Now that Easter is truly over and we've completed the three post-easter solemnities (Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, & Corpus Christi), one might begin to think that we no longer have reason to celebrate. Ah, hah! Ordinary Time is not so ordinary as one might think. Look around. Summer is officially here! The weather has turned hot and the skies are clear. Nature is anything but ordinary. The liturgy is also not so boring nor the lectionary so drab. For the coming weeks, we will be challenged to have faith, to not fear, to trust in the Lord. This is still a challenge for each one of us. What are the things that cause you stress, doubt, or fear? When you come to Mass in the coming weeks, plan to have these disabilities confronted and maybe even healed. Ordinary? That's not so ordinary. This is a time to rejoice for life is all around us. God never leaves us alone. His creation is the sign of his love. So, look around and recognize the beauty of God's love and rejoice.
For more reflection, check the readings out for yourself: USCCB Web Site for the Lectionary.
I also want to extend my gratitude to all the parishioners who have been bringing the harvest of their flower gardens for use in the Church. All of these flowers look extraordinary. It's quite amazing. It is also amazing the volunteers who come each Saturday morning to arrange them in our sanctuary. It looks like we have professionals doing all our labor. Next time you see the flowers in the Church, say a prayer for all those who have donated them and those who have arranged them. It's quite an honor. The liturgy is all the more beautiful for the natural gifts of creation inside the Church.
Speaking of the Liturgy!
The U.S. Bishops just recently met in Los Angeles to make a final approval of our revised Sacramentary, soon to be renamed The Roman Missal. The revisions now go to the Vatican for final approval. But, don't think that the changes will happen soon. Likely we won't see the new Roman Missal nor its adaptations or changes for a couple more years. But noteworthy will be some of our responses at Mass. For example, when the presider proclaims, "The Lord be with you" we are used to replying, "And also with you." But that response, according to the latest working edition of the Roman Missal sent to Rome, will be "And with your spirit." You might ask why? Well, it's quite simple actually. The Church desires that the English texts used be closer to the original Latin. Monsignor James P. Moroney also expressed that the Vatican desires "a deeper language that's more expressive and more poetic." In an AP report, other texts are being revised as well. See below for some of the details.
|Rite of the Mass||Current Version||Revised Version|
|Presidential exchanges||"And also with you"||"And with your spirit"|
|Penitential Rite||"through my own fault"||"through my fault, through my fault, through|
my most grievous fault"
|Nicene Creed||Introductory words: "We believe"||"I believe"|
|Sanctus/Holy||"Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and|
|"Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Hosts"|
|Communion Rite||"Lord I am not worthy to receive you"||"Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter|
under my roof."
Below is the text from Archbishop John Vlazny's e-column also found in the Catholic Sentinel. He give some background of these events as they hapened:
CELEBRATING THE SACRED MYSTERIES
Archbishop Vlazny 6/29/2006
Last month I attended the annual spring assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. This year we gathered in Los Angeles and were privileged to concelebrate the Eucharist at the new Los Angeles Archdiocesan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. In many ways that was especially appropriate this time, since probably our most important discussion during the meeting focused on the new English Translation of the Order of Mass.
Early in the meeting we were privileged to be addressed by the Most Rev. Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds, England, Chairman of ICEL (the International Commission on English in the Liturgy). He was elected to that position four years ago from among the representatives of the 11 English-speaking countries that are member of ICEL. Francis Cardinal George is the American representative.
For years we have known that the English version of Mass we currently use is far from perfect. I am privileged to celebrate the Eucharist in Spanish frequently, and I can recognize the difference in richness between the two texts. When the first English version was published after the Second Vatican Council, the bishops of ICEL at the time recognized that some revision of their work would eventually be needed. Back in the early 1970s, the bishops were eager to make an acceptable English version available to people as soon as possible.
Hence the work was done quickly, and as in all hurried matters, the need for improvements quickly surfaced. Bishop Roche reminded us that the translators back then clearly were focused on bringing the liturgy closer to the people. But it remains important for us to preserve and transmit our inherited liturgical tradition as it has been passed onto us. This time both objectives have been uppermost in the minds of the translators.
What is ICEL? The International Commission on English in the Liturgy is a mixed commission of Catholic bishops' conferences in countries where English is used in the celebration of the sacred liturgy according to the Roman rite. Its purpose is to prepare English translations of each of the liturgical books and any individual liturgical texts in accordance with the directives of the Holy See.
The 11 conferences of bishops which are currently full members of ICEL are Australia, Canada, England and Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Scotland, South Africa and the USA. The bishops from the English-speaking countries who were attending the Second Vatican Council set up the commission in Rome back in 1963. The Holy See later that year formally established ICEL as a mixed commission in accordance with the mind of the Holy Father and the council fathers.
In 2001 the Holy See issued an instruction on the use of vernacular languages in the publication of the books of the Roman liturgy. In many ways this altered the compass for those working on such translations, including the members of ICEL. This instruction is commonly referred to by its Latin name Liturgiam Authenticam. It sets forth authoritatively the manner in which vernacular translations of the texts of the Roman liturgy are to be derived from the original Latin text.
Of particular note was the insistence that the translated text was not to be seen so much as a work of creative inventiveness as one of fidelity and exactness in rendering the Latin texts into the vernacular. Consideration, of course, must be given to the particular way that each language expresses itself. Likewise the vocabulary chosen for translations should be easily comprehensible and at the same time expressive of the dignity and oratorical rhythm of the original. A very important consideration is to be given to the fact that liturgical texts are intended to be publicly proclaimed aloud and even sung.
Over the years some differences surfaced that impeded the collaborative efforts of the members of ICEL with the Roman Congregation for Worship. In order to facilitate this collaboration and clarify some questions the Roman Congregation established in 2001 the Vox Clara Committee, a group of senior bishops from episcopal conferences throughout the English-speaking world whose purpose would be to give advice to the Congregation concerning the translation of Latin texts into the English language and to strengthen the relationship between the Congregation and the 11 conferences represented in ICEL. Five advisors from the English-speaking world were appointed by Rome to assist in the work of the Vox Clara committee. They include our own Father Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, of Mount Angel Abbey.
The major project under consideration by the Roman Congregation, the members of ICEL and the Vox Clara Committee is the completion of the translation of the Roman Missal. As you know, in recent years the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has approved vernacular editions of the Lectionary for Mass and the Rites of Ordination of a Bishop, a Priest and of Deacons. Both of these texts were confirmed by the Holy See and are now in use throughout the USA.
On June 15, during the Plenary Session of our USCCB Spring Assembly, we bishops approved the translation presented to us by ICEL. We also offered 62 amendments to ICEL as proposed by the bishops with the recommendation of our own committee on liturgy. We paid particular attention to the precision, proclaimability and memorability of the translation. In a separate action we also approved eight adaptations to the Order of Mass. Both of these actions will require confirmation from the Holy See.
Most of the adaptations have already been a part of the Roman Missal in present usage. If approved, there will be no discernable change as far as worshipers are concerned. The two new adaptations concern the eventual inclusion of additional proper formulae in the Eucharistic Prayers and the inclusion of proper forms of the Act of Penitence for the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter.
These changes have received some attention in the media, but the end result is still a couple of years away. I know that many of our priests, pastoral ministers, liturgists and musicians have serious concerns about the proposed changes and the effect they will have upon the full and active participation of our people.
I am confident that the eventual agreement of all our English-speaking countries on a single version of the Mass will be, as Bishop Roche reminded us American bishops last month, a wonderful sign of our catholicity. I ask for your patience and I encourage the cooperation of all as we continue to promote and assure beautiful and prayerful worship in keeping with the authentic tradition of our Roman Catholic faith. Special thanks to all who continue to make the liturgical celebrations in parishes across western Oregon the best that they can be.
Since I arrived four years ago, we've been saving the stipends offered for Masses requested for loved ones. With these restricted funds, we have purchased new items for our liturgies such as vessels and a chasuble. We are now in the final stages of purchasing new chairs to replace the ones that have been with us so long. The current chairs are getting old and showing it. So, as we get closer, I will post images of the chairs we will be getting. One might ask why the chairs matter. Again, the answer is quite simple. The chair or cathedra is the sign of the bishop. In fact, the cathedra in the Church of the bishop is where we get the name for his Church, a cathedral. It is the "seat' of the local ordinary or bishop. So, I don't just sit in the cathedra or presider's chair, but rather I have been chosen by the bishop to be his agent and sit in his stead. So, the chair is an important symbol along with the altar and the ambo. These three pieces of furniture make up the most important pieces of furniture within the sanctuary. All of these, by the way, also symbolize Christ. The altar is the symbol of Christ the priest and sacrifice, the ambo is the symbol of Christ as the Word of God, and the cathedra is the symbol of Christ as head of the Church. These could also be seen as the roles of priest, prophet, and king. However, the presider should not preside over the community as a king might lord over his subjects in any authoritarian way. The leadership of Christ and his priest is one of a shepherd and servant leadership.
Fr. William Holtzinger