Until this weekend - the first weekend of the new order of worship.
I will admit, there was great comfort in the old familiar. Of knowing exactly where we were in the mass and what was coming next. Of knowing what we were saying and why. Even if it was a little rote.
For instance, at the very beginning of Mass, the priest always greeted the congregation by saying "The Lord be with you" and congregants responded: "And also with you." The response is now : "And with your spirit." During the Eucharistic Prayer, church goers previously said “It is right to give him thanks and praise.” Beginning this weekend, the response is “It is right and just.”
During the reciting of the “Lamb of God,” the faithful no longer say “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you.” The new verse is “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof” and, in the Nicene Creed (profession of faith) the phrase "one in being with the father," is replaced by "consubstantial with the Father."
The changes, we are told, is so that the mass can be celebrated in English to better reflect the way it was celebrated in Latin. A closer and more literal translation. More formal and less colloquial.
I don’t like it.It feels cumbersome.
A little distant.
I liked the user friendlier colloquial aspect. I liked a more touchable and tangible language to connect with God. I mean, (outside of the mass) I dare you to use “consubstantial” in a sentence.
For the last month, the church has been preparing us – we were given the new prayers to study and learn in preparation for the change this weekend. I know change takes time, and this will take time – especially for those who, like me, have been praying and proclaiming the same words each weekend for decades.
And finding comfort in them.Being comfortable in them.
I don’t know about all this, and I could argue several points about the language and literal translations and changing times and culture.
But then I think about how Shakespeare’s plays are performed in the language they were written – even though we don’t speak that way today and times have changed.
“The Lord be with you” the priest says extending his hands.
(moment of silence)We’ll see how it goes…..