Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Translation Tuesday - The "Shake-up"

Welcome to this edition of "New Translation Tuesday."

First of all, I want to wish a happy anniversary of ordination to the many priests out there who were ordained on February 2. And a happy Candlemas to all.

Here's a recent photo of some people I love; the parish community celebrating in our parish hall at St. James on the near south side of Chicago.

This past Sunday at Mass at St. James, I noticed the words of the Prayer after Communion:

Lord, you invigorate us with this help to our salvation.
By this eucharist give the true faith continued growth
throughout the world.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. 

I have to admit that, as I prepare myself to accept the newly translated texts, I have been paying much more careful attention to the texts currently prayed. To be honest, lots of times these texts kind of washed over me. That had to do with two factors, I believe. One is the way that some celebrants rush through them, reading them rather than praying them. The other is my own distraction; my own not paying attention to what is going on. So, now I have been more attentive—almost all the time now—when these prayers are proclaimed. I find myself running around here at WLP in the early part of the week, grabbing a Sacramentary and looking for the texts that were proclaimed the previous Sunday.

I like the first line of the Prayer after Communion cited above. I had to ask myself if I really had a sense of having been "invigorated" by the eucharist at Mass. A common definition of "invigorate" is "to give life and energy to." One of my mantras to the Catholics to whom I speak is that we are called to "work off the eucharist;" people need to avoid becoming "spiritually obese." We need to take the energy received through the reception of the sacrament and "work it off" throughout the week to bring Christ to others. Is the celebration of the eucharist something that invigorates you?

I bring this up on "New Translation Tuesday" in the hopes that some of you might think about sharpening your attentiveness at Mass, especially when praying the opening prayer, prayer over the gifts, and prayer after communion. For those members of the clergy who faithfully follow this blog, perhaps this is an invitation to you, too, to sharpen your own proclamation of these texts as well. I think there is a kind of Catholic stupor that can settle in after years of proclaiming and listening, proclaiming and listening. Let's all dedicate ourselves to sharpening our proclaiming and listening skills. If there is anything that is going to shake Catholics up—shake off that stupor—it's a good chance that the reality of the new translation is going to be just that "shake-up." 

Perhaps we might look at the new translation as a new moment of "invigoration" for the Church. What do you think?

Hope your week is going well.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


FJH 3rd said...

Excellent idea, and I hope the catechesis that is provided for the new translation takes exactly this positive approach!

A year ago when I made a commitment to attend daily Mass as frequently as possible, I bought the "Daily Roman Missal" published by Our Sunday Visitor. It has been a big help in keeping my attention focused on the propers. I know there are some who feel it is not appropriate to be reading along with the Mass, but I have found it to give me a sense of greater connection to the Rite. Plus, there is a wealth of other prayers and devotions found within, as well as the Latin text for the ordinary parts of the Mass.

Perhaps the new translation might also spur wider use of personal hand missals!

Frajm said...

If I can plant a suggestion concerning WLP. Our parish uses the "new" People's Mass Book and we use the missalette with the entire year's readings in it--no music in it--there is an Order of Mass, but not arranged that well for those who are thinking about joining us or new Catholics.
Since I don't want to buy a new hymnal yet, the current one is five years old and I don't want a missalette that has additional hymns in it, would it be possilbe for WLP to publish a yearly missalette with the readings of course, order of Mass and then revised music for the parts of the Mass, Kyrie, Preface dialogue, memorial accalamtion, Great Amen, and yes, the official introit, offertoy and communion antiphons.

Better yet, could you give us a hard back book of worship that has all three cycles of reading and responsorial psalms, new order of Mass, with new music setting for the parts that have changed. That would save a bundle of trees and would really be, like, "green!" The old Worship hymnal use to have all three cycle of readings at the back of the hymnal and it was only about a half of an inch wide in comparison to the rest of the book--so we don't need a big, bulky book, but a nice sleek one. Thanks for you consideration! Fr. Allan McDonald, Macon, GA