“Ever So Slightly” Blessing

17 Nov

Thankfully, the Sign of the Cross and the Lord’s Prayer are the same. But almost all the other prayers we pray and the words we speak at Mass are changing ever so slightly, beginning next Sunday, November 27. In the “ever so slightly” changes there is a blessing for us. Priest and people will be jostled out of the familiar, and will focus anew on what we say and what we pray, paying closer attention to hearing things we have never heard before, even when they are the same words we have spoken for years.    

Monsignor Ken and I have been spending time together, looking over what will be sung and what will be spoken. Every prayer that we speak while standing at the altar and while standing at the chair will be slightly different from what we have used for years. We are making our lists and checking them twice. We want to do the best for you that we can do. Dovile, the choirs and the cantors are preparing their notes (of a different kind) as well, getting ready to do the best that they can for you. Deacon Tim is learning his parts, and watching over the priest’s parts, too, in order to help us all.

Near you in the pew is a red booklet that will have everything you need for your parts. During Advent, the Gloria is not sung, but we will sing the other parts of the “Mass of Redemption.” As you know already, it is in the red booklet. As we begin Mass next Sunday, we will use the Confiteor, with its new words, “Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.” No need to worry. It is in the red booklet. Yes, in the Profession of Faith (Nicene Creed), we will now be saying, “… consubstantial with the Father,” and “… incarnate of the Virgin Mary.” Not to worry. It’s in the red booklet.

You might hear someone sigh, “I miss that book that used to be in the pews. It had the readings in it.” There is a stack of the “Liturgy of the Word 2012” books at each of the doors. Surprise them by getting out of your pew, going to the nearest door and bringing back a book and a smile for them. And after Mass, you can quietly and without fanfare return their book to the same door.

In the new translation of the Mass prayers you will find or hear a “new word from God” that speaks to something deep within you. As the year progresses, you will add another and another and another to your list of favorites. Perhaps the Invitation to Communion will be one. It comes almost right from the Bible: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). “Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19:9). “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed.” (Luke 7:6-7).

We will be falling in love with the Mass all over again.

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