Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Translation Tuesday: How Would You Respond?

Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Tuesday."

At a conference I attended recently, a woman, who had been a diocesan director of Christian initiation, but now works in another field, asked me a question. She prefaced the question by telling me how disappointed she was with the entire process that led up to our new translation of the Missal, especially with the last-minute changes that were made to texts that our bishops had spent years discussing and honing.

She looked me squarely in the eyes and said, "Jerry, what am I supposed to do? I just don't feel inspired at Mass any more and I am afraid that I might drift away."

I had my own response to her, which I will share on Thursday. What would your pastoral and charitable response be?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mystagogy Monday: Mass of Saint Ann and a Long Preface

"Mystagogy Monday" greetings to all. Gosh, it feels great to be home here in Chicago for awhile.

The Southwest Liturgical Conference last week in Dallas was a great experience for me and it seems that the participants got a lot out of it as well.

Planning has begun for next year's conference, to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The emerging theme is focused on mystagogical/liturgical catechesis. I will be playing a role as a "mystagog" during the conference. The planners have some great ideas for the conference, which will include several liturgical catechesis "process" pieces. I will keep you posted.

Yesterday, I attended Mass at my parish, St. James, here in Chicago. The last time I was there was at Epiphany. The people seem to be getting accustomed to the new translation. It was great to be singing Ed Bolduc's Mass of Saint Ann. The music director added the Gospel Acclamation from that Mass and I found it strong and stirring. The pastor has begun using the newly composed chant for the Preface, which the monks from his Archabbey (most notably Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB) have made available. He is so much more comfortable with these "Saint Meinrad" tones. The preface he used had a sentence in it that had to be ten lines long; I got lost, even though he chanted it beautifully. Maybe I need to have a copy in front of me, just to comprehend it.

Well, lots and lots to do here as I begin to settle in to a long stretch of time here at WLP and JSP.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Two "Giants" : Foley and Kelly

Friday greetings from the Southwest Liturgical Conference here in Dallas.

My apologies for not having posted yesterday; the day just ran away from me.

I have given two presentations here, entitled "Giving Voice to the Roman Missal." The talk is basically an exploration of the ways that we can apply the methodology outlined for mystagogical catechesis in Benedict XVI's Sacramentum Caritatis to the celebration of Mass. Our Church leaders have said that the advent of the new translation of The Roman Missal should signal a new era of liturgical catechesis, a catechesis that many feel was missing after the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council were implemented. During the presentation I share my own experiences of mystagogical catechesis which I have learned over the years, chiefly through my own experiences with the catechumenate.

Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB, a monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in southern Indiana, attended my presentation yesterday.

Fr. Columba, as many of you know, is one of the "giants" in the field of chant. He and I had a spirited conversation about the chant in The Roman Missal, which will continue today when he visits us at the WLP booth on the exhibit floor here at the conference.

Certainly a high point for me here at the conference was the keynote address given by Fr. Edward Foley yesterday.

Ed was my faculty advisor and one of my professors when I earned the doctorate at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago during the 1990's. Ed was inspiring, challenging, even-toned, and honest as he talked about the challenges we face in "passing on the torch" of full participation to the next generations of "X-ers" and "Millennials." It was eye-opening and deeply challenging. Ed was honest about some of the less-then-transparent issues surrounding the development of the new translation. As he spoke, I thought once again about how much I appreciate and respect this man, another one of the "giants." Through his preaching, teaching, and presentations, he reveals a deeply faithful man with a capacity for critical thinking that is brilliant. I look forward to seeing this presentation in print in the future. Ed told me that this will happen in the next few months. I will keep you posted.

One more full day here at the conference, then it is home to Chicago tomorrow.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Dallas Rainy Greetings

Wednesday greetings from rainy Dallas Texas.

The Southwest Liturgical Conference is going well. Gave my first talk and led the WLP music showcase today.

Not much more to report from here. More tomorrow.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Translation Tuesday: Chanting the Conclusion to the Readings at Mass

"New Translation Tuesday" greetings from Dallas, Texas. Flew here very early this morning for the Southwest Liturgical Conference.

At the prayer services at the retreat in the Rockville Center Diocese on Sunday, the scripture readings were concluded with the chanting of "The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God." With a roomful of pastoral musicians, it went splendidly. Just wondering how many of you have implemented this in your parish? I have heard from some that they are hesitant to ask the lectors to sing. I have been in at least one parish where the cantor came to the microphone at the cantor stand and did the chant following the lector's proclamation of the reading.

So, feel free to comment. If you have implemented this option, how is it going? If you haven't, do you plan on doing so?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, January 23, 2012

NPM Retreat in Rockville Center

Monday greetings from Chicago.

Yesterday I flew to New York and led a retreat for a group of about 75 members of the Rockville Center chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. It was a grand day at Cure of Ars parish in Merrick, New York, out on Long Island. Here's a photo of the interior of the church.

It's always great to be with a dedicated group of musicians. What a great group with great leadership; speacial thanks to Chris Ferraro and the team in Rockville Center for your hospitality. And it's always a treat to be on the East Coast.

Flew back to Chicago this morning and tomorrow morning leave for the 50th Annual Southwest Liturgical Conference in Dallas, Texas. Should be an exciting week there as well. I am giving two workshops: "Giving Voice to the Roman Missal."

I have tons to catch up on here at the "home office." I will be sure to share the wonders of the Liturgical Conference with you as the week unfolds.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Retreat Concludes

Friday greetings from sunny San Diego.

The U.S. Army Chaplains retreat concludes this morning. It has been a wonderful week of prayer and song with these men.

I am supposedly headed home to Chicago this afternoon, where there is a winter storm warning; lots of snow expected there. Fully expecting a flight cancellation; we shall see. On Sunday morning I head to Long Island where I am leading a retreat for the NPM membership there. Hopefully I get back to Chicago in time to fly to La Guardia on Sunday morning.

This morning's Mass marked the first time that I did not use a worship aid for Mass. Of course, there was no Creed and we did not pray the confiteor. A bit at a time, I guess.

Well that's about it for now. Please pray for the safety of all travelers.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

U.S. Army Chaplains and Their Good Pastoral Work

Wednesday greetings to all.

I have been so impressed this week by the 70+ U.S. Army Catholic Military chaplains gathered here in San Diego for their retreat.

It strikes me that these past ten years have been challenging ones for the priesthood here in the United States, especially given the clergy sexual abuse crisis, coupled with the many "downsizings" of parishes in dioceses across the country. The priests gathered here weather these conditions, but they have other issues with which to deal. I have been told that army chaplains are a bit different than chaplains in other branches of the militray. When deployed, these men are actually on the lines of battle. They are with the men and women of the army in places where war is raging. They see death on a regular basis and much of their pastoral care revolves around situations that you and I will never have to face.

The week has made me grateful for their good pastoral work and for the sacrifices they make to care for those who defend the causes of liberty ad justice around the world.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Translation Tuesday: The World of In-Between

"New Translation Tuesday" greetings from San Diego, California. I am here helping with the liturgies and music for a retreat of U.S. Catholic Army Chaplains.

We began the retreat last night with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. I hadn't prayed anything from the Liturgy of the Hours since the advent of the new translation. I must admit a very good sense of comfortability with the language of the prayer. It was like visiting an old friend whom I hadn't seen in a while.

It did point out the reality with which we are dealing in the Church now. Especially for those who pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily (bishops, priests, deacons, and many lay Catholics), there will be a certain disconnect for quite some time. The language of the Hours is the language that we have been used to for so long, and from what I understand there is no push to get the Hours re-translated any time soon. So our leaders of prayer will continued to be formed by one style of prayer while needing to use a completely different style of prayer to lead us at Mass on weekdays and on Sundays, forming us by that prayer.

That point was hammered home quite poignantly last night at Evening Prayer here at the retreat. At the conclusion, the priest who led the prayer blessed and dismissed us. When he said "The Lord be with you," I know that I immediately began the "And also with you" response, as did some others. But there were priests in the room who literally raised their voices (up until this point they had not done so with the other texts they prayed), and said quite loudly "And with your spirit." It just jolted me. I guess it just pointed to the fact that we will be living in this kind of strange uneven liturgical world; for many of us, for the rest of our lives.

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, the "official" text of the Church, might be a haven for many who have told me that they are having real difficulty with the new translation at Sunday Mass. There is a familiarity there.

Well, that's it for now. I hope that you are having a good week.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Translation Thursday Greetings from New Orleans

"New Translation Thursday" greetings from New Orleans. I am here for the Johannes Hofinger Conference, delivering the opening keynote address tomorrow morning. Here is the setting, the Pontchartrain Center:

This is my first major Catholic conference since the advent of the new translation of The Roman Missal. One thing that has been on my mind is the fact that there are many, many musical settings of the Mass being implemented all over the country. I wondered if, at gatherings like this one, the local music committee would perhaps choose the chant setting from the Missal as the common setting. That is not happening at this conference. I plan to talk with the organizers about the reasons behind their decision.

As the Catholic conference and convention season begins to unfold, I will be paying close attention to the approach to Mass settings and will surely report to you as we go along.

Please pray for many hundreds gathered from all over the southeast and gulf states gathered here for the Hofinger conference.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Translation Tuesday: Lots of Upcoming Travel

"New Translation Tuesday" has come around again.

On a personal note, I did finally see an orthopedic doctor yesterday. After having my foot re-x-rayed, he told me he had good news and bad news. The good news was that I didn't fracture my ankle after all; the doctors at the Emergency Room on January 2 did not x-ray the foot, just the ankle, and what this doctor saw was an old injury from many years ago. Whew! But the bad news came when I took a look at the foot x-ray. A clean crack of the fifth metatarsal; so a broken foot. So now I am in one of those ski-boot looking contraptions and using a cane. But at least I now have the correct diagnosis and 6-9 weeks of recovery.

Well, there is not much new on the new translation front. I think we are all gradually getting used to the changes. I don't know when I will be able to go to Mass without the worship aid in my hand. It's going to be interesting next week when I am helping lead a retreat of U.S. Catholic Army Chaplains in San Diego. I better take a cheat sheet with me when I go.

I am traveling, broken foot and all, quite extensively over the next few weeks. I am presenting the keynote at the Hofinger Catechetical Conference on Friday in New Orleans. Then after a few days back here in Chicago, I leave for San Diego. Then a day back here, then it's off to Long Island for an NPM members retreat, back here for a day, then off to Dallas for the 50th anniversary of the Southwest Liturgical Conference.

I will keep you updated all the way along.

We are heavily into royalty payment season here at WLP; lots of intense work.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray. (Gotta pay royalties!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

"But I Haven't Gone All the Way Around Yet, Mommy"

Monday greetings to all.

Yesterday, at our Epiphany Mass at Saint James, something wonderful and, in a word, "cute," occurred.

The sharing of the sign of peace at Saint James is a bit more extended than in most parishes. People have no qualms about walking across our "hall" (our church building has been closed for over two years) to share the sign of peace with friends and neighbors. Since we are all gathered around the altar, placed at the center of the hall, there is a general feeling of closeness throughout the liturgy. Well, after the sign of peace was concluded (or so we all thought), the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion had lined up in their appropriate places and the Lamb of God was sung and concluded. It was then that I noticed a young boy of about three or four, carrying a little canvas backpack. He was walking up to each of the extraordinary ministers and touching their hands and smiling at them. He also grasped the hands of all who were seated in the front rows. It was one of those disarming moments of charm. His little round face, wearing the cutest smile, was simply too cute for words. When his embarrassed mother came forward to carry him away, he looked at her with tears in his eyes and said simply, "But I haven't gone all the way around yet, Mommy."

That experience, coupled with one of the most extraordinary piano improvisations (to the Hymn "We Three Kings) after communion, just made the entire Christmas season for me. I feel so blessed to be a Catholic and a member of Saint James Parish on the Chicago's near south side.

Do you have any "cute" stories to share; something out of the ordinary that has occurred at your parish?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Translation Thursday: Other Liturgical Rites

Welcome to ths installment of "New Translation Thursday."

In the recent newsletter from the Bishops Committee on Divine Worship, we received this news:

Use of Roman Missal Texts in Other Liturgical Rituals

In response to many questions from the body of Bishops both during and after the November 2011 USCCB plenary meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, Committee Chairman, wrote to the Bishops on November 30, 2011 to provide some information and clarification on the use of the Roman Missal, Third Edition and its impact on the celebration of other liturgical rites.

While a more formal communication is expected in the near future from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS), the Committee on Divine Worship offers these observations to guide Bishops, pastors, and priest celebrants in the integration of the Roman Missal.

Adaptations to be Made

In conversation with the CDWDS, the Committee understands that the following adaptations are to be made to other liturgical rites in light of the Roman Missal:

• Every occurrence of “And with your spirit,” including, for example, the dialogue between the confirmand and the bishop in the Rite of Confirmation

• The Confiteor

• The prayer of the priest and the assembly at the invitation to Holy Communion (“Behold the Lamb of God” and “Lord, I am not worthy”)

• The dismissal at other rites

• The prayers of the deacon/priest in preparation to proclaim the Gospel

Suggested Adaptations

The Committee suggests that the following adaptations can be made to other liturgical rites in light of the Roman Missal, though these do not constitute obligations:

• The Blessing of Water and the renewal of Baptismal Promises at the celebration of Baptism can be taken from the Roman Missal.

• The Nuptial Blessing at the celebration of Marriage outside Mass can be taken from the Roman Missal. (Note that the Latin texts of the Nuptial Blessings have been modified, so the texts of the Nuptial Blessings in the Roman Missal are not merely re–translations.)

• In the Funeral Liturgy outside Mass, one can make use of the various collects found in the collection of Masses of the Dead

• In the Liturgy of the Hours (individually or communally), one can make use of the proper collects from the Roman Missal

USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship
3211 Fourth Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017
© 2011 USCCB

As a publisher of worship resources, we first submitted texts for other liturgical rites in our resources with the new translation. For instance, in our rite of reconciliation, we changed the confiteor to reflect the new translation. We were told to change it back to the old translation, because the rite of reconciliation itself had not been re-translated. This was completely understandable, yet we knew that it would create a kind of ritual schizophrenia. Our customers complained, telling us that we had made a mistake. All we could do was to give the reasons we had received from the BCDW.

I am glad that this issue is being addressed. Of course, we will make the appropriate changes in our worship resources, although this will take time since our publishing schedule is about six months ahead.

One personal comment about this. My parents were recently at a wake service for my deceased uncle and when the priest said "The Lord be with you," my parents responded "And with your spirit," which caused the priest to look up in surprise. Not sure if he was surprised that there were practicing Catholics in the small assembly or if perhaps the response did not match what was in his ritual text. Just found this interesting, and certainly related to the issue being addressed here.

What happened in your parish, for instance, if you celebrated an Advent Reconciliation service? What texts did you use?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Offer It Up!"

Wednesday greetings to you all.

Well, spent most of the day yesterday fielding calls from doctor's offices, in an attempt to see an orthopedic specialist for my fractured ankle. I am not one who is usually injured or ill, so being involved in our health care system has certainly been an eye-opener for me. "I can't possibly make it to an appointment on Thursday." (6:45 A.M.) "Our only appointment is Thursday" (11:45 A.M.) "But I thought I had said I cannot make a Thursday appointment." "Oh, I'll call you back." "We do have two doctors that can see you on Thursday." (2:30 P.M.) "Don't you remember I said that Thursday was impossible for me?" "Thanks for your patience all day; I do have one doctor that can see you on Thursday." "I'm not sure that I have made it clear enough that I am not available on Thursday at all." "Oh, then I guess we will need to schedule you for Monday." "Don't you have anything Wednesday or Friday?" "No, they are all in surgery on those days." "Hello, Mister Galipeau, this is Doctor X's office, let me check with the doctor and I will call you back." (6:45 P.M.). Waited to no avail.

So, I cannot even imagine what it must be like for people with very serious illness. I was well schooled by my mother growing up in a large Catholic family. Her words rang true yesterday as they have for most of my life: "Jerry, offer it up!"

So, it's off to primary care doctor today to have the cast checked out and then we will see where it goes from there.

I have a keynote presentation at the Hoffinger Conference at the end of next week in New Orleans, a week-long retreat for Catholic Army Chaplains the following week, then a retreat for NPM musicians on Long Island the following weekend, then two talks and a workshop at the Southwest Liturgical Conference the following week. If you are in one of our country's airports and spy this blogger being carted around in a wheelchair, please stop, wave, and say, "Jerry, offer it up!"

Thanks for listening to my ramblings this morning; sounds a little like those "Merry Medical Christmas" letters we get each year.

New appreciation gained for those who are chronically ill.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Translation Tuesday: Fracture and Tempo

"New Translation Tuesday" greetings to you all. And Happy New Year.

2012 began with a bang, of sorts, for this blogger. On Sunday evening, January 1, I was walking through my home and twisted my ankle after having missed a step; didn't think it was too serious until I woke up yesterday. Spent most of the day at the hospital and, after having x-rays taken, found out that my left ankle is fractured. Yikes! Is there a newly translated prayer for fractured ankles?

Well, after having spent nearly four hours in a crowded Emergency Room waiting to be seen yesterday, my little injury is put into perspective. There are lots of very sick adults and children out there.

As far as the new translation goes, I noticed that my own pastor seems very much at home with Eucharistic Prayer III, which he has been praying consistently since the beginning of Advent. I am still glued to the worship aid. The sign of peace response still trips me up, but I guess in time that will pass.

I have a question for you. For those of you with priests who tended to pray the prayers rather quickly in the past, have you noticed any change in speed? Someone told me that one of their priests, a "fast pray-er" slowed way down when he began to pray the new translation and now that he knows the cadence of the prayers and has become familiar with the Eucharistic Prayer, he has resumed his speed. How about you?

Hope this first week of the year is a good one for you.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.