December 19, 2011

Re: "Parishioners, pastors open to New Mass translation" (WCR Dec. 5).

As we read in the cover story of Dec. 5, Mary Griffiths remarks that we have "been doing the other responses for so long that it's just second nature." How true, and how sad when we don't even think about what we are saying at Mass.

That is why this is a glorious time for parishes to commit to long-lasting and deep adult faith formation.

I'm sure all parishes in the archdiocese made efforts to prepare the people for the recent changes. I am not convinced that a few weeks or a month to get the responses right is effective catechesis.

Those who remember the liturgical shifts after Vatican II recall that all were confused and some were shattered. Many left the Church because what they believed was not how they prayed.

Had there been effective formation as to why the changes occurred, we would have helped them through that difficult transition. As a teaching Church, we failed.

The recent changes to the liturgy are not as dramatic, but they still point to a critical catechetical need.

I have heard too many times in the past two weeks comments like "So now we say 'and with your spirit' instead of 'with you.' Oh well, whatever!" This is a tragedy. It is also an amazing opportunity.

I suggest that every parish pastoral council commit $30 to purchase the interactive DVD Become One Body One Spirit in Christ from CCCB Publications.

This amazing resource explains the depth of the language changes in Scripture and Tradition, and explores every aspect of what it means to be an active participant in the Eucharist, the "source and summit of our faith."

Let's not let this opportunity slip by. Otherwise, the new words will become rote just as easily as the old.

Michael Marien