Recent Postings
By Sandra Dooley on 12/19/2011 12:33 PM
If there ever was a good time to return to the Church for those who have been away for some time, this is it! We are all in the same situation—needing to rely on whatever worship aids are provided by our parishes. If you have prepared special worship aids for Christmas, whether you hand them to people as they arrive or place them in the pews ahead of time, be sure to have enough for everyone—to last through all the Christmas Eve and Christmas day Masses.

Most parishes have one or two ministries that are focused specifically on hospitality: ushers and/or greeters. If possible, it would be good to augment their presence at the Christmas Masses—to provide a welcome to all, parishioners and visitors alike, and also to assist in distributing any worship aids, bulletins or other materials you might be giving out either before or after Mass. Have ushers and greeters (and other liturgical ministers) been offered some catechesis on the new translation or given some resource material so that they will be better prepared...
By Todd Williamson on 12/15/2011 11:00 AM
For many Catholics, the first time they will experience the English translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal will be at the Masses for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord–Christmas!

How do you plan to help them?

The first and most important thing that I can think of is: Make sure there are enough worship aids / pew cards. This is absolutely imperative! This will indeed be challenging, as many parishes experience “standing room only” at many of the Masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The spike in the number of participants will necessitate having an extra number of aids—most likely more than you will ever need for any other day of the year. Understandably, that will translate into an extra cost for the Christmas Masses. But no one can deny the necessity of every person having an aid, ensuring that they are able to participate using the revised texts!

Don’t worry, though—keep the extra worship aids / pew cards; you’ll be able to use them again on Easter!

Another...
By Sandra Dooley on 12/12/2011 9:46 AM
At my parish, we are doing well with the transition, although I must admit that when I don’t remember to look at the worship aids with the new text, I still forget to say “And with your spirit!” It’s just going to take a while until the new responses come easily to my mind and lips.

And, if it will take a while for me and for others who have been working with and catechizing for months about the new texts, think of what it will be like for those who come to church only once or twice a year—on Christmas and Easter. Christmas is less than two weeks away. Have you planned what you are going to do to show hospitality to all those visitors and parishioners who come only on big feasts? I have maintained for some time now that if you have been away from the Church, now is the time to come back because we are all in the same boat—needing to follow along and read the responses because we are not yet familiar or comfortable with them.

When the Christmas crowd comes through the doors of your parish church, what will you do to help them engage in “full, active and conscious participation” which is called for by the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy?

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By Sandra Dooley on 12/6/2011 8:41 PM
Our second weekend with the new translation went fairly smoothly. The challenge, I think, is for those of us in leadership positions to stay on our toes and to remember to remind people about the new responses and prayers. For those of us who have been working with the translation and catechizing about it for so long, we tend to think that we have “arrived”--but we are still early in the journey.

I had an interesting meeting last week with a group of young adults in the parish. I had been asked a few months ago to speak with them about the changes in the Mass texts, and this was the first time our schedules coincided. We met a few days after the First Sunday of Advent— just a few days after the first use of the new translation at Sunday Mass.

The group was small—only about seven or eight people, more men than women. We began by just sharing reactions to the new texts we heard and prayed the previous Sunday, and, somewhat to my surprise, everyone in the room was in agreement that the changes “are not such a big deal.” In fact, this group of young adults was generally in favor of the changes, seeing them as being more faithful to the Latin, bringing us closer to God, and expressing our prayer in language that is more sacred. These are phrases I am hearing from older parishioners as well.

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