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
Dec 15

Written by: Todd Williamson
12/15/2011 11:00 AM  RssIcon

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 important thing to seriously consider is: Develop a good, solid greeting before Mass - something that is hospitable and helpful rather than judgmental or condemning. Such a greeting can remind the faithful (and particularly those who are first hearing of any “changes”):
  • for the last month we have been using the revised Mass texts;
  • because of this many of the responses and acclamations for Mass are different;
  • all of the new responses are in the worship aid they received when they entered the church;
  • because of these differences they will definitely need to have a worship aid, and
  •  if they did not receive one, they can get one from an usher or a greeter.
Extra worship aids / pew cards may call for extra ushers or greeters to be able to provide for the larger crowds. Be sure to schedule accordingly!
Consider printing a reprise of an insert that you might have used in the bulletin earlier this year, as you prepared for the first weekend of implementation of the third edition of The Roman Missal. It would take very little effort to re-fashion it for use in the Christmas bulletin particularly for “those who may not have been to Mass recently and are just now learning of the changes in the Mass.” This could be an added opportunity for evangelization, kindly inviting them back to participate more often in Mass at the parish! (NOTE: If you do include information in the Christmas bulletin about the new Mass texts, be sure to include that note in the announcement before Mass.)
Did you use banners or posters in the narthex, announcing the new Missal, in preparation for the first Sunday of Advent, when the English translation was first implemented? Consider putting them up again for the weekend of Christmas. This can alert new-comers, even before they enter the inside of the church, that some things will be different.
With some careful planning, a parish could go a long way to ensuring that all those who come to Mass this Christmas can be well equipped to enter fully, actively and consciously into the great Mystery, celebrating the Incarnation!


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