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The changes to the new Roman Missal began to be implemented on the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2012 and with that, the manner which we celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist also changed.

Some of us may question why would the Church introduce news rules, regulations and prayers when she could focus a litany of other issues facing our world/church today? This is a valid question and I include myself in this questioning. As a Eucharistic people and as Church, we believe, love and proclaim that the Eucharist is the very source and summit of our Christian life.

If I may impart a bit of history, – In the early centuries -“The Mass” was celebrated in Greek –the official language of the time. This continued until the 4th century; when, Latin became the language used. It was acknowledged during the Council of Trent in the 15th century, that new reforms with regard to celebrating the Liturgy were necessary and following that, in the year 1570, Pope Pius V published the first Roman Missal. Just so we are clear, the Roman Missal is the book containing all the prayers used during the celebration of The Mass.

Following the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Pope Paul VI issued a new Roman Missal in Latin and gave permission for the prayers of the Mass to be translated into the various languages of the people gathered to celebrate Mass. The current Missal use was produced in 1970 and updated somewhat in 1975.

Subsequent to The Second Vatican Council; prayers were translated into the “vernacular” (meaning of the people or including the people) giving life to the prayers of which we in Canada have become accustomed. With The Mass never before being offered in the English language, the translation from the Latin to the English posed some difficulties and ambiguities.

The English speaking Bishops established an international commission to complete the translation The International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) was constituted which included Bishop Representatives from eleven countries: Australia, Canada, England and Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, and the United States of America.

"They were guided in their work by an instruction from the Vatican called Comme Le Prevoit(1969). This instruction directed that the translations be faithful to the Latin, but not necessarily word for word, in a style of language easily understood. The principal of translation to be used was entitled “Dynamic Equivalence”. The instruction also stated that after a period of time, all translations would need to be reviewed."

In the year 2000, Pope John the II announced the enactment of a third edition of the Roman Missal. It was published by the Vatican in 2002, and then later amended by the Holy See in 2008. Pope John Paul had also canonized a number of saints who had to be included in the Roman Missal. The works of translation was completed in 2011 and the Holy Father has approved the newly-translated texts giving the Canadian Bishops permission to publish a new “Canadian Edition” of the Roman Missal. This new edition is the only version of the Roman Missal that is/will authorized for use in the Canadian Church, beginning November 27, 2011."

Some important information to share with regard to all the prayers and responses used during the Liturgy; they all (everyone) have their basis in Scripture.

Let me share some of the logistical parts of The Mass that will directly affect you, the parishioner.

Opening Prayer:

"Every celebration of Mass begins with the priest extending a biblical greeting to the assembly. These greetings are, for the most part, taken from the letters of St. Paul. To each of these greetings, the people will respond: “And with your spirit”. This response is keeping in line with the Latin Text: Et cum spiritu tuo

Penitential Act:

"In the first form of the Penitential Act, we say: I have sinned through my own fault. In the revised text we will say:”I have sinned greatly”. This accurately translates the Latin: peccavi nimis. These words were once on the lips of King David as he came before God to acknowledge his sin (see 1 Chronicles 21.8).

Later in the prayer we will say: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault”. This corresponds to the Latin: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. As we say these words we will strike our breasts once."

Another change will be in Gloria, The new translation is trying to be closer to the original version in both the Greek and the Latin dating back at least to the 4th century.

Apostles’ Creed:

A significant change in the Creed is as follows. “He descended to the dead” these have been changed to: “He descended into hell”.

"The word ‘hell’ used in this context does not refer to the place of the damned or to the abode of Satan. Rather, it refers to the place of the dead, the underworld of the just, where those righteous persons who died before Christ were awaiting resurrection. The action described in the Creed is the action of Christ going to that place to bring those righteous persons to share in his victory over sin and death. It expresses the truth that Christ died, not only for those who came after him, but, indeed, for all people of every time and place.

"During the Preparation of the Gifts”, the words of the priest have been slightly altered.

However, the only change in the assembly’s responses is found in the last line of the concluding prayer.

The word holyhas been added to match the Latin text: Ecclesiae suae sanctae.

May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of His name;

for our good; and the good of all His holy Church."

 

The words of the Holy, Holy, Holy (Sanctus) have been changed only in the first line. Instead of saying: “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might”, we will say: “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts”.

"The invitation to the “Memorial Acclamation” has changed. Instead of the priest interrupting the Eucharistic Prayer with an admonition or instruction addressed to the assembly (Let us proclaim the mystery of faith), he will simply say: The mystery of faith. This coincides with the Latin: Mysterium fidei. The familiar first form of the acclamation: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again, has never been included the Latin edition of the Roman Missal, and therefore, this not be found in the new English edition. Instead, the fuller Latin text has been freshly translated and included: We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection, until you come again. The other two acclamations have likewise been retranslated as follows:

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup,

we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.

Save us, Saviour of the world,

for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free."

 

"As each person approaches the minister to receive Communion he or she is asked to make a simple bow of the head. This is a sign of reverence in immediate preparation for the act of receiving Communion, which, in Canada, is to be received standing. This gesture is made only once before receiving Communion. It is not repeated again when receiving Communion from the chalice. Other personal expressions of piety or devotion, such as profound bows or genuflections are not appropriate."

 

"One of the new dismissal texts in the Roman Missal states: Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life. To these words, we say: Thanks be to God."

 

 

 

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