The way Catholics celebrate the Eucharist follows a standard form. We call this the Order of Mass. It is comprised of four main parts: the Introductory Rites, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Concluding Rites. Our worship is one great dialogue, namely, that God speaks to us and we speak to God. This is reflected in the many prayers and responses spoken by the priest and the people. Our prayers are not spontaneous, but have been given to us from many sources through the generations. They are collected together in the Sacramentary or Roman Missal. Each prayer text conveys aspects of the great mystery of faith that we celebrate.
In 2000, Blessed John Paul II issued a 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal, based on the renewal of the sacred liturgy called for by the bishops during the Second Vatican Council. Originally produced in Latin, the texts have been translated into English using a careful method to preserve, as much as possible, the full meaning of the text. On the first Sunday of Advent 2011, we will begin to use this new translation of the Roman Missal. The prayers and acclamations will sound different from the ones we now use.
Salt + Light has been working with the National Liturgy Office of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
to create resources to help all Canadians learn about the changes and learn about the Mass.
Over the next couple of weeks, as we get closer to Advent, I will be highlighting a few of the changes.
In the meantime, for more information, please go the new CCCB website on the Roman Missal