||Exploring new translation of the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal
By Father Brent Lingle
The Spirit of the Liturgy
Greetings and welcome to this new column, The Spirit of the Liturgy. Let me begin with a brief introduction. I am Fr. Lingle, Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Sioux City and the associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Epiphany.
A native of Sacred Heart parish in Sioux City, I was ordained to the priesthood on June 16, 2007, by the Most Revered R. Walker Nickless. Having been trained during my graduate studies by the Benedictine monks of Saint Meinrad, and developing a love and devotion to the Sacred Liturgy, I was appointed as Director of Worship last January. I currently serve the bishop in his many liturgical responsibilities, planning diocesan liturgies, providing assistance and guidance to our parishes as well as serving as the bishop’s Master of Ceremonies. At the Cathedral I am involved in many diverse ministries and celebrate Mass in the Ordinary Form in English and Spanish as well as Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Tridentine Mass) in Latin. A busy life yes, but also very rewarding and blessed.
In this column, which will appear for the most part in each publication of this paper, I hope to explore the Church’s Sacred Liturgy, and in particular during this year, the new translation of the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal.
Often times when I teach or offer presentations and workshops on the Sacred Liturgy, I begin with the story from the Gospel of Luke, Lk 24:13-35, The Appearance on the Road to Emmaus, because I think that story embodies for us the spirit of the liturgy. Anytime we gather to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries, we gather for an encounter with the Lord, to hear his Word proclaimed, explained and ultimately to encounter and receive him in the breaking of the bread. In the celebration of the Mass we experience a foretaste of the life to come. With this being the case, the celebration of the Mass must always be our most important priority, both as clergy and faithful. That is why we must always reverently and carefully celebrate the Mass, participate fully, actively, consciously, and give to God our absolute all.
This year on the first Sunday of Advent 2011, the Church in the English speaking world will be undergoing a significant change when the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal, the book that contains all of the texts for Mass, will be put into use. Over the past 8 years, the Latin texts of the Mass have been carefully studied and retranslated into English. The last time that the words at Mass were altered was when the 2nd Edition of the Roman Missal was promulgated in 1974. This will be a rather dramatic change in the language that we use for our prayer and will require us to carefully and prayerfully prepare to make this transition.
It is true that we as human beings often resist change. We like what is comfortable and known to us, especially when it comes to our faith and spirituality. But as much as we might like to resist change, change presents an opportunity.
When we put into use the new translation, it will force all of us to slow down, and to really reflect on what it is that we are saying. The words and prayers of the Mass reflect what it is that we believe, Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi. The new translation expresses more clearly our beliefs and in my study of the text, makes it a lot easier to see the use of Sacred Scripture in the text of the Mass.
While the words may change, the structure and the way that Mass is celebrated will remain the same. Over the course of the next year, all of the priests and deacons of the diocese will spend time studying these new texts and preparing for a smooth transition. The Office of Worship will be sponsoring workshops and training for those involved in liturgical music, and will be working with the administrators and teachers of our Catholic schools as well as Directors of Religious Education and catechists to help catechize our young people.
As we approach this unique opportunity, a time of great renewal, it will do us well to remember that the words we say may change, but Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.