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
Author: Todd Williamson Created: 3/30/2010 2:23 PM RssIcon
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 Monday morning.
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!

By Todd Williamson on 1/31/2011 7:09 PM
We’re now less than 10 months away from the implementation of the English translation of the third edition of The Roman Missal, scheduled to begin on the first weekend of Advent, November 26/27, 2011. As our Office of Divine Worship continues to present study days all over the Archdiocese of Chicago, the rallying call has become, “You should be doing things in preparation now!”

In one of the sessions of these study days, we offer suggested resources and strategies for preparation. Among those suggestions, the following are stressed and I offer them here for your consideration:

Use the parish bulletin to relay information to parishioners about the English translation of the Missal: Use bulletin inserts. There are many fine series available online – and they’re free! See LTP’s offerings on this website and those offered by the USCCB. Point parishioners to the USCCB Web site and encourage them to download the English translation of the Order of Mass. Give...
By Todd Williamson on 12/1/2010 4:50 PM
On November 20, the staff of the Office for Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Chicago presented the first of eighteen workshops on the English Translation of The Roman Missal. We will offer a second workshop this coming week. The remainder of these regional offerings will take place from January to June 2011, all in preparation for the implementation of the English translation, which will take place in a little under a year from now—November 27, 2011. These day-long workshops consist of four main presentations: Setting the Context for the English translation of the Third Edition of The Roman Missal; Viewing the Third Edition through the Lens of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy; Exploring the Texts of the English Translation; and Looking at Resources and Suggesting Strategies for Implementation. There is also the opportunity for questions and discussion. The first workshop went very, very well. There were approximately forty participants, largely made up of members of parish staff. The group was...
By Todd Williamson on 11/12/2010 3:01 PM
Last week I posted about the gathering of priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago that took place on Tuesday, October 19. The purpose of the gathering was to hear Father Michael Joncas in preparation to receive and implement the English translation of the third edition of The Roman Missal. As I noted then, it was quite an experience to be part of a gathering of almost 1,200 priests who celebrate the Eucharist in this Archdiocese (attendees were all priests who celebrate the Mass in the Archdiocese--diocesan, religious, externs, etc.). Many of the attendees noted that they’ve never been part of such a large gathering of priests. I think it was an extraordinary experience for them too. I have found myself reflecting on this aspect of that day, ever since. It’s not like the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago don’t gather. Every year there are two days offered for them, as priests of the Archdiocese, to come together, and every three years there is a three-day convocation. At these gatherings there are usually...
By Todd Williamson on 10/25/2010 12:58 PM
Last week, over 1,200 priests who celebrate the liturgy in the Archdiocese of Chicago gathered in Oakbrook, Illinois, for a daylong presentation on the English translation of the third edition of The Roman Missal. Truly, it was amazing to see that many priests gathered together to focus on this most important subject! Father J. Michael Joncas, professor, liturgist, and composer, led the day for the Chicago priests. The purpose of the day was to set the context of the third edition and then to help them unpack some of the texts of the English translation—notably, Eucharistic Prayers II and III. Father Joncas’s scholarship and pastoral approach was most helpful during the day of study and discussion. His focus was to acquaint the priests with the texts in an attempt to assist them to begin to interiorize the revised translation. He highlighted some characteristics of the translation, hoping that this would help the priests begin to make the texts their own. This is a major concern for many—priests and laity...
By Todd Williamson on 10/14/2010 2:29 PM
Last week I attended the annual meeting of the National Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. The focus of the meeting was the implementation of the English translation of the third edition of The Roman Missal. Two outstanding speakers led the members in study and discussion throughout the week: Father Paul Turner (Kansas City - St. Joseph) and Monsignor Kevin Irwin (The Catholic University). Both are renown in their understanding of and ability to speak on the third edition of The Roman Missal. Among the numerous topics that were presented, one has continued to stay with me after the meeting—it was a presentation on “Living a Eucharistic Life,” emphasizing the dynamic of allowing our lives to be shaped by the prayers we pray in the liturgy. Traveling back to Chicago from the meeting, I spent time reviewing the Order of Mass with this dynamic in mind. For some reason, the prayers of preparation that...
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 Todd Williamson on 8/23/2010 3:19 PM
As many know by now, the United States Bishops received from Rome the final English translation of the Roman Missal. Cardinal Francis George, OMI, president of the USCCB, announced this news last Friday, August 20, 2010. At the same time, the date of implementation was confirmed: November 27, 2011. Along with the announcement, the final Order of Mass was posted to the USCCB Web site and changes were confirmed. Some of these changes were known beforehand; for example, we knew that the Creed would include the statement “I believe” a total of four times (rather than just once as had been previously approved). Other aspects of the English translation were finally made known. For example, we have been eagerly awaiting the outcome of whether or not the familiar “Christ has died” would be allowed as an option for the Memorial Acclamation. Last Friday, that question was finally answered: this particular response will not be included in the English translation of the missal. This means that after...
By Todd Williamson on 8/17/2010 1:05 PM
I’ve been asked a number of times, “What will we do at other rituals that are not Mass once the English translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal is promulgated?” “How will we respond, for example, at the Liturgy of the Hours, or a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word or at infant Baptism, to ‘The Lord be with you?’” “What will we do then?” “Will we say, ‘And with your spirit?’ Or, will we say, ‘And also with you?’” In thinking about this, I have just come to the conclusion that it will be a little “messy” in the first year or so once the revised translation is implemented. Undoubtedly, unless all of these other liturgies have worship aids in which all the liturgical greetings and responses are printed, some people will respond with the revised response (“And with your spirit”) and others will forget and respond with the current response (“And also with you”). I think this will be the reality. It will take us time to learn to respond with the revised text. Similarly, I recently attended a weekend...
By Todd Williamson on 8/3/2010 11:44 AM
I co-host a monthly radio show on liturgical matters and issues with Danielle A. Knott of Liturgy Training Publications. The show is co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Divine Worship and LTP. Last week our topic was the English translation of the Roman Missal. Our purpose was to highlight and discuss pastoral issues that parishes may face in light of the revised translation. We discussed things from finances (costs to replace the missal; costs to update hymnals; costs to purchase pew cards with the congregation’s prayers, responses, and acclamations) to addressing, in a sensitive manner, difficulties many people have with change. 

We also discussed strategies that parishes might consider when preparing their people for the revised English translation of the Roman Missal. During that discussion, the...