I hope that your summer plans and events have been life-giving a re-creating of your body and soul. While our local temperatures have been lower than normal, I cannot complain that we haven’t hit any triple digit temperatures.
In the past several weeks, we have been making plans to prepare for the new Roman Missal. The Roman Missal is the big red book that the priest uses to celebrate Mass. This is different than the Lectionary, another big red book which contains the Scripture readings for Mass. With the new Roman Missal coming, it is important to prepare for its implementation. So, I’ve met with our priests and discussed plans with our Liturgy Committee about how to go about teaching everyone what, why, and how we will bring these changes to our community.
In October, I will offer a workshop that will describe, in depth, the rationale for the new Missal as well as offer many examples of the changes so people can get a good sense of how it will differ from what we hear today at Mass. The changes are not just for our area nor just for the United States. The changes are for all English-speaking countries. Please keep your eye peeled to the bulletin as well as announcements at Mass for locations, dates, and times.
In addition to this workshop, all our churches during November will pause from the normal preaching of the homily in order to allow for catechesis to take place on the changes as well as overall education about the Mass. In order to maintain continuity, each of the priests will be scheduled at the same location during the first three weeks of November. Here’s the schedule:
1st weekend of November: Reasons and philosophy for a new translation of the English Roman Missal and teaching of a musical setting for the Mass Parts.
2nd weekend in November: Catechesis on the Opening Rites and the Liturgy of the Word
3rd weekend in November: Catechesis on the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Concluding Rites.
4th weekend in November: Total implementation of the new Roman Missal as directed by the Church.
I realize that any change is difficult for so many. That is why I am writing today, over two months in advance of this process. In my own preparation for this change, I have found that the Mass is more alive and the texts are more articulate of the mysteries we celebrate. I believe it will be a renewal for me, personally, and I hope that the same will be true for you.
If you have any questions or comments for me, please don’t hesitate to approach me and ask.
Fr. William Holtzinger