Liturgy Corner

Carmel Parish Bulletin articles from the Liturgy Committee


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8/1/12 – New Year’s Resolution

The New English Translation of the Roman MissalI hope everyone’s enjoyed the first week of 2012.  If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution, I hope it’s managed to last at least the past seven days.  I’m typically not one to make resolutions, but I am going to ask all of us to make one together.

This year, I ask every one of us to work on getting the new responses to Mass right.  It’s clear that we’re trying to remember them, but there are still some parts where the assembly’s collective response is a mix of old and new, sounding something like “It is right and just to give you thanks and praise”, or “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you enter under my roof…”

It does take some effort to try and learn new words when we’ve used the old ones for decades, so we need to be proactive!  Pick up a pew card on you way into the church, keep it on hand in case you need it, and let’s work on making sure we’re speaking with one voice once again in 2012.

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20/11/11 – It’s On the Cards

Over the course of this year, we have begun to use the new English translation of the Roman Missal.  This began first of all with singing parts of the Mass, then the introduction of much of the Order of Mass from Pentecost Sunday.

To assist parishioners in becoming familiar with the new Order of Mass, we included the people’s responses that changed on the projection system for people to follow.

The danger with constantly putting everything ‘up on the screen’ is that it is easy to become reliant on it.  For many years we were able to respond and pray throughout the Mass from memory, and with time, we should be able to do so again.

For this reason, the changed responses and prayers of the Mass will not be included on the projection system from next weekend.  For those people who are still not completely confident with some of the longer texts (such as the Creed, Confiteor and Gloria), the pew cards of the Order of Mass will still be available at the church doors, and we encourage you to use them when needed.  Of course at some Masses our projection system is not used as frequently, so people are used to referring to the pew card.

There may be some occasions (such as Christmas this year) when there will be a large number of people present who are not confident with the responses during Mass, and we may use the projection system again for the purpose of displaying responses if we consider it necessary.

So from next Sunday, make sure you take a pew card if you think you’ll need it to get through Mass.


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6/11/11 – Looking for A Missal?

Since we have started using the new translation of the Order of Mass, we have relied on projection systems and pew cards to recall the texts of prayers we used to know off by heart.  We will also come to know these new words by memory over time.  In the meantime, many of us like having access to a copy of the prayers, even if it’s something to fall back on when we have a forgetful moment.

Sunday Missals

Perhaps your old Sunday Missal is getting a bit tired and worn out like these ones?

A number of people have asked when a Sunday missal will be available to purchase.  There are several missal options becoming available during this month and beyond.  As I mentioned before, it is understandable that people would like to have a copy to refer to until the new words “roll off the tongue”.

A personal missal or Mass book can be useful when we are not familiar with the texts and need a copy to follow.  When Mass was still celebrated in Latin, many people followed the Mass through the pages of a missal.  The Latin texts were printed on the left-hand side, with an English translation on the right.

For the majority of us who can hear and understand what is said at Mass, a personal missal or Mass book should ultimately be used as a preparation tool.  Once we’ve managed to memorise the new translations of our responses and prayers at Mass, we should leave the missal at home.

It is at home where a missal is particularly useful.  We can use a missal at home as a tool for our own personal preparation, reflection and prayer.  We can spend the week reading and reflecting further upon the scripture readings we have heard proclaimed on Sunday.  We can read over prayers such as the Collect (Opening Prayer) and use them in our own prayer during the days that follow, coming to a deeper understanding of the messages they are communicating.

Given that we have now been using the new translation of the Order of Mass for almost six months now, we will soon look at removing the prayers and responses from the projection system at Masses so that we do not become dependent it.  We will, however, continue to make the pew cards available at the church doors for those who require them.


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30/10/11 – Roman Missal Seminars This Week

Tuesday 1 November.

Some of us will remember the date as All Saints Day.  This year it is also Melbourne Cup Day.  It’s also the date that’s been chosen for the mandatory use of the new translation of the Missal in Australia.

Starting Tuesday, the new translation of the Missal is the only English edition of the Missal that can be used.  The transition to this edition, however, started at the beginning of this year when we were encouraged to begin singing the new translations of the Mass texts such as the Gloria, Sanctus (Holy, Holy), and Memorial Acclamations.

Through material here in Carmel and video excerpts at Masses, we have tried to come to a deeper understanding not just of the new translations, but of the celebration of Mass as a whole.

We also invite you this week to learn more about the new Missal translations through the information session on Tuesday night or Saturday morning.

There are a number of reasons why those of us in parishes are not more directly involved in the process of preparing new liturgical translations such as the Missal.  One of the obvious ones is the practicality issues related to working within such a large organisation as the Church.  How we work with these new texts, however, is up to us.  As such, I encourage as many parishioners as possible to join us at the sessions this week.


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4/9/11 – What Happens At Mass, Part XVII: The Dismissal

The introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal is not just a chance to learn new words, but will hopefully be an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of the Mass.

After communion, all in the assembly are invited to engage in silent prayer, or a thanksgiving hymn can be sung.  The Liturgy of the Eucharist then concludes with the Prayer After Communion.  The Concluding Rites then bring our celebration of the Mass to a close, sending us forth to proclaim the gospel to the world.

The Concluding Rites of the Mass typically include a blessing and a dismissal of the people.  The dismissal contains some new forms which previously did not exist.  Before the latest edition of the missal, the Latin edition had only one dismissal, “Ite, missa est.”  In the new translation, this is conveyed in English as “Go forth, the Mass is ended.”  The current translation guidelines, which insist on a word-for-word translation, would have resulted in this one form of the dismissal being included in the new English edition.

In 2008, three new options for the dismissal were added to the Latin edition of the Missal.  This was one recommendation from the 2005 Synod held in Rome for the Year of the Eucharist.  The desire of the synod bishops was to communicate more clearly the fact that we are sent forth from the Eucharist to be Christ to the world.  These were added to the Latin edition, and subsequently translated into English for our new edition of the missal.  The four forms for the dismissal are now:

Go forth, the Mass is ended.
Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.
Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
Go in peace.

And then, motivated by the word, and nourished again by the Body and Blood of Christ, we can boldly and courageously move out into the world, responding fervently with the words, “Thanks be to God.”


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21/8/11 – What Happens At Mass, Part XVI: The Invitation to Communion

The introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal is not just a chance to learn new words, but will hopefully be an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of the Mass.

The Invitation to CommunionWhen the priest invites us to enter into communion, we respond by saying we are unworthy to receive Christ in the eucharist, but will accept God’s desire to heal us of our human frailty.  This response has been revised in the new translation, and probably sounds the strangest of the Mass texts to those who haven’t heard it before or are not aware of its origins:

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

While we are about to receive communion, the “roof” in this response has nothing to do with the roof of our mouths!  Like other texts that have been revised in the new translation of the Missal, this response bears a scriptural image that has been restored in this edition.

This response to the invitation to communion finds its origins in chapter 8:5-13 of the gospel according to Matthew.  A Roman centurion appeals to Jesus to heal his servant, who is ill.  Despite the centurion being symbolic of the “enemy” is this occupied Jewish territory, Jesus is willing to fulfil the request, and intends to visit the servant at the centurion’s home.  The centurion responds, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed.”

As such, when we respond to the priest’s invitation to communion, we echo the thoughts and the words of the centurion’s servant.  We are not worthy to receive the body and blood of Christ in holy communion.  Yet this is also a reminder and acknowledgement of the remarkable gift we receive.  We are truly healed, strengthened and nourished for the Christian journey.  As St Augustine once described it, we “become what we receive”, or “say ‘Amen’ to that which we are”, the body of Christ.

And as Jesus explains at the end of this encounter with the centurion, God’s will is done within us because of our faith.


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2/1/11 – New Mass Settings

This is an important weekend.  Yes, we are celebrating the feast of the Epiphany (on the earliest date possible in the liturgical calendar).  It is also the first weekend of the New Year, 2011.  This means that in Australia, we can begin to take the first steps towards implementing the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

The bishops in each country are responsible for determining when and how a new liturgical book such as the missal is to be implemented.  In the United States, for example, they hope to implement the missal – all of it – from the First Sunday of Advent this year.

Given the amount of work and preparation involved in implementing a liturgical text as large as the missal, our bishops have opted for a different approach.  Based on the recommendation of their National Liturgical Council, Australia will gradually implement the missal in stages.  The first stage begins now.

From 1 January 2011, parishes are able to begin using Mass settings (collections of parts of the Mass set to music) that have been newly composed or revised to suit the texts of the incoming missal.  From Pentecost Sunday, parishes are to gradually introduce the assembly’s spoken responses, with all spoken responses mandatory from November.  The prayers the priest recites would then be introduced sometime from November onwards, depending on when the published missal is available to parishes.

In Wentworthville, we already have copies of the revised edition of Mass Shalom by the Late Br Colin Smith CFC on order.  Australian composer Paul Mason has reworked this well-known Mass setting to the new texts.  Once it arrives, we will start to gradually introduce it into the Mass.  We will also display the words to help you learn the changes.

Hopefully we can all work together, not only to learn the new texts of the missal, but also to reflect on the meaning of our Church’s prayers, and come to a deeper understanding of the Eucharistic celebration.