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Thinking about the background for Roman Missal changes that are coming in Advent 2011, led me (Joe Paprocki) to recall the following story. When my wife’s grandmother (“Busia” in Polish) was in her 90s, we decided it was time to write down her recipe for baking bread so that we could preserve this family tradition for generations to come. Now, some 30 years later, members of her family all over the country continue to bake Busia’s Bread, faithfully following the same recipe used by Busia herself.
Since the earliest days of the Church, disciples of Jesus have similarly followed a “recipe” – the celebration of the “Lord’s Supper” (see Acts of the Apostles 2:42). In his First Letter to the Corinthians (11:23), St. Paul hands on a “recipe” of words that was previously handed on to him: “the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread…” As time went on, the Church sought to gather the words used to faithfully celebrate the Eucharist and collect them into a book that today we call The Roman Missal. To fully understand the new Roman Missal changes, we need a little history.
The New Roman Missal Changes – How We Got to this Point
Beginning with Advent 2011, we will begin celebrating the Mass following this English translation of the new Roman Missal. It is important to note that the Mass itself is not changing. The English translation of the words we use in the Mass will be changing. In upcoming articles, we will explore the new Roman Missal changes in more detail, beginning with why the translation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal is so different from the previous translation.
Joe Paprocki is the author of several titles including the bestselling title The Catechist's Toolbox. Joe blogs about his work as a catechist at Catechist’s Journey.
D. Todd Williamson is the current Director of the Office for Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Chicago.