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: Todd Williamson
6/14/2010 10:46 AM  RssIcon

I was speaking with a colleague recently about the English translation of the Roman Missal and speculating about its reception within our two parishes. She made, I think, a very simple but significant statement, “There are images and phrases in the current translation that are near and dear to us. I’m sure that there will be images and phrases in the revised translation that will become, once we’ve had time to pray them, equally as dear to us.”

I think her statement is very true: given time and, after an initial period of transition, I think there will be parts of the revised translation that will “sink into” our hearts and our souls.

An example for me may well be the proposed Collect, or Opening Prayer, for the First Sunday of Advent. If the expectations are correct that the date for implementation of the revised translation will be November 27, 2011, then this prayer will be among the first words we hear of the revised translation: “Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your faithful may resolve
To run forth with righteous deeds to meet your Christ, who is coming . . . “(proposed translation).

Although we have yet to see if this, in fact, will be the final translation of the Latin text for this Opening Prayer, this proposed text still gives a sense of the imagery that it contains.

I am captivated by the image of “running” to meet Christ! I think this image (one among many in this particular prayer) is rather poignant and very stirring.

For me, there are so many other images and phrases in this prayer that tug at my heart and memory that I find my mind wandering to various scripture passages I have read; to writings of early Christians; to images I remember from poetry and other pieces of literature.

I immediately think of the bridesmaids of the Gospel parable. In my mind’s eye I see them—they hear the shout, “The groom is here!” and all jump up with expectation, their lamps lit, their eyes straining to look into the night, hopeful, to catch a glimpse of the groom, whom they know is coming! I see them craning their necks, raising themselves up on their toes to see over one another, bracing themselves against one another, eagerly looking for any sign of his arrival. And I think, “Yes—that is how I should be at the start of this Advent: eagerly waiting for Christ! I should be ready to ‘run forth’ to meet him when he comes!”

The prayer above also takes me to the simple image from an account of the early Church—I can’t remember the source. In this account, the early Christians are described as being so eager for Christ that they would literally run to the church for the start of the Eucharist. Again, in the eye of my mind and heart, I see these forbearers of our faith, alive with the Spirit, on fire with love for Christ. I see them, eagerly watching the sun to signal to them that it is time, wanting time to move more quickly so that they can get to Eucharist. I see them, as the time draws nearer, beginning to move toward the place where Eucharist will be celebrated. At first they walk through the streets at a normal pace; but soon it changes to a fast walk. The fast walk quickly becomes a jog and their hearts begin to pound. Before long even the jog isn’t fast enough for them and they break into a full run. And it strikes me, “I should enter this Advent with the same kind of excitement—almost a lack of self-constraint—which moves me to ‘run forth’ with expectation!”

Such is the power of the texts that we pray! They have the power to reach deeply into our collective hearts and souls and to stir us; to stir our imagination; to stir our faith; to stir our resolve! At the same time these texts also lift our hearts and souls outward—toward God the loving Father, through the very prayer of Christ, in the Holy Spirit.

I agree with my colleague—there will indeed be some images and phrases from the revised translation that will become near and dear. This may or may not become one of them. But . . . it has the power to!


Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Add Comment   Cancel