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
Aug 9

Written by: Sandra Dooley
8/9/2010 12:38 PM  RssIcon

In the last two weeks, I have had three interesting experiences with the praying of the Eucharistic Prayer—with three presiding priests. In the first two instances, the priests prayed the Eucharistic Prayer with a deliberation and prayerfulness that I don’t often hear. I spoke to both of them after the Mass and thanked them for helping us to pray well and to really hear and be able to reflect on what we are praying. Their care in presiding made for a very enriching liturgical experience for me. They both certainly enabled and encouraged the full, conscious, and active participation of all of us present.

Those experiences caused me to reflect on what it will be like when the revised translation becomes law. Perhaps celebrants who now rush through the Eucharistic Prayer and pray it almost automatically will be find it necessary to slow down and help all of us listen closely and pray along.

I found a hint of the answer to my question a few days later when the celebrant at Mass prayed one of the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses for Various Needs and Occasions (Number 2: “God Guides the Church on the Way to Salvation”). The celebrant was not familiar with the text but had reviewed it earlier in the day before the evening Mass. There was a deliberation to the prayer and it was spoken prayerfully, making it possible for all of us to pray with him. But it was also clear (at least to me) that the celebrant was not very familiar with the text, so there was a certain amount of stiffness or rigidity. I suspect that now that this particular celebrant has been introduced (or perhaps re-introduced) to this beautiful set of Eucharistic Prayers, he will be using them more frequently and will thus become familiar and comfortable with them.

Perhaps we can draw a parallel with this and with the revised translations of the Eucharistic Prayers. When priests begin to use them, they will need to be particularly careful to follow the text, some of which will be new to them. Then, in time, they will become more comfortable with the texts. Hopefully, before those first weeks of implementation, celebrants will take time to practice the texts, to pray with them and reflect on the meanings and how they will be heard by the assembly, so that by the time they are praying the texts publicly, they will be somewhat at ease and the prayers will flow easily. Elsewhere, I have recommended that priests gather in small groups to read, pray with, and practice the new texts before they become law. This is yet another aspect of the “golden opportunity” with which we are graced at this time in the history of our Church.

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