"New Translation Tuesday" greetings to all.
Safely back here in Chicago after the Christmas weekend in Florida with family and friends.
I attended Christmas Mass at Midnight at Saint Mary Magdalen Church in Altamonte Springs, Florida. I was the director of liturgy and music at the parish from 1984 to 1990.
The parish was well-prepared for its many visitors at Mass. Before Mass, the pastor welcomed everyone, made a financial plea, then did a short catechesis on the changes in the Mass texts, inviting us to watch the large screens during the Mass, where the new texts would be projected.
He chanted the sign of the cross and greeting. Unfortunately, it was just text that was projected, so those of us who had not been there during the Advent Season had no way of knowing how to respond musically. But kudos to the parish for encouraging the chant. At the end of each of the readings, the cantor chanted the concluding acclamation and we all sang "Thanks be to God" and "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ." There was only one awkward moment during the creed. The person moving the slides hesitated too long at one moment and the creed just stopped, but we were soon all back on track. Before the creed, the pastor invited us to kneel during the moment when we proclaimed our faith in the incarnation. It was beautiful and dignified. I was so happy to see that the parish had chosen Steve Janco's Mass of Wisdom. The choir, brass, and timpani led us beautifully with these acclamations.
I was disappointed that the choir sang a "musical" from the evangelical protestant tradition for the forty-five minutes before Mass. There was no involvement by the assembly and each piece ended with a Cecil B. DeMille-esque finish that called for applause. The narration was strange; it was a mix of the actual Lucan infancy narrative and commentary on the birth of Christ. It was odd that the Gospel narrative was done before the actual Mass, the highlight of which is usually the Lucan Gospel proclamation of the birth of Christ. The choir obviously worked very hard on the music and I appreciated their work. It just didn't sound or feel very Catholic to me. I wanted to sing, but was prevented from doing so. Oh well.
The pastor prayed the new translation beautifully. He obviously was very well prepared. He prayed Eucharistic Prayer I. I found myself listening carefully, but felt that the language created some distance between God and me. This will all taking much more getting used to on my part.
The parish did an excellent job, over all, with the new translation this Christmas. I was proud of their work.
Well, I am one of the few here at WLP at work this week and I love it. No meetings; just time for doing catch-up and planning for 2012.
I hope that your Christmas Octave is filled with grace and peace.
How did the new translation "land" at your parish at Christmas?
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.