This year the Feast of Christ the King marks the end of the first full year of implementing the new translation of the Roman Missal, the 2010 Vox Clara product that was imposed upon the English speaking Catholic world on the First Sunday of Advent, 2011. In the online version of the popular and highly respected magazine “U.S. Catholic” I found a pair of articles providing reviews of the new texts, one from the perspective of parishioners and other from the perspective of priests.
The articles are very easy to find using any search engine, such as Google. Search for the string “parishioners respond new missal” and “priests respond new missal” and you will find links to the articles. I found both of them quite interesting, and I hope you do as well.
I hope no one takes what I am about to write as a criticism, because it is not; it is merely an observation. But in all honesty Dear Parishioners, I have noticed what might be considered a lack of enthusiasm and vigor in many of the spoken and sung responses during our worship throughout the past several months, in contrast to what I would have expected a couple years ago. This could be for a number of reasons, and I would be the first to admit that the fault could be all mine. It is possible that I have not been adequately prepared for and have not implemented the new texts convincingly. Perhaps I have telegraphed a less than welcoming attitude regarding the new prayers, which are as we have seen composed in a new kind of English which is nothing like the language that any of us have read, proclaimed, written or sung prior to one year ago.
All that being said I very respectfully suggest that beginning next weekend when we begin our second time through the new Roman Missal all of us make a bit more of an effort to put our heart into the prayers of the mass. They are what they are, and an improved version is likely to be long in coming. So I kindly invite everyone, including myself, to make more of an effort to accommodate ourselves to the new translation in the year ahead.