Several on this blog, and others, have been asking about the validity of the so-called "10,000 changes" to the text we received on Friday, August 20.
Yesterday we completed a word for word comparison between the four eucharistic prayers in the so-called "2008 Missal" and the texts received last Friday.
Not counting the changes in the doxology to these prayers, here is what we discovered:
In Eucharistic Prayer I, we found approximately sixteen changes in the text, four changes in the rubrics, four changes in punctuation, and two changes in capitalization, making a total of approximately twenty-six changes.
In Eucharistic Prayer II, we found two changes in the preface that is printed with this prayer, one change in the text, three changes in the rubrics, one change in punctuation, and two changes in capitalization, making a total of approximately nine changes.
In Eucharistic Prayer III, we found one change in the text, four changes in the rubrics, and two changes in capitalization, making a total of approximately seven changes.
In Eucharistic Prayer IV, we found one change in the prayer's official preface, four changes in the text, five changes in the rubrics, and two changes in capitalization, making a total of approximately twelve changes.
So, there are approximately fifty-four changes in the four eucharistic prayers, not taking into account the major changes in the doxology.
We must admit that some of the changes in the rubrics are consistent across the board, for instance the change of the word "bow" to "bend." Also, the capitalization changes are also consistent; the word "death" is now "Death" in two of the memorial acclamations, which we now believe are to be referred to as "Mystery of Faith A, Mystery of Faith B, and Mystery of Faith C."
Many of you have asked about the so-called 10,000 changes. The most reliable source that I know told me recently that this is a conservative estimate. Given the fact that we see approximately fifty-four changes in the four eucharistic prayers, it seems that, given the voluminous amount of text in the balance of The Roman Missal, the 10,000 number may actually be a small number!
Now we have to be clear here. If the word "death" has been capitalized in the prayers, that accounts for eight changes (but, in reality it is only one change, made several times). Perhaps this is the case in other areas of the missal.
We at WLP have been asked to resubmit our Order of Mass materials (which had already received approval from ICEL and the BCDW). This is the source file that is used to create our worship resources. This is an understandable request from these bodies, given the number of changes in the text. I just want to point out that this means more time, energy, and resources expended on a text that had already received the recognitio, and had already been deemed "binding" by Cardinal Arinze. And this expending of time, energy, and resources goes across the board to all publishers of liturgical texts, as well as the hard-working staffs at ICEL and the BCDW.
I've got to be honest and tell you that, given the hope that I have expressed time and time again on this blog regarding the great potential for liturgical catechesis that the new translation will engender, I am feeling like the tires that have carried the process along have been slashed. Perhaps I am too close to all of this all the time, but I love the liturgy too much not to be disappointed.
As always, I pledge our support to the Church in the United States and beyond; to provide the best resources as we seek to serve the needs of the singing, praying, and initiating Church.
I have found it surprising and invigorating that so many of you have left comments here, e-mailed me, and left comments on my Facebook page, letting me know that you are praying for us in the publishing world. I can't tell you how much this means to me. I know that some of you might be tempted to say, "They just need to get over it; this is their job after all." Yes, these are our jobs, but the majority of us here at WLP are so close to the liturgy, so close to liturgical and music ministry, so close to the ministry which is Catholic publishing, that we feel like this is much more than a job. So, as we continue our mission, which is your mission—just with different tools—I want you to know how much we appreciate your prayers and support.
I want you to know that I try to keep all of this in perspective. When I read this past Sunday's bulletin at my parish, Saint James, the following statistics for July were listed:
1,482 The number of families St. James Food Pantry served in July
3,763 Bags of groceries distributed by the Pantry
14,740 Canned goods given out!
$47,897 The retail value of the groceries distributed
God is at work on us through the celebration of the liturgy; it is primarily the work of God. And it is good to remind ourselves that God calls us to reach out to those in need, to "go" out to the world. This helps keep me balanced through all of this.
Thanks for listening today.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.