It is important to begin by noting that the Mass itself is not changing. It’s perhaps misleading to speak of the “New Mass.” Some of the texts of the Mass are changing, but the elements of the Mass remain the same: the Introductory Rites, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Communion Rite and the Concluding Rites. That being said, here’s what you need to know about the Roman Missal, Third Edition (if you want a shorter explanation: click here).
Why are changes being made?
JPII promulgated the third edition of the Latin Roman Missal (Missale Romanum) in 2001, and our new missal will now reflect the additional prayers and revisions found in that missal. We are, after all, one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church and the Mass should reflect our unity. You will notice quite a few changes in wording largely because when the Latin Mass was first translated into English after Vatican II, some liberties were taken by the translators that are now going to be corrected. While perhaps an inconvenience, the words we say will now be closer to the texts used at Masses around the world.
When will the Missal begin to be used in the liturgy?
The new translation will be used with the start of Advent, 2011. That particular Sunday falls on November 27, 2011.
What are some of the changes?
The changes are bolded. The non-bolded text is there to give enough context so that you can recognize in which part of the Mass the change is occurring. Again, these changes have been made to make our English missal more true to either the Latin missal or to Vulgate (the Latin Bible).
|Old Text||New Text|
|‘The Lord be with you”
R: “And also with you”
|“The Lord be with you”
R: “And with your spirit”
|In the Penitential Act
“I confess to almighty God…that I have sinned through my own fault..in what I have done and in what I have failed to do. And I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,…”
|“I confess to almighty God…that I have sinned greatly…in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I ask blessed Mary, ever-Virgin…”|
|In the Gloria
“Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
We worship You, we give You thanks, we praise You for Your Glory
|“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.
We praise you, we bless you,
we adore you, we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory
|In the Nicene Creed:
“We believe in one God…maker of Heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen”
“We believe in one Lord…begotten, not made, one in being with the Father”
|“I believe in one God…maker of Heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible”
“I believe in one Lord…begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father”
|“Let us give thanks to the Lord our God”
R: “It is right to give Him thanks and praise”
|“Let us give thanks to the Lord our God”
R: “It is right and just”
|“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory…”||“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of hosts,
Heave and earth and full of your glory…”
|“This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven”||“For this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins”
|“Lord I am not worthy to receive you, only say the word and I shall be healed”||“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”|
What does all this mean?
It means that come Advent we will all have to follow the Missal closely as we get used to the changes in the Mass. For the most part, the changes in our responses are small (nearly the whole of them are listed in the table above, with the exception of the Mysteries of Faith). So that will make the transition easier for us as we assist at Mass.
The biggest changes are found in the prayers the priest recites. As the USCCB’s website tells us, “the style of worship will be more formal. But it will also be deeper theologically and more evocative emotionally and intellectually.” Meaning what? Some of the language may sound strange to our ears at first, but it’s intended to remind us that we are worshiping the one, true God. It’s supposed to sound a little strange so that we remember that what we are doing is neither unimportant nor ordinary. In the Mass we are doing nothing short of sacramentally renewing Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross – if this doesn’t call for special language, nothing does!
Hopefully this post has been some help to you. If you’d like to learn more, you can go to the USCCB’s site directly here. Or better yet, look at the new text of the Order of the Mass. I can’t encourage you enough, no matter how many years you’ve been Catholic, to take this opportunity of an updated Missal to deepen your (and your family’s!) understanding about the purpose, the structure, and the mysteries of the Mass! You may also want to check out A Deeper Understanding of the Mass.