To the editor:
Now that recent changes in the Roman Missal have had a chance to be implemented, and parishioners are getting better at saying, "And with your Spirit," I have asked myself many times whether all the effort to administer, advertise, and practice these changes will do much to bring us, as Catholic Christians, into closer relationships with the Lord.
I understand the basic reasoning for the changes, and believe they were well-intentioned. However, requiring use of the elevated language of Church teaching through words such as "consubstantial," instead of "one in being," the more common language of the Church — the people — leaves me wondering if we have taken a step backward. Additionally, the word "chalice" is used in the holy Consecration of the wine; again, the elevated language of Church teaching. However, this word is Latin in origin and possibly, not Biblical at all. It seems to me that Jesus, even though he is God, probably used a simpler word in his original prayer, like "cup." In His memory, we should as well.
The Gloria and the Sanctus have taken on a musical structure without rhythm, bearing unevenness throughout, in part to allow repetition and be more chant-like. In the end these once beautifully sung prayers have taken on the form of dry dirges, and in my opinion, can hardly be sung in a prayerful, praiseful way at Mass.
Most people my age can roll with the changes. But can the same be said of our young people who continue to fall away from the Church? Will these changes help or hinder retention? I like to think that "Praying the Mass Anew " will foster more personal relationships with Christ and change people’s lives, but as hard as I try to believe this I cannot help but wonder if we somehow got our priorities mixed up.