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
Jul 6

Written by: Todd Williamson
7/6/2010 2:57 PM  RssIcon

I’ve had the opportunity to attend a half-dozen deanery gatherings in the last month and a half in order to talk about the coming translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal. The purpose is to hear what concerns or questions parish leadership staff might have concerning the translation. I wanted to give a forum for priests and other leaders to voice their apprehensions and to clarify misconceptions as well, as to present the archdiocesan plans for catechesis and preparation for reception.

These sessions—usually no more than an hour—have gone very well, I think. I believe that the participants, for the most part, found the opportunity helpful.

What has struck me about the attendees’ concerns is the need for clarity between the third edition of the Roman Missal and its translation (for a brief treatment of this topic, see a previous post on this blog from June 2, “Getting a Perspective”). These are two completely different facets in the dynamic of receiving and implementing the third edition of the Roman Missal.

What has also struck me is the concern that I’ve heard from priests regarding the Eucharistic Prayers. They’ve spoken about how they are currently able to—literally—pray the Eucharistic Prayers by heart. They do not mean that they’re able to proclaim the prayers by rote; rather, they speak about how these texts are “in their bones,” they know them so well. They fear, I believe, loosing that intimate relationship with the texts.

They’ve also spoken about concerns they have over their ability to pray the Eucharistic Prayers so that they are intelligible, given the different syntax and cadence of the revised translated texts (the Latin sentence structure, the subordinate clauses, etc.). For this reason I have strongly encouraged CDs that are now available and that illustrate how these prayers can be proclaimed well. It is exactly this kind of resource that will, it seems, help priests to learn how these prayers might best be prayed aloud—resources that will allow him to hear the cadence and syntax and how the prayer sounds when prayed aloud (Prepare and Pray: Eucharistic Prayers I, II, III, IV, published by World Library Publications and proclaimed by Bishop J. Peter Sartain is extremely practical and useful).

Other concerns that were voiced center on the parishioners; how to help them best adapt to the revised translation when it is implemented. People can be assured that the major Catholic publishers, like LTP, will be providing resources to help the faithful learn the revised translation. Pew cards and inserts for hymnals will be available at reasonable cost to parishes. These, and many other resources, will help people as we all get used to the revised texts.

Finally, I have used these deanery gatherings as opportunities to encourage pastors and parish leadership to begin preparing their people now for the translation. Begin speaking about it; write about it in the parish bulletin; give specific examples of the revised translation; connect the revised texts to scripture if it is applicable (see the scripturally annotated version of the Order of Mass on the USCCB Web site).

As we prepare to receive and implement the revised translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal, I will continue to share what I hear from priests and other parish leaders. Their concerns and questions may be yours, as well!


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