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Posted April 21, 2011
The opening chapter of the Catholic Update Guide to the Mass is designed to help deepen our understanding of the Mass by balancing the elements of Good Friday, Holy Thursday, and Easter Sunday. Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M., addresses changes in the Mass and Eucharistic devotion since Vatican II. He recalls "with nostalgia the magnificence of Solemn High Mass during Forty Hours devotion," in the pre-Vatican II Church, the dozens of candles, a jewel-encrusted monstrance, and spotlights on the altars. "As a child, this was the most glorious thing I had ever seen: the most beautiful room; the most elegant movement; the richest attire," he writes. "Where did it all go?" He follows up with his current perspective, "a new beauty and a new grandeur" seeing God in the faces of those with whom he shares the broken bread. In the second chapter Richstatter explores five reasons for going to Mass: (1) I need others to pray well, (2) the Mass enables me to pray with my whole body, (3) besides talking to God I need God to talk to me, (4) being born again once didn't quite do it, and (5) the Mass helps me find the sacred in the ordinary. In the last chapter, How We Go To Mass, Fr. Lawrence Mick, O.F.M., describes changes in the Latin translation of the Roman Missal to be implemented in the U.S. in November 2011, and how they will affect our experience of the liturgy. He assures us that the new language does not signal a "major reversal of post-Vatican II reforms." One example he cites is the Gloria, in which words will be added and some lines rearranged. "Since this is a hymn," he explains, "composers will have to create new musical settings." He also describes changes being made in the Liturgy of the Word and of the Eucharist and presents a short section on the order of the Mass to add context. Books in The Catholic Update Guide to. series are based on material published in the St. Anthony Messenger Press Catholic Update Newsletter, a four-page handout for faith formation covering dozens of topics from prayer to sacraments to parish life. The Update newsletters are published with the imprimatur or rescript of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
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