Padraig McCarthy responding to Bishop’s latest statement on New Missal
Just a note on today’s statement from the bishops after their Summer meeting this week: http://www.catholicbishops.ie/2011/06/16/june-general-meeting/
You may wish to put my comments on the website.
The statement from the bishops contains the following sections:
1. Benedict XVI 60th anniversary of ordination.
2. Safeguarding children.
3. National and International Eucharistic congresses.
4. New Missal
The final item in the statement contains the following (my emphasis):
The Missal contains all the prayers and instructions for the celebration of the Mass. From 11 September next, in dioceses and parishes throughout Ireland, people will experience the first changes to their prayers and responses at Mass. Only a small number of changes will affect the congregation and the order, structure and readings of the Mass are not changing.”
They probably mean to say that the changes in parts spoken by the congregation are small in number, in the context of the overall number of changes.
It is not in fact true that “Only a small number of changes will affect the congregation”.
Vatican II Constitution on the Liturgy, paragraph 33:
“The prayers addressed to God by the priest who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ are said in the name of the entire holy people and of all present.”
All of the changes, including changes in the prayers spoken by the priest in the name of the people, affect the congregation.
Where people speak the prayers themselves, they have perhaps a better opportunity to get to grips with them.
It seems to me that it will be more difficult for them to get to grips with changes in prayers spoken by the priest, when they have to listen to many sentences on average longer than people normally deal with, and when vocabulary and structure used are not in normal everyday use.
The first item in the bishops’ statement says: “Bishops congratulate the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI as he celebrates the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on 29 June”, and invites parishes and dioceses to mark the occasion. This is fine.
However, the fact that it is the first of the items led me to speculate on the order of priorities in the minds of the bishops. I would have used this as the closing item.
The Lord be with you!