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Liturgy Of The What?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 1:36 AM Comments (19)

Did you know there are more pages in the missal after the homily?

One of the most wonderful results of the implementation of the new translation of the missal in English speaking countries is just now starting to be seen, at least by me.

One of the things that I have noticed is that many people, many of whom never read from the missal at all, are now following the Mass with it. And what they are discovering is not limited to some new words, but a whole other part of the mass, the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

I have seen so many people following all the priest’s prayers during the Liturgy of the Eucharist who may have never done so before. Before the new translation, most people in my parish never picked up the missal at all and those that did mostly stuck it back in its little cubby right after the Gospel and never touched again.

Why bother? Its always the same, I know what to say/do.

But now with the new translation, many people are discovering anew and/or rediscovering the beauty and meaning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

This past weekend my pastor not only used the new translation, but as a double bonus he used the Roman Canon, as well. That’s Eucharistic Prayer I. You will be forgiven is you are not familiar with it since in many parishes is makes an appearance less often than those Christmas and Easter Catholics. But, wow.

I couldn’t help but look around at the faces and reactions of people as he listed of those saints of old ...

In union with the whole Church we honor Mary, the ever-virgin mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God. We honor Joseph, her husband, the apostles and martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, (James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Jude; we honor Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian) and all the saints. May their merits and prayers grant us your constant help and protection.

and then…

On the day before he was to suffer,
He takes the bread
and, holding it slightly raised above the altar, continues:
he took bread in his holy and venerable hands,
He raises his eyes.
and with eyes raised to heaven
to you, O God, his almighty Father,
giving you thanks, he said the blessing,
broke the bread
and gave it to his disciples, saying:
He bows slightly.
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT,
FOR THIS IS MY BODY,
WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.

Many of them looked as if this must be something entirely new added to the Mass with the new translation instead of the Eucharistic prayer of the ages, but they were rapt in attention to what was being said and done. But no matter what Eucharistic prayer is being used, so many people are really paying attention to the words in a way they may never have done before. They are discovering word by word the Liturgy of the Eucharist and that is a very good thing. A very good thing. It is almost like someone meant this to happen.

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About Pat Archbold

Pat Archbold
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Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company. Patrick, his wife Terri, and their five children reside in Long Island, N.Y.