January 30, 2012
In recent days, following the implementation of the Revised Roman Missal, I have received a significant number of letters from various quarters of the Archdiocese expressing concern, confusion, discontent and consternation about the interpretation of number 43 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Particularly distressing for some people is the issue of standing from after the consecration until everyone has received communion.
We always open the new church year on the First Sunday of Advent, and this year we also open our renewed Roman Missal. Today as we celebrate the Mass together, we experience the differences in the words we say, the music we sing, and the postures and gestures we use. We are the Church and we pray as the Church prays.
This is all part of the Newness we have been talking about since Pentecost. We are offering our prayers to God, as we always have, but everything we have been comfortable with is just a little different. This change is a challenge for each of us and all of us. Every priest is proclaiming the prayers of the Mass very carefully, conscious that the familiar rhythm of word and gesture is not quite the same today. Every musician is diligently guiding the people through the new music for the Mass parts. And everyone in the pews is paying close attention to new phrases and new postures.