One Pastor’s Experience (New)

ADJUSTING TO THE NEW ROMAN MISSAL:

ONE PRIEST’S EXPERIENCE

 

     In our Parish, the congregation responses and prayers (Gloria, Apostles Creed, Sanctus, etc.) are from the NRM on a card in the pews prepared by the Liturgy Committee, with adjustments for inclusive language.

     I use the prayers from the 1998 edition of the NRM which can be found at  Click Here.  Pages are placed in formal 3 ring binders at the chair and altar.  These prayers are a tremendous step forward from the 1969 edition and would put the present edition to shame. Thus far, it is working very well.

     Prior to Advent the parish went through a 10 week review of the liturgy at the weekend liturgies, explaining the history, Vatican II vision, signs, symbols etc.  I shared with the community the history of the NRM and its resulting poor quality, and that we would adjust as needed, with the support of the Liturgy Committee.

     In my homily on the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday before Advent, I explained why I would be using the 1998 Missal.  In doing so, I shared the following story, with the woman’s permission.  “After Mass yesterday, a very elderly woman, in poor health, came up to me in tears; she had read about this new translation in the diocesan newspaper and other newspapers and she said she had become afraid… thinking that she might not be one of the ‘many’ (for whom Jesus died, now used in the new translation instead of ‘all’).  She was troubled and unable to sleep… tossing and turning, questioning what her faith of a life-time meant…  Finally, she concluded on that faith, that Jesus wouldn’t reject her…, Jesus loves her and everyone!  She said: “I don’t care what the priest says, I’m saying ‘all’; … and close to dawn, she turned over and went to sleep!”         

     In conscience, I could not use such an inadequate translation when the 1998 version, approved by all the Bishop Conferences of the English speaking world is available. The post Vatican II liturgical documents encourage regional translations.  In my view, to use the present edition would be bending to an unjust, political intervention by those who desire to restore the liturgy to Pre-Vatican II form. A friend of mine visited the Vatican recently and attended Mass at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Chapel.  The Presider celebrated Mass facing the wall, with fiddleback vestments.  God help us!