New Roman Missal

THE CONCLUDING RITES

The Concluding Rites are the shortest of the main segments of the Mass. Following the Prayer after Communion, the priest celebrant greets the people with “The Lord be with you.” He prays a blessing over the people, which ranges from simple to solemn. The priest or deacon then dismisses the people. The Latin words for the dismissal are Ite, missa est — “Go, you are sent.” (The word missa is what gives the Mass its name!) The word missa is from the same root as our word “mission.” At the end of Mass, we are not just dismissed, but sent forth with a mission. The liturgy we have celebrated should bear fruit in our lives. We are to carry the love of Christ that has been poured out on us to our families, our workplaces, our neighborhoods. “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” The Eucharist we celebrate is not just for Sunday Mass. We are to live the transforming power of Eucharist in everything we do.

Corinna Laughlin and Kristopher W. Seaman

“GO IN PEACE, GLORIFYING THE LORD BY YOUR LIFE”

The word mission comes from the Latin word mittere, which means “to send.” In the most general sense, a mission is an assigned duty or task. When we use the term mission in reference to the Church, we are talking about something more. The Church is missionary by its very nature, because it exists to continue the works of the risen Lord. The Church continues to respond to Jesus’ words: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19, NRSV). Each of the baptized is given a work and a task to accomplish: God’s work, God’s task, for the mission of which we are a part is not our own, but God’s. Through the sacraments, we are empowered for mission. Some of us go to mission lands, and others respond to the call to radical service as priests and religious. But every Christian is called to witness to the person and message of Jesus through the way we carry out our daily responsibilities, glorifying God by our lives.

Corinna Laughlin and Maureen A. Kelly

THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

In the Eucharistic Prayer, we pray to God the Father, through the Son, that the Holy Spirit will transform bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ so that we might enter deeper communion with God and one another. We pray that we too may be transformed. Because this prayer is the center and summit of the Mass, everything that happens in the liturgy is leading us to this high point. Following the Eucharistic Prayer, we pray the Lord’s Prayer, and share the Sign of Peace. As Christ offers us peace, we extend that peace to others. At peace with one another through Christ, we dare to approach the altar to receive his Body and Blood. The Liturgy of the Eucharist concludes with a period of silent prayer and the Prayer after Communion. Through this prayer spoken by the priest, we pray for Christ’s Body and Blood to bear fruit in our lives.

Corinna Laughlin and Kristopher W. Seaman

INVITATION TO COMMUNION

“Behold the Lamb of God, / behold him who takes away the sins of the world. / Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” We respond: “Lord, I am not worthy / that you should enter under my roof, / but only say the word / and my soul shall be healed.” The new translation of the Invitation to Communion, which faithfully renders the Latin, is also rooted in scripture. The priest’s invitation is a combination of John 1:29, with its beautiful echo of John the Baptist’s words in pointing out Jesus to the disciples, and Revelation 19:9, the angel’s words describing “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (NRSV). The people’s response is taken from the Gospel according to Matthew, when the Roman Centurion asks Jesus to heal his paralyzed servant. Jesus offers to go and cure him, but the Centurion’s faith in Jesus’ power to heal and save is such that he asks him to heal his servant with a word. This is a holy moment, as we are invited to approach the Lord, who offers us healing and life through the sacrament of his Body and Blood.

Corinna Laughlin and D. Todd Williamson

“LORD, I AM NOT WORTHY”

The Centurion was a Roman living and working in Jerusalem. Though not a Jewish believer, he had heard about Jesus, and when his servant fell desperately ill, he sought out the wonder-worker from Nazareth. Of course, Jesus agreed to come and cure the servant. But the Centurion responded with these words, a powerful act of faith: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; only speak the word and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8, NRSV; see also Luke 7:6). At every Mass, just before Holy Communion, we echo the Centurion’s words. In the revised translation of The Roman Missal, our response will change slightly, making the scriptural echo even easier to hear. “Lord, I am not worthy / that you should enter under my roof, / but only say the word / and my soul shall be healed.” The liturgy invites us, at this holy moment, to the Centurion’s faith in what Jesus can do. The power of Christ, which restored the Centurion’s servant to health, is offered to us in the Eucharist. We have only to accept the invitation. “Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb!”

Corinna Laughlin and D. Todd Williamson

PREFACE DIALOGUE AND THE EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

The word Eucharist means “thanksgiving.” We should think of it not as a noun, but as a verb — because Eucharist is something we do, a way of life. The Eucharistic Prayer is the center of the Mass. In the revised translation of The Roman Missal, you will notice several changes to this important prayer. The Preface Dialogue, the ancient words with which the prayer begins has been changed to be a more literal translation of the Latin. We say “And with your spirit” instead of “And also with you,” and “It is right and just” instead of “It is right to give him thanks and praise.” The Holy, Holy, Holy begins, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts” (instead of “God of power and might”). You will hear several changes in the Institution narrative as well, all of which were made to mirror more closely the ancient Latin of The Roman Missal. It will take time to get used to some of these changes. And it’s good to remember that while some of the words we use have changed, what we do remains the same: we Eucharist — we “give thanks.”

Corinna Laughlin and Kristopher W. Seaman

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

The words of the Eucharistic Prayer are prayed by the priest, but the faithful participate actively in this part of the Mass both through prayer and through three acclamations: the Holy, Holy, Holy (Sanctus); the Memorial Acclamation; and the Amen. Just before we sing the Holy, Holy, Holy, we are reminded that this is the song of angels and saints. In the Holy, Holy, Holy, earth unites with heaven in song. In the revised translation of The Roman Missal, you will notice just one change to the Holy, Holy, Holy. Instead of “God of power and might” we will sing, “God of hosts.” The word “hosts” refers to the heavenly hosts, the whole company of heaven. We are reminded not just of God’s mighty power, but of God’s kingdom that encompasses both heaven and earth.

Corinna Laughlin and Kristopher W. Seaman

THE REVISED TRANSLATION AND CATHOLIC MUSIC

Music is an integral part of our worship. Through time, the style and language of our sacred music has continually evolved, as each generation of Christians has brought their own sense of the beautiful to the music of worship. With the revised translation of The Roman Missal, much of what we sing at Mass will be the same — the hymns and Psalm responses, the Kyries, Alleluias, and Amens will all remain unchanged. The new translation of the Gloria; the Holy, Holy, Holy; and the Memorial Acclamation, however, will mean that we will be learning some new music in the months to come, as well as new versions of familiar Mass settings. As one Church, let us sing a new song go the Lord!

Corinna Laughlin and Anna Belle O’Shea

LITURGY AND RITUAL

Our Catholic liturgy is filled with ritual actions. We make the Sign of the Cross, bow, genuflect, and share the peace. We stand in praise or attention and sit to listen. We kneel in adoration. We move to the altar in procession. We sing hymns and Psalm refrains, and speak ritual responses. Our liturgical rituals, like the other rituals of our lives, are second nature to us. With the revised translation of The Roman Missal, there are no changes to our ritual actions at Mass — the gestures and postures which help us enter fully into the celebration of the Eucharist. But some of the familiar spoken and sung responses will be changing. No matter how well we prepare, there will be awkward moments when it is difficult to remember phrases that are new to us. What was familiar will be unfamiliar and new for a while. Knowing about the revisions in advance will help you prepare for them: mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Let us open our ears and hearts to the revised translations, and let them lead us to new insights about our unchanging God.

Corinna Laughlin and Jill Maria Murdy

HOW DOES THE LITURGY SHAPE OUR LIVES?

Eucharistic Prayer II proclaims that the Lord is holy and “the fount of all holiness,” a marvelous image of God’s overflowing love, goodness, and truth. God freely pours out holiness on all who seek it. Through our participation in the liturgy, we can grow in that holiness to which the Triune God calls us. We, too, must become fountains of holiness, sharing compassion, goodness, and truth in our daily lives. To paraphrase Saint Augustine, we are to become what we pray. When we come to the celebration of the liturgy with hearts and minds open to God’s will for us, our faith is strengthened, our souls are nourished, and we are transformed, sent forth to serve our neighbor and to grow in unity with one another and with the Lord. In this way, the liturgy shapes our very lives. The rich texts, symbols, music, space, environment, and gestures communicate God’s call to us to become what God intends: his holy people.

Corinna Laughlin and Kristopher W. Seaman

INSTITUTION NARRATIVE

The Institution narrative — sometimes called the consecration — is the moment during Mass when we hear again the story of the first Eucharist: the story of how Jesus gave his disciples his own Body and Blood in bread and wine on that last night before he died. The priest lifts up the chalice filled with wine and says: “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, / for this is the chalice of my blood, / the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many / for the forgiveness of sins.” Chalice is not a word we use in ordinary speech, but is a word we tend to reserve for the Eucharist. A second change is from “for all” to “for many.” Of course, this doesn’t represent a change in our belief about the saving mission of Christ, who “takes away the sins of the world” (Invitation to Communion). Rather, it is a more faithful rendering of the Latin pro multis, and reflects the Gospel accounts of the Last Supper according to Mark and Matthew.

Corinna Laughlin and Kristopher W. Seaman

“FOR MANY”

In the revised translation of The Roman Missal, the phrase “for all” in the words of consecration have been changed. The priest will now pray: “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many / for the forgiveness of sins” (emphasis added). Why for many? After all, it is a dogma of faith that Christ died on the Cross for all (see John 11:52; CORINTHIANS 5:14-15). However, “for many” more accurately translates the Latin pro multis. It also reflects the words of Jesus at the Last Supper in the Gospel accounts of Matthew 26:28 and Mark 4:24. Salvation if offered to all, but all do not accept it. The hope of the Church is that when the faithful hear the words “for many,” they will be inspired to make a personal affirmation of their faith in — and desire for — the gift of salvation freely offered in Christ Jesus to the whole world.

Corinna Laughlin and Daniel Merz, SLL

MEMORIAL ACCLAMATION

The Memorial Acclamation follows the Institution narrative — the words Jesus used at the Last Supper over bread and wine. This acclamation, therefore, is our response to God’ coming to dwell among us, particularly in the transformation of bread and wine into Christ’s Body and Blood. All of the Memorial Acclamations mention death and Resurrection. This is mysterium fidei: “The mystery of faith.” We call this, technically, the Paschal Mystery. In the face of death, God raised Christ Jesus from the dead to new life. The three acclamations above go one step further than simply stating the mystery of faith or the Paschal Mystery; they acknowledge that we too are called to life made new. In death, in sin, in pain and suffering, God will bring about life. For example, the third acclamation ends with “you have set us free.” As disciples, we are given the nourishment of Christ’s own Body and Blood that brings new life and transformation. This transformation is God’s liberating self given to us through and in Eucharist.

Corinna Laughlin and Kristopher W. Seaman

THE DOXOLOGY AND THE GREAT AMEN

The word doxology comes from Greek and means “words of glory.” The most familiar doxology for Catholics is the one we pray at the conclusion of each decade of the Rosary: “Glory be to the Father…..” There are doxologies in the Mass as well, for example, at the end of the Lord’s Prayer: “For the kingdom, / the power and the glory are yours / now and for ever.” Another important doxology comes at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer: “Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father,  in the unity of the Holy Spirit,  all glory and honor is yours, / for ever and ever.” At the conclusion of the Eucharistic Prayer, in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord, the priest sings this burst of praise to God the Father. It is through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the Holy Spirit’s power, that we can give God glory and honor. How can we not sing Amen?!

Corinna Laughlin and Kristopher W. Seaman

 

 

Preparing Your Parish for the Revised Roman Missal: Homilies and Reproducibles for Faith Formation
C 2011 Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 3949 South Racine Avenue, Chicago IL 60609;
1-800-933-1800; www.LTP.org.
Excerpts from the English Translation of The Roman Missal C 2010,
International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL).
All rights reserved. Published with Ecclesiastical Approval (Canon 823, 1).