage of not having experts in control is that people get to interact directly with the biblical and liturgical texts rather than with a third party’s opinions, and they also get to interact directly with each other’s experience of those texts which is essential to building community.

    1. Interesting synchronicity, Jack, that I also took particular interest in that strategic proposition by Fr. Foley regarding having children, women, the elderly, etc. publicly render the presidential orations in this catechetical proposal. However, that notion doesn’t sit well in my gut. I know Fr. Foley isn’t advocating any sort of “playing Mass” scenario or making any statement about a “democratization” principle informing the receptivity of either priest or people. I am certainly qualified to assist a presider/celebrant improve their ability to chant these orations, but I couldn’t presume to have either the specific education or the benefit of orders to guide folks through any serious exegetical examination of MR3 or any other Missal. And, please tell me as I’m not presuming to know the answer, isn’t there a question of appropriateness of such an exercise?
      Nothing would make me happier if our parish priests would belly up to the bar, roll their sleeves up, and guide our people through the various aspects both within the Missal texts and surrounding their inception. And then they could invite a confident laity, which could include women, children et al to pick up the challenge and flesh the concepts out. Just sayin’.

      1. Charles, we seem to live in two different churches.

        The church I inhabit is the church of the laity: of my parents, my grandparents, lay teachers in high school and college, college friends, lay volunteers who served as pastoral staff members with me in the 1980s, and many people in many small groups who have met in my homes over the years and shared music and scripture. These are the people whose voices I love to hear, whose thoughts about liturgy, scripture and life have nourished my soul and lifted my spirit. These are the saints with whom I hope to live forever.

        The church of the clergy is very different. My relationship to them is typified by a scene from my boyhood in which the liturgy was still in Latin, and my pastor is struggling to get through the new Holy Week services and puzzling what to do next. As server (and unofficial MC), I point to the Latin rubric and whisper in his ear the answer. I have not found priests to be very competent or holy. They have not nourished my soul nor lifted my spirit. More like a vast “mediocracy” than a good bureaucracy. And now large parts of their leadership have been shown to be corrupt and immoral. What they are doing and where they are going, I leave to God, except for occasionally pointing to the rubrics which today are often found in sociological research.

        On the choreography of these sessions (which is what may be upsetting you). I imagined them to be about 30 or 40 people arranged around small group tables in a parish hall. If they were studying the prayers proper to the day (collect, etc.), I would imagine a period of silence in which everyone would read and mentally imagine how they would pray the collect, then (e.g. three) people would give performances in an atmosphere of prayerful silence, followed by a large group critique emphasizing what went well and making suggestions, followed by discussions in the small groups of the meaning of the prayers in the context of the whole liturgy for day and season. I presume some quality study materials.

      2. Jack, I would caution against stereotyping all clergy as that would be prejudicial toward this minority in the Church, if you get my drift. I know first hand the stereotypical remarks made of Italians and other minorities in the south. All stereotypes carry with them some truth, but are always skewed and not helpful towards respect for all people of various cultures and classes.

      3. Father Allan,

        You have your stereotypes of the 60’s, and 70’s which I do not share. I assume they arise from your experience which probably was much different from mine. When you repeat them on this blog, I assume they are to make a point and do not to condemn everyone in those decades.

        My stereotypes arise from my experience with the clergy. Of course it has not been universal. I did serve for four years on a pastoral staff with a pastor who was holy. However so were the rest of the members of the mostly lay voluntary pastoral staff.

        Sorry your hold the 60’s responsive for all the evils in the church; I hold the clergy responsible, the liberals as well as the conservatives.

        I am more interested in promoting a critical attitude than a respectful attitude toward the clergy. Actually I am interested in promoting a more critical attitude toward all managers of large organizations, e.g. business and government and typically couch my criticisms in such language.

        By the way in my original comment I praised Fr. Foley’s suggestion. Perhaps you are stereotyping me as a stereotyper! Hey I even quoted more of his words than my comment so that no one would miss what he had said. That is really high praise!

    2. Jack – I’m sure every parish is large enough to recruit women and children willing to recite these prayers outside the liturgy. I also suspect that the perception that women will be allowed to play at liturgy while being increasingly excluded from the real thing will enrage many.

  10. I guess the only question is whether the empty pews will start this weekend, or whether it will take a week or two for the people to realize that our mass has been completely torched and a wheelbarrow of manure dumped in its place. Maybe we’ll here some reports from Week 1, but I can’t imagine too many people will still be around to tell us what it was like after Month 1. What a tragedy.

      1. Christmas is always full, but that does not belie the baleful statistics, and the new trans is going to do nothing to reverse those statistics.

      2. Christmas can’t be used as a gauge because you get the
        P&L Catholics (the ones who have never seen a church decorated in anything other than Poinsettias or Lilies).

    1. I don’t think the changes will phase most Catholics for at least six months or more. I’d be surprised if many even noticed a difference. The other 2 to 10%? That’s another matter.

  11. Sandi Brough :
    Sean, he definitely has a choice — go Episcopalian, or Lutheran, or independent. In fact, his conscience may force him to do exactly that, even if it requires giving up a cushy rectory and the clericalized pretense of “holy orders” (sic). No one has to put up with the violent ritual abuse and other thuggery of the Ratzinger clique, and no one in good conscience can perpetuate the cycle of violence on the innocent People of God. Kyrie eleison.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    He would have to beware, though, that his new Episcopalian home was not a staunch Rite One parish that was almost more Catholic than the Pope and was rejoicing that finally the Catholic Church was getting a REAL English translation. — From the frying pan into the fire —- but, at least, he would be able to marry!

  12. I find the comments interesting and so glad my parish is so relaxed this weekend as we implemented the new in September. We had very positive catechesis for the past three to four years leading up to September and in October we had a mystygogic experience with families and their children. We requested feedback on what they’ve been experiencing in the pews on Sunday, watched a very good video explaining once again the reasons for the changes and how the complicated decisions were made. In two separate sessions which included a meal, we had close to 250 men, women and children of all ages. The feedback was entirely positive and most agreed that the corrected translation helped them to be more intentional and reflective in their active participation.
    Some three months into the corrected translation, we’re comfortable with it and the new parts are coming naturally now from the congregation.
    Last night (Saturday Vigil), because it was Thanksgiving weekend, we had a very large number of visitors from far off places visiting relatives here in Macon. They are the ones who were clueless about the changes and I noticed them befuddled and stumbling. I asked a few after Mass about their own experience of preparing for this in their parishes and several said they normally don’t go to Mass but honored their family’s request here in Macon to go with them. Others said their parish had only begun to speak about the changes about two weeks ago! Yikes. And I heard of one parish where the pastor got up two weeks ago and said he disliked the translation, thus prejudicing his congregation toward its even before they saw or heard it for themselves. I’m so glad that we in our parish can make use of Advent not concerned about implementing this translation since we’ve almost forgotten that there was a now “defunct” one. It’s old hat for us and in our blood! 🙂

    1. Allan,

      I always follow your posts with great interest. You seem unaware, I may be wrong, that your starting position with your people is that these changes are good and ought to be warmly welcomed. I have no problem with that belief, but it is not one with which all priests can identify–including me. Despite many people’s inability to understand why we really need to be doing this–after considerable catechesis–we offered the Church’s sacrifice of praise with devotion. The responses were uneven and mixed. The music went better since we have been singing it for months. No one said anything after Mass in reference to the changes. Since I am badly hoarse this weekend, I was simply not up for the task of deciphering the collects so that they might be prayed well. I used simpler and already intelligible texts. Perhaps next weekend my voice will return and I will have a go at praying what strikes me as barely prayable texts.

      It’s a big church and with so few temple police to go around, I predict there will be various combinations of 1973, 1998, and 2010 in parishes around the country. Remember, not all priests are zealous about the manner in which they pray and lead the Mass. May those of us who are do the very best we can in spite of all difficulties.

      1. You are correct about how I presented this to our parish although I’ve indicated that nothing is perfect and some of the translation will need to be tweaked in the coming years, but overall I’ve been extremely positive and upbeat about this change and even excited and have tried to communicate that to our parish.

        Most Catholics throughout the English speaking world are quite familiar now with priests improvising and God knows it is done every Sunday with the 1973 translation and in many many places. I’ve done it too.
        I’m trying not to do it now with the corrected English, but I did make a slight correction at Mass this morning with the post-communion prayer: “…you teach us by these mysteries…” after all, I’m a seminarian of the 70’s! 😉

  13. I see there’s been an up-tick in numbers signing the What If We Just Said Wait petition.

    22,604 – including
    16,635 laypersons
    2,543 priests
    3,141 religious
    and 279 deacons

    The comments stand testimony against the obdurate silence of the institution, which condemns itself by its dumb, willful unwillingness to acknowledge and deal with the pastoral crisis in some of these people’s lives — a crisis entirely of the institution’s making. But thank goodness for individual bishops and priests.

    I’m reminded so much of Mt 23:4.

    1. The comments stand testimony against the obdurate silence of the institution, which condemns itself by its dumb, willful unwillingness to acknowledge and deal with the pastoral crisis in some of these people’s lives — a crisis entirely of the institution’s making.

      Graham, that’s really quite unfair. The institutional Church has not been silent. It’s put forth a new translation. It’s put forth reasons for the new translation. You may disagree with the position the institutional Church has taken, but it’s taken a position and its taken action based on the pastoral needs of the world as it perceives it.

      1. To have spoken and gone unheard is tantamount to have remained silent in the face of a pastoral catastrophe.

        You may disagree with Graham’s interpretation that the institution has remained silent. I don’t.

        When it’s clear that your “unfair” means, “that which doesn’t agree with me,” you’d be better off to be more selective in your use of language. Reading your pronouncements calling the views of others “unfair,” is most tedious.

  14. So, I went to mass this morning. I wanted to be able to say I attended a Sunday mass with the new missal at least once. I know some of you would like me to say that I thought it was not a big deal, but that’s not the case.

    I have never left mass with such a feeling of betrayal, anger, and hatred in my life.

    That was not my mass, it was some other religion’s liturgy. I will NEVER go back until the mass I grew up with has been restored. While I did not shout the old responses, I didn’t whisper them either. I merely said the old words the same as I have always said them.

    P.S. As a side note, I believe the celebrant did express his own buried disapproval in the homily. He was talking about Advent and the coming of Jesus, and how people weren’t watching for Him, when He first came. He used the analogy of the ship’s officer on the bridge of the Titanic, and how, despite the fact that the lookout person in the crow’s nest had spotted the iceberg a minute or so earlier, the bridge officer never bothered to pick up the phone immediately. The priest’s last line was very prophetic. “Because the officer in charge paused and did not listen to what someone below him was saying, many lives were lost.”

    Similarly, I think that because the hierarchy refuses to listen to what people are saying in reaction to the new missal, many Catholics are going to be lost.

    1. Sean, I am sorry you see a whole other religion in the new translation. (Some said the same sort of thing after Vatican II, sadly.) I only wish you had attended Mass for other reasons.

      I prayed for you at Mass this morning — and for all who are having a hard time with this new translation — that you all might find peace and solace, and receive the grace from God that you need in this trying time.

      I am curious what you mean when you say Catholics are going to be lost.

      1. I believe that they’ll simply stop going to church.

        And please don’t pull out the “do that and you’ll go to Hell” scare tactic. It’s simply that, a scare tactic made up by men as a means to control peoples’ actions.

        God, in no form said, attend mass or go to Hell.

      2. Other reasons? I believe that the majority of people who do attend mass on Sundays are only there because they believe that they’ll go to Hell if they don’t.

        Some might get a benefit. I used to, and I’m sure some do actually enjoy going to mass. As I said, I did, before my mass was bastardized. But not anymore. But I would believe at least half of the people at church are there just to cover their ass.

        As soon as they change it back, I’ll be in the first pew. Until then, I’ll be waiting for my church to return. It abandoned me and many others.

        I hope that Rat Bastard is satisfied.

      3. I didn’t say anything about Hell; I just wanted to know what you meant by Catholics being “lost”. It doesn’t appear to mean the same thing as in your priest’s Titanic analogy: there “lost” meant dead. Here, “lost” means “on another boat” or perhaps “not riding on boats anymore.”

        I try to go to Mass to worship God. I don’t always succeed, but that’s my intention.

        And while God may not have decreed from the heavens, “Go to Mass or burn in Hell”, perhaps the words of the letter to the Hebrews might be well-remembered:

        Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb 10:23-25)

        And I think the smile in my photo is genuine, as are my friendships.

      4. I know you didn’t mention Hell, Jeffrey. If you weren’t going to mention it, then please accept my apologies.

        It’s just so discerning on this or other websites when a person mentions that they might consider not attending mass or doing something else that the Church has decided they don’t want you to do, that the standard response is often a one liner like

        “Fine, but if you do that you’ll go to Hell for all eternity.”

        A person should do something because they believe it’s right, not for fear of eternal torture. And yet, that’s been a convenient controlling tool of the church for centuries. Do what we say or you go to Hell.

        Using that one liner on a person is so degrading because it’s the equivalent of “do it because we say so”

        Religion can be such a fruitful fulfilling guide to people’s lives, and yet over the centuries it has been used by some to cause millions to act the way a few in power wish them to act.

        One of my grandparents was a Presbyterian, and every week, the priest in their church told my mother and her siblings that he hoped they’d convince their mother to convert because if they don’t, their mother was going to end up in Hell. How can someone with any sort of conscience tell that to an 8 year old and a 10 year old, week after week after week? So, I do view the church’s tactic of “do as we say or you go to Hell” as a sadistic manipulative tool, that some take ease in using, and I’ve seen it pulled out on this site in the past.

        Personally, I go to mass to be closer to God, not to worship Him. To me, God doesn’t need people telling Him how great He is. The desire to be worshiped is a human weakness. And I nearly always go. But if I don’t, I say and extra prayer, or take some extra time to reflect on what i could have done differently this week to be a better person.

        But, if worship works for you, if that’s what you get out of it, that’s great. Everybody has different spiritual needs. And I want you, and everyone, to get the most out of God’s love for us.

        As to my priest’s reference to Catholics who are “lost”, there is the meaning that they can’t find their way, but there’s also the meaning that the church has lost them.

        Again, thanks to all for your prayers, and I pray for you, and that someone can figure out a way to satisfactorily reconcile these differences.

        People have said that a true compromise is when nobody comes out happy. Maybe this is a compromise that is taking 40 years or more to complete. I don’t know. It would be nice if we could have a win-win situation. What nobody want’s is a

      5. I don’t know if I would say “God desires to be worshiped”. But I do believe that it is proper and right for us to worship God, to give Him thanks and praise. He deserves it, and not only after all He’s done for us, but also because He’s God! That’s what we’ve been singing in the Gloria for the last 40 years, and what we’re still singing in the new translation. And the Preface prayer usually says the same sort of thing: it’s right to give God thanks through Jesus Christ.

        And worshiping God is not “what I get out of” Mass, it’s what I put into it. Like you, I believe I come closer to God at Mass, and I receive many blessings and graces through my participation in the liturgy. (The analyst in me likes to identify them as His mercy, His word, His peace, His very Self, and His blessing.)

      1. Yes it is, and we have the godgiven gifts to keep on reshaping it as the beautiful work of art Christ and the early Church created.

  15. I so far have presided and preached at 2 Eucharists this weekend, 1 more to go.

    First reaction: To paraphrase Emperor Franz Joseph to Mozart in Amadeus: “Too many words! Too many words!”

    Mt 6:7

  16. Sean,

    I identify with your strong feelings about all this, but I urge you to get a grip. If you live in an area where there are numerous parishes, search around for one where the priests are employing good sense as regards this implementation.

    In my parish, we prayed the Mass as we always have. Some people were ready with changed responses, some were not. No big deal. I had no choice but to pray prayers that were intelligible and prayable.

    1. Thanks Jack. I will consider your words. Personally, I have nothing against anyone here. Even the people whose opinions differ from mine. You all seem like nice caring people, passionate about your beliefs.

      Even Jeffrey, with that smiling picture in his profile, I don’t agree with him, and I obviously have different spiritual beliefs from him, but he looks like he’d be a good friend if you needed one.

      My postings probably show a lot of anger, and that’s mostly because of the way the church has imposed this change on us, and the fact that it is so, so, alien to my relationship with God which was totally fostered by the simplicity of the previous missal.

      I don’t want to be enemies with anybody, but the church is not even attempting to listen to us. Their attitude comes across like “You’ll get over it, and if you don’t, well then sucks to be you.” or “You do it because we tell you to.”

      1. Another perspective is to see it as an opportunity to be in solidarity with people who in general may have fewer choices than we do. Many of us are so used to choice as an option, that we forget how many people are poor in the realm of choices and options. Poverty not only consists in material things. Solidarity is a peaceful, non-violent way to acknowledge wrong and be with it, rather than work around it. I am attracted to this option (over the loud form of witness, which has a strong vulnerability to being ego-driven) because it comports with what we see on the Cross. Christ could have made a loud noise and show in front of Pilate. He didn’t. Rather, he let the world see how man behaves, and gave the world a mirror. In total love.

        For clergy, who can envy what they see as the freedom of laity, it can be hard to remember how much privilege they have in the choices that are permitted to make over how the laity worships. (And I very much am focusing on parish clergy here, not the prelates and their flacks.) It is a world of privilege. It was a world of privilege before today and remains one today. The translation didn’t change that reality, and it would be delusional to imagine the older translation was somehow less so. Cuz it wasn’t.

  17. As I often do when I have attended a vigil Mass locally, I watched the ND 10am broadcast over the internet through Catholic TV.

    The “homily” was totally devoted to listing the 6 points in favor of the new Missal. It was about as strong a homily you could get in favor of it without resorting to lying and hyperbole, and while ignoring all the problems.

    However this ND marketing approach, like most overkill, was less effective than the approach taken by the local parish that has an excellent liturgy. Since the local parish had every reason to want to keep all those of us who regard it as excellent, their approach was more one of continuity, though that word was never used. No hype; no criticism.

    First they kept everything out of the homily; everything was in the bulletin or right before Mass. That spoke volumes about continuity.

    Only one argument was offered for the new Liturgy, namely that it was more scriptural. That dominated the bulletin. The time before Mass was used for the technicalities, and they were treated as technicalities.

    They kept the Mass of Creation so the music changed but little,

    So my experience in this parish was one of great continuity; even seems that we get a sung Preface along with the regular sung EP, a plus.

    In watching the ND Mass I was far more conscious of the awkwardness of the wording, especially during the EP. Of course everything at ND was spoken not sung. Moral: sing the words and maybe people will not recognize that they do not sing. I could tell the priest was struggling with the phrasing of the sung Preface but at least it sounded musically like it made sense.

    1. Jack, you say that in your parish the Eucharistic Prayer is sung, do you mean the whole thing including the words of institution? We sing everything at two of our main Masses, including the sign of the cross, greeting all the way through to the ending blessing and dismissal. However, I reserve the singing of the Eucharistic prayer for solemn events such as Christmas, Holy Thursday, Corpus Christi, and then I normally only sing it from the Epiclesis through the consecration and I think a paragraph further. What is your parish experience with this every Sunday? We sing the orations and preface and Lord’s prayer and embolism every Sunday at every Mass.

    2. The parish where this is sung every Sunday, by both the pastor and the regular guest presider, is about a half hour drive from me. The pastor has a doctorate in scripture and the choir is great. They sing for all three Masses. That is one of the reasons that I started going there. I just hated the vigil Mass in my local parish which was generally musically poorly staffed at that time, 15 years ago. Much improved now.

      In the beginning the EP was sung just from the Sanctus through the words of institution. However the pastor decided that legally he had to sing it clear to the doxology, and that has been done for several years. I guess there is some decree or decision or response somewhere.

      In general I go to this parish, weather permitting, and when I am not involved in some extended activity in my local “legal” parish, e.g. being on Parish Council. When I was “discerned” for Council some people were aghast! But only four candidates showed up for the four positions. The Holy Spirit can count and so it was decided! During the four years I was on council I worshiped with the local parish except during Holy Week which I classified as my “retreat.” I also continued for another year since I was involved in launching some adult faith formation which had been a product of my term on Council.

      It is a shame that the local parish does not sing the EP regularly; all the priests that minister at the parish do it well during Christmas and Easter. I gave the pastor Taft’s argument that Easter is just a big Sunday rather than Sunday being a small Easter. He was impressed but did not do anything.

      Any way he knows he loses my contribution unless he sings the EP or offers me something that I really want to do in the parish. We are not a congregation Church; I can worship and minister wherever I want. And, of course I am a great consumer advocate. I spent a couple of decades in the mental health system making it more responsive to the mentally ill who call themselves “consumers.”

  18. Sean Parker :
    Other reasons? I believe that the majority of people who do attend mass on Sundays are only there because they believe that they’ll go to Hell if they don’t.
    Some might get a benefit. I used to, and I’m sure some do actually enjoy going to mass. As I said, I did, before my mass was bastardized. But not anymore. But I would believe at least half of the people at church are there just to cover their ass.
    As soon as they change it back, I’ll be in the first pew. Until then, I’ll be waiting for my church to return. It abandoned me and many others.
    I hope that Rat Bastard is satisfied.

    I am seriously concerned about the moderation of this blog, especially when it comes to allowing postings that are direct and vulgar attacks on the Holy Father. Mr. Parker, while he is entitled to his hostility and anger, should not continue to be indulged in this manner.
    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    1. Trust me. I will not be making any such references in the further to him. But it does express my feelings. It’s the first and only time I’m ever had that feeling for any Pope. Just remember, he’s the cause of it.

  19. Dunstan Harding :
    Mr. Osborne is incorrect. The collect has, since Gregory the Great’s time, been a presidential prayer to be sung or said out loud. What part of “proclaim” does not not apply here?

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    Did I say that prayers and collects were not sung out loud? I think not!
    What I said was that prayers are prayed – they are not proclaimed.
    A proclamation is a very loud and formal announcement addressed to the populace.
    A prayer is sung prayerfully and humbly, though aloud and on behalf of all, and is addressed to God. It is not a proclamation; and, to read it as such would be to mutilate it and subvert its nature. It is quite possible to ‘pray’ so that all may hear. It’s in the attitude, the earnest demeanor and the heart.

    1. The collect is more of a summary than a prayer. The celebrant has already called for the congregation to pray and then summed up or
      collected the prayers of the people.

      Your view of it as mutilated or subverted in some way as proclaimed is your own twist. I think there are few liturgists who would accept your characterization.

      1. DH –
        You are right in noticing that collects are summaries – of sorts. They are, however, prayers just the same. I’m sure you know that the Roman collectio is a prayer, one that happens to summarise the things for which the Church prays on a given day and follows a rather specific and typical pattern: it addresses God, makes a very specific petition, says why or to what end we desire that particular thing, and then closes with the Trinitarian formula. It is a prayer – not a proclamation. One might observe, pertinently, that most of the collects were butchered in the ’73 translation, so that they do not follow their Latin progenitors, nor the traditional ‘form’ of a collect.
        Still, though, even these are prayers; and I suggest again that if one tried praying rather than proclaiming them, one might find them friendlier. It is, I think, difficult to pray when one is in a proclamatory mode. This is self-defeating and grossly inappropriate for prayer. (And, ‘few liturgists’??? Well, at least a few, then, would be correct!)

  20. Mr. Schreiner, your concern has been allowed to reverberate unanswered in these halls almost since PTB’s inception. However, such vitriol is hardly confined to either side of the LitWars’ debates.
    I cannot say, having followed PTB from the start that I’ve never encountered the crudeness and base depravity that has been allowed to sully the comboxes of late. But that’s on the purveyors of such, ultimately, and their souls.
    What I cannot understand, in all honesty, how is that a professed Christian can, in one breath quote Matthew 25, and then demean the Vicar of Christ in the next?
    As I’m currently in that particular chapter of JESUS CHRIST, V2, by B16, I read him as affirming that such hypocrisy would apply even if it were Bin Laden who appeared at our door. So, this offense, unaddressed by the editors, as well as metaphors dubbing any Missal “dung,” are egregious upon all Christian souls, including the utterers of same.
    So much so, that I wonder, despite the “real name” clause, whether these persons are actually planted shills whose objective is simply to muckrake. If not, my apologies.

    1. Angry comments do people little credit. And most all of us know it.

      Personally, I feel less angry and more frustrated at the ministerial misdirection afforded by this translation of MR3. However, the Gospel still needs preaching tomorrow, and the churches need to be full next Sunday. My own feeling is that it’s less a matter of Paul’s potty reference in Phil 3:8 and more one of getting to work with one hand tied behind my back. No problem, I guess: I can work with that if God can.

      As for the moderation at PT or lack thereof, I don’t have an objection to it. But it does encourage me to visit less often.

  21. I just had the strangest experience while reflecting back on the anger I felt this morning after hearing the new mass. It was like someone speaking, but it wasn’t a voice, and it was like a thought, but it wasn’t a thought. It just popped into my head.

    It was: “I’m still here, my son.” followed by a feeing of quiet calmness.

    Maybe it was psychological, maybe it was a buried desire for peace.

    I still don’t like the way they implemented this change.

    But, I do promise you all, I’ll go back to mass next Sunday, and take part in the new liturgy with an open mind.

    If I’ve hurt anybody’s feelings here, I humbly ask for your forgiveness.



  22. I am sadder today than I was yesterday. I was truly sad yesterday. I have lost hope about the future, particulary my future with this organized religion.

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