"New Translation Tuesday" has rolled around again.
One of my colleagues here at WLP told me about what happened in the parish at which she was the organist this past weekend. On Sunday, of course, the Mass was the celebration of the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. She told me that the pastor of the parish, although not a big fan of the new translation, has nonetheless prepared the prayers quite thoroughly each weekend and then prays them slowly and deliberately. When he arrived at the Prayer after Communion, this was his text:
Having feasted at the banquet of the heavenly Lamb,
we pray, O Lord,
that, finding joy in the nativity of Saint John the Baptist,
your Church may know as the author of her rebirth
the Christ whose coming John foretold.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
After he prayed the prayer, there was something about it that apparently just didn't make sense to him. So he shook his head, looked out at the congregation, and said, "Let's try that again." And he prayed the prayer again, slowly and deliberately, after which he shook his head again and the Mass continued. When I heard this story, I have to admit that I really felt badly for this priest. This is a difficult prayer, don't you think?
I have consulted several of my theologically astute colleagues here and we had a long discussion about the prayer's meaning. The prayer asks that the Church may know Christ, "the author of her rebirth." I was and still am confused with what the prayer means by the Church's rebirth. Does it mean that the Church was reborn in baptism? That seems kind of odd because a person is reborn in baptism and thus becomes a member of the Church. When does the Church's "rebirth" take place? Am I just being dense here? I need some help with this one, folks.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.