If it’s been a while since you have attended Catholic Mass and are planning to at Christmas, let me warn you that things have changed a bit. Change is very difficult and many find to the latest updates to Mass unsettling. Most Catholics (both the lapsed and those who faithfully attend church each week) could recite the words without thinking. That will no longer be possible and some argue that is a great thing.
The new English translation of the Roman Missal recited by the priest and congregants dates back to Vatican II, but was only announced by Pope John Paul II in 2000. Just the mention of the beloved pope’s name in association with these changes makes them more palatable for some. If he thought it was better for Catholics, then more are willing to embrace these changes.
So what exactly has changed? While the changes for the congregants are minimal, it will require a more close focus on the words and that will in turn cause us to think more about them. Here are some of the changes:
Greeting: “The Lord be with you.”
Old Response: “And also with you.”
New Response: “And with your spirit.”
That change is tough enough and expect to hear people stumble over that for quite a while. The toughest for me is “Consubstantial.” This word replaces the term “one in being.” Consubstantial is more accurate, church authorities say since it means of the same substance.
The other one that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue quite yet is the change to the invitation to communion.
Old Response: “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”
New Response: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
It’s always a challenge to embrace change and is especially so when the words seem imprinted on your very DNA, but I am determined to give it my very best. What do you think of the changes?