Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: A Restrospective

This is our first post-November 27th "New Translation Tuesday. Welcome.

I wanted to share a post with you today, one that I wrote over two years ago, on November 9, 2009. That Tuesday was the first "New Translation Tuesday." Here you go:

Happy Tuesday to you all. And welcome to the first (of many) installments of "New Translation Tuesday." I'll be spending time each Tuesday and Thursday offering commentary on the upcoming new English translation of the Missale Romanum.

I am doing this for a number of reasons. The first has to do with the fact that many people are wondering how publishers are handling this issue. Secondly, I am concerned about the people in the pews, so many of you who visit this blog on a regular basis. Thirdly, as always, you'll hear my own personal opinions as all of this unfolds. Those opinions will be based on my own understanding of the Church's liturgy, the reactions I hear as I travel around North America, my experience as a person in the pews myself, my experience here at WLP as an editor and publisher, and my experience as a liturgist and musician.

My plan is to create a plan for the coming months, plotting out topics that I hope you find helpful. To that end, I'd like to ask for your feedback. What would be most helpful for you to read on these pages on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Any feedback you provide would be most welcome.

I'd like to start by telling you that we at WLP have been preparing for this change in translation for approximately nine years. Shortly after I began working here in 1999 as the worship resources editor, I began to compile what I named "Roman Missal Source Files." Basically, I put together a number of electronic files of the following materials from the current Sacramentary:
Entrance Songs
Opening Prayers
Prayers Over the Gifts
Communion Songs
Prayers After Communion

My hope was that, once the new translation was approved, we could move through the current files and make simple adjustments where the translation had changed. After completing this work, I happened to mention my plan to someone closely connected with ICEL (The International Commission on English in the Liturgy). This is the group whose responsibility it has been to actually do the new translation. That person told me, "Jerry, just throw all those files away. The new translation will be markedly different; not just a few adjustments here and there." This was my first "wow" moment in the entire process. I realized then that what we are talking about here is more than a few changes here and there. And, after having seen the new translation of the Order of Mass, that "wow" has been confirmed. Just take a look here, if you haven't done so already. The USCCB's excellent web site on the Roman Missal is a great place to explore. You can find that here.

So, what I thought was going to be a very simple process has developed into a much more complicated one, from a publisher's standpoint. As you know, the US bishops will be voting next week on the completed translation, and, hopefully, sending it to Rome. Then the waiting game begins. We wait for Rome's recognitio, or really Rome's approval of the new translation. How long will this take? I've heard everywhere from one month to several years. There are texts in Rome awaiting recognitio that have languished there for many years. But, we are also told that the pope is keenly interested in having this new translation approved as quickly as possible. So, we wait and see.

I hope you can appreciate the impact that all of this has on a publisher of resources for praying and singing the liturgy. On the Tuesdays and Thursdays in the weeks and months to come, I'll share more with you. For now, let's remember that what is being re-translated from the Latin is what draws us all together in Christ.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray. And don't forget: you gotta provide some feedback and ideas focused on what you would like to see on these Tuesday and Thursday pages!

Folks, it's kind of amazing to look back from our current perspective. So interesting to see that this post was written the week before the US Bishops voted their final approval of the Missal. They spent nearly a decade discussing, arguing, wrangling, editing, substituting, crafting, re-crafting, theologizing, murmuring, and debating a text that they could finally approve as a body, which they did that following week. What happened after that remains a mystery. The so-called "10,000 changes" were made and the texts we are now praying are not the texts the bishops approved and sent to Rome for recognitio.

It has been a rocky two years, quite a ride for publishers and pew-dwellers alike. And we are just at the beginning of an era which we all hope is marked by a renewed mystagogical way of life. Hold on to your hats, folks!

Thanks for continuing to spend time with me on Gotta Sing Gotta Pray.

And, as always . . .

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mystagogy Monday: Week One

Welcome to the first of probably many "Mystagogy Mondays," days for us to reflect on our experience of the new translation of The Roman Missal, Third Edition.

Yesterday at Mass, I was ready, with worship aid in hand.
The parish music director set the sign of the cross and greeting to an orginal setting that picked up the motifs of the music of the beautiful Advent Gathering Rite musical setting he had chosen for us. He did this so that we wouldn't be singing the sign of the cross and greeting using the simple musical setting we have sung for a few years. I thought this was a very smart move: new words, new music. Unfortunately, the celebrant got musically confused and didn't sing what was written in our worship aids for the sign of the cross and greeting. His autopilot kicked in and he reverted to the older setting, so it just fell apart. Something similar occurred later. The preface dialogue chant from the Roman Missal was printed in our worship aids. I looked forward to singing the official chant. But the celebrant didn't sing the chant as written. Instead, he sang the melody he has been singing for years for the preface dialogue. That fell apart as well. I really felt badly for the guy. Perhaps way too much to handle on the first Sunday of implementation.

Most people in the church were fine with these stumblings and perhaps I should have been as well. And perhaps my expectations are too high, given the fact that this new translation has been such a part of my life for so long. There was a lot for the celebrant to prepare, for sure. He prayed the orations slowly, deliberately, and with care. The prayer after communion for the First Sunday of Advent still makes no sense to me. I am looking forward to the next few weeks as these bumps get ironed out.

On the more positive side, the celebrant's subject for the homily was the text of the newly translated collect. It was a brilliant homily.

The only inspiring moment for me with the new texts was the latter portion of Eucharistic Prayer III. Just lovely.

"For many." I understand the theology, but it saddened me.

"Consubstantial." Didn't seem like such a big deal.

"Chalice." Three times during the institution narrative is too much.

These are my initial observations.


Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Translation Sunday: This Is It

Good Sunday morning to all.

It is very early here in Chicago. Yesterday, I arrived back here in Chicago after a wonderful New England weekend with my family. Lobster Rolls, Linguica Pizza, Pasta in the North End, traditional French-Canadian style Thanksgiving Dinner; what a culinary excursion!

Yesterday afternoon, several of us set up the Advent environment at Saint James. Very simple. For those new to the blog, my parish, Saint James, is on the near south side of Chicago. The over 150 year-old church building was shuttered a few years ago because of questions about the integrity of its structure. So, we have been worshipping in our Catholic school auditorium ever since. It's a tough place to decorate. Despite its architectural beauty, the windows are filthy, there is built-up grime in many places, the paint is peeling, there are gym mats hanging on some areas (the building was used as a gym for P.E. classes). Despite all of this, worship in this less-than-ideal space is wonderful. God, who calls this Catholic people together in this place, makes it all very holy. God's voice echoes throughout the space as we lift up our hearts and voices in thanksgiving and praise. The hands and feet of Christ are hard at work as the parish's food pantry serves somewhere between 1500 and 1700 families per month. And the Holy Spirit infuses a genuine sense of hospitality throughout the place. We are not a sterling assortment of Catholics. We just all come there to be fed and to feed.

In a few hours I will be in the second row (in my usual spot) for the 9:30 Mass. I will have my nose in the worship aid for most of the Mass. Newly translated words will begin to take root in my Catholic heart and voice. I have been preparing myself, the parishioners whom I love, and thousands of others across the United States for the past five years for this particular moment. I know I will cringe this morning when the prayer after communion is prayed; it's just a wrong translation. I know I will stumble on phrases that are unfamiliar. I know that I will feel a sense of loss for what has been familiar for most of my life. My hope is that these newly translated words will translate into a renewed effort at Saint James to take care of God's least ones.

When I look back at some of my Catholic experiences, I do gain some perspective. In the early 1980's, while still a seminarian, I traveled to Peru for a third world immersion experience. I remember going to Mass in a very crude "building." There was no flooring material; just dirt. There were crude benches upon which we sat. There was a locally crafted crucifix that emphasized the suffering of Christ to an extraordinary degree. And then there were the people; poorer than poor. Their smiles, their joy, their pain, and their sorrow are forever etched into my heart's memory. They had nothing. And they had everything. They owned nothing. And they owned more than I could ever attain.

Folks, as the new translation of The Roman Missal, Third Edition, begins to take root, let's not forget what we heard in Matthew's Gospel a few weeks ago about these "least ones." If you have never made the connection between Sunday Mass and Catholic action, take this time of transition to make that connection. Let's not "just sit there" and analyze newly translated words. Let's seize this opportunity to do what Catholics do: "Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life."

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: Conversations

Very early on "New Translation Tuesday" morning here in Chicago. Waiting for a cab to my second home (O'Hare Airport), then to my family in Massachusetts.

Since I am part of a large mostly Catholic family, I am beginning to wonder if the conversations at Thanksgiving will focus at all on the new translation. Frankly, I hope not. I could use four new translation-free days!

But I can imagine the conversations turning in this direction. And there will be varying levels of knowledge about what is going to happen this weekend. Should be interesting.

Headed out soon. Please pray for the safety of all travelers.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bidding Adieu

Fr. Jim Martin's post touched my heart and summed up so much of my own feelings.


Worth the read.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Blessing Missals

My pastor blessed our new missals yesterday after the accouncements at the end of Mass.

I wrote a blessing this morning, in case anyone needs one for this weekend. Here you go:

O God of infinite love,
send your abundant blessing upon this (these) Roman Missal(s).
As your people begin to pray the Mass in a new English translation,
inspire us to be more attentive to the words that shape our faith.
Give us patience, wisdom, and understanding,
we pray,
that we may grow closer to your Son, Jesus Christ,
who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

Hope you find this helpful.
I am leaving tomorrow to spend time with my family in Massachusetts for the Thanksgiving holiday. Not sure how much internet access I will have, but I will try to post on the blog.
I hope that you enjoy a peaceful Thanksgiving.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lamenting on a Sunday

Sunday greetings.

Flew into Chicago early this morning, in time to attend Mass at my parish. Deep sadness as I prayed these texts for the final time.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Indianapolis, Indeed

Friday morning greetings from Indianapolis. Here to speak at the NCYC. There are about 21,000 Catholic youth here from all over the country. It is an amazing gathering.

We are housed (along with thousands of teens) at the J.W. Marriott, a new hotel here in Indianapolis, pictured here:

Many of WLP's contemporary artists are here to minister to those gathered. They include John Angotti, Ed Bolduc, Danielle Rose, the Jacob and Matthew Band, Noelle Garcia, Jorge Rivera, and Aaron Thomspon. After arriving yesterday, I attended Mass with some of our WLP artists serving as music ministers. I have to admit that I love listening to these talented musicians. It was a proud moment.

I will have more to share as these days unfold. Just getting geared up today.

I hope your weekend is a good one.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Translation Thursday: Mystagogy Mondays

Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Thursday."

Some of you might be wondering what the future holds for these new translation posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have had conversations about this with my colleagues at WLP and we have come up with a proposal. I am thinking about introducing "Mystagogy Mondays." Every time I say that title out loud, I think about the Bangles hit song, Manic Monday. Here's the refrain:

It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my funday
My I don't have to runday
It's just another manic Monday

I do like the idea of a manic mystagogy Monday. For those of you who visit Gotta Sing Gotta Pray generally on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you might want to consider visiting on "Mystagogy Mondays" after the First Sunday of Advent.
"Mystagogy Mondays" will give all of us a forum to share our insights, wonders, disappointments, and joys that we have discovered as we pray and sing the new translation of The Roman Missal, Third Edition. I will offer my own commentary, of course, and invite you to join the conversation.
I am inspired here by a section from Bl. John Paul II's apostolic letter, Mane Nobiscum Domine:
"The best way to enter into the mystery of salvation made present in the sacred 'signs' remains that of following faithfully the unfolding of the liturgical year. Pastors should be committed to that 'mystagogical' catechesis so dear to the Fathers of the Church, by which the faithful are helped to understand the meaning of the liturgy's words and actions, to pass from its signs to the mystery which they contain, and to enter into that mystery in every aspect of their lives."
So, my hope here is that "Mystagogy Mondays" will give us all the opportunity to reflect on "the meaning of the liturgy's words and actions" as they are ensconced in a new English translation. I hope you are willing to join in this new conversation.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Indianapolis Bound

Wednesday greetings.

I am gearing up for my final Roman Missal related trip of the year. Tomorrow I travel to Indianapolis for the National Catholic Youth Conference. On Friday, WLP's composer and artist John Angotti and I will be presenting a session on the implementation of the new translation of the Roman Missal to those in the adult track, mostly youth ministers. Our focus is on how to talk with teens about the new translation. Then on Saturday, I will be speaking to a group of college-aged Catholics about the translation.

This will mark the end of a five-year journey for me, which began with a presentation at a regional convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) in August of 2006. That was the first presentation I led on the then upcoming translation and how musicians and parish ministers in general were feeling about change in general. Since then, especially in the last two years, I have spoken with thousands of people throughout the United States directly, and thousands of others around the world through this blog. It has been quite a journey, which comes to a conclusion over the next few days in Indianapolis.

Please pray for the tens of thousands of teenagers, young adults, youth ministers, speakers, bishops, priests, deacons, and chaperones who will be in Indianapolis over the next several days.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: A Pastoral Heart

Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Tuesday."

This past Sunday I attended Mass at Saint Matthias Parish in Somerset, New Jersey.

At homily time, the pastor spoke to us about the upcoming changes to the liturgical texts. He began with the statement, "I was the first priest in the state of New Jersey to sign the 'What If We Just Said Wait' petition, which asked if perhaps it would be a better idea to do some actual testing of the new translation before a full implemention." Folks, I sat there wondering what the rest of his talk was going to be about. Well, this pastor then told us that, even though he may not have been personally in favor of the way the new translation was being implemented, what he has come to realize is that the liturgy is, in fact, not his. He challenged us to think about this for ourselves. For instance, he said, we may think that a certain statue in the church building doesn't belong where it is; our personal tastes might dictate that we prefer the statue to be placed elsewhere. He reminded us that the liturgy does not belong to us as individuals. The liturgy, he said, is an expression of the Church. From there, he moved on to challenge us to ask ourselves the question: "Why do I come here? Why do I go to Mass?" He then turned the presentation over to a young lay pastoral associate who has recently begun liturgical studies at the University of Notre Dame. This young man walked us through a brief history of the reasons why the translation is changing. We all then watched a video about the "And with your spirit" change, which was quite good.

Then the pastor came back and really did a wonderfully pastoral job inviting us all to look at these changes as an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord. This was a man who showed a deeply pastoral heart. He obviously loves the people of his parish and he showed us that there is real possibility for growth and renewal in the next several months.

I spoke with him after Mass and thanked him for his words. I told him I thought it was the most pastoral talk I had heard about the new translation. Good man. Good pastor. I believe they will be doing similar things at homily time next week at the parish. And on Saturday they will be doing a "practice Mass" during which people will be using the new translation. They have also scheduled two talks by one of the priest-residents on the history of the Mass.

Even though this pastor honestly expressed his own reservations about the new translation, he was a faithful leader of his flock. I really appreciated his words.

How is it going in your parish?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bishops' Meeting in Baltimore

Monday greetings from Baltimore.

The U.S. Bishops are meeting here this week. Last evening, many of the publishers of The Roman Missal, Third Edition, were thanked for their work by Archbishop Aymond, the current chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship. I was privileged to be in attendance, along with Mary Lou Paluch Rafferty, the owner of the J. S. Paluch Company and World Library Publications, as well as Bill Rafferty, our president. It was great to see our colleagues from the other publishing houses at the reception. There is a sense here that, with just a few weeks away, we are about to exhale our anxiety. I sang in the schola at morning Mass with the bishops. The Holy, Memorial Acclamation, and Lamb of God were sung to the Missal chants. In case you are wondering, the bishops themselves have not yet completely learned these settings, so we all moved through them together as best we could. It will certainly take time. It was interesting to listen to where in these chanted texts the bishops decide to elongate syllables or take large pauses. For instance, in the Holy, there is a huge pause between the final "hosanna" and "in the highest." Should be interesting to see how these chants end up being actually sung by the majority of Catholics.

I will have much to share tomorrow about my experience at St. Matthias Parish in Somerset, NJ, where I attended the 7:30 A.M. Mass yesterday. It was a time of very heavy and intentional catechesis about the new translation at that parish. More tomorrow.

I am spending the rest of the day here in Baltimore, in meetings to continue to plan the first annual Mid-Atlantic Congress for Pastoral Leadership.

Here's the view from my window overlooking the Inner Harbor here in Baltimore.

Beautiful day, as you can see.

Back to Chicago later today, then "New Translation Tuesday" tomorrow.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, November 11, 2011

On the Road Again . . .

My apologies for missing my posts these past few days.

I arrived back in Chicago early yesterday morning and the day just ran away; filled with meetings.

Then it was time to empty the suitcase, wash and dry the contents, and re-pack for the next trip.

I am currently in the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey. I just flew into Newark Airport from Chicago and just settled in at the Crowne Plaza in Somerset, NJ, pictured here.

When I went to place my room key into my wallet, I noticed that the room key from my hotel in Lynchburg, Virginia was still there. I think I need some extended time at home! Tomorrow I am presenting two workshops at the annual Metuchen Diocesan Faith Formation Convocation, "Apprentices to Christ/Aprendices de Cristo." My workshops are entitled "The Power and Potential of Liturgical Catechesis" and "The Roman Missal, Third Edition: Opportunities and Challenges for Full, Conscious, and Active Participation." I gave the keynote address at this convocation last year and enjoyed the dedicated Catholics here and their engagement with their faith.

On Sunday I leave New Jersey and head to Baltimore, where the U.S. bishops are meeting next week. The owners of the J.S. Paluch Company (WLP's parent company) and I will be attending a reception with the bishops on Sunday night. Publishers of the Roman Missal have been invited to this reception to mark the reception of the new translation of the Missal. Hopefully I will have lots to share.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Final Day of the Mission in Lynchburg

The final day of the parish mission here in Lynchburg has arrived.

It has been a wonderful experience here with a dedicated group of Catholics. Here's a photo a snapped last night:

We focused on the Eucharist last night, talking about the table of sacrifice, the table of nourishment, and the table of reconciliation. The sessions concluded with a ritual in which the parishioners were invited to reverence the altar.

I am grateful for this opportunity to have spent time with these Catholics excited about learning more about what it means to live a Catholic sacramental life. Two more sessions today. We are focusing on the meaning of the sacrament of Confirmation in our lives. Then we will talk about what this mission experience has meant in their lives.

Looking forward to another day of faith sharing here in Lynchburg.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: Some Anxiety

Welcome to this "Virginia" installment of "New Translation Tuesday."

Well, the days are counting down; we are nineteen days away from implementation and I have to admit that I am feeling some anxiety as the date approaches.

Here in Virginia, I attended three Masses this past weekend at the parish in which I am presenting a mission. The pastor has a wonderful sense of the ars celebrandi. He prays the Mass beatifully. He is engaging and strong as a celebrant. This is a priest who knows the Sacramentary. We have had several long discussions about the newly translated missal. He has spent lots of time preparing for a new day in his priesthood. As my pastor has done, he has echoed the sentiments of many priests with whom I have spoken. They say things like, "These are the prayers into which I was ordained." "These are the prayers that have shaped my Catholic life, both personally and as a leader of prayer." "I love these prayers." "While I find places in the current Sacramentary where the translation is week, it remains the book that has guided my life."

Every one of these priests has been trying their hardest to prepare for what is to come, which is most definitely a very different English style of prayer. They are working hard to figure out ways to pray texts that do not roll off the tongue easily. I have a tremendous amount of respect for these men. And you know that I have been praying for them.

As I watched the members of the congregation this weekend as the presidential prayers were being prayed with confidence and strength, I wondered what this particular parish's experience will be in a few months. I am hoping (honestly I feel sometimes against hope?) that everything will be fine. This is where my anxiety creeps in. What about those places where the priest has done little to prepare; those places where there is a sense of ambivalence about liturgical prayer in general; those places where there has been little or no preparation for what is to come? Because in these places dwell my brothers and sisters, I am anxious about them.

As these days of the current translation wane, how are you feeling? What is your heart telling you?

Thanks for listening.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Mission Begins

Monday greetings from Virginia. Had a few free hours yesterday and went for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. With the trees without leaves in the higher elevations, the vistas were stunning. Took my breath away.

The parish mission here at St. Thomas More in Lynchburg begins in about an hour. This morning's focus is on "re-claiming the power of baptism." Wonderfully hospitable people here. Here's a fuzzy shot I took of one of the many posters placed around the parish center.

One of my friends, when seeing this photo, said, "Wow, Jerry, I didn't realize that you take care of the refreshments and the childcare, too!"

Please pray for the folks here at the parish as the mission unfolds.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Greetings from Lynchburg, Virginia

Sunday greetings from Lynchburg, Virginia, a beautiful area of our country.

I am here for several days, leading a parish mission entitled: "Washed, Anointed, and Fed: Now That We Belong to Christ." We will be spending time focusing on what it means in our lives that we have been baptized, confirmed, and receive the Eucharist each week.  Here are a few photos of this beautiful church.

Folks, I think I need this parish mission more than anyone here. After a whirlwind year, it's time for me to take some time to listen to the Lord, to re-focus my own spiritual life, to figure out new ways to respond to the call issued on the day of my own Baptism, to put to good use the gifts I received on the day I was confirmed, and to be renewed in my own love for the Eucharistic Lord.

Please pray for the good people of St. Thomas More as this mission unfolds. I plan to post regularly in the next few days.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Translation Thursday: Just a Link

Welcome to "New Translation Thursday." I have an insanely packed day, really no time to dedicate to the blog, so I have decided to share this link with you, in case you have not yet read it.

16-year-old Latin whiz finds new liturgy language lacking

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Please Do Us a Favor

Wednesday greetings.

I don't ask the followers of this blog for direct help all that often, but this is an easy one. We are preparing for the NCYC convention (30,000 + teenagers!) in Indianapolis in a few weeks. We are asking for some input to some simple questions for one of our presentations. And if you could get a teenager to reply, that would be great.

Please visit WLP's Facebook Page and add your comments to the questions about belief. I would appreciate it. (And if you haven't become WLP's friend on Facebook, please do so during your visit.)

Thanks so much.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: Truths Trapped in Translation?

Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Tuesday."

I am trying to take a little time each day to spend with the prayers in the newly translated Missal. Some days are more inspiring than others. Here is the Collect for Holy Thursday, with which I have been praying today:

O God, who have called us to participate
in this most sacred Supper,
in which your Only Begotten Son,
when about to hand himself over to death,
entrusted to the Church a sacrifice new for all eternity,
the banquet of his love,
grant, we pray,
that we may draw from so great a mystery,
the fullness of charity and of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

My goodness, there is a lot going on in this prayer. I have read this aloud over and over again. While I certainly understand that the proclamation of the theological truths expressed in this prayer are essential to forming a Eucharistic faith, I am left wondering if this is one example where the strict translation rules have produced a text that is virtually impossible to proclaim well and whose meaning is impossible to grasp when heard at Mass. I am wholeheartedly behind a translation that recovers what our current translation may have paraphrased or glossed over. I just wonder if, when actually proclaimed and prayed, the truths expressed might be lost because of the difficulty celebrants will encounter when preparing and proclaimng this prayer. As always, time and actual experience will be the key.

My ears are going to be much more attentive beginning in Advent. How about yours?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.