When I first heard about the changes in the Mass that are taking effect in November, I thought “What?!? What needs to be changed?!?” and I immediately went to a Web site to look up these “changes.” I also immediately decided I didn’t like them.
I talked to my mom about it that same day and she said, “So the words are changing a bit. It doesn’t take away from the meaning. It’s nothing to get worked up over.” I remember thinking I still didn’t like it. . . but, like it or not, changes are coming.
In January, I joined the St. Anthony Messenger Press family. One of my first big assignments was promoting the Catholic Update Guide to Changes in the Mass. The DVD/CD package contains video segments and printable handouts for parishes to assist them in teaching staff and parishioners about the changes in the Roman Missal (beginning the first Sunday of Advent 2011). While I was excited to work on the project, I was still not excited about the actual changes to the prayers at Mass.
As I watched the different segments of the video, I began to understand the why behind the changes, which helped me feel better about making them. Without watching the videos and listening to Fr. Greg Friedman talk about the reasons behind the changes, I am convinced I would still not like these new words.
Getting some background on the meaning of the words that we currently use, as well as the words we will use starting in November, has helped me to understand and appreciate the liturgy more fully than I had before.
I think most parishes are doing some sort of discussion or presentation regarding the changes. I would strongly encourage you to attend one, especially if you are feeling a little anxious about the changes, as I was. If your parish doesn’t offer anything (or is possibly waiting until the fall), you can watch Fr. Greg Friedman and hear his take on the changes right now.
****Featured photo from: Simon Howden