Happy New Year, Church!
As we begin a new liturgical year, it struck me that this is the last time we will be using these particular prayers at Masses in English. This time next year we will begin using the new translation of the Roman Missal, and so we have begun a year-long "goodbye" to the missal we have been using for several decades.
I must confess, I am approaching the change with mixed feelings. After 30+ years of priesthood, I have gotten to the point where I am better able to pray the words at Mass because they are right in the front of my memory. Because I do not have to read each word, I am more conscious of each phrase and try to give meaning as I pray on behalf of the gathered community. It will, I am sure, take some time to reach this level of comfort with the new translation. I intend to really make the most, therefore, of this last year using the Paul VI Missal translation.
I am also excited about the prospect of finding new meaning in the texts of Mass with the new Missal. It will take a lot more preparation, and that is a good thing. We all need reminders every once in a while to stop and consider the words we use in prayer, and priests are no exception.
My prayer for all of us is that we will listen carefully to the words we use during this year of grace, and allow God to speak to us through them. After all, we will not be hearing them in this same way again!