Sunday, 4 September 2011

And So It Begins (in the Northern Hemisphere)

In a reversal of the normal order of things, parishes in the Northern Hemisphere have started to use the new, more edifying translation of the Order of Mass, from the Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition.  At the Saturday Vigil Mass at a certain red brick church in London, which may or may not have a well known choir, the congregation was told that it was an historic day for Catholics in the UK, that the new translation of the Missale Romanum was not change for change's sake, and that it ought to be embraced gladly (to which I'm sure the gathered faithful, filled with the Holy Spirit, silently responded "hear hear!")  The new texts were proclaimed with precision and, unsuprisingly for an Englishman, perfect diction.  This all helps immeasurably in the transition from old to new.

As for how the congregation coped - at first better with the responses when said than when sung, but that is to be expected.  By the time the Preface Dialogue came around, most were able to respond in song with confidence.  The cantor led the Missal chant settings of the Ordinary superbly. 

Perhaps fittingly, the Mass was concelebrated by two quite newly ordained priests from the Archdiocese of Sydney, to whom the new translation is old hat, the bishops in Australia having allowed a gradual implementation since January this year. 

With any luck the example of (what may or may not have been) the mother church of England and Wales will be followed by parishes both there and across the pond, where at present only the new translation of the Ordinary may be used, if sung (which means, effectively, the new Gloria, Creed and Sanctus). 

Interesting times.