Sunday, November 6, 2011

First Sunday using the New Missal

This Sunday, at my parish of St Francis, the new translation of the Mass was at last used for all parts of the liturgy, with the arrival of the new Missal and our priest's usage of it, not just for all the Ordinary (as he had been doing since Pentecost) but for the Proper as well – in other words, to-day, the 32nd Sunday  in Ordinary Time, we heard the Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and the Prayer after Communion in the new translation for the first time.

Before Mass began, the very handsome "chapel edition" of the new Missal was on display, open to some of its beautiful illustrations – in Australia, the Missals are published by CTS, and are very fine.  Father told me after Mass that the large altar edition was even more grand, with gold-edged pages.  Name-plates listing all parishioners who donated funds towards the purchase of these volumes will be inserted soon as a memorial to their largesse.

My own copy of the new Missal is still in transit, but such are the wonders of the Internet that I have these texts to hand:

Almighty and merciful God, 
graciously keep from us all adversity, 
so that, unhindered in mind and body alike, 
we may pursue in freedom of heart 
the things that are yours. 
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever.

Prayer over the Offerings 
Look with favour, we pray, O Lord, 
upon the sacrificial gifts offered here, 
that, celebrating in mystery the Passion of your Son, 
we may honour it with loving devotion. 
Through Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion 
Nourished by this sacred gift, O Lord, 
we give you thanks and beseech your mercy, 
that, by the pouring forth of your Spirit, 
the grace of integrity may endure 
in those your heavenly power has entered. 
Through Christ our Lord.

Standing in the pews hearing these prayed, it was obvious that the priest read them with good diction and evident comprehension; likewise, as I listened and considered their words, it was easy to understand them – not that it is my ears for whom they are meant, seeing as it is God they address! – so that furphy about the new translation being impossible to understand is easily confuted as a most stupid claim.

It is interesting to compare and contrast my own parish's uneventful reception of the new texts, and easy adjustment to the new words, to what I hear of the difficulties and unwelcoming attitude (played up and encouraged, I suspect, by the priests) in our neighbouring parish...

Come Advent Sunday, out with the old and in with the new: willy-nilly, the new Missal will be the only one allowed to be used at the Mass in the Ordinary Form.  Those who have dragged their heels and belly-ached will have to stop whining eventually and move with the times!  I must say, it amuses me no end to say this; perhaps the experience that some liberals are having will give them compassion for those who have endured far more in order to get Mass in the Extraordinary Form, but I doubt it.  How amusing it will be, that those who love the 1970's, and all its works, and all its empty promises, will have the choice of the more-accurately-translated Mass, some first fruit of the Reform of the Reform (and, with the upsurge in musical settings of the Propers in English, not to mention a push for a more solemn liturgy, is not this movement bearing yet further fruit?), or of the Mass of the Ages.

I suppose if they don't like either option they can become refugees from the Roman Rite.

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