Filling in the Blanks

21 Jul

Although I was in awe of 3,148 people at the National Pastoral Musicians Convention making music in Louisville, the thing that really caught my attention was an empty book in the exhibit hall. Publishers can’t release the contents of the new Roman Missal until October 1, but they were showing the size of their books, the cover and paper quality, the tabs and ribbons. The beautifully bound and presented books looked like exquisite “writing journals” with a thousand-plus blank pages. 

Over the next years of praying and singing the Mass, anyone could use that empty book to record her moments of new appreciation and learning, her reflections on the new Mass prayers that are being given to us. A priest to be ordained next year could use it as his diary of priesthood, jotting down, from his first day at the altar, a theme sentence for every Sunday homily, and recording the names of every bride and groom: a new priest in the Church and a new Missal for the Church. An old guy like me, having used the current translation of the Missal since my ordination 36 years ago, could pray over and journal about each week’s new translation of prayers in preparation for the upcoming Sunday – and about each of the “new” Eucharistic Prayers, at the proper numbered tab, of course.

The new Roman Missal is mystery to us, so much about it still unknown and not yet experienced – like a beautifully bound book with empty pages, waiting for God to fill in the blanks.

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