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April 15, 2011
 
Special Edition on the Roman Missal
 
 
Faith Formation Update continues to offer free monthly encouragement and direction for catechetical ministry within the classroom and beyond. I’m Jeanne Hunt. In each issue I offer a brief starter and my “ Every Family” column. My co-worker and fellow religious educator Joan McKamey offers media resources and ideas in her “ Seen and Heard” column. Our co-worker Angela Glassmeyer suggests other faith formation resources for adults in her column, “Sowing Sampler.”

This edition's "Seen and Heard" column is from guest writer Fr. Greg Friedman, O.F.M. He provides a background for the latest media resource on the changes in the Roman Missal.

 

All of us who labor in the vineyard are starting to worry about bringing the new Roman Missal to our parish. Join us in this special edition for some easy ways to open this moment in Church history.

—Jeanne Hunt
 
     
 
 
What Can We Do?
 
 

For the most part, the folks in the pews are not as worried as parish staffs are about introducing the changes in the Roman Missal. “Just give us the new words and we’ll say them,” said a catechist in my parish. But this change is more than a new script, it’s a teaching moment. As catechists, we love to see an event as a touchstone of grace, a time when we can understand and change our expectations of faith as we learn something new.

 

While, for many, it is all about the words, when we begin to understand the “why” behind the new language, we can take the meaning of the Eucharist to a deeper dimension. To help you in this teaching moment are six powerful newsletters in the tradition of Catholic Update. Whether you just stick with the newsletters or use them in conjunction with Father Greg Friedman’s DVD, I can assure you that these handouts will make catechesis easy.

 

The leader’s guide gives you the practical nuts and bolts to allow adults and teens to make sense out of what will happen in the parish this coming November. Each newsletter explores dimensions of faith that go way beyond new words: “What’s a Missal, Anyway?,” “Liturgy: It’s How We Pray,” “‘I Believe’—The Creed(s),” “The ‘Family Meal’: An Overview of the Mass,” “The Eucharistic Prayer” and “‘Communion Rite’: A Faith Connection.” I have been a parish minister long enough to recommend Catholic Updates as the best tool we can find to make this change a graced teaching moment.

 

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 
     
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Making It Easy
 
 

Whether you decide to use the newsletters on their own or create a whole faith formation program based on these resources, there are loads of ways to use them: I love to have a “Coffee Talk” session between the Sunday Masses. These half-hour sessions offer hot coffee, donuts and a short episode on the Roman Missal based on the guides that are sent with the newsletter.

 

Another way to use these newsletters is in your parish small faith discussion groups. The agenda is ready to go for next September. Finally, consider having Family Night parish suppers that each feature one newsletter and the DVD. While any change is difficult, I hope these ideas will make the catechesis easy and fun.

 
     
Online Catalog
 
 
A Box of Video “Sweets”
 
 

As a pastor and communicator, I’ve been thinking for many months about the introduction—this Advent—of the new translation of the Mass prayers. While there are still a few folks out there talking about the advisability of this change, most of us are getting on with the task of faith formation to prepare for it. I suspect my parishioners’ reaction will be “Why all the fuss?” The actual changes to the assembly’s parts are not extensive. (It’s your pastor who’ll be glued to his new copy of the Roman Missal come Advent!)
 
But this first major change to the Mass to occur in the 35 years that I’ve been a priest strikes me as a good opportunity to talk liturgy, sacramental theology, Church history and even ecclesiology in down-to-earth terms in the parish. While I’m not a formal scholar, I do have a “pastor’s take” on all those areas. My pastoral experience led me to the creation of the Catholic Update Video Guide to the Changes in the Mass.
 
It’s a “candy box” full of short, digestible pieces. You can offer one or two pieces at a time to give a background and introduction to the new Mass translation. I wrote it for pastors, worship commissions, music groups, those assisting at Mass and the folks in the pews. I researched what I needed to know and what I judge my parishioners might like to know. And I put in some of my own personal, down-to-earth examples—like baseball, my family album and admitting to the hour I’m at my worst each week—those 60 minutes right before Mass begins!
 
You can find out more about this resource and watch sample clips at CatholicUpdate.org/RomanMissal. It’s my hope that it will “sweeten” the introduction of the changes in the Mass for you, your parish and your school. 

Fr. Greg Friedman, O.F.M. 
Fr. Greg is creative director for the Media Production Team at St. Anthony Messenger Press, where he writes, produces and serves as talent for many of SAMP’s electronic faith-formation resources.

 
     
Franciscan Radio
 
Praying the Changes
 
 

How hard do you think it will be to remember the changes in the Roman Missal? I think the hardest ones to remember will be those that come in the middle of a prayer, and the easiest will be those that are a single response, such as “And with your spirit.”

 

Most churches will help their congregations by purchasing pew cards that contain the new words for the prayers and responses at Mass. There are many options available for this, and your parish’s particular needs will determine which option works best for you. You’ll want to have some extras on hand for those who would like to take the pew cards home with them to practice praying the new words. You may even decide to encourage that practice as a simple but powerful way to get people comfortable with the new words!

 

You can get more information about our pew card and other Catholic Update Guide to Changes in the Mass products by visiting the Web site CatholicUpdate.org/RomanMissal.

 
     
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