On November 27th 2011, the First Sunday of Advent, we at St. Vincent's and, in fact, all Roman Catholic parishes throughout the United States will begin to use a new translation of the Roman Missal.
The Roman Missal contains all the ritual text for the celebration of the Mass. So, since we'll be using a new translation, that means that a number of the words both you and the priests have been saying in Mass will change.
You might ask, "Why this change?" and "What are the changes?" Last week, the 7th and 8th graders at St. Vincent's and I watched the following video about the new translation. It does a great job of explaining why the changes are coming. The students enjoyed the video and they seem to be looking forward to the changes. I invite you to watch the video as well.
If you would like to see the forthcoming changes, you can read the entire text of the new translation of the Mass here. Additionally, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has an entire website of information, including Frequently Asked Questions and more.
Here at St. Vincent's, Monsignor John and I will give a series of catechetical homilies on the new translation at all weekend Masses beginning late October. These homilies will focus not only on the new translation but also give us the opportunity to examine the Mass anew! The 7th and 8th graders will be studying the Mass on "Father Fridays" throughout the semester. And I'll be giving what's called a "Dry Mass" at Catholicism Revealed in November. "Dry Masses" were "practice Masses" we'd say in the seminary as we were getting ready for ordination. They're not actual Masses but rather "practices." During this Catholicism Revealed "Dry Mass" we will literally walk through the Mass, step by step, teaching as we go; not only the new words, but also the "what" and "why" of everything we do at Mass from what the priest wears when he says Mass to the meaning of the final dismissal.
The Mass is the most important prayer of the Catholic Church. What a great opportunity to dive more deeply into the richness of this most sacred of our faith and our lives!