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Missal changes go into effect Nov. 27

By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
(Email Renee)

And with your spirit.

That is just one of the new phrases that Catholics will hear when they go to Mass this Sunday.

The new translation of the Roman Missal will be implemented on Nov. 27, the first Sunday of Advent.

Father Brent Lingle, diocesan director of worship, said, “When we walk into Mass on that first Sunday, we have to be realistic that phrases will not roll off our tongues like they do now. It will be different and sound different.”

This will mean that parishioners will have to slow down and really pay attention to the words are they are saying, he said.

“Anytime we do something for 40 years, we fall into a routine,” Father Lingle said. “The same is true for the missal. We have been using this translation since the early 1970s. So often when we do something so much, we become accustomed to it. We don’t even think about it, just say it without much thought behind it.”

Given that parishioners will have to slow down because they don’t know the words and may not know what is coming next, he said, provides an opportunity to really reflect on the words.

“Some words will be difficult to understand, so it will take some thought,” he said.

While some of the words will change, Father Lingle stressed that the structure of the Mass will be the same.
For the congregation, he noted that the changes are relatively few compared to that of the priest celebrant. One of the more notable changes in parishioner responses is, “And with your spirit.” There are also changes in the Gloria and Creed.

“For the most part, the people’s responses stay the same,” he said. “For the priest, everything he says has been retranslated. They sound very different. As challenging as it will be for the people, the priests have the bigger challenge.”

The director of worship offered a little background to explain why this change is happening.

In the year 2000, the third edition of the Roman Missal was published in Latin. It included some updates to saints who have been canonized – these were added to the calendar and their prayers were put into the missal and some of the Latin text itself was also adjusted.

“When Pope John Paul II promulgated the missal, there was a need for every country in the world to translate that edition of the missal into their own language,” said Father Lingle. “It’s not just an English thing, although that is what we are focusing on right now. Every country has had to deal with translating the Third Roman Missal.”

The English-speaking countries opted to join forces for this universal translation. That means for the very first time, wherever you are in the world the English-language Mass will use this same edition of the missal.
Great efforts have been taken to ensure this new transition goes smoothly.

In the Diocese of Sioux City, education about the new missal began about a year ago when the Office of Worship sponsored a clergy day featuring speakers from the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein. That was an introduction of the missal for the presbyterate – providing them with an overview of the changes themselves as well as the meaning behind the changes.

As the director of worship, Father Lingle has facilitated various educational sessions for various groups such as parish musicians, Catholic school administrators, deacons and more. For the past year, he has also written a column in The Catholic Globe about the missal changes. Those articles are archived on The Globe’s website – www. catholicglobe. org. Click on commentaries to find Father Lingle’s columns.

He noted that priests have been responsible for implementing it in their own parishes.

“Every pastor knows what is best and what works for his community,” he said. “We have heard that they have used homily time, handouts, bulletin articles and other means to get the word out and talk about the missal.”

And while the verbal text will be used for the first time on the first Sunday of Advent, it was decided at the June meeting of the U.S. bishops that the new sung parts of the Mass could begin in September.

For now, Father Lingle anticipates that people will have to follow along in the missalettes or pew cards, which many priests have purchased for their parishioners, but in time they will come to know it.


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