Friday, October 21, 2011

Delaying the Implementation of the Missal

Friday greetings. Sorry for the missed post yesterday; the day got away from me after a very early morning flight from Augusta.

At Saint Mary on the Hill parish in Augusta, over 200 people came to the new translation workshop. It was a grand evening in a grand space. I had never been to Augusta and really loved the short time I spent there.

When I arrived this morning, I found this e-mail waiting for me:

Jerry, I have a really serious question. My pastor is not going to be implementing the New Roman Missal at my parish until after Christmas. He just started talking about the changes in the liturgy this past week in the bulletin. He briefly mentioned the changes and that he would talk about them later on in future masses. My concerns are that this is not allowed. On a music front, the choirs are pretty much ready to go (except the children and teen choirs). I am a music minister and have been the primary reason our music director even started working on the changes in the first place. I understand that change is hard, yet we can't put it off until after the implementation date. I obviously am not going to tell my pastor that I disagree with his decision. He doesn't even want the music changes made until after Christmas since we "don't sing the Gloria during Advent." I think this is an odd situation that is unfolding in my parish. I don't agree with what's going on with the changes. I was actually excited for these changes, but now that our pastor is delaying them, I'm not so sure what I am. Any advice/ words of encouragement? Other parishes in our area have started implementing the music and their congregations are getting used to them just fine.

So, faithful followers, how would you respond to this query?

Here was my response:

Thanks very much for your e-mail. Your pastor’s decision is regrettable on a number of fronts. If you have visitors or new parishioners transfer in at this time, and they come from places where the implementation has begun, there will be confusion for a few weeks. Also, do you have a worship resource that contains the Order of Mass? If it is periodical, then the new texts will be in beginning on November 27, which also may cause confusion. One more thing to consider is that the media (both secular and religious) will be reporting on the changes for November 27. If your people read the reports, they will be very confused as to why your parish is not in step with the rest of the Church. If they trust your pastor’s judgment, things will probably be fine. I hope he has thought of all these issues.

All in all, I think you will probably just need to be frustrated for a very short period of time. His delay is rather short and by some time in January (just a few weeks behind everyone else), you will be implementing fully. I like to look at things with a long view. Considering the history of the Church, a few weeks don’t have great importance. The big thing is that I hope your parish does a solid catechesis for the implementation.

Hope this is helpful.
How would you have responded?
Leaving in a few hours for LaGuardia in New York, then a short trip north to Fairfield, Connecticut for a Roman Missal workshop tomorrow and a concert on Sunday afternoon.
I hope that your weekend is a good one.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Anonymous said...

I will be honest. If I learned that there was one parish in my area that was going to delay the implementation, I would start attending mass there instead of at my regular church. I have heard rumors that there are some parishes where the priest plans to delay the implementation of the new translation until after he retires, and cannot confirm whether this is correct.

Anonymous said...

This isn't about the delay in implementation of the new Missal; just something that I've been wanting to ask you.

I've been reading -- and enjoying! -- your blog ever since meeting you at the diocesan music day in New York (held in Westchester County.)

You've spoken a lot about the entrance and Communion antiphons. We have music for a number of the Carmelite feasts but is there a collection (new? old?) of music for the current -- or coming -- ones? We try to have our hymns reflect and enhance the readings, so perhaps the specific antiphons are not that important. We love the liturgy and try to have them meaningful as well as correct. Can you help?

Thanks very much!

Sr Michaelene, Carmel in Beacon, NY

Anonymous said...

I actually thought that it would have been better for the changes to be made at the start of Ordinary Time (in January) instead of during Advent.

I feel like using this Ordinary Time between Advent and Lent would be a great time to focus on the translation and would work better for homilies about the translation. Homilies about the translation during Advent or Christmas seem to take away from homilies being given about the other important readings of those dates.

Also, starting during Ordinary Time would prevent there from being the issue of people not knowing the new Gloria, as well as would give people time to be settled into the new translation before the Christmas and Easter Catholics show up for the first time. I have been thinking about how confusing that this may be. There are some masses for which there seems to be more Christmas and Easter Catholics than people who attend mass every Sunday. I am curious what will happen when these people use the old responses.

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Hello Sister,
There are a number of resources. Please check in at to see the Simple English Propers. You can find communion antiphone here at WLP by searching our web site ( and searching for "Charles Thatcher."
Hope this is helpful

Anonymous said...

I'm with Anonymous. Cherish the dying days of the Mass in the vernacular and delay the inevitable Roman juggernaut as long as you can. The new "sacral vernacular" (which denies the definition of vernacular) is clumsy, jarring and has given up entirely on elegance and subtlety, giving us, instead, mangled wording and unproclaimable proclamations.

Enjoy the lull while it exists.

Paul Robertson

Michelle said...

Jerry, I really enjoyed your talk at St Mary's this past week. And the end of the talk I was greatly enlightened and actually am looking forward to the more reverent prayers we will be saying. I do hope that this brings about a renewal in the Church. As you say, change is difficult, but we cannot stay stuck in our uneasiness, but rather pray that we will be enriched by the more sacred prayers and remain open to the action of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. If we try to keep the doors of our hearts and minds closed just because we are uncomfortable of the new then we will be literally shutting ourselves out of the graces God has in store for us. Thanks for coming to Augusta!! And, per your suggestion I will be praying for our priests, that they will be transformed in holiness by the deeper prayers.