Preparing for the Revised Roman Missal Sandra Dooley writes about how parishes can prepare for the implementation of the revised Roman Missal. en-US Sat, 19 Mar 2016 23:09:12 GMT Sat, 19 Mar 2016 23:09:12 GMT Blog RSS Generator Version Additional Suggestions for Welcoming Visitors to Christmas Masses <p>If there ever was a good time to return to the Church for those who have been away for some time, this is it! We are all in the same situation—needing to rely on whatever worship aids are provided by our parishes. If you have prepared special worship aids for Christmas, whether you hand them to people as they arrive or place them in the pews ahead of time, be sure to have enough for everyone—to last through all the Christmas Eve and Christmas day Masses.</p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">Most parishes have one or two ministries that are focused specifically on hospitality: ushers and/or greeters. If possible, it would be good to augment their presence at the Christmas Masses—to provide a welcome to all, parishioners and visitors alike, and also to assist in distributing any worship aids, bulletins or other materials you might be giving out either before or after Mass. Have ushers and greeters (and other liturgical ministers) been offered some catechesis on the new translation or given some resource material so that they will be better prepared for questions or concerns expressed by people coming to or leaving Mass?</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">I do think it is very important for the pastor or one of the priests to say something before all the Christmas Masses: to remind or inform everyone that the words of the prayers are different and to let them know where to find all the responses. I recommend the pastor or a priest because, if your parish is anything like ours, there is still a significant number of people who will pay a lot more attention to what “Father” says than to what we lay ministers have to say. I also think it is important for the celebrant to remind people periodically during the Mass to pick up their worship aids and use them. Even when the new prayers/responses are projected on a screen, it might be good to remind people to refer to the screens just before the dialogues between priest and people and before the Gloria and the Creed.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">A note in the bulletin will also help—perhaps a brief explanation of the reasons for the change, highlighting the fact that the new translation is a more literal translation of the Latin Roman Missal of the universal Church and also pointing out that most of the prayers used at Mass are based on Scripture, e.g. “and with your spirit” and the response to the invitation to communion “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof . . . ” Also include in the bulletin some websites where people can go for more information (e.g. <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a> and, if you have any brochures left about the new translation, place them in the narthex of the church.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">Finally, put on your best Christmas smile and remember that many people will be surprised by the new words, some pleasantly and some not! Practice the virtues of patience and hospitality, remembering that the Christmas Masses present an opportunity to welcome those who have been away for a while and a chance to provide an experience which will encourage them to return, hopefully before Easter Sunday, without having to explicitly say so.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt"> </div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">Have a blessed, peaceful Christmas!</div><br /><a href=>More ...</a> 0 Mon, 19 Dec 2011 18:33:00 GMT http://revisedromanmissal.orgDesktopModules/BlogTrackback.aspx?id=115 The New Missal, Christmas Visitors, and Christmas Hospitality <p>At my parish, we are doing well with the transition, although I must admit that when I don’t remember to look at the worship aids with the new text, I still forget to say “And with your spirit!” It’s just going to take a while until the new responses come easily to my mind and lips.</p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">And, if it will take a while for me and for others who have been working with and catechizing for months about the new texts, think of what it will be like for those who come to church only once or twice a year—on Christmas and Easter. Christmas is less than two weeks away. Have you planned what you are going to do to show hospitality to all those visitors and parishioners who come only on big feasts? I have maintained for some time now that if you have been away from the Church, now is the time to come back because we are all in the same boat—needing to follow along and read the responses because we are not yet familiar or comfortable with them.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">When the Christmas crowd comes through the doors of your parish church, what will you do to help them engage in “full, active and conscious participation” which is called for by the <i>Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy</i>?</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">At our parish, we are publishing worship aids to be used at all the Christmas Masses (even the 4 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass which is populated by hundreds of young children.) The worship aids will contain everything people need to participate in the celebration: all the texts of the peoples’ spoken parts and all the music. It will prevent people from having to juggle two or three books/worship aids during the course of the Mass. Admittedly, this is an expense and a time commitment that every parish cannot afford, but for large parishes with the resources, I would strongly recommend creating such a comprehensive worship aid. When the Mass begins, the cantor or perhaps one of the priests will let people know that everything they need is in the worship aid, and at various times during the Mass the priest will remind everyone of the page on which they can find the Creed, the Memorial Acclamation, the response to the Invitation to Communion, etc. Our priests have been doing this at every Mass since the First Sunday of Advent and it has helped quite a bit.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">If your parish does not have the personnel or the resources to create a custom worship aid for the Christmas Masses, it would be helpful to at least have pew cards, unless you are using disposable missals that already have the new translation. And the priest will need to remind people to pick up those cards or disposable missals at various times during the Mass.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">Some parishes have brought back commentators who stand at the microphone and help guide people through their parts. This is another way to remind everyone that some of our responses are different.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">If your parish regularly projects music on a screen, make sure you project all the new responses and sung parts of the Mass—and, again, call peoples’ attention to it at various times during the Mass as a “gentle reminder” of the new responses.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">More next week….</div><br /><a href=>More ...</a> 0 Mon, 12 Dec 2011 15:46:00 GMT http://revisedromanmissal.orgDesktopModules/BlogTrackback.aspx?id=113 Post-Implementation: Week 2 <p>Our second weekend with the new translation went fairly smoothly. The challenge, I think, is for those of us in leadership positions to stay on our toes and to remember to remind people about the new responses and prayers. For those of us who have been working with the translation and catechizing about it for so long, we tend to think that we have “arrived”--but we are still early in the journey.</p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">I had an interesting meeting last week with a group of young adults in the parish. I had been asked a few months ago to speak with them about the changes in the Mass texts, and this was the first time our schedules coincided. We met a few days after the First Sunday of Advent— just a few days after the first use of the new translation at Sunday Mass.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">The group was small—only about seven or eight people, more men than women. We began by just sharing reactions to the new texts we heard and prayed the previous Sunday, and, somewhat to my surprise, everyone in the room was in agreement that the changes “are not such a big deal.” In fact, this group of young adults was generally in favor of the changes, seeing them as being more faithful to the Latin, bringing us closer to God, and expressing our prayer in language that is more sacred. These are phrases I am hearing from older parishioners as well.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">Our priests are finding the prayers of the day (Collect, Prayer over the Gifts, Prayer after Communion) difficult to pray aloud, with their long and complex sentence structures. One priest wrote to me: “I found the words rolling off my lips like a mouth full of tacks.” That hasn’t quite been the experience of the priests of our parish, but it hasn’t been easy, either. Fortunately, they are taking time to read/study the prayers beforehand. It is the silver lining: that our priests are doing more preparation before presiding at Mass.</div><br /><a href=>More ...</a> 0 Wed, 07 Dec 2011 02:41:00 GMT http://revisedromanmissal.orgDesktopModules/BlogTrackback.aspx?id=112 Post-Implementation: Day 1 <p> </p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">We made it through the first weekend at our parish with the new translation, and I must say that it was pretty uneventful. Many people indicated to me in the last several weeks that we have done so much to prepare people in the parish that they are comfortable with the changes. A few things helped: Before every weekend Mass, our pastor spoke for a minute or so just reminding everyone to pick up the supplement books that contain all the new texts and the music we are using at the parish. He delivered the message with a bit of humor, assuring people that the priests will probably make more mistakes than those of us in the pews. (“It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks!”)</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">Also helping, I think, were the reminders given at various times in the Mass by the celebrant. I placed post-it notes at strategic places in <i>The Roman Missal</i> for the priest to ask everyone to pick up their supplements so they could pray the new words. I noticed many people keeping their supplement books open throughout the Mass. For others, the reminders were effective and I noticed them picking up the books when prompted to do so.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">The most common response I have heard from people is that this isn’t such a big deal. We spent a good bit of time and effort preparing the parish and I think it was worthwhile, and helped defuse most of the negative reactions that might have occurred had we not carefully prepared people for the changes.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">Our challenge, at this point, will be to remain vigilant in reminding people to follow along in the supplements in the coming weeks. “And with your spirit”…. We seem to be doing fine with that response. It’s the other prayers and dialogues that will continue to trip us up for a while.</div><br /><a href=>More ...</a> 0 Mon, 28 Nov 2011 20:17:00 GMT http://revisedromanmissal.orgDesktopModules/BlogTrackback.aspx?id=111 A Few Last Minute Ideas . . . <p>In the parish where I serve as liturgy director (which is also my home parish), we are “coming down the home stretch.” We are singing a new Gloria (by Robert LeBlanc) and we have been singing a new Holy, Holy, Holy and Memorial Acclamation (Steve Janco’s <i>Mass of Wisdom</i>) since early September. The music for these new settings has been inserted into the hymnal supplements that are in the pews of the church. (We have hard-back hymnals in the pews plus hymnal supplements that are in small binders the same size as the hymnals.) When we first sang the Gloria during Mass a couple weeks ago, participation was poor at best. Almost no one was looking at the book with the music! After discussing this with our musicians, we decided to try announcing the page number of the Gloria just before it is sung. We were concerned about interrupting the flow of the Mass at that point, but decided to try it this past weekend. The difference was dramatic! When the page number for the Gloria was announced, nearly everyone in the church picked up their supplement book and sang. We have already talked at our liturgy meetings about the need for the priests to remind people at key times during the liturgy to pick up their books for the Creed, the opening and Preface dialogues, the response to “Pray, Brethren” and the <i>Ecce Agnus Dei</i> as well as for the singing of the Gloria. Our experience this past weekend reinforced my belief for that need.</p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">Also, before all the Masses this weekend, I led everyone in a reading of the new translation of the Creed and gave a very brief explanation of the change from “We believe” to “I believe.” I also invited everyone to read through the new words on their own as they wait for Mass to begin during the next few weeks. Next week we will read through the dialogues and a few other parts of the Mass, and the following week we will read through the Confiteor.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">Several people thanked me for the reading of the Creed. In fact, I have had virtually no negative responses, thus far, to all of our preparations for the new translation. Of course, those who habitually come late to Mass haven’t heard any of our pre-Mass commentaries and were not there when we read through the Creed over the weekend, but, hopefully they have been reading the articles in the bulletin and have been here at the times the new translation has been addressed in the homilies.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 6pt">If you don’t have anything planned in your parish for these last few weeks, perhaps these ideas will help, or spawn some ideas of your own.</div><br /><a href=>More ...</a> 0 Mon, 07 Nov 2011 15:12:00 GMT http://revisedromanmissal.orgDesktopModules/BlogTrackback.aspx?id=110 Small Focus Groups <p>Twice during the past week I gathered a small group of daily Mass go-ers to listen to some of the new texts <i>The</i> <i>Roman Missal</i>. There were about 7 or 8 people in the first group, which met after a Tuesday morning Mass. The second group was larger— more than a dozen people—after the Wednesday evening Mass. I provided pew cards (from LTP) for everyone and one of our priests read through the words of the Mass using the second Eucharistic Prayer, while everyone spoke the responses and acclamations, as found on the pew cards. The Tuesday group was pretty laid back and accepting of all the changes. They appreciated the opportunity to experience the new texts before they will be used in the church, but the general consensus was “What’s the big deal?!” I’d like to think that we have done such a good job in the parish of preparing people for the changes that when the actual changes take place it will be almost anti-climactic. The Wednesday evening group was a little more on edge, but the tone or mood of the group was generally positive. Two big questions came up. One was about the Creed and the use of “I believe” instead of “We believe.” The second issue that caused some serious discussion was the eliminating of the Memorial Acclamation with which we have all become so accustomed: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” I think I did an okay job of explaining the changes because a few days later the man who was doing most of the questioning thanked me for helping him to understand these changes and the reasons for them.</p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> </div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">The reactions and responses of these two small groups to the new text have given me a good idea, I think, of what aspects of the new translation will push people’s buttons—and what they will not be too concerned about. I actually offered the same opportunity a second time, a few days later, for the morning Mass folks, and there were no takers. Again, my hope is that we have done so much in the weekly bulletin, in our pre-Mass commentaries and in workshops, that people are well prepared for the upcoming changes. Of course, that may just be wishful thinking on my part! We will see what happens on November 27 and in the weeks following that day.</div><br /><a href=>More ...</a> 0 Fri, 07 Oct 2011 15:45:00 GMT http://revisedromanmissal.orgDesktopModules/BlogTrackback.aspx?id=109 Preaching and Praying the New Roman Missal <p> </p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Last week we had Fr. Paul Colloton, from NPM, preach at all the Masses at our parish. The topic: the upcoming changes in <i>The Roman Missal</i>. Fr. Paul did a masterful job of connecting the Scripture readings of the day to the words we will be soon praying every Sunday. He had a captive audience in multiple ways:  he preaching at a time when most people are attentive, and  his preaching was so interesting and effective that people gladly gave him their rapt attention.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> </div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">No matter how hard we try to catechize people about the new Roman Missal (or anything else for that matter) the most effective time to reach the greatest number of people is during the celebration of weekend liturgies. As I mentioned several weeks ago, even people who come to Mass regularly have missed or somehow not heard the commentaries we have been giving at our parish before weekend Masses during much of the past year.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> </div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Next week I will gather some of the daily morning Mass-goers to read and listen to the new texts with one of our priests. I am offering this opportunity on two different days for anyone who wants to participate. (People would come to one day or the other. We will do the same thing both days.)  I got the idea from Fr. Paul Turner who has done this in his parish and found it to be not only helpful but also enlightening to learn how people respond and react to the next texts.   We will have worship aids available for the peoples’ parts and everyone will be invited to listen to the Eucharistic Prayer.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> </div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Perhaps next week I will have some comments and reactions to share with you.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> </div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> </div><br /><a href=>More ...</a> 0 Mon, 26 Sep 2011 16:26:00 GMT http://revisedromanmissal.orgDesktopModules/BlogTrackback.aspx?id=108 Roman Missal Weekend <p> </p> <div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0in 0in 6pt"><span style="font-size: 12pt">We recently had a “Roman Missal weekend” at our parish. Friday night was for liturgical ministers – a thank-you social with a brief talk by Fr. Paul Colloton from NPM (National Pastoral Musicians Association) in Washington, DC. Then Saturday morning Fr. Paul and I offered a 3-hour workshop for catechists, liturgical ministers and any parishioners who wanted to attend. The event was heavily advertised in the bulletin for several weeks beforehand and we had about 130 people in attendance. Finally, Fr. Paul preached at all the weekend Masses, making a wonderful connection between the readings of the day and the upcoming changes in the text of <i>The Roman Missal</i>. </span></div> <div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0in 0in 6pt"><span style="font-size: 12pt">Both of us emphasized at every event that the Mass is not changing. We helped people understand the reasons behind the changes, explained the process of revising the translation and discussed the major changes in the people’s parts of the Order of the Mass along with some of the text changes in the Eucharistic Prayers. On Saturday morning, Fr. Paul also facilitated some mystagogical reflection on some of the new texts. </span></div> <div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0in 0in 6pt"><span style="font-size: 12pt">The most negative comment I heard all weekend was from a young woman concerned that some of the new words are “moving us further from reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.” I was surprised at her comment and the context of it: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof…” She felt that “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you” is more reverent and reminds us of the nearness of God. I must admit I was not able to fully understand her concern and our conversation ended with her saying this was just going to be one of those things she does not like about the new translation.</span></div> <div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0in 0in 6pt"><span style="font-size: 12pt">I think our parish is well-prepared to receive the new translation, and, in fact, we have already begun singing a new musical setting of the Mass, in line with the permission of the US Bishops and the encouragement of our own Bishop. Of course, we know that on November 27 there will be those who come to Mass and are blindsided by the new words, in spite of all our preparations. That is why we have already planned a few question and answer sessions to be held after all weekend Masses in January, in addition to the pre-Mass commentaries we will offer in December as everyone gets accustomed to the new texts. The catechesis and reflection need to continue beyond November 27.</span></div><br /><a href=>More ...</a> 0 Mon, 26 Sep 2011 16:25:00 GMT http://revisedromanmissal.orgDesktopModules/BlogTrackback.aspx?id=107 New Liturgical Position, Implementation of Missal <p> </p> <div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0in 0in 6pt"><span style="font-size: 12pt">I started a new job this week, as the director of liturgy at my parish. Actually it’s an “old” job. I was the director of liturgy at St. Margaret Mary in Winter Park, FL for 10 years before my husband’s job took us to Los Angeles in 1999. Two years ago we returned to Florida and rejoined our former parish. Since then I have been involved in the parish as a lector and in other ministries, including being an active participant on the committee for the implementation of the new Roman Missal. I am replacing the person who has been liturgy director at the parish since I left 12 years ago. Fortunately, for me and for the parish, we are well on the way in the transition process. A lot of groundwork has been laid by the previous director and I am a beneficiary of that. We have been catechizing about the Mass in pre-Mass commentaries and in bulletin articles for almost a year. Our musicians have chosen a new Mass setting, which we began hearing in various ways (played on the organ or piano, sung by cantors before Mass, etc) over a month ago. We are ready to sing the new Holy, Holy, Memorial Acclamation and great Amen at all the masses this weekend. Next weekend we will start hearing the new Gloria sung before Mass by a choir or a group of cantors. In the following weeks we will practice the Gloria with everyone before Mass for a few weeks then we will sing it at mass in mid-October. One weekend in October and one weekend in November we will read through the Creed with everyone before each Mass. On another November weekend we will go over the dialogues with everyone. On the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, November 20, the last weekend before implementation date, we will have a 2-3 minute commentary before all the Masses reminding everyone of the changes that will take place the next week and giving, once again, a brief explanation.</span></div> <div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0in 0in 6pt"><span style="font-size: 12pt">This week Fr. Paul Colloton and I are doing a Saturday morning workshop for liturgical ministers, catechists and any interested parishioners. Interest in this event seems to be high.  Our pastor, who was initially very skeptical about the changes in the texts, has also been preparing for the changes by reviewing, studying and listening to the texts on a CD provided by the diocese. He sees a lot of good in the new texts and is now taking a positive approach to the changes. He intends to capitalize on this opportunity to renew and refresh his own celebration of the Mass as well as help our parishioners to deepen their experience of prayer at Mass.</span></div> <div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0in 0in 6pt"><span style="font-size: 12pt">I feel confident about the work we have done and I expect a generally positive reception of the new texts.  There will surely be some complaints and negative reactions from some of our parishioners, but I think that our efforts of the past year will bear fruit and will help ease the transition. </span></div><br /><a href=>More ...</a> 0 Mon, 26 Sep 2011 16:24:00 GMT http://revisedromanmissal.orgDesktopModules/BlogTrackback.aspx?id=106 Patience and Persistence <p><span style="font-size: 12pt">I have mentioned previously that at my parish, St. Margaret Mary, we have been observing a Year of the Eucharist. The observance started on the First Sunday of Advent last year and will end on this year’s Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, November 20. One of the purposes of this observance has been to catechize people on the Mass as well as provide a systematic preparation for the implementation of the new translation of <i>The Roman Missal</i>. </span></p> <div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0in 0in 6pt"><span style="font-size: 12pt">This past week I had an interesting and somewhat discouraging conversation with a woman in my water aerobics class at the YMCA. She mentioned that she comes to Saturday water classes and I commented that I was not able to do so because I am presenting workshops on <i>The Roman Missal</i> most of the Saturdays between now and Thanksgiving. She went on to say she wished she could find out more about the Mass and would like to help her grandson learn about the Mass also, but there is nothing provided for them in terms of books or information. As we talked, I learned that she is a parishioner of St. Margaret Mary and she attends the 12:00 Noon Mass on Sundays. I almost couldn’t believe my ears! We have had individuals give brief commentaries on the Mass before all the weekend Masses through most of the year, and we have included prominent articles in the bulletin every week. These commentaries and bulletin articles have provided catechesis on the various rituals, prayers, gestures and postures of the Mass and have made mention of the upcoming changes. Those of us on the committee have spent hours writing faithfully delivering the 2-3 minute commentaries just before the beginning of Mass.</span></div> <div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0in 0in 6pt"><span style="font-size: 12pt">My point is that no matter how hard you work and how much you think you are reaching people; there will still be those who have not heard—perhaps because they are just not attuned to what you have to say or for a myriad of other reasons. In these next few months, I don’t think it is possible to give people too much information about the changes in <i>The Roman Missal</i>. A friend used to tell me I was like Chinese water torture: drip, drip, drip. I persistently kept at it, little by little, when I wanted to make a point or make a change in the way things were done. Perhaps we all need to be patient and persistent in the months ahead as we try to reach as many people as possible about the changes going into effect on November 27.</span></div><br /><a href=>More ...</a> 0 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 19:08:00 GMT http://revisedromanmissal.orgDesktopModules/BlogTrackback.aspx?id=105