Saturday, August 22, 2009

Upcoming Changes to the Mass

The USCCB has confirmed changes to the GIRM, again, and they are anticipated to approve them for use this November. The link in this post title leads you to the USCCB page where all Assembly and Priest Mass Parts Revisions (current and proposed) are shown word for word.

I submit for your consideration that some of the professions we make as revised appear rather serious, if you are one who A) attends an Orthodox Parish and B) have grown fond of every syllable of the current Mass profession and response parts.

I am both.

Take the Assembly Revision to the "Nicene Creed" for example. The current profession begins with "We believe in one God,..." while the revised Roman Missal proposes "I believe in one God,...".

It would appear by simple logic that the latter is now not the Nicene Creed but something other than the Nicene Creed. Think I'm splitting hairs? Check it:

As an RCIA Catechist, I have taught adults from the Catechism that traditionally, historically, and scripturally the Nicene Creed was written starting with the word "We" to amplify, confirm and profess in Liturgical Plurality (IE The Church, The Body) and that is consistent with Christs teaching on Unity. Changing this first word to "I", even when spoken audibly with other fellow Catholics/Christians, is now a singular statement. No Unity, no Community, no Church profession by more than one or two gathered in His name. This is only one example of the possible mental conflicts which may occur to some of us by these changes.

Don't get me wrong, I can adapt and will...the Bishops are our guide (ahem) in Liturgy, however, one hopes they have considered that we who teach or share the Faith might rightly request the intellectual back story to these changes, so we can convince ourselves that they in fact deepen the Mass experience. We will then be better equipped to teach those confused Faithful that don't see this coming at Christmas.


~Joseph the Worker said...

The disagreement I think we have is that hundreds of years prior to the mass being set in English, the Church professed the Creed in singular "I believe" in Latin universally - the original Creed made sense to be in the plural because it was the Universal (then united) East and West Churches expressing what the Church as a whole believed. In mass, we are expressing our personal belief in Church teaching. I liken changing it to "we" as I do some other changes that try to be "more true to early Christianity" - which are basically throwing out hundreds of years of Church tradition (small t).

The Catholic Journeyman said...

Thanks for reading and commenting Joseph.

I suppose one could overlook all the changes since 325 on the Nicene Creed and apply the more personal "I" to the original intent of professing "our" belief as a Church, specifically when it is verbalized in unison by all in the Mass....I suppose.

The Vatican II fan in me wants to cheer for refinement of Plural Liturgy, not a reform away from it. I hope the new revisions back story becomes available. No doubt these were debated down to the bone on more views than mine.

Jeff Pinyan (japhy) said...

The new translation will not be used THIS year. Possibly Advent 2010, but more likely Advent of 2011, is the starting date.

Joseph said...

The changes to the Mass are pretty much the same as the 1928 Book of Common Prayer which was used in the Episcopal Church until 1979. That was a 16th century translation of the Latin Mass. Here is a link