Catholics get ready for new translation of Mass

November 21, 2011 3:53:03 PM PST
At the start of Advent on November 27th, a new translation of the Catholic Mass goes into effect, marking the biggest change in the liturgy since Vatican II in the 1960s.

Four times during a Roman Catholic Mass a priest says "may the Lord be with you." And up until now, the faithful have responded "and also with you." But according to the Catholic Church that wording doesn't convey the meaning the original Latin texts intended. And so, as of this coming Sunday the faithful will answer "and with your spirit." It's just one of several changes coming to the liturgy.

"When you say 'the Lord be with you' and we say 'and with your spirit,' we're interested in your spirit in connection to this moment in the liturgy," said Monsignor Richard Hynes, Archdiocese of Chicago.

Monsignor Hynes is one of those in charge of implementing the changes within the Archdiocese of Chicago. They come, he says, from a new translation to the Roman Missal, the book that contains all the texts and prayers used during Mass. He says the Church believed the original English translation, done in the late 1960s, just wasn't good enough.

"It didn't capture the depth of spirit of the original Latin. The new texts are more biblical. They strengthen their connection to the bible. There's a greater poetry in them, rather than just factual," said Hynes.

The changes are not unexpected. Churches around the city have been preparing their parishioners for weeks. Pamphlets with the new texts will be on most pews this coming Sunday.

At Old St. Patrick's church in the West Loop, Father Paul Novak says some people are taking to it better than others.

"There are those that changed once and are finding it difficult to change again. Change is difficult for folks, whether it's liturgy or anything else," said Novak.

Those ABC7 spoke to in front of Holy Name Cathedral Monday had mostly good things to say.

"I'm excited about it. It will probably take some getting used to, but I'm excited," said Bridget Cullen.

"We have to move with the times and it's necessary that changes be made," said Franciso Elmudesi.

The biggest changes, however, will come to the texts read by the priest during Mass. Monsignor Hynes even said that after 40 years of saying Mass, he's sure that even he will trip over the words. But he believes in the end the experience for the faithful will be improved.

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