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
Oct 14

Written by: Todd Williamson
10/14/2010 2:29 PM  RssIcon

Last week I attended the annual meeting of the National Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. The focus of the meeting was the implementation of the English translation of the third edition of The Roman Missal. Two outstanding speakers led the members in study and discussion throughout the week: Father Paul Turner (Kansas City - St. Joseph) and Monsignor Kevin Irwin (The Catholic University). Both are renown in their understanding of and ability to speak on the third edition of The Roman Missal.

Among the numerous topics that were presented, one has continued to stay with me after the meeting—it was a presentation on “Living a Eucharistic Life,” emphasizing the dynamic of allowing our lives to be shaped by the prayers we pray in the liturgy. Traveling back to Chicago from the meeting, I spent time reviewing the Order of Mass with this dynamic in mind.

For some reason, the prayers of preparation that the priest prays in receiving the bread and the wine caught my attention. The lines in particular were “. . . for through your goodness we have received the bread [the wine] we offer you . . . .” Even more particular, it was the words “we have received . . . we offer you . . . .” The word “receive” is new to the revised English translation.

Of course, these prayers acknowledge that the gifts we present to God in the liturgy are, first and foremost, the things that he has first given us. Now, we know this. We’ve studied this. We’ve had this pointed out in any number of workshops or in any number of articles on the Mass. However, in the light of the meeting and the great discussion on the power of the liturgical texts to shape our lives so that we are led to live eucharistic lives, these words prayers of preparation struck me in whole new way.

We would have nothing to offer to God, to raise up to God, if he hadn’t first given to us. All that we have comes from his great goodness. And for that we bless God; we give him thanks!

In the light of these prayers, to live a eucharistic life means two things: first it means to recognize and to remember the lavish generosity of the Lord—to be mindful of all that he has done. Secondly, it means to live an offering life. That is, to live out of a disposition that recognizes that I have nothing apart from God and that because all I have is gift, I am called to turn and offer that back; to offer it back to God and to offer it to my brothers and sisters. That’s what it means to live a life shaped by the Eucharist!

The words of the liturgy have the power to shape us, to form us, to transform us. These words have been doing that for 45 years through the English translation of the prayers of the Mass. The text of the third edition will continue to do that—if we allow them to, and if we are open to that dynamic.


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