(published Advent 2011) -- Nov. 27 has been a day we have long anticipated - perhaps with eagerness, perhaps with reluctance, surely with questions. It is the day when the Catholic Church begins using the third edition of the Roman Missal.
Sister Ann Rehrauer, Director of Evangelization, Living Justice and Worship for the Diocese of Green Bay, has written many articles for The Compass newspaper and spoken to many groups all with the goal of helping us to know why we are experiencing the changes this Roman Missal brings to us and of helping us to know how to welcome those changes. Yes, we will have to use our Mass cards for a while to pray the new words, but it will soon become a part of our minds and hearts as we celebrate the Mass together.
Sister Ann reminds us that, "Participation is the key to full experience. One of the most quoted passages from the Constitutions on the Sacred Liturgy (#14) concerns our participation at Mass: 'Mother church earnestly desires that all the faithful be led to that full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations.' While singing, responding and ministerial service are examples of external participation, we sometimes forget about the internal dimension of participation. Prayer also involves paying attention, letting God's Word move our hearts, having a willingness to be transformed and to leave the church different than when we entered.
"Participation that is full, conscious and active involves the entire assembly and includes singing, praying, speaking, kneeling, standing, processing, paying attention, surrendering to God's grace and joining our lives to the sacrifice of Jesus. It means attuning our minds and hearts and bodies to the words we speak and sing."
As we pray with new words may we enter with renewed hearts into the great prayer of thanks, the Mass.
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