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    A View from the Pew

    New Roman Missal, Advent and Blessings (oh my!) 

    New Roman Missal, Advent and Blessings (oh my!)

    Ritual Diva rocks the liturgical world. She just gets what we’re supposed to do during a liturgical season and can quote chapter and verse on why, what, how and when. The Diva speaks and I listen – with big ears. So today, I’d like to send you to Ritual Diva’s blog The Rite Stuff  ( to read her excellent reflection on Advent preparation and why the blessing of the New Roman Missal should occur on the Feast of Christ the King rather than on the First Sunday of Advent. Between her reflection and some practical tools, I think that you might find this week’s blog very helpful. 

    I included a Prayer of the Faithful and a blessing for the new missal that Liturgy Training Publications provides as a free resource. I adapted it for you to use on the last Sunday of the liturgical year, the Feast of Christ the King. Read Ritual Diva’s reflection and then look at the prayers that I included for your use.

    I also included an information sheet on the New Roman Missal that you may want to insert into your bulletins or send to in a mailing to your parishioners. Some people may want a last minute update. Here’s one that’s ready to go. (Go to the bottom of the blog.) 

    Why should we bless the New Roman Missal?

    The Book of Blessings provides an Order for the Blessing of Articles for Liturgical Use. “Certain objects that are used in divine worship and are deserving of special respect and therefore should be blessed before being used” (Book of Blessings, 1341). Of such objects is the third edition of The Roman Missal.

    When should we do this?

    Rather than beginning the liturgical year with a blessing of the New Roman Missal, end the liturgical year with a Prayer of the Faithful and bless the New Roman Missal during the Mass for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe on the Sunday before Advent. Let Advent be Advent, preparing our way for the coming of Jesus – not the New Roman Missal. (Read Ritual Diva at who further explores this in her blog The Rite Stuff).

    Prayers for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

    Prayer of the Faithful

    Presider:                       As we gather at this historic moment to bless this new English edition of The Roman Missal that will become so integral to our daily and weekly worship, let us pray for the Church and the world.

    Deacon or Reader:       Our response is, Lord, hear our prayer.

    For all who labored over many years to bring us to this moment: translators and consulters, theologians, liturgists, and bishops from throughout the English-speaking world who through their efforts have enriched our celebration of the Divine Liturgy. We pray to the Lord.  

    For the artists, designers, editors, musicians, printers, and bindery workers who helped create this noble and worthy edition, may the word they so graciously etched within these pages dwell forever within their hearts. We pray to the Lord. 

    For bishops, priests, deacons, catechists, liturgists and musicians who will help God’s people prepare for and pray this new English translation of The Roman Missal; may they see the reward of their labors in reverent and Spirit-filled celebrations of the Mass. We pray to the Lord. 

    For all who, for the greater glory of God, selected this Missal for our parish community and for us who receive it; that we may also reverence the Lord's presence in the poor and the afflicted, in those we love and in those we find difficult to love. We pray to the Lord.

    For everyone who prays the Mass using this Missal, that through word and chant, sacrament and silence, each may be drawn closer to the God who is beyond all praising. We pray to the Lord. 

    For those of us gathered here today, that our love of the Church’s liturgy and our devotion to her rites might spark within us a desire and commitment to go forth to preach Christ’s Gospel through all we do and to all we meet. We pray to the Lord.

    The Prayer of the Faithful concludes with the Prayer of Blessing of the third edition of The Roman Missal. Assisting ministers or representatives of the community bring The Roman Missal to the presider to be blessed. In the following or similar words, the celebrant prepares those present for the blessing.


    Presider:           Brothers and sisters, the third typical edition of The Roman Missal will receive a special blessing, in order to indicate that it is to be set aside exclusively for divine worship. Together, then, let us pray that God will also strengthen us by his blessing.  Let us ask that he who alone is holy may make us holy and worthy, so that we may celebrate the liturgy with reverence and devotion. 

    Prayer of Blessing

    Presider:           Lord God of glory, your Church on earth joins with the choirs of heaven in giving you thanks and praise. As we gather to worship you in wonder and awe may the songs and prayers on our lips echo the music that swells in our hearts.

    Bless the third typical edition of The Roman Missal and grant that we may use it always for authentic worship praising you with contrite spirits and humble hearts. 

    We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

    All: Amen.

    The Mass continues as usual.

    Until next time,



    Excerpts from the Book of Blessings © 1998, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC.  Used with permission. All rights reserved.  

    The Prayer of the Faithful was written by Corinna Laughlin and adapted by Graziano Marcheschi. © 2011 Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 3949 South Racine Avenue, Chicago IL 60609; 1-800-933-1800; © 2011 Archdiocese of Chicago 

    Blessing of the Third Edition of The Roman Missal Outside of Mass (Book of Blessings, chapter 39). Used with permission. All rights reserved.


    Bulletin or letter on the New Roman Missal people's texts

    Effective on November 27, 2011, the implementation of   the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal will join all English speaking countries with the rest of the world in praying ancient texts that are a more literal translation from the Latin texts and translated into English. The New Roman Missal also includes prayers for new saints that have been canonized within the last 45 years.

    The text changes impact priests in a big way; many of them learned the current prayers over the last 45 years and committed much of them to memory.  Therefore, there is a lot for our clergy to learn and absorb – over 1,500 pages in fact. They have many new prayers to learn and it will take time to become familiar with the many new texts used at Mass throughout the year. As with English speaking countries, revisions are now underway for Spanish, Portuguese and other languages and countries, including the Maronite Rite with the Catholic Church.

    In addition to text changes for the clergy, there are also text changes for the laity. We will need to pay close attention to the new texts as published in our new missalette and an accompanying Mass card that will serve as a quick reference for use at Mass starting on November 27 until we all learn the new texts.

    The work on the New Roman Missal began in 2000, when Pope John Paul II began the process. The New Roman Missal was officially approved in August 2010 with Advent as the designated starting period in the United States because Advent kicks off the start of the liturgical year. This change is similar to changing textbooks in school: the whole class needs to use the same, current book! Therefore, all previous texts from the current Sacramentary can no longer be used after November 27, 2011.

    The NRM includes the best possible translation from Latin. The texts are taken directly from Scripture. It's our job to now study and embrace this new missal. If you’d like to view a 10 minute explanation of the changes, check out this internet link: There are four video options on this webpage. During the education session last week, we watched the version called, “For High School Teens” which is suitable for adults and youth alike. The video tells the story of this new translation in a concise, entertaining and entertaining and informative way.

    Same prayers, new texts. Our celebration of Mass is intended to be a dialog with God in which we each hold an active part. “The Lord be with you” is the priest’s wish for us. Our new response will be, “And with your spirit” -- our acknowledgment of the priest’s gifts, instead of “And also with you.”

    Highlights of a few changes that begin on November 27:

    Gloria (Glory to God): There are several text changes in this hymn, which will now start out this way: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will.” This text better reflects the song of the angels in the Christmas narratives. There are several other phrase changes within the Gloria that reflect what we do at Mass - praise, bless, adore and glorify God.

    Gospel acclamation: The revised response by the laity will be, “Glory to you, O Lord.”

    The Profession of Faith will now be called “The Creed.” By our baptism, the Creed (Credo) declares our faith in what we believe as Catholics. As we publicly commit to our faith, we express our personal commitment and say, “I believe” instead of “we believe.”

    There’s also a new word in the Creed that may not be familiar to many people. We will declare, “Consubstantial with the Father,” meaning that Jesus is of the same substance as the Father, to reinforce our belief in the Trinity.

    The Sanctus (Holy): There is only one word change! We will now say/sing “Lord God of hosts" instead of "…power and might," but this one word change requires an alteration in our musical settings for the Holy. We will rehearse this music before Mass. 

    The Memorial Acclamation (Mysterium Fidei) will now be called, “The Mystery of Faith.” Therefore, Christ has died will no longer be one of the acclamations as it does not meet all of the requirements to reflect the Mystery of Faith. While commonly used in the USA, this acclamation was never derived from Latin texts and was only adopted in the USA – no other countries. Additionally, this form is the only one that does not include us.  In the new translation, we will join with the universal Church and sing consistent texts.

    Communion rite: The dialog between the priest and the assembly right before communion will change. In the new response, we now quote Scripture by saying, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

    A word about music: The New Roman Missal contains much more music than any previous edition through the use of additional chants, which simplify Chant is part of our Catholic tradition as well and its use simplifies learning some of our new texts.

    Want to learn more? Go to  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


    Google New Roman Missal and watch how many web sites pop up!