Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Roman Missal: Confessions

There's one thing about the new translation of the Missal we'll be getting in Advent that may make us a bit uncomfortable. It's the way we'll be "confessing" at Mass. The new translation makes those bold, public declarations of personal responsibility so...emphatic.
In the penitential rite, we will continue to "Confess to Almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned..." but then we'll affirm it three times!
The Creed is another confessional moment: a bold, public declaration in which we take responsibility for our faith. Here, the translation really gets personal. Instead of a general, group-style act of faith, we will be getting a more baptismal formula: from "we believe" to "I believe." And we'll repeat that "I believe" for a total of four times! Since we pray the Creed after having heard four Scripture readings, we're being led to not only claim the faith of the Bible as our own, but to stake our lives and our identity on it.
In one way, the Creed is to the proclamation of the Gospel what Communion is to the great Eucharistic prayer of praise: it's where "I" make what has been done in my name my own. And just as the Creed is then followed by our priestly prayers of intercession, Communion is followed by our being sent on mission, so that others will one day join us in our confession.


leslieannerabbitt said...

So much the better that we publicly acknowledge our sinfulness multiple times - maybe repetition will sink in. Ditto for repeating "I believe". However, that is only part of the equation. What effect will the "new" Roman Missal (actually a reintroduction of the Missal's original language) have, in the words of Blessed John Paul, in "rekindling Eucharistic amazement"? What language can pierce our hearts with the realization that Jesus Himself is on the altar at every Holy Mass?

Sr Anne said...

One thing that's in the Missal now, but I just never noticed it until I started reviewing the new translation...is that once we've prayed the Our Father and its doxology, throughout the rest of the Communion Rite, the prayers are addressed to Jesus himself. This is a liturgical rarity: the typical liturgical prayer is addressed to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit. To have those prayers before Communion all addressed to Jesus directly is another way that the Church confesses her Eucharistic faith, and one that we can surely begin to help others notice better than I did!!!