Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Thursday."
These days, perhaps because we are at mid-summer here in the Midwest, feel sort of like in-between times. And I am feeling that way, as a publisher, about the new translation. The music has been written, the manuscripts have been prepared, the support resources are in place. It feels like the table has been set, but I just can't smell any food cooking in the kitchen yet.
After years of planning and preparation, we are about to enter a new phase of liturgical renewal. Some have outrightly rejected the new texts. Others praise it as the best thing to come along since that delicious concoction that was drunk from stone jars at Cana. Some, like me, wait cautiously. Others, like some of the people in my parish, are a little scared and anxious that things are changing too much. Some priests and bishops know that they are going to need to spend much, much more time preparing for Mass. Others are taking this all quite glibly.
And then there is that great big blob of English-speaking Catholics for whom this will be a tiny blip on the radar screen; perhaps a small inconvenience at first, but nothing earth-shattering at all. Concerned less about words prayed, they worry more about finding a better job; they think about the safety of their children; they agonize over the health of aging parents; they simply want to find happiness.
It is to this great big blob that I am hoping this transition touches more deeply in some way. People like you and me, we are the ones who take this liturgy stuff so seriously; we will dissect and analyze; we will laugh at some of this nonsensical English; we will cry at the loss of something that has become like a friend to us; and through all of this, we will somehow grow closer to one another and to the living God.
What about the great big blob? Just maybe, jolted out of complacency, they might see this time as an opportunity actually to forge a new relationship between those things I mentioned that matter greatly in their lives and the celebration of Sunday Mass. Even though it may sound like I am being comical at first, I am never more serious when I liken our celebration of Mass to the song-and-dance we call the Hokey Pokey. Maybe this transition will mark a time when more of that great big blob responds and really does the Hokey Pokey at Mass: "You put your whole self in . . ."
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.