Friday, June 11, 2010

The New Liturgy: Let's Educate Ourselves Before Making Judgments

We are going to begin seeing more and more questions about the new liturgy as it is circulated. In an unlikely place, I came across someone referencing this article and expressing perturbation over the line "Jesus died for many" and then referencing their own belief of what it means.

To have questions is only natural and I wish there a comprehensive, official explanation of the new liturgy, line by line. The USCCB's "coming soon" is not enough when there are dribs and drabs being released. I know that our diocese is having all the priests go to classes to receive training and education about the new liturgical form. Considering how long the translation took, how many countries and committees it had to make it through before getting to us, and the fact that the Church is trying to get us back to important basics ... I would hope we could relax and trust the Church before putting our own hasty judgments on bits and pieces.

However, that is not really human nature. Certainly is is not American human nature.

Therefore, I would strongly advise doing some research about just what the background and meaning is behind any of the new liturgy before making any guesses ourselves.

An excellent book which is very easy to understand and also helps one understand the Mass better is Praying the Mass: The Prayers of the Peopleby Jeffrey Pinyan. It goes through it piece by piece. He has further books coming out on the Prayers of the Priest and more which will I hope will be equally illuminating.

If you are Catholic and have questions about the new liturgy, do yourself a favor. Get that book and read it. Note: the introduction is written in a much more scholarly vein than the rest of the book. If it bogs you down skip it.

13 comments:

  1. Thank you for that information.

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  2. Tante Leonie6/11/10, 10:58 AM

    Wished they had just stayed with the old one (pre-Vatican Two)!

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  3. Two things on that:

    1. I find that is a common lament. However, I also think it is unproductive and we probably should focus on what is right here and right now. For one thing it riles folks up, and for what? That ain't happenin'.

    2. A friend who also misses that liturgy says that this one (which we read samples of in our scripture class) sounds very much like the old one. So you may almost get your wish. :-)

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  4. Tante Leonie6/11/10, 12:02 PM

    My apologies, Julie -- I truly didn't mean to be controversial or provocative!

    Please feel free to delete the comment if you want to. I don't have a dog in the fight.

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  5. Oh, I'm so sorry ... I was expressing a general frustration and didn't mean to issue a reprimand at you, Tante.

    Though I see that it certainly looks like it. Please accept MY apology. :-)

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  6. Tante Leonie6/11/10, 12:27 PM

    No prob, Julie and no offense was taken in the least!

    I really shouldn't have weighed in in the first place.

    Living in Europe, where folks just don't get so agitated about some things, I forget that it's different in the US where an off hand comment is sometimes ground for a nuclear strike!

    (As I've mentioned before, living in a post-Christian Europe isn't always *entirely* a bad thing!)
    :)

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  7. I would suggest for those truly concerned and interested to go over to Fr Z's blog. What Does the Prayer Really Mean. In at least one post, he reads both the old and new translation. I found that hearing the new made me feel better about the update.

    And, yes, "feel" is the word for me to use. I tend to reject these kinda changes out of hand... :(

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  8. Feelings are ok too. :-)

    Although I tend to find that the worthy Fr. Z's feelings tend to color his posts too much for me. Just a personal "feeling" on my part. :-)

    I still recommend the book over Fr. Z. because it is an integrated look at the Mass, with the readings and prayer of the Mass working together. It will really make you appreciate the Mass overall in a new way. :-)

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  9. Thanks, Julie. Fr Z definately has strong opinions.

    My point was that listening to them read made them a bit more real to me rather than just reading them. A bit of a test flight before launch...

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  10. Oh, I see what you mean. Yes, hearing them helps, I think. Our class listened while our priest read aloud various sections that had been sneak released (so they may have changed a bit). Some of the new language really took me to a new level, and that wasn't even at the Mass. So I know what you mean. :-)

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  11. Hi~
    Father Peter Stravinskas gives an excellent presentation on the new liturgy. I don't believe he has a 'line by line' book out ~ yet ~ but he surely could any time I should think.

    When he discussed it at our parish mission this year, we received a handout of a dozen pages or more with a 'line by line' of the major areas of change. He compared the new translation to the old, and gave background as to why the old was the way it was and why the new is the way it is.

    Online, you can at least some of that discussion. He discussed the changes in an America magazine editorial (amazing that it was published, but I digress). You can find it here :
    http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=12097

    Fr. Stravinskas is not known as being a shy guy, you will always know his stance on a topic (and I say stance as opposed to opinion as it is difficult to dismiss as opinion that which is unerringly ~ and possibly annoyingly at times ~ backed up with Canon law, Scripture, Catechism, or Sacred Tradition). His writings tend to be tamer than his speeches, but consider yourself 'warned' before you read it!.

    Shirley

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  12. Good, smart post. Thanks. I hope you continue posting about the new liturgy as things develop.

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  13. Thanks, Julie. :)

    If you and your readers would like to get a taste of the second book (well, Julie already has a taste of it), I've just posted the section on the mixing of water and wine in the chalice. A prayer of only two-dozen words goes a very, very long way.

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