The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New liturgical year kicks off with changes to the Mass

For the past forty years we as Catholics have been used to saying the Mass one way and one way only. If you made it to Mass this past weekend, then you were probably reminded by your Priest, Deacon or commentator through the announcements that November 20, 2011 would be the last time we would hear the prayers said the way we've heard them for the last forty years. The Mass itself does not change only some of the words will change.

One year ends and a new liturgical year begins with Advent on the 26th and 27th of November 2011. For some time during the new liturgical year members will have to follow pew cards or the Roman Missal for new wording in the text of the Mass. An example of a change you will have to get familiar with is when the priest says: "the Lord be with you," the normal response would be: "and also with you." However, the new response will now be: "and with your spirit." Eventually everyone will be on point as we are today.

A word that you don't hear being used in our daily conversations would be "consubstantial". This word will now be said when we recite the Nicene Creed. It makes no sense saying the word if you do not know its meaning. The definition of consubstantial is "of the same nature, substance or essence." So where we used to say "one in being with the Father" we will now say "consubstantial with the Father." It's probably best we keep the book open for a while until we are able to say everything from heart. At some point you will have to clear your mind of all the old words and phrases that you've been used to for so many years. Out with the old and in with the new, as the saying goes.

Other changes you can look forward to would be in the music, and during Christmas when the Gloria is chanted. The words have changed and so has the music in the Gloria. Are you comfortable with the changes or does this move upset you? I am rather happy for the change, change is good. We've been so accustomed to saying the same prayers and words for the last forty years that the words could be very easily said without much though put into the meaning. We should be hungry week after week for participation in the Mass by devouring the words that we say, and not just to fulfill a Sunday obligation.

Not being born until after Vatican II, this will be the first change for me, therefore I am very excited about the new translation. This change is good because it is said to capture the true meaning of the original Latin text. Those who attend Church only on special days, e.g. Christmas, New Years and Easter will have the most difficult time adjusting, along with the older Priests who have been saying the Mass one way for a significant number of years. Of course there will be hick ups along the way, but that would be expected from both the clergy and laity.

Do you feel that enough has been done to prepare the members of your Parish with the new translation? Do you understand why the need for the change? Do you understand some of the words and phrases that will now come into effect. These are simply questions that you should ask yourself. If you don't understand something, will you take the time to ask questions so you are comfortable to explain it to others? Change is not coming, change is here. There is no turning back. I ENDORSE THIS ROMAN CATHOLIC ANNOUNCEMENT!

1 comment:

  1. Good insights Kevan! I'm sure that I'll be having more than my share of "OOPS" moments. all the best, Fr. Doug


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