Canadians began using the new translation of the Roman Missal on November 27th. Archbishop Thomas Collins believes the new translation is an opportunity for everybody in Toronto to get a little closer to the liturgy. Photo by Michael Swan

Toronto parishioners seem to accept new Missal

By 
  • November 30, 2011

TORONTO - Toronto’s first run at the new Sacramentary hit a few rough spots but didn’t upset many parishioners.

“I didn’t notice a lot of difference. It was more what the priest says, I think,” noted Our Lady of Lourdes parishioner Peter Maigher at the end of the 11:30 a.m. Sunday Mass. Maigher’s reaction was typical of what churchgoers told The Catholic Register at Nov. 26-27 Masses.

Lourdes pastor Fr. Bill Addley began the first Sunday of Advent Mass by blessing and receiving the new Sacramentary and assuring his parishioners that the prayers in the new translation of the Roman Missal are deeply connected to Catholic tradition and Christian history. There has been a book called the Roman Missal since at least 1570, and some of the prayers in the book date back to the fourth century, Addley told the packed downtown church.

But months of preparation didn’t stop the Lourdes choir from singing the Memorial Acclamation they know best: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”

Because it is not addressed to Christ, this memorial acclamation did not make it into the new English version of the Mass.

At St. Brigid’s parish, pastor Fr. Carlos Sierra can’t blame the choir for the first liturgical faux pas of the season. When the singers declined to sing the Gloria, Sierra enthusiastically led the assembly in reading the new text.

By the end, Sierra realized what he had done.

“That is the words of the new Glory,” Sierra said. “Except that in Advent we don’t say it. But it’s good practice.”

Sierra has been preparing his parish for the new translation for weeks in his Sunday homilies. The opportunity for people to really examine what they are praying and why has been a blessing, he said.

“It’s not there automatically,” he said.

When sleepwalking through the Mass is not an option there’s always a chance the prayers will catch us by the heart. Which is not to say everybody embraces change.

“I like the old one better,” said Kate Semple, a Grade 9 student, after the Saturday evening Mass at St. Brigid’s. “The old one was easier to learn.”

Our Lady of Lourdes pastor Fr. Bill Addley began the first Sunday of Advent Mass by blessing and receiving the new Sacramentary

Our Lady of Lourdes pastor Fr. Bill Addley began the first Sunday of Advent Mass by blessing and receiving the new Sacramentary

- Michael Swan

Diana FitzGerald, who teaches catechism to Catholic public school children, notes the new language is more difficult, especially in a city full of immigrants whose first language may not be English.

“Consubstantiation, that’s a very difficult word,” she said.

But even the difficult words may eventually get easier, she said.

“You get used to it,” said FitzGerald.

NewMissalCardsNov27_4For Maria Martinez the surprising thing about the new English translation is how some of it is closer to the words she grew up saying in Spanish. Right off the top, the new reply to the priest’s greeting of “The Lord be with you,” now translated as “And with your spirit,” is just what is said in Spanish — “Y con tu espíritu.”

Gerald Day was struck by similarities to an Anglican service he recently attended.

“I was astounded how close they were,” he said on his way out from Lourdes.

Sharma Mahendralingan at Lourdes didn’t realize the new translation would be used the first Sunday of Advent.

“I wasn’t expecting a change, but it was OK,” said Mahendralingan.

“I noticed there were some changes and they were interesting, but minor,” said Lourdes parishioner Martha Lynch.

The new translation is an opportunity for everybody in Toronto to get a little closer to the liturgy, said Archbishop Thomas Collins in a letter to the archdiocese.

“We pray that the Third Edition of the Roman Missal will bring us new appreciation for a sacrament that is the summit of our experience as Catholics,” he wrote. “Renewed in worship, renewed in Christ, let us walk together as this new chapter of our faith journey unfolds.”

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