This weekend at Catholic Masses throughout the United States, the words to some familiar prayers at Mass will change. Sunday Masses for November 27, the first Sunday of Advent, mark the implementation date for the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal. Changes will also affect Vigil Masses on Saturday, November 26.
In a video interview about the changes, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond acknowledged the concerns of those who are worried about the changes or may find it difficult to adjust to the changes, but said this offers Catholics a special opportunity to grow deeper in their understanding of the Mass.
“There are two things we need to keep in mind,” said Archbishop Aymond. “The first is that the changes are in words, not in ritual. Secondly, it gives us the opportunity as we change words to look more deeply at the words we are saying and to come to a deeper appreciation of the Eucharist and what Mass means for us as Catholics.” (http://www.youtube.com/user/usccb?feature=mhsn#p/c/2/Bh-jp7RYsTE)
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops selected this weekend as the start date for using the new translation of the Roman Missal to coincide with the start of the new Church Year. The new translation is being implemented at different times throughout the English-speaking world. Locally, some parishes have already implemented changes to liturgical music settings by beginning to use the Mass of Renewal for parts of the Mass including the Gloria, Sanctus (Holy, Holy), the Memorial Acclamation and the Agnus Dei.
The translation has been a long process. Pope John Paul II announced a revised version of the Missale Romanum (Roman Missal) during the Jubilee Year 2000. Among other things, the revised edition of the Roman Missal contains prayers for the observances of recently canonized saints, additional prefaces for the Eucharistic Prayers, additional Votive Masses and Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions, and some updated and revised rubrics (instructions) for the celebration of the Mass. The English translation of the Roman Missal will also include updated translations of existing prayers, including some of the well-known responses and acclamations of the people.
More information about the new translation of the Roman Missal including copies of the changes people can expect at Mass this weekend can be found online at www.archdiocese-no.org by clicking on the Roman Missal icon in the right sidebar.