First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

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First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by Southern Comfort »

At a local parish, 6pm first Mass of Sunday, Saturday 3 September. Presider = local bishop, oiling the wheels for handover from old PP to new one later this month.

At two minutes past the advertised starting time, the parish MC emerges and tells people to have a good look at the [Redemptorist] mass card so that we can all pray together by saying the same things together. [The Redemptorist Card is headed "The New Liturgy" — if only that were true!] Bishop also mentioned the new translation in his introductory remarks [tied in transition to new text with transition from old PP to new one], and gave strong lead in people's responses throughout the Mass.

Entrance Hymn: The Church's one foundation
Greeting: "The Lord be with you". Most people got "And with your spirit", but quite a few didn't.
Penitential Act: Interesting to note the bishop significantly editing the introductory text as he went along.... Form A: I confess [everyone following on their cards — fine]
No Kyries
Gloria: read, led by bishop. Everyone once again following well on their cards. Hardly any fluffs.
Liturgy of the Word: all read except for Celtic Alleluia. Readers had clearly been briefed on "The Word of the Lord", but most people seemed unaware that the second response before the Gospel is "Glory to you, O Lord." The response to "The Lord be with you" was also pretty mixed.
Creed: Nicene. Many people tripped over "of all things visible and invisible".
Procession of Gifts: Be still, for the presence of the Lord.
New text of the "Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation" prayers. People's response as usual.
Dialogue before the Preface: Still a lot of "and also with you"s. By the time we got to it "It is right and just", most people had cottoned on to the fact that it was different.
Sanctus: sung to David Thorne's Mass of St Thomas — i.e. the existing text.
EP II: apart from the three chalices sticking out like a sore thumb, the most obvious thing was one of the concelebrants skating rapidly over "coheirs with him to eternal life". Because the text is so different, the two concelebrants sharing in the prayer did not know when to come in, and had to be prompted.
Memorial Acclamation: A. Spoken. Half the congregation not reading their cards and so did not respond at all.
Doxology and Amen: spoken
Our Father, Embolism and Acclamation: spoken
"Peace be with you": once again a variety of responses
Lamb of God: sung to the Thorne setting
Communion: wall-to-wall organ music. The hymn on the hymn board (can't remember what it was, but it would have been awful!) omitted completely, thank goodness.
Intro to final blessing: once again, "and with your spirit" mingled mightily with "and also with you".
Final hymn: How great thou art

All in all, a fairly typical parish experience, I suspect. I wonder how many parishes wil have actually had an introductory announcement drawing people's attention to the new mass cards? The presider's prayers (collect, gifts, postcommunion) were all the current text, of course, so people will not really start to realise what the most noticeable changes are until we get into December.

I was sporting a very large "And with your spirit" badge which aroused a lot of mirth among the clergy present. No one else seemed to notice it except the parish MC, who said that they should have bought a load of them for parishioners.

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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by Peter Jones »

Southern Comfort wrote:New text of the "Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation" prayers. People's response as usual.
Did they get holy Church?

I confess that I have cheated (and so have many of my colleagues) in that I have introduced the new texts little by little since Low Sunday.
Two particular stumbling blocks for the assembly seem to be the embolism after the Lord's Prayer: "For the Kingdom...." is taking a while to get going: and the dismissals at the end of Mass: "Go forth....", "Go in peace". These elicit looks of incredulity but I'm sure the automatic "Thanks be..." will soon slot into place.

As for my parts, nothing is flowing easily yet. I think I am praying EP II now and am getting there with EP III. I am nowhere near ready to attempt EP I or EPIV at the altar.

Any other priests here who can share experiences? Any priests who will be engaging in a lot more chanting of prayer, dialogues?
Any opinions expressed are my own, not those of the Archdiocese of Birmingham Liturgy Commission, Church Music Committee.
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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by musicus »

Let me second mcb's welcome (in another thread) to the forum, Peter. It's good to have you here.
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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by musicus »

Anticipating tomorrow morning, we had planned to sing the new texts of the Eucharistic acclamations but an 'old' Glory to God and Lamb of God, but our PP (who has also been 'cheating' little by little since Easter) has asked us to use the new texts, even if it means saying them for a week or two. Apparently things have moved on during our annual Summer break :)
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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by HallamPhil »

welcome to this forum, Peter

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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by Peter Jones »

Just a general comment:

I think that the new translation cannot be rushed in its proclamation. The necessary moderate speed of both presidential announcement and congregational participation needs consideration. This is much more formal language than before.
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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by Peter Jones »

HallamPhil wrote:welcome to this forum, Peter


Thank you Phil and Mr Bear - and with your spirit.
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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by alan29 »

I don't know yet.
But this I do know, there has been not one jot of preparation or even a mention from the pulpit or in the parish bulletin. Those charged with preparing the liturgy, priest, music leader, liturgy group have just seemed to have put their collective heads in the sand.
My wife had to pop to church before the vigil mass today to put up a notice. She returned with the bulletin - nothing. I am playing with the music group at the 11.00 mass - zero preparation or even word.
What was that about the new translation being a chance to renew our knowledge of the liturgy?
I have been back playing about 15 months after a break of several years. At this rate I feel another sabbatical coming on.
One very frustrated bunny, here.

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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by Peter »

My experience is diametrically opposite to that of Alan29. For the past month or two we've had Alan Griffiths' articles on the new texts printed in the Deanery Newsletter and my PP has kept reminding us of the imminent changes. He selected the "Psallite" Mass to start with as one that the people would be able to pick up quickly and sing from the outset, and attended a practice with the singing group last week at which we learned the Gloria, Eucharistic Acclamations and an Agnus Dei from it*, he himself taking care to learn the plainchant "Mystery of Faith" announcements and doxology to go with them. He ordered cards containing the new responses and prepared others containing the music, which were handed out with the hymn sheets at the Vigil Mass this evening and to which he made copious references throughout the Mass to remind us to use the new texts. He has been using the new texts in weekday Masses to become familiar with them before having to use them for Sunday Masses.

The preparation paid off. People, including those not at Tuesday's practice, joined in readily with the sung parts of the Mass and made the correct responses. The frequent reminders by the PP to use the response cards or where to find the printed music did not detract in any way from the prayerful tone of the Mass. Though he admitted to being apprehensive at the start, he seemed very satisfied at the end with how it had gone.

The comments I heard about the texts themselves were at opposite extremes: one enthused that we now have "a Mass text for grown-ups", another referred to the long and convoluted sentence structure in which it is easy to lose track of where the sentence is leading.

Sory Alan29's experience has been so grim and demoralising. I hope the experience in other parishes is more like mine.

* The Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation and Our Father were sung to the same settings we've used for years, but then these texts have not changed and so a new setting is not urgently needed. We also had three hymns and a Taizé chant, in accordance with our usual practice.

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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by FrGareth »

I have cheated slightly... began the using the new Missal on 2 Sept to let the weekday crowd get a couple of days of practice for a strong lead!

Before the opening hymn, I taught the Missal chant for "And with your spirit" and said we would chant it for a couple of months to help us get in the habit (the old greeting would always have been said in the parish, except on some solemnities).

Greeting: "The Lord be with you". Correct response!
Penitential Act: Troped Kyries - said.
Gloria: sung to a simple psalm tone - we have been using this since the start of July.
Liturgy of the Word: all straightforward. Quite a few attempts to sing "And also with you" but corrected by my strong lead from the pulpit.
Used the homily to point out the "HOLY Church" trap up ahead.
Creed: Nicene. No obvious problems.
New text of the "Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation" prayers - used inaudibly, during the hymn.
I intervened after the Prayer Over the Offerings to teach the missal chant of the preface dialogue.
Sanctus: used the Missal chants - we have been using this since the start of July.
EP III: misread "these" for "the" in one place, and words needed a bit more thinking about, but OK.
Memorial Acclamation: B. Chanted, with a reasonably strong response from the congregation. Again, we have been using this since the start of July.
Doxology and Amen: The doxology feels more like Easter than the old one!
Our Father, Embolism and Acclamation: spoken
"Peace be with you": once again a variety of responses - used the chant (priest's part feels quite awkward with the down-and-up) but the people's response was almost all "with your spirit".
Lamb of God: said
Intro to final blessing: consistent "and with your spirit" chanted well.
Dismissal: Took a moment longer than usual for congregation to react to the unfamiliar prompt.

All in all, a very good response from the parish and the gradual preparation paid off.
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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by Gwyn »

We've been using the new translation of the Sanctus and the responses after the readings since, I think, about February so these are well embedded now.

We started using the new translation in its entirity around about mid July so we're well up to speed now. The big beartraps are; "... the good of all his holy church." as well as "...under my roof... soul shall be healed."

We're getting there.

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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by Calum Cille »

The mass at Corp sa Chiste parish this morning was as follows.
Entrance hymn
Be Thou My Vision
The parish priest then gave a brief word that the "New Liturgy" Redemptorist sheets handed out contained the new translation and that it was decided to use it all as from today (apparently the archdiocese does not advise introducing the people's parts until Advent). I suspect from their subsequent ignoring of the sheets that people in the congregation understood his words only to apply to the things being read by those on the altar and not to themselves.
Greeting
The first response the priest got was mostly "And also with you" so he said "what?" and, after a brief double-take, it was again mostly, "And also with you" at which point the priest asked the congregation to consult their sheets, after which most of them managed "And with your spirit". Suddenly all heads were down - a great opportunity to practice the new wording of the Confiteor, you would think, but no.
Penitential rite
Lord, have mercy.
Gloria
Done fairly well
Readings
First Alleluias sung. Instead of the acclamation, the priest said "The Lord be with you" to which the people dutifully replied "And also/with with/your you/spirit". The organist then played the final alleluia which no one sang.
Creed
I only noticed the priest slipping up here, failing to say the second of the three "who"s.
Procession of the gifts
Blessed Are You, Lord God Of All Creation
Offertory
Most of the congregation failed to say "holy".
Dialogue
Half the congregation failed to say "and just".
Sanctus
Sung. Despite the composer making an effort to update the St Anne's mass, the choir sang the old text. Members of the congregation were not forewarned but after meeting the initial stumbling point whether old and new part, they picked up their old confidence.
Memorial Acclamation
Sung. Again, St Anne's mass, old text. Most people sang it confidently.
Our Father
The priest made a point here of letting people know that the people were no longer to be permitted to join in with "Lord Jesus Christ". [Hip hip!] Nevertheless, some of them instinctively started to, then cottoned on that few were joining them and their number tailed away to a minimum by the end of that section.
Pax
Most people were now getting it.
Lamb of God
Sung. St Anne's mass again.
Domine, non sum dignus
About a quarter of the congregation were still saying the old words.
Communion
Love Is His Word during the procession, followed by the parish priest's favourite chant CD.
Final blessing
An audible minority still couldn't manage "And with your spirit" by this point.
Recessional
Follow Me, Follow Me

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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by PaulW »

Our PP has done a pretty good job over the last few months in preparing the people for the new texts. We're using the McCrimmons' Mass cards, which seem straightforward enough. He started last week with us using the new text as far as the General Intercessions; this week he introdcued the communion rite changes; next week he's on to the Eucharistic Prayer, so we'll be fully translated from then on.

For many years, the Sunday Mass was dominated by a choir which didn't encourage anyone to join in. Since Christmas of last year, they gave up - well into their late 70s, they felt they could no longer perform to the standard which they would have wished, so there's been a rota for Sunday Morning with the group I run doing every other week (and the Saturday evenings in between) and a team of three pianists taking turns on the rota. We've used the opportunity of the new translation to decide on one setting for us all to use at all the masses until Advent. Leaving it somewhat late, we met on Friday last... but this was the first time that we have all talked through. We sang through a number of settings, including the missal chants and some of my own and decided to keep things simple: Psallite Gloria and Belmont Mass (my opinion is that Chris Walker has a "miss" with the Belmont Gloria). We agreed that we'll sing Peter Jones' revised Coventry Gloria at Christmas and that we'll introduce this in November for the three weeks before Advent so that it is not completely unfamiliar at Midnight Mass. We'll meet again in Advent to see how things are going and to pick a different setting to use - possibly one that is home-grown.


For today:
Opening Hymn (Love is his word with guitar, clarinet and flute accompaniment). Fr L reverenced the altar and wafted plenty of smoke around so we got a fair way through the hymn. Then everyone was invited to sit whilst I stood and taught them the music for the Gloria (Psallite) and Sanctus (Belmont Mass). This was, I suspect, an experience for the people to be invited to sing and the response was very favourable with a fair volume. In part this is simoply being invited to sing and in part it is because the PP joined in and in part it is because we sang completely unaccompanied at that point.

New Confiteor: well read from the cards.

Psallite Gloria. Unaccompanied Unison singing until the final section, where the choir subtly added the harmonies. The people had managed to remember it from the couple of minutes previously. Phew!

Psalm: My own setting of the Grail text. For me this is a hard psalm - read the bits the lectionary leaves out ("My people, you are perverse", I said in my anger), so it's a gritty setting with plenty of guitar rhythm.

Alleluia. Chanted to the Psallite Gloria tune, so that was repeated pretty well as it was familiar by now, but the dialog had more than one "and also with you" (I wasn't the only one who forgot :oops: ) It was a spur of the moment idea for the Alleluia; normally I would chant Bevenot or Gregory Murray.

Homily. Fr L congratulated the Assembly on how well they were singing and then went on to talk about the Centurion's prayer and the dismissal in preparation from when we got there. He explained which bits were going to be New this week and laid the foundation for next week's change to the revised EP text.

Creed followed - again well read from the cards.

Procession: For the Healing of the Nations, accompanied flute, clarinet and contrabass clarinet.

Preface Dialogue: Well into our stride now and managed to get the responses right and just.
Old text for the Preface BUT revised Holy, Holy Unison unaccompanied, with the people remembering a fair chunk from the rehearsal at the start of Mass. Memorial Acclamation: Save us Saviour, Cantor sang it once and everyone then sang it together, as there'd been no time to rehearse at the start of Mass - I didn't want to outstay my welcome. Great Amen said.

Onto the Communion Rite and again, we remembered to use the Mass cards and get the texts correct. Just as well, since we'd had it so well explained to us earlier...

Communion Procession: Psallite Where two or three are gathered, unnaccompanied in parts.

Dismissal: Ha! Wheels came a little unstuck, with more than one "And also with you". Obviously concentration span had been exceeded for some.

Final Hymn Love Divine, unaccompanied, 4-part to Blaenwern. Rafters raised.


Next week, on the Wednesday which is the feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross, we are having a "teaching Mass" as Fr L puts it, where we'll try things such as him singing the dialogues and we shalln't be afraid to repeat it if things go awry. I might introduce some accompaniment for the Belmont Mass then too, but we'll see how the unaccompanied singing goes next Saturday/Sunday. I got the impression more people sang today than normal simply because they were being asked to and were not being given the option not to. All in all, a good experience.
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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by Calum Cille »

PaulW wrote:I got the impression more people sang today than normal simply because they were being asked to and were not being given the option not to.

That's the key.

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Re: First Mass in new translation: so how was it?

Post by Alan »

At Holy Redeemer Pershore this morning, Fr John, who has been gradually introducing the new translation since Easter, started by drawing everyone's attention to the CTS Mass cards. By now, most people have got the hang of "and with your spirit" thoughout Mass. Today, we said the Confieor for the first time, and that did trip a few up. Today's Glory to God was said, because our planning meeting hadn't yet taken place. (After Mass, we met and decided to use David Saint's refrain setting (in 'Glory to God'), because that would also work unaccompanied, and my own St Kenelm through setting (also in GtG). We use the Coventry setting at Christmas and Easter, so we'll switch to the revised version on those occasions. Both readers remembered "The word of the Lord" (though i myself had checked with the first one - fortunately! - before Mass). This morning, we used Chris Walker's responsorial In Pace acclamations (GtG), not for the first time, and they went very well. As others have suggested, the new translation is easier sung than said. Fr John prayed the Eucharistic Prayer simply and well - it was the shortest one (3?), which he is now very comfortable with; however, he forgot to introduce the Sign of Peace, but people did it anyway. Our Lamb of God was not to the correct text (L593, which we will continue to use from time to time as a communion song), but, starting next week, we are going to use Peter Jones' stand-alone setting (in GtG and also in Music for the Mass 2). Mass ended without incident (!) or, indeed, without any real sense of having done anything at all different.

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