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
Jun 14

Written by: Sandra Dooley
6/14/2010 8:19 AM  RssIcon

Recently, we celebrated First Holy Communion at the parish for about 150 children. It was actually two celebrations on a Saturday morning. The church was packed for both services, with a standing crowd that spilled out into the narthex/foyer of the building. As I stood among the latecomers (and those who chose to remain in the church foyer), I was struck by the number of people who seemed confused and uncertain about how to participate at Mass and even to understand what the celebration was really all about. Nearly every person arrived with a camera in hand, and quite a few didn’t hear, or chose to ignore, the three announcements made before and during the liturgy requesting no flash photography. (Ushers who serve at these types of liturgies should be recommended for sainthood!)

Observing the crowd in the narthex made me wonder about the catechesis being planned for the implementation of the revised Roman Missal. How will we reach these people who appear in our churches only a few times a year? Will our carefully planned catechesis on the Mass and the revised translation be largely ignored, like the requests for no flash photography during the First Holy Communion liturgy? Or will they use the new translation as another excuse to stay away from the Church?

As Todd Williamson mentioned in a recent blog entry, there doesn‘t seem to be much reaction to the news about recognitio. I am guessing that, for most church-goers, it won’t mean much until they actually have the texts in their hands and are required to start using them. But with those people who show up just at Christmas and Easter, or Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday (and First Holy Communions and Confirmations) we have an even bigger challenge. Just when weekly churchgoers are becoming familiar with the new words, the occasional churchgoers will show up and wonder what is going on.

We have about a year and a half to prepare for these situations, and to think about how we will reach those who are infrequent participants at our parish liturgies. If seasonal missalettes are not used in the parish, special worship aids will be required for every Sunday for at least several months, if not longer. It would be wise to make them available in the narthex of the church, and hand them out as people arrive for weekend and other liturgies. Worship aids prepared for funerals, weddings, First Holy Communions and Confirmations may need to be expanded to include responses and acclamations so that everyone can participate. If worship aids are not usually prepared for these liturgies in your parish, be sure to have cards or some type of aids available—and find a way to get them into everyone’s hands as they arrive for these special occasions. A standard introduction (template) at the beginning of all such worship aids would be helpful—perhaps a paragraph or two explaining that some of the words have changed, why and when the changes took place. Even after most parishioners are comfortable with the revised translation, those coming for special occasions or for Christmas and Easter, etc. will need assistance. It will be a matter of hospitality to have the new texts available for anyone needing them—perhaps for as long as two years (or more) beyond the date of implementation.

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