Re: "New Missal to increase 'awesomeness' of liturgy" (WCR, Nov. 21).
When I received my December Living with Christ and saw the new translation of the Roman Missal, my heart sank. The formalism of the language makes it inaccessible, exclusive, stilted and stuffy, closing too many of the windows thrown open by Pope John XXIII at Vatican II.
Where the "gems" within the prayers were once clearly visible, now they must be excavated from pomposity. The "awesomeness" of the new language may well be exciting to Scripture scholars, but I suspect that "archaic" is the word to be used by many in the pews.
Jesus taught us to speak simply to God: "Abba," not, "Lord God, Heavenly King, O God, Almighty Father." My teenage daughters have been steadily losing their enthusiasm for attending Mass, and conversations with many others tell me that my kids aren't the only ones who will find the "fresh" translation to be mind-numbing.
The new Roman Missal seems to indicate that our leaders are losing touch with the people of God. We face far more critical issues than whether liturgical prayer is formal or dynamic.
I doubt that God worried over inaccuracies in our liturgies since Vatican II; rather, I wonder what God would say about all the time, talent and planetary resources spent on producing thicker Sacramentaries.
I suspect God would prefer that we end injustice and the decimation of our earth, rather than have us add extra "we pray, O Lord."
Jesus scolded the Pharisees for missing the essentials in their emphasis on the letter of the law. I wish he would come back and talk to our Church leaders.
I suspect he might suggest we open the Church's windows once again, use fewer words, and show our love for God by serving the poor and respecting the creation with which we have been blessed. That would be truly awesome.
Letter to the Editor - 12/19/11
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