It was on Saturday, November 26, 2011 that we began the use of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal with its new translations of the prayers. It was a day that was preceded by much preparation, teaching, instruction and in some cases, dread. I, for one, was less than enthusiastic about the change. After thirty-eight years of praying prayers that were familiar, expressing easily what was in my heart, and flowing from the lips, the prospect of new and cumbersome translations was not welcome. After weeks of preparation, the initial greeting of "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all" brought the response "And also with you".
This Saturday, December 1, 2012 we reached the milestone of having completed one year with the "new book". On this First Sunday of Advent, following the same greeting, easily flowed the response "And with your spirit". I had no trouble finding my place in our edition of the Roman Missal (even though there are things that I still cannot find). I have learned to take my time with the wording and the pace of the prayer, and to more often than not make sense out of run on sentences and less than inspiring English grammar. I have learned to appreciate the many beautiful images and concepts contained in the prayers, especially the Collects, and I use them often in my homilies. I have not restricted myself to "one" option or Eucharistic Prayer, but vary them often. I find myself actually (almost) liking the word "dewfall". Being a slow learner, I am finally weaning myself away from visual slavery to the book, and I am regaining eye contact a little better. I still stumble over the Creed (unless I have the text in front of me) and I have a real mental block with the intro to the "Our Father".
In our parish we are into our second set of musical Mass settings, and both have been well received. Resistance is minimal ... and if you are an old "Star Trek" fan, then you will know that I say "resistance if futile". We are blessed with a very good musical program for which I am mighty thankful.
I have been to workshops with priests from many parts of the country who have a great dislike of this disruption in their liturgical prayer life, and who resist at every turn. I must admit that I thought that I would be among their number at this point in time. But I find that I am not.
The wording is lengthy, the sentence structure is at times terrible, and the challenge of praying the unfamiliar is uncomfortable, but it is here to stay ... and it is not that bad. Plus, it is the universal prayer of the Church, and we are finally on board. So, happy one year anniversary ... and by the time I am ready for retirement this translation and these prayers will be second nature to me and flow from my lips.