So with less than nine months to go before we will implement the New Roman Missal in our parishes, how are you doing? Have you begun to find out what the changes are? Have you started to do any education in your parish in regards to the new translation that will go into effect on the 1st Sunday of Advent as we begin a new liturgical year? Some may say that it is way too early to begin thinking about something that will not take place until 9 months from now, but now is the time to begin if you haven’t started yet.
In my own parish, we have already brought in an educated speaker on the translation and hosted an evening for all liturgical ministers of the parish to attend. The evening was very well attended and was presented very well, featuring a power point presentation that went through some of the history of the Liturgy and the missal and then focused on what the new changes will be, why they are being made and why they are significant. The community received it very well and for the most part they were grateful to have so much time to get aquatinted with the new texts and were appreciative to be educated on the “what’s” and “why’s” and not just be told about it a few weeks before it all started. They were also grateful to be able to ask questions and have them answered. Often, when the priest is explaining something at Mass, since this is not the time for questions, people may feel like their inquiries go unanswered and may never take the time to seek out the answers to them.
By introducing the changes early it gives people an opportunity to be a part of the implementation and take ownership of the new texts and begin to talk to others in the parish and even possibly join an implementation team to help with planning future events, seminars and workshops on the new missal. As human beings, we are resistant to change and yet things all around us are constantly changing. Many people are resistant to change, especially in church. So the more positive experiences people have the better the changes will be received.
You may be searching for resources and ideas of what to do in your parish, most especially with your young people. We have posted a few blogs and will continue to do so here on this site. We have also put together a step-by-step guide for implementation that may be helpful in your implementation process as well as a side-by-side comparison of the current text to what the new text will be. You can find all of those resources as well as many other resources for new parts of the Mass as well as resources that the United States Bishops (USCCB) have released to help with the implementation process as well here: http://www.catholicyouthministry.com/roman-missal.
Many blessings to you and your parish as you go through this process. May we all continue to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom to help our communities embrace the new liturgical language our church will begin this year.