Beginning on the 1st Sunday of Advent 2011, liturgical changes go into effect throughout the dioceses of the United States by order of our bishops. Technically, we will not be celebrating "a new liturgy', but a new translation of the Roman Rite promulgated some 10 years ago. To help our parishioners, I plan to give an evening of instruction on the changes in late October. Also, liturgy cards have been purchased and will be placed in our pews before the beginning of Advent.
Every prayer offered by the priest at the altar has been re-translated-and some with fairly significant changes. The goal has been to render a more faithful translation of the Latin texts, but also to set a standard to help guide translators into other languages around the world. Fr. Foley sought to guide us priests back into more faithful celebration of the Eucharist for the spiritual benefit of our people. I will do my best to follow liturgical guidelines faithfully.
Prayers and responses by lay people during the Mass are also newly translated, and could be initially confusing; that is one reason we will discuss these changes in advance. Be assured that the new translations, which at times may sound unusual, are more faithful to the original Latin, and probably familiar to most of our Catholics who recall "pre-Vatican II" prayers at Mass. All changes in life mean that something is lost, something is gained. Briefly, in this case, familiarity and more colloquial language at Mass will be lost, but more elevated, poetic, and traditional language will be gained.
What really matters? As St. Benedict says in this Rule, "That in all things, God may be glorified." And I would add: That our people be enriched in faith, encouraged to grow in genuine love of God and of one another, and discover anew the beauty of Catholic worship. What is required? A good attitude, a willingness to appreciate the liturgical changes and how they can aid our journey into God.