Christopher Carstens

In Encountering the Words of Christ in the Mass, Christopher Carstens reflects upon the third edition of the Roman Missal, giving particular attention to the changes in the Mass texts.

Christopher Carstens holds a B.A. from the Oratory of St. Philip in Toronto, and M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Dallas and a M.A. (Liturgical Studies) from The Liturgical Institute. He is currently the Director of the Office of Sacred Worship for the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where he serves as Coordinator of Pontifical Liturgies, liturgical coordinator for the Permanent Deacon formation program, and diocesan Director of RCIA. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Liturgical Institute and a frequent presenter in liturgical conferences and parish education. He is a member of the Society for Catholic Liturgy and is married with four children. Mr. Carstens is one of the presenters of Mystical Body, Mystical Voice.

Todd WilliamsonIn this blog, Praying, Believing, and Living, D. Todd Williamson discusses the pastoral, spiritual, and ministerial ramifications of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal.  Todd's blog is updated every other week.

Todd Williamson is the current Director of the Office for Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is the author of two editions of Sourcebook for Sundays, Seasons, and Weekdays:The Almanac for Pastoral Liturgy (2007 and 2008, LTP) and has contributed to subsequent editions. He is also co-author of Bringing Catechesis and Liturgy Together: Let the Mystery Lead You! (2002, TwentyThird Publications), and he has written for numerous periodicals (Rite, Pastoral Liturgy, Catechumenate, and Religion Teacher's Journal).

In addition to writing, he is a teacher and national speaker in the areas of liturgy and the sacraments. He is co-host of the monthly radio program, Focus on the Liturgy, which airs on the fourth Wednesday of every month on Relevant Radio 950 AM, in the Chicagoland area.

Todd has been the director of the Office for Divine Worship for eight years. As such, he has dealt with countless pastoral situations in regards to the liturgy. It is from this unique experience that he writes in this blog: breaking open the English texts and making connections to our spiritual and ministerial lives as people of faith.

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Sandra Dooley moved to Los Angeles in 1999 after 18 years in Orlando, FL. where she spent 10 years as the liturgy director of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Winter Park. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University in New Orleans, with emphasis in liturgy. She is an experienced church musician, religious educator and liturgist, and has been a committee member, coordinator and/or speaker at local and national conferences.

In June, 2001, Sandra joined the Office for Worship of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as Associate Director. She was Director of the Office from April, 2003 through July, 2009. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) from 2004 until her return to FL in 2009.

Sandy currently serves as the director of liturgy at St. Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park, FL, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate.


Blog Posts
By Sandra Dooley on 9/28/2010 12:03 PM
I have been doing some research on organizational change and how it relates to the situation we are in with the changing texts of The Roman Missal. One author (William Bridges, Managing Transitions) makes a clear—and important—distinction between change and transition. Change is situational, and it will happen whether there is a process of transition or not. What is important for us, I think, is that we plan and go through a process of transition in our parishes and institutions. That process includes informing people of the changes, and then allowing time, first, for people to internalize the idea of the changes and, second, the actual changes in the texts. There will be some who grieve the loss of the words we have been saying at Mass for the last 40 years. That’s longer than a lifetime for many of the people in our pews. There will also be some who eagerly welcome the new text—people of all ages, I suspect. And, of course, there will be many other reactions and responses in between those two “bookends.” This...
By Christopher Carstens on 9/20/2010 1:41 PM
We saw last time that the priest’s greeting to the people—“The Lord be with you”—is loaded with symbolism, and that by hearing his greeting sacramentally and mystagogically we can hear not only the voice of the priest but the voice of Jesus and the Church along with him. The people’s response to his greeting is no less significant, especially if—and perhaps only if—considered as a sacramental sign. As the greeting of the priest is found in scripture (see Ruth 2:4), so too are the words of the people. Saint Paul concludes his letter to the Galatians with “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen” (6:18). His second letter to Timothy similarly ends with “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all” (2 Timothy 4:22). Referring to the spirit of the priest is a literal translation of the original Latin phrase, Et cum spiritu tuo. By translating spiritu literally, the English translation follows the translations of the other language groups: in French, Et avec votre esprit;...
By Sandra Dooley on 9/20/2010 12:30 PM
As mentioned a few weeks ago, I did a session with the catechists of the parish, using a Power Point presentation I had prepared. I plan to take that presentation “on the road” in the parish. I will use it with a number of groups, including the liturgical environment committee, school teachers, the parish council, and any other groups that will have me. This first presentation addresses general issues about the revised translation, such as the reasons for the changes, a bit of history, the process itself, and those involved in the process. I did not go into a lot of specifics about the text itself, other than to show some examples of changes in the assembly’s parts. I hope to revisit these groups sometime next year to spend time on the various parts of the Mass and specific text changes. In the meantime, there will be a series of brief bulletin announcements explaining some of the changes—in the context of the Mass itself. I have started working on an outline of topics to be covered and the announcements will...
By Todd Williamson on 9/13/2010 10:59 AM
On November 27, 2011, the English translation of the third edition of The Roman Missal will be used for the first time in every parish in the United States of America. (It’s important to note that NONE of these texts may be used before that date.) At a recent gathering of liturgists and musicians—a planning meeting for the catechetical efforts of the Archdiocese of Chicago—a parish liturgist made a few very good points about this particular date. He noted that we need to be aware that “the whole country will be watching that day.” He noted how the media, at least here in Chicago, will, without doubt, be clamored around Holy Name Cathedral on that Sunday, getting “on the spot reports” from parishioners freshly emerging from the first use of the revised Mass texts. (You may consider this reality for your own Archdiocese or diocese.) He noted that, in addition to the cathedral, many parishes outside of downtown Chicago will similarly have media outside, “scooping” reactions: criticism and praise, commentaries...
By Sandra Dooley on 9/13/2010 10:48 AM
Now that the recognitio has been granted from Rome and we have the final version of the new texts, what should we be doing to prepare for the implementation a little over a year from now? First of all, I hope diocesan offices are getting the word out to people in the parishes. Using whatever means of communication they have available, diocesan offices of worship need to inform priests and other parish personnel of the coming changes. There are so many resources available, most of them online, that it would be a good idea for dioceses to provide links on their Web sites, or perhaps to e-mail information to parish liturgy and music directors as well as priests and deacons. On the parish level, any number of approaches can be taken. In the parish where I work, I have been distributing copies of Father Paul Turner’s pamphlets, Understanding the Revised Mass Texts, to members of the liturgy...
By Sandra Dooley on 9/9/2010 9:14 AM
Many of us have (understandably) been focusing the changes that are taking place in the responses, acclamations, and other words that we speak every time we participate in the Mass. However, there are other very positive aspects to the revision of The Roman Missal, such as the addition of a number of saints to the universal calendar. Seventeen saints have been added to the Roman calendar in recent years and these will all be included in the new Missal, most of them as optional memorials. The saints come from all over the world, including Saint Josephine Bakhita from Darfur (February 8); Saint Christopher Magallanes and companions from Mexico (May 21); Saint Augustine Zhao Rong from China (July 9); Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) who died in Auschwitz (August 9); and Saint Andrew Dung Lac and companions from Vietnam (November 24), among others. Also new on the universal calendar are the optional memorials of the Most Holy Name of Jesus on January 3, Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, and the...