Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Christmas eve was always a time of midnight mass/candlelight vigil and opening gifts late with Justin's maternal grandmother.  For the past two years, however, the Catholic church in our area has only offered a 4:00pm and a 6:00pm mass.  So we've revised our plans to include attending the 4:00pm, going back to his grandmother's for supper and then opening gifts and enjoying some cookies and wine for dessert.  Seeing as how we're all getting older, this did enable us all to go to bed at a decent hour.  So in this respect, change was good.  However, what changed recently at mass I'm a little perplexed about.  Granted, I am a "C&E Catholic" (Christmas & Easter) so I don't attend regularly, but I grew up going to mass every Sunday and to the Sunday School classes which followed.  I learned all the prayers and could pretty much recite the mass word-for-word... until now.

You see, the Catholic church has decided to change their prayers.  Odd, right?  One of the oldest, strictest religions changing something as fundamental as prayers.  Yeah, didn't sit too well with me either.   Not that I got a vote.  I can tell you it actually made me quite uncomfortable.  Here I was going through the motions and following along with the mass when all of a sudden "whoah, when the hell did they change that sentence?"  My father kind of chuckles over my stumbling through the prayers and says "you've been gone a while."  Yeah, no kidding but I didn't realize in the few short years I was absent they changed all the frigging words.  I mean, I could see if they were trying to revamp their image and such to be more inviting for new members and more accommodating of the modern society, however that is not the case. 

According to a news article in the LA Times, the Catholic church has decided to change the wording to be a more accurate reflection of the Latin translation.  I must say though, this new translation seems to dumb down the prayers.  What once was "in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do" has become "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."  In what way does this depict the same thing?  And what the heck is "consubstantial" doing in the Nicene Creed??  It's like autocorrect has invaded Catholicism.  What's next?  "Retranslating" the zillion and one Christmas carols that we sing throughout mass?  If that happens, I may never go back.

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