Beginning to pray with a new book

I will celebrate Mass this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with the current Sacramentary but this weekend was my last time to use this book with larger assemblies of the people in my parish.

At each Mass I spoke about how the Sacramentary as been my "instruction manual" for 38 years of my ministry as a priest. I've grown to regard the Sacramentary as an old friend and while I'm not unaware of its deficiencies, I've found it to be a good and nourishing book of prayer for me and for the communities I've served.

I told my parishioners that it took me close to 20 years before I found myself truly able to pray the Mass without being distracted by what I should be doing, what I should be saying, and keeping everything and everyone together. When the book became part of me and my prayer I was free to pray what was in the book.

I noted, then, that if it takes me 20 years to become accustomed to the new Roman Missal, I'll be 84 years old!  But since I estimate that I'd then be only a decade away from retirement, I'm sure I can make it!

After the laughter, I asked the people to be patient with me as I work with a new book for prayer and I invited all of us to be patient with one another and with the book until we have had the opportunity to make it our own.  It will not happen overnight.  It will take a long time.

The road to this Missal has been long, difficult and not without controversy. Please pray for priests and music ministers introducing the new texts and working to make the new Missal our prayer book. And please pray for priests and people whose affection for the former book makes this task a difficult one. These may not be easy times ahead but if we work together to pray together, we can depend on the Spirit to make us one in prayer and praise. 


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1 comment:

  1. I need to take a leaf out of "your book " and try to develop a more positive approach to it.

    I am really struggling with it.



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