Sunday, September 04, 2011

New Translation of the Mass

From reading certain newspapers  before the adoption of the first of the new changes in the English  translation   of the  Mass this week end, one could have concluded that the alterations would be retrograde. The reality as experienced in the maytrees'  local parish  of  the Sacred Heart Wimbledon, during Saturday night vigil mass at 6:30pm was quite different.

The changes and so far only those of the Order of the Mass directly affecting the congregation have been put into effect with the remainder being due to start in Advent, seemed well received by the men and women in the pews.

Following the words from the newly distributed Mass cards also make for real reflection on what the  mass and the newly translated words mean. There were  of course some times when we appeared collectively to get it wrong. For example by reverting almost automatically  to the previous  response "Also with you" rather than "And with your spirit", just before the Gospel, which caused the Father Michael the parish curate who was saying the mass to smile broadly at us all. Overall my impression is that the changes align the Order of the Mass  more directly with the biblical words of God and  add to the holiness of the celebration.

Chatting to friends and to the parish priest afterwards outside the church yesterday night, the reactions were all positive though today a local catholic school head mentioned that he wondered if the positive reactions  were largely from an older generation so that perhaps  younger mass going catholics might be more critical. We shall   see...

The changes provide a good talking point as the conversations after mass continued for quite some time and amounted to rather more than the  quick hello that on occasion can be all that is said.

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