Parish staff preview Roman Missal changes - Catholic Courier

Parish staff preview Roman Missal changes

FAIRPORT — Will young people give chant a chance if it is used more frequently in the celebration of Mass?

What materials would best help prepare people to adopt the new translation of the Roman Missal?

How will people receive the missal’s new translation?

These were among the questions discussed during June sessions designed to help prepare parish staff members for the use of a new English translation of the Roman Missal beginning in Advent 2011. During three workshops in the diocese, parish staff members previewed materials available to prepare people for the new translation, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ DVD “Become One Body One Spirit in Christ.”

“Ready or not, this missal is coming soon to a parish near you, yet I think it can be a wonderful opportunity,” said Father Robert Kennedy, pastor of Blessed Sacrament and St. Boniface parishes and presenter of the workshop “And With Your Spirit: Receiving the Roman Missal Third Edition.” The workshop was presented at Fairport’s Church of the Assumption June 6, Geneva’s Our Lady of Peace at St. Francis deSales June 14 and Elmira’s Our Lady of Lourdes Church June 22.

The sessions also served to acquaint parish staff and leadership with the new missal translation. At the June 6 workshop, Father Kennedy noted that even with the changes in wording, people will still be celebrating the same Mass. Although wording changes will be an adjustment at first, the changes might encourage people to be more aware of the words they pray at Mass and of the rich tradition in which they are participating, he noted.

“As we do it together and pray it together, the unity among us is strengthened,” Father Kennedy said.

A new English translation of the Roman Missal was called for in Liturgiam Authenticam, a document released by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 2001. The document called for more precise translations of the Roman Missal into vernacular languages to help preserve Scriptural references contained in the original Latin. As he compared several examples of the new and current translations, Father Kennedy pointed out stylistic differences in the new translation.

“One of the things you will notice about the prayers over time is a much humbler stance as we pray,” he said.

People also will be aware of new music at Masses, he noted. Due to the new translation, composers and publishers are working quickly to revise and compose Mass settings. However, since an array of new music will not yet be available during the first year of implementation, the Diocesan Liturgical Commission has recommended that all diocesan parishes use portions of the English chant setting of the Mass.

The expanded use of simple chant in the liturgy is intended to encourage people’s participation, Father Kennedy said.

“For most of our tradition, we have sung the liturgy,” he said. “It’s only a more modern phenomenon that people have kept their mouths shut and given the musical portion over to a choir.”

When one attendee questioned whether youths would be accepting of chant, several people cited instances in which youths had responded favorably to it. Shannon Loughlin, diocesan director of young-adult and campus ministry, noted the popularity among young people of the Taizé movement, which is known for its meditative singing, and noted that college students from SUNY Geneseo frequently participate in chant when they visit the Abbey of the Genesee in Piffard, Livingston County.

Information about the new missal will be incorporated into catechetical training young people will receive beginning in September, according to members of the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Catechesis. The department has compiled videos, lesson plans, handouts, music workshops and games for parishes and schools to use in catechetics. All middle- and high-school diocesan retreats will include teaching about the new missal translation, and the department has designed the “I Believe” retreat for confirmation candidates.

At Church of the Resurrection in Fairport, youth ministers will incorporate information about the new missal translation into youth faith formation beginning in the fall, said Cathy Reitz, the church’s coordinator of youth ministry and faith formation for grades 6 to 12.

Reitz said she is encouraged by the array of materials available from publishers and the diocese, and said she hopes the discussion about the changes will help deepen young people’s understanding of the Mass.

“A lot of questions will come up,” she said. “Maybe the kids will have a renewed interest in our faith.”

The new missal translation may offer parishes a chance to create unity, noted Suzanne Stack, pastoral associate at Rush-Henrietta Catholic Community. She pointed out the three-parish Rush-Henrietta cluster is attempting to bridge differing habits and preferences on the use of missalettes.

“We are now looking for one resource for the three parishes,” she said.

Lynette Saenz, pastoral associate at St. Patrick Parish in Victor, said one of the concerns parish staff members have had is about getting the word out to parishioners about the impending changes.

“It’s nice to see there are so many resources available already,” Saenz said as she scrolled through an iPhone app called “The New Mass,” which details the changes in the translation. “There’s really a lot that we can start doing now.”

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