Saturday, June 25, 2011

Roman Missal, Third Edition - The People's parts at Mass

PLEASE JOIN US FOR OUR PARISH PRESENTATION IN CHURCH Wednesday, 26 October 2011 from 7 to 8 p.m.

For updates on our parish preparations click -

Welcome to our series of brief explanations of the "changes" that will come to the Mass beginning November 26/27 - the First Sunday of Advent.  The first thing to note is that the word "changes" is not a good one, but it's probably unavoidable.

The Mass is not changing! The English translation is being updated. 

All the parts of the Mass remain; all the prayers remain in the same place; and all the roles of priests, deacons, lectors, cantors, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, altar servers, musicians, ushers and congregation members remain the same.  What "changes" are the English words.

Here's the first response we'll look at...

When the priest/deacon says "the Lord be with you" or "peace be with you," the new response will be "and with your spirit."

Here is what the US Bishops give as a commentary. (see our website homepage -which has a link to the US Bishops' full website. This will be available through Advent 2011).

At the beginning of Mass, immediately after the Sign of the Cross, the celebrant extends one of three different liturgical greetings to the people. The one that is perhaps most commonly used is “The Lord be with you.” It is a familiar line that will remain unchanged with the new translation.

However, our new response will be the first major change in the Order of Mass. Instead of “And also with you,” we will now be saying, “And with your spirit.” This new response will also be made at the four other times during Mass when this dialogue occurs: at the reading of the Gospel, at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, during the Sign of Peace (when the priest says, “The peace of the Lord be with you always”), and at the conclusion of Mass.

Why the change? At the most basic level, “And with your spirit” is the proper translation of the original Latin text: “Et cum spiritu tuo.” By correctly expressing this dialogue in English, we are actually aligning our translation with that of all the other major language groups, which have long been translating the Latin properly. For example, in Spanish, the response is “Y con tu espĂ­ritu.”

But even beyond the linguistic, the recovery of the word “spirit” also carries Scriptural meaning. One form or other of “The Lord be with you” appears multiple times in the Bible, including the greeting given by the Archangel Gabriel to Mary at the Annunciation: “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). Then, in the Pauline epistles, multiple variations of “The Lord be with your spirit” are employed as parting words to different church communities. Understood together, this liturgical dialogue in the Mass is an exchange whereby all present – both Priest and congregation – ask that the Holy Spirit (whom we call “the Lord, the giver of life” in the Nicene Creed) establish a stronger communion among us.
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