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.