Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Translation Thursday: A Process for Implementation

Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Thursday."

Several weeks ago I gave presentations to a group of catechists, musicians, and clergy in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, Alabama. The concluding segment of those presentations included a proposed way/a process for approaching the implementation of the new translation in the parish. I decided not only to present this process; I also decided to become a part of it, thinking of myself as a parishioner.

I quickly realized that my own parish, Saint James, would need someone to help spearhead and guide the process of catechesis, reception, and implementation. Once I returned from Birmingham, I approached my pastor after Mass that next Sunday and volunteered to be the person to spearhead the process in my parish. I had a two-fold motivation for this. The first, of course, is to help my parish and those I love to move through this time of change in whatever ways I can. Secondly, I wanted to be able to share with the readers of Gotta Sing Gotta Pray the actual experience of at least one parish as we move through this process.

We will begin to talk about this at Saint James at our liturgy committee meeting later this month.  Here is what I share with the people in Birmingham. What do you think?

A Pastoral Plan for Implementation of the New Translation of The Roman Missal
(This pastoral plan is based on my own experience; a parish where nothing has yet been done.)

January 2011
Initial meeting with pastoral leadership.
Items to be discussed:
a. use of media, i.e. parish bulletin, parish web site, newsletters, handouts and flyers, helpful links to other sites, survey among the many possibilities of published resources, found at (LTP) (WLP) (Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions) (ICEL)

b. identification of key leaders/spokespersons for the process

c. discussion of budget concerns (purchase of at least one Roman Missal, music resources, catechetical materials, the whole question of new or additional worship aids)

d. establishment of a timeline for implementation

Throughout the next few months, decisions are made with respect to the purchase and/or free download of catechetical materials.

What the pastoral plan might entail:

The months of August through November are designated as “Implementation Months”

By July, the musical Mass setting that will first be used is chosen.

Parish choirs, cantors, accompanists, contemporary ensembles learn the Mass setting

Leaders/Spokespersons for the implementation process will meet with various parish ministry groups and organizations to help explain the changes; if the musician can be present, some of the new acclamations can be shared and taught; if not, a recording of these elements can be shared. Copies of the musical acclamations are distributed to these groups for a “sing-along.”

One or two general parish meetings are held; the leaders/spokespersons decide on a plan to catechize about the changes in the Mass texts. Parish musicians assist at these general meetings, helping teach the new musical setting.

Links to the music samples (directly linked to publisher’s web site) are placed on the parish web site; parishioners are urged to practice at home with family; texts provided for take-home use.

Weekly bulletin articles are placed in the same spot in the bulletin every week.

Materials are made available for parishioners, either through bulletin “stuffers” or in the gathering areas of the church.

During the Sundays of October and November, musicians (and others) can take time before Mass to acquaint parishioners with the new musical settings, as well as the spoken parts of the Mass that will change.

There has been wide discussion concerning whether or not the new musical settings may be used before November 27, 2011. Best to check with diocesan personnel on these matters.

Musicians might consider using the decided-upon “mystery of faith” as a kind of mantra following the reception of communion during the Sunday Masses in the months of October and November.

Working with celebrants, decide on whether or not the dialogues will be sung from day one.

Decide on a strategy to tackle the Gloria challenge for 2011.

November 27, 2011
Implementation of the new English translation of The Roman Missal

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Paul said...

We plan to start singing the new mass setting this Lent...I can't imagine it will be a problem. Our Priest has already given the OK.

Chironomo said...


Does that include the new Memorial Acclamations? I would assume you're using worship aids then as these are not in any books anywhere yet.

And then there is the issue of the Bishop's permission. I wouldn't discount the possibility of backlash there...

Anonymous said...

Yes, it has been made very clear that the new texts (spoken or sung) cannot be used in the liturgy until next Advent.

Kevin Keil said...

We started using a setting of the Gloria with the new translation this Sunday. We will then learn Eucharistic Acclamations so that when Advent arrives, the assembly will be able to focus on the spoken (chanted?) changes while have a Gloria, Holy, Mystery of Faith and Amen using the new text already well established. I know we are supposed to wait, but since many of the acclamations that we currently use play a little loose with the text, why not learn a new setting with the approved texts?

Chironomo said...


And you hit the nail on the head... what's all the concern with not using the new texts yet because they "aren't approved for liturgical use until November".
Probably 90% of the texts that congregations sing aren't approved for liturgical use unless you really, really stretch the definition of "approved". Nobody threw a fit about the Mass of Creation, and the Sanctus there changes more words than the new translation does!

Paul said...

Regarding the Bishops permission: We don't care. He has offered no help except you "will" do this. So, we have developed a plan and will move with it. It's insane to think everyone will "flip the switch" on November 27 and everything will go well. At least we will have the music in place. Bishops: WAKE UP.