Catholic Review of: Understanding the Revised Mass Texts
Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Intermediate
By Renee Gardiner (AL) - See all my reviews
don't delay - learn about the upcoming changes
Understanding the Revised Mass Texts by Paul Turner is exactly the book I needed as I am not one to like changes. This small booklet (only 47 pages) starts with five pages of explanation as to why the Mass texts have changed and then goes through all the parts of Mass explaining what will be changing and why.
There is lots of information packed into those opening five pages. I learned that the new Mass texts will be more formal which is probably a good thing since Mass in many parishes has become too familar - sometimes reverence for our Lord is forgotten. The new texts will be more faithful to the Latin from which they were translated and there will be both large and small changes to the words we pray during Mass. In addition to answering the whys, there is an explanation about who did the translations and how the book will assist the reader including reminding us that these changes will not take place for another nine months - on Sunday 27 November, the First Sunday of Advent. Although in reality, I'm guessing the changes will occur at Vigil Masses on Saturday 26 November.
I will be the first to say that I am not happy about these changes - having been born in 1964 I have known Mass as it is my entire life; I have no recollection whatsoever of Latin Mass - but at least I now know the reasons for the changes. There are some changes I totally understand such as our response to "The Lord be with you." being "and with your spirit." - it's a direct translation of the Latin text. And then there is the one I will have the hardest time changing - I am always humbled by the response "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed." I do not care for the new text and feel like it's talking about Jesus entering my physical home in Madison and not my soul. It will take me years to change my prayer just as I still sing many hyms without the newer gender neutral lyrics.
I would recommend this book for all Catholics so they are aware of the impending changes and not surprised when they attend Mass on the First Sunday of Advent.
You can purchase this book here.