Sing a New Song with Your Lives: The New Edition of the Roman Missal


The spirit of our Catholic liturgy is the spirit of music and song. To give glory and praise to the living God, human speech alone can only take us so far. Words alone can never be enough. We need to pay him homage with songs of joy and with instruments made for praise.

St. Augustine said that our faith in Christ puts a new song on our lips and in our hearts. He writes: “Only the new man learns [this song] — the man restored from his fallen condition through the grace of God and now sharing in the new covenant, that is, the Kingdom of heaven.” That is one reason why our liturgy is made to be sung — the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Sanctus, the Agnus Dei, the Pater Noster.

In Advent 2011 we will begin using a new edition (the Third Typical Edition, as it is called) and a new English translation of the Roman Missal. Archbishop Charles Chaput has given me the task of overseeing the implementation of these changes in the Archdiocese of Denver.

Let me say this: I’m very excited about the changes that are coming and about the opportunities we have for an authentic liturgical renewal. Practically speaking, implementing the new Missal means that all of us will be learning new translations of long-familiar prayers and responses. This makes it a perfect moment in the life of the Church for a new “eucharistic catechesis.”

The Second Vatican Council gave us a great gift with the Novus Ordo. The Mass in the vernacular has opened up new pathways to holiness and transcendence, and has given us new strength and confidence for our mission of building the Kingdom of God.

But I think we can also recognize that the way in which the reform of the Mass was carried out after the Second Vatican Council, unfortunately, has occasioned a lot of silliness and confusion. The problem has never been the Novus Ordo. The reformed liturgy that the Council gave us is beautiful, glorious, and empowering. The problem has been that even good people have misinterpreted the Council badly.


I don’t want to revisit the errors of the past or tell liturgical horror stories (and we all have them!). But in order to understand the context for this new edition of the Missal, it is important that we understand some of the errors that have crept into our liturgical thinking since the Council.

To illustrate the basic problem, I want to return to the mid-1960s. You may know the background of the Servant of God Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. Dorothy was a true radical in the best sense of the word, a prophet of the Church’s social teaching. She was also a devout, traditional, and saintly Catholic.

One day, while Dorothy was away, a young enthusiastic priest came to celebrate Mass at the Catholic Worker house. He used a coffee cup as a chalice. When Dorothy came home and heard about it, she was scandalized at the sacrilege — that a common household item had been used to consecrate the Precious Blood of Christ. The story goes that she found a trowel and dug a deep hole in the backyard behind the house. Then she kissed the coffee cup and buried it.

Later she wrote about the incident. She said this:

I am afraid I am a traditionalist, in that I do not like to see Mass offered with a large coffee cup as a chalice. … I feel with [Cardinal] Newman that my faith is founded on a creed … “I believe in God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. And of all things visible and invisible, and in his only Son Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

I believe too that when the priest offers Mass at the altar, and says the solemn words, “This is my body, this is my blood,” that the bread and the wine truly become the body and blood of Christ, Son of God, one of the three divine persons.

I believe in a personal God. I believe in Jesus Christ, true God and true man. And intimate, oh how most closely intimate we may desire to be, I believe we must render most reverent homage to him who created us and stilled the sea and told the winds to be calm, and multiplied the loaves and fishes. He is transcendent and he is immanent. He is closer than the air we breathe and just as vital to us.

In these beautiful words, Day puts her finger on the basic issue. We cannot separate liturgy from creed. Our law of prayer is our law of belief. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

We believe in a God who is transcendent. Yet through the pure gift of His grace, this God has humbled Himself to share in our humanity, so that we might share in His divinity. This is what is going on in the offering of the Mass. The mission of Christ’s incarnation continues in every celebration of the sacred liturgy. In the Mass, God stoops down to lift us up to His level. He makes it possible for us, though we are but creatures, to sing and worship with the angels, in praise of our Creator.

A lot of the liturgical renewal since the Council has got this dynamic exactly backward. And that’s because a lot of the so-called renewal started from exactly the wrong place.

Pope Benedict XVI has described the problem this way. He has said that too many people interpreted Vatican II with a “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture.” Now “hermeneutic” means “way of interpreting.” What the pope is saying is that some people interpreted Vatican II as a decisive break — a rupture and rejection of all that had gone before in the Church. I remember in the 1980s, when I was in the seminary, some of my professors would refer to the “pre-Vatican II” Church and the “post-Vatican II” Church, as if these were two totally different Churches.

In reality, the right way to understand the Council is with a “hermeneutic of continuity.” In other words, we should interpret the Council’s reforms not as a break with the past, but as a natural, organic, and integral development of the tradition that has been handed down to us from the apostles.


I say all of this by way of background and context — because I believe that, in this new edition of the Missal, the Church is trying to reassert the continuity of the Novus Ordo with the ancient liturgy of the Church.

In particular, I see in the changes a real effort to restore the transcendent dimension of the liturgy and to reassert the proper balance between God’s transcendence and His immanence — so that the Mass always reveals and makes real our communion and intimacy with God.

From the start of this new translation, we sense a new attitude, a new focus on our relationship with God. With the new edition of the Missal, every time the priest proposes, “The Lord be with you,” the people will respond, “And with your spirit.” Now, we know that this is simply the literal translation of the Latin that has been there all along — et cum spiritu tuo.

In Scripture, the expression, “The Lord be with you,” is a summons to recognize that we live in God’s presence always. We need a keen sensitivity to this to celebrate the Eucharist. Because in the Eucharist, our Lord truly comes to us. In the vision of the heavenly liturgy found in the Book of Revelation, Christ says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

This is what is happening in every Mass here on earth. The early Christians prayed in Aramaic marana tha, which means “Our Lord, come!” This prayer had a dual meaning. It was a prayer for His parousia, His second coming to judge the living and the dead. Yet we also find it in the earliest Christian liturgies as a prayer for His coming to us in His Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

This tells us that every celebration of the Eucharist anticipates and gives us a foretaste of our Lord’s coming in glory. As St. Paul said, in words we still pray in the Mass: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the chalice, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

So we need a readiness to listen for Christ’s voice, a readiness to open up the doors of our hearts to Him. We also need a greater appreciation for who we are in the eyes of God.

That’s why the change in the people’s response, although just one word, is so significant. “And also with you” is too pedestrian, too casual for the occasion. It doesn’t do justice to the fullness of who we are — and the truth about what we come together to do in the Eucharist.

So who are we, really? The term “people of God” became fashionable after the Council. But I’ve always felt that the accent was made to fall too much on the “people” side of the equation. It can lend itself to being a kind of populist catch-phrase for those who want to level-out important and necessary distinctions between the clergy and the laity.

But the biblical truth and power of the expression lies in the genitive. We are a people of God. Remember those powerful lines from the prologue to John’s Gospel, which were read at the end of every Mass in the old rite — Christ gave us the power “to become children … born not of blood nor the will of the flesh … but of God.

That’s who we are in God’s eyes. The love of God, the Holy Spirit, has been poured into our hearts in baptism so that we bear witness in our spirit that we are His sons and daughters. We are made in the image of God and renewed in the image of His Son, who is the perfect image and likeness of God.

That’s why St. Paul so often said in his letters, “The Lord be with your spirit.” He was taking the measure of our great dignity.

Our God is spirit. And we are His children, born of water and the Spirit. And we are made to worship our Father in spirit and in truth. So it is fitting that we recognize the Lord’s presence among us, “And with your spirit.”


For those who serve as choir singers and sacred musicians, the changes in the Gloria raise immediate practical issues in terms of how to adapt the new text for the liturgy. I hope this challenge excites and inspires them. The changes get us closer to the theological richness and the poetry of the original Latin.

And I find a passionate intensity and musical cadence in the lines we will now sing — “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory!”

These rhythmic words remind us that we are singing the song of angels, the song sung by the heavenly host on the night of Christ’s birth. We are singing a song of the incarnation — the new creation, the coming of the Word made flesh. Not only that: As when we sing the Sanctus, here too we are reminded that our Mass is a singing with the angels.

This reminds us that every Catholic liturgy is a cosmic liturgy. The liturgy we celebrate here on earth is always a participation in the everlasting liturgy of heaven, in which all creation glorifies the Creator. This truth, I’m afraid, has been lost or obscured in the years since the Council. We have a great chance now to reclaim it.

Pope Benedict has said, “Liturgy presupposes … that the heavens have been opened; only if this is the case, is there liturgy at all.” This is the truth we need to recover.

Christ has rent the heavens and come down to us. Again He has been lifted up and carried into heaven to take His seat at the right hand of Power. By His incarnation and again by His ascension, the dividing walls between heaven and earth, the human and the divine, have forever been torn down.

By His incarnation and ascension, our prayers here on earth can now rise like incense to mingle with the prayers of the saints. Our voices can join with the songs of the angels. And, as we pray in the oldest of our Eucharistic prayers, Eucharistic Prayer I, our gifts can be borne by the hands of His holy angel to His altar on high in the sight of His divine majesty.

The point is that the liturgy is going on always and everywhere before we ever walk through the church door. When we celebrate the Eucharist, the pope says, we are “entering into the liturgy of the heavens that has always been taking place. Earthly liturgy is liturgy because and only because it joins what is already in process, the greater reality.”

To drive this point home, our new Mass translation replaces the mundane affirmation — “Happy are those who are called to his supper” — with a confession of faith worthy of the cosmic character of our celebration.

We are not “happy.” We are blessed. We have not been called to any ordinary meal. No, we have been invited to the great banquet of our heavenly King, the wedding feast of His Son, our Redeemer.

Accordingly, we will now pray: “Blessed are those called to the Supper of the Lamb.” Again, the prayer has been there all along in the Latin. The language is an almost literal quotation from the revelation of the heavenly liturgy given to St. John in the Book of Revelation.

In the holy Mass, heaven reaches down to earth and earth reaches up to heaven. We are worshipping not only in our local church, but in the precincts of Mount Zion, “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and [with] innumerable angels in festal gathering, and [with] the Church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven.”

That is how the early Christians understood their worship. And it’s time for us to reclaim that same consciousness. We need to come to our worship filled with this same awe for the mystery of God’s love and His covenant plan.


This brings us into the heart of the mysterium fidei, the mystery of faith. What are we doing at Mass? And why are we doing the things we do? St. Augustine said that “[God] is worshipped by the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.” That’s of course true. But that begs the question. What are we praising? What are we giving thanks for? Why do we do it in the form of sacrifice?

St. Thomas Aquinas said that worship is essentially thanksgiving for the beneficium creationis, “the gift of being created.” We worship God because the world He has given us is good, and because it is good for us to be alive. We worship God because everything we have, we have from God; and because everything we hope for is His alone to give.

That’s a glorious way for us to think about the Eucharist. We know that the word “Eucharist” comes from the Greek word that means “thanksgiving.” In the Eucharist, we give thanks for the gift of creation, but also for the gifts of the new creation — the victory over death made possible by Christ’s sacrifice, by the gift of His body and blood, offered on the cross for us and for the life of the world. The Eucharist is the Festival of the Resurrection.

Joseph Pieper has written in his work on the liturgy, titled In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity, that:

The Mass is called and is eucharistia. … The “occasion” for which it is performed and which it comports with, is nothing other than the salvation of the world and of life as a whole. … Christian worship sees itself as an act of affirmation that expresses itself in praise, glorification, and thanksgiving for the whole of reality and existence.

In the Eucharist, we thank God for having shown us that His love is stronger than death. But why does our worship take the form of sacrifice? And what does sacrifice really mean?

Here the changes in the Eucharistic Rite help us to penetrate more deeply into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I think we will find here again that the changes intend to restore a dimension of the liturgy that has been lost or obscured since the Council. The holy Mass is our participation in the redemptive sacrifice of Christ. In our worship, we join our self-offering to the self-offering of Christ on the cross. We need to reclaim this sacrificial character of our worship.

To underline this, in the new edition of the Missal, the priest will say different words at the Preparation of the Gifts. His prayer will go like this:

With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and may our sacrifice in your sight this day be pleasing to you, Lord God.

This prayer, again, is not new. It has been at this point in the liturgy all along. It comes from the Book of Daniel. It is from the prayer of Azariah, one of the young men thrown into the fiery furnace by the Babylonian dictator.

Now more faithfully translated, it contains for us the sum of the biblical doctrine of sacrifice. The prophets and psalmists had reached the conclusion that God does not desire animal sacrifices, burnt offerings of rams and bulls. What God desires is a humble spirit and a contrite heart. He wants all the strength of our bodies; all of our intellect and will; and all of the passions of our hearts. He wants all of us, and He wants us dedicated wholly to doing His will for our lives.

This is what we are promising when we lift up our hearts to the Lord in the Mass. We are called to make our own lives “eucharistic” — a spiritual offering, a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

The new Blessed John Henry Newman put it beautifully in one of his meditations:

My Lord, I offer You myself … as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. You have died for me, and I in turn make myself over to You. I am not my own. You have bought me. I will, by my own act and deed, complete the purchase.

That should be our prayer, too. That we might become the Eucharist we celebrate. This is the true spirit of the liturgy. And this is the spirit that the new Edition of the Roman Missal hopes to restore and to foster.


As I was gathering my thoughts on this subject last month, I woke up one Sunday to hear the news that about 60 of our Catholic brothers and sisters in Iraq had been massacred that day by Islamic terrorists while they were gathered to celebrate the Eucharist.

We are still a Church of martyrs. Catholics are still being persecuted every day for their faith in the Creed, for their faith in the Eucharist.

I was struck as I read the news accounts about those Iraqi Catholics. They made their final moments an eloquent testimony to the eucharistic spirituality that we have been discussing. They died as they must have lived — “eucharistically.”

Their persecutors broke into the Mass and destroyed icons and stained glass windows; they desecrated the tabernacle. All the while, the worshippers could be heard praying for themselves and for their persecutors.

One of the two priests executed in that massacre — a third priest was critically wounded — was shot down while he was holding a crucifix and standing between the killers and the people, pleading for their lives. One woman begged the gunman to kill her but to spare the life of her grandson. Mercilessly, the gunman shot the boy through the head and then turned the gun on her.

Another woman survived somehow, lying in a pool of her own blood for hours while the carnage continued all about her. She told a reporter later: “I thought I would make it, but even if I didn’t I was in church, and it would have been ok.”

In these simple words, in the witness of these humble people, we see the eucharistic faith that each one of us is called to. We may never be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice for our faith. But we are called each day to live by the Eucharist we receive, and to make our lives an acceptable sacrifice that is pleasing to the Lord.

I began with a quote from St. Augustine. Let me conclude by finishing that quote. It is really a prayer for all of us:

Let us sing a new song, not with our lips but with our lives.


This article is adapted from a talk delivered at Queen of Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, on November 20, 2010.

Bishop James D. Conley, STL


Most Reverend James D. Conley, STL, is the bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska. Before his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI to the see of Lincoln in September 2012, he served as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Denver under Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. He earned his Master's of Divinity from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., in 1985 and a licentiate in moral theology from the Accademia Alfonsiana, part of the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

  • Giovanni A. Cattaneo

    And absolutly agree with most of what Rev. Conley has written in this piece. I still have points of concern.

    The new translation is a great step forward however there are other issues such as the orientation of our prayers that being the way the priest faces during Mass. All the pretty words in the world will fall on deaf ears if they are not accompanied by action. The Tridentine Mass did not only draw its power from its dogmatic accuracy but also from the devotion represented through its symbols.

    The one and clear step to show the people of God to whom it is that we pray at Mass is to turn towards God and pray at Mass.

    I agree with Rev. Conley on the most part but unless this is followed by other “logical steps” this will also fall short.

  • Deacon Keith Fournier

    I want to thank this wonderful Bishop for such a timely and beautifully written article. We are fortunate to have him in this vital hour for the Church. Denver has a double blessing it seems with Archbishop Chaput and this holy Bishop at his side. perhaps it is time to share some of that blessing with rest of the Nation. I wrote a piece earlier this mont entitled “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. As we Worship, So we Believe, So we Live”…p?id=39029

    It adds the third leg of the stool of dynamic Catholic Life and the other part of the oft quoted latin maxim, tying it to a lifestyle. Liturgical worship is not an “add on” for a Catholic Christian. It is the foundation of Catholic identity; expressing our highest purpose.Worship reveals what we truly believe and how we view ourselves in relationship to God, one another and the world into which we are sent to carry forward the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ. How the Church worships is a prophetic witness to the truth of what she professes. Good worship becomes a dynamic means of drawing the entire human community into the fullness of life in Jesus Christ. It attracts – through beauty to Beauty.

    I had the privilege of speaking in Denver this past year at their annual conference. I was deeply moved. I found happy clergy, happy lay faithful and a Church fully alive. I found an example of “dynamic orthodoxy” in Catholic faith and practice. And this happy, faithful and warm Bishop is a part of the answer as to why such faith is thriving there. Thank you Bishop for your “Fiat” to the Lord’s invitation to serve.

  • Brooklyn

    Sorry, Your Excellency, but I do not regard the Novus Ordo as a

  • Anonymous Seminarian

    I believe His Excellency has made a fundamenal error by associating the ‘Novus Ordo’ with the Second Vatican Council.

    This statement is false, “The Second Vatican Council gave us a great gift with the Novus Ordo” not so much because I would not call it a ‘great gift’ but because, on a simple, factual level, the Second Vatican Council did not give us the Novus Ordo.

    While I cannot prove this false with such clarity, I certainly question this statement as well: “The Mass in the vernacular has opened up new pathways to holiness and transcendence, and has given us new strength and confidence for our mission of building the Kingdom of God.” Has it? Shouldn’t we then find a holier, more engaged Church that lives its values actively in the public sphere? Hasn’t the last 40 years been quite characteristic of the exact opposite? One may argue for or against the use of the vernacular (especially in what parts of the sacraments), but I am not sure the best way to do so is to bank on our recent history as proof of its effectiveness.

    This statement is absolutely true: “Pope Benedict XVI has described the problem this way. He has said that too many people interpreted Vatican II with a “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture.”” His Excellency, however, fails to include the Consilium in this group of rupturists. They intentionally did not apply Sacrosanctum Concilium so as to “interpret the Council’s reforms not as a break with the past, but as a natural, organic, and integral development of the tradition that has been handed down to us from the apostles.” They disregarded SC23, and the whole ‘spirit’ of SC which emphasized the need for organic development.

    Finally, we find: “I believe that, in this new edition of the Missal, the Church is trying to reassert the continuity of the Novus Ordo with the ancient liturgy of the Church.” While I’m sure that we all welcome the corrected translation as a step towards reunion with our heritage, there is no substantial continuity between the Novus Ordo (especially when taken as a whole to include all the sacraments, the breviary, blessings, etc.) and the Roman Rite. Nor was there ever intended to be. Bugnini was very clear when he said: “I am the liturgical reform!”

  • Mother of Two Sons

    I pray there is enough holiness, authenticity, integrity in the American Catholic Church to walk down a potentially beautiful course correction pathway! I think that the Holy Spirit is truly amazing… only the Holy Spirit could find a way to breathe His new Fire into our Church at this time. I credit this Grace to the many young and not so young faithful Catholic families and I thank God for all of you!! God’s choicest blessings on us all that we may make our whole selves ready to recieve all of the graces He desires to pour down upon us…. my heart found consolation in this summarization. Thank you.

  • Aaron B.

    I’d hate to see this become another TLM-versus-NO thread, and I really don’t want to be flippant or disrespectful toward a bishop, or take away from the excellent parts of this article. But if you’re going to call the Novus Ordo a great gift, then I can’t help thinking someone owes Thomas Cranmer an apology. Turns out many of his changes to the liturgy weren’t heretical at all; he was just ahead of his time.

    It’s certainly true that the Novus Ordo isn’t alone responsible for the abuses which have been inflicted upon it. But I think it’s equally naive to say that the form is a blameless victim of abuse. Many people in the 1960s were determined to ‘modernize’ things, and if they hadn’t been given a new form to work with, they would have done their best to change the Mass of Ages. In fact, some had been trying for over a century before Vatican II, following the examples of Cranmer and Luther by turning the altars around and putting Communion in the hand, but it never caught on beyond small pockets of dissenters here and there. The new form, however, played right into their hands, and was a much more useful tool than the old form ever could have been.

    One obvious for-instance, since His Excellency mentions the importance of the Mass as Sacrifice, is that nearly all mention of that was removed from the rite. Unsurprisingly, most Catholics today don’t think of it that way, and it follows like night follows day that many no longer believe in the Real Presence. How could you have the Real Presence if you didn’t perform the Sacrifice?

    As far as this sentence goes, I guess I’d like to see it backed up by some evidence: “The Mass in the vernacular has opened up new pathways to holiness and transcendence, and has given us new strength and confidence for our mission of building the Kingdom of God.” I don’t see how “Mass in the vernacular” has done any of those things. The Church has more “strength and confidence” today than it had before the Council? Really?

  • The Reverend Doctor Victoria A. Howard

    There is no separating the three persons of God. If Jesus is present anywhere, even in the Eucharist, the Father and the Holy Spirit are there also. Jesus said that he and the Father are one. That is my only disagreement with Dorothy Day in this article.

  • Rushad T.

    Bishop Conley is THE MAN.

  • Adam Bradshaw

    Thank you Bishop Conley for your great insight of the new translation. As a matter of fact, and as you pointed out in your article, this is not a new translation at all, simply a more literal translation of what was already there. I know many people who ask why it must be done, that the Mass have a new translation. Again, it’s not new but the original. I think to myself, is Divine Inspiration a part of this somehow? Were the bishops divinely inspired to implement this in the english churches? I think it’s hard to say but I have to lean toward a yes answer. And not so much the decision itself than I would say for the text. The text itself is Divinely Inspired. It is the text that the faithful have said for hundreds of years. We wouldn’t want a faulty translation of the Bible would we? Or a watered down translation of any other great piece of literature. So why should the Roman Missal be left as so?

    I also would like to comment to those who have disagreed with your statements regarding the holiness of the Norvus Ordo Mass. To those who disagree with you I have nothing to say except shame on you. The Holy Magisterium in communion with the Bishop of Rome made clear that this is the Mass to be celebrated. We know from our most basic and fundamental understanding of our Catholic faith that whenever the Bishops with the Pope declare something like this, it is Divinely Inspired, holy and free of any error. The proclamation is holy, but as the good Bishop says, it has been misinterpreted by those who put the Mass in their own hands. To say this Mass is not the true Mass or has any beauty to it is an insult to Our Lord and Savior who obviously, through the proclamation of the bishops, implemented the Norvus Ordo Himself. It is not man that works through the Church, rather it is Jesus Christ Himself that does. And believe me I love the Latin Mass. I wish there was better accessibility to attend one. As a matter of fact I went to a Latin Mass celebrated by Bishop Conley a few years ago while I was still in RCIA, and even then I was deeply moved and inspired by the beauty of the Mass. If I could I would attend regularly. So believe me, I have a deep love, appreciation, and in many ways, a preference for the Traditional Latin Mass. But as the Bishop said, we are one Church. There is no difference between the Mass before and after the Second Vatican Council. There is one Church, one Jesus Christ, and one Eucharistic Sacrifice, which passes on to the Norvus Ordo. And if Our Lord and Savior is truly present in the new, then so must everyone else. And as a Catholic here in the Archdiocese of Denver, I am deeply appreciative of the work of Bishop Conley. So I’d like to say to Your Excellency that I agree with you 100% on this article. Thank you and God Bless!

  • Kera

    I must also voice some concern over ‘The Second Vatican Council gave us a great gift with the Novus Ordo’. There is such a gateway to abuse in the Novus Ordo that is not present in the Tridentine Mass. Not to mention, the Tridentine Mass is the Mass of all time, the Mass of the Ages, the Mass that has formed thousands and thousands of saints in the Church’s two thousand year history. There was a reverence, a fervour, a sense of holy awe all its own, and we need to get back to it as much as possible.

    I am looking forward to a new Missal, hopefully one that displays Catholicism in all her splendour. I want to see this Missal as a shining bride adorned with the pearls of Gregorian Chant and the perfume of incense.

    This is our Faith. We need not be afraid of it, covering it in Protestantized blankets. Lets not forget that Protestantism is a heresy that many saints were martyred for rejecting. Lets open the gates of the Lord’s Church wide and show the world more of our ancient history by showing the highest form of worship we can offer Almighty God.

    May God bless you all.

  • David Mitchell

    “The Eucharist is all Three Persons.” – On the contrary, the Eucharist is Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ only. Of course there is separation of the Persons of God, or they are not Persons! A Person is an individual intelligent being. There is separation of the Substance.

  • MC

    I will never believe that the Novus Ordo is a great gift. Since it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, I suppose the use of an English translation which actually meets the definition of “translation” (as opposed ICEL’s blatantly pathetic mistranslations) is an improvement. To me the whole discussion of this new translation reminds me of the old saying: “You can put lipstick on a pig, but…” (I’ll let you finish the sentence).

  • Jordan

    I was raised in the Novus Ordo. While I can’t deny that Catholicism was a great part of my life then- and for the good, once I started my university education and investigated the religion of my childhood more deeply something became unambiguously clear: The Novus Ordo fails in many significant ways to ritually live out the historic Catholic religion. If we stick with the Novus Ordo we have to admit that we have a New Church at worst, or an exhausted, spectral version of an ancient religion at best.

    Trying to “improve” the Novus Ordo is a laudable goal, but I don’t believe it can be substantially traditionalized or connected to our heritage. When it is done it feels awkward, feigned, imaginary, theatrical and superficial. You can’t gut a liturgy of its ancient traditions and then stick the incense back in along with some token Latin and say “voila”. I’ve been there. The most perceptive can recognize the dissonance.

    Tradition in the Roman Church has, by and large, been killed by ultramontanism. What nobody expected was the complete dominance of the Pope would be used for this. Either choose the Old Mass or let’s get on with the New Church.

  • David Ambuul

    Thank you for the mention of martyrs in the context of the liturgy; i have to say i somewhat envy those you mentioned. But then we have Mary, who most of us here in the United States will have to follow through the long life of white martyrdom. Pray for me and my family bishop, that we will suffer the many little things God asks of us with patience. Like me helping with the dishes and changing of diapers when i feel no desire whatsoever to do so. As for me and my house, we will pray for all you good bishops in turn for the glory of our King!

  • SamTASTIC!

    @David Mitchell To be precise, the difference between persons is a difference of relation, not substance. Father/Son/Holy Spirit all are of the same divine substance. If it can be called substance (and I’m not sure on that–feel free to correct me there).

    No comment on the brewing Trid vs NO flamestorm.

  • Paul Lim

    I love the article, Bp Conley. What I’m really disappointed about are the various comments about “Novus Ordo being a gift” and/or “more Tridentine Mass, please.” If your comment falls into one of these, then you missed the whole point of the article. The article is about transition from the 2nd edition of the Roman Missal to the 3rd. I guess certain people will never get there, especially if they never got past Vatican II. (And dear people, please study some Church history. It didn’t just jump form Acts of the Apostles to the Council of Trent, and then from Trent to the 1960s.) @Brooklyn- Eucharistic Prayer #2 is actually the oldest, not #1.

  • Micha Elyi

    For an eternal Church, there sure have been a lot of missals loosed upon us during my short lifetime.

    After this latest missal, can attention turn toward restoring our liturgical music?

  • Brooklyn

    @Paul Lim: Oldest doesn’t necessarily mean best or better. Is Archaic Greek art “better” than Classical Greek art? Perhaps as a matter of opinion, one might prefer the former, but….