By now, if you are Catholic, you are well aware of the “new Mass” – an updated version of the Roman Missal, the text of prayers and instructions for celebrating Mass.
The new translation was rolled out late last month to thousands of unsuspecting Catholics, after months of preparation. I use the word “unsuspecting,” mainly to defuse what I must admit was my own state of denial. I mean, I knew it was coming.
The Church had been threatening – er, uh, keeping us apprised of this imminent update for quite some time. Characteristically, I just maintained my “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it” mentality. Well, beginning with vigil mass on November 26, we reached that bridge. And quite frankly – I don’t like it. The Church has made it clear the translation is closer to the original Latin text. Okay. I can accept that. I understand that. But, I’ve been reciting the same thing for 40 years. I like not having to look at anything while I robotically recite.
After all, I grew up and was educated in the Era of Rote Recitation. There was the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, the Gettysburg Address, Preamble to the Constitution, Canterbury Tales Prologue, and even the multiplication tables were religiously recited until mastered. I have a certain comfort level there – in that state of oral group recitation of rhetoric and overall instinctive elocution.
Until this blog, I was keeping my disappointment about the new Mass to myself, mainly because I did not want to come across as a fuddy duddy. Legend has it my great uncle (who was probably in his 70s at the time) just walked out of church the first time he was subjected to a folk Mass. It seems he didn’t think it was right for a bunch of hippies to be playing guitar in church. I don’t think I’m that upset about the new Mass. But, I can relate a little better now to my late “Uncle Jim.”
I will get used to it – I have to. Because, it’s not like the “New Coke.” Once the Vatican makes a decision, they don’t typically do a “test market” first. I’m pretty sure there won’t be any recall and subsequent return to the “old way,” just because a focus group gave it a low score. It is highly unlikely the Vatican will dismiss this change just because their “target demographic” is disappointed. The Church, albeit loving and good, dictates much like my parents’ generation did – with that “Take it or leave it” – “I’ll give you something to cry about” mentality.
On the upside, the New Mass has gone high-tech. Seriously, there’s an app for that: http://www.thefaithexplained.com/the-new-mass/iphone/
FYI – it’s not a free app.
The blog is ended. Go in peace.
(Do we still say that part?)