As many of you know, there is a new English translation of the Mass and the changes will be implemented beginning this coming Advent. Salt + Light is working with the National Liturgy Office of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on a DVD that will be used for ongoing catechesis on the Mass. We have been filming several Masses using the new translation.
I have to say that, when I first heard about the changes almost two years ago, and saw the approved English translation for the U.S., (there are slight variations from country to country) I did not really see the need for the changes. For example, to change “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,” to the more poetic “Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof,” seemed a bit silly. I grew up in Panama with Mass in Spanish and every time we prayed, “no soy digno de que entres en mi casa,”
(I am not worthy for you to enter into my house) we all understood it to mean 'enter into me, inside me'. I always thought the English to be more accurate.
But now that I have actually sat through three Masses with the new translation, I can see how the changes will help in our worship. And the change will be a great opportunity to teach people about the Mass and all its beautiful components.
For now, let me point out some key changes.
The “I confess” now has what we have in most other languages. Immediately after “that I have sinned in my thoughts and in my words” where some people would strike their breast, there is now an extra line: “through my fault, through my fault, through my own grievous fault.” (I always wondered if something was missing here, because in Spanish we strike our breast three times as we say “por mi culpa, por mi culpa, por mi gran culpa
” -- literally, "because of my fault, because of my fault, because of my great fault.") The rest of the text is largely the same.
About half the Gloria is different. It means that we will have to read it for a while. But there are new musical settings so, rather than having to learn the text of the prayer, most of us will simply be learning a new song.
Profession of Faith
The Creed is different. Although the use of the Apostle’s Creed is still allowed, especially during Lent and Easter, we are now using what is termed the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.
The Holy has one minor change, but since it’s also usually sung, we’ll just be learning a different song.
And then there is the “Lord, I am not worthy” change that I referred to above. This one will become second nature before we get to Christmas.
Perhaps the two most difficult change (for me, anyway) is the response to “The Lord be with you.”
Even when half-asleep, who among you doesn’t instinctively respond to “The Lord be with you” with “and also with you”? Well, we’ll have to work at this one. The revised translation has us answering, as they do in Latin (and Spanish, Italian and French), “and with your spirit”. The Lord be with you; and with your spirit. Perhaps we just need to say it a few hundred times to get it in our subconscious minds.
These are only a few of the changes. There are a few others (like the retirement of “Christ has died” as a Memorial Acclamation). Over the next months we will be sharing with you more details about the changes, the new texts and why the changes were made. In the meantime, the National Liturgy Office has a special website
. You can find out about all the changes there. You'll also find information about Celebrate in Song, the book with all the people's parts and the four musical settings that were composed in Canada. Go to CCCB publications
to order your copy.