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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, September 12, 2011
23rd Sunday of the Year – 4th Sept 2011
All Change, Please
This weekend sees a couple of changes. To begin with, we will be using the new English translation of the Roman Missal. For so many years we have become used to the prayers and the dialogue between priest and people brought in during the early 1970’s. But becoming used to it generates the possibility of the greatest prayer God gives us, as St John Vianney teaches – the Mass – being celebrated on autopilot. It reminds me of the ancient joke concerning the priest who begins Mass by tapping the microphone and saying, “This microphone is not working.” The people respond, “And also with you.” As they say, familiarity...
Given the changes, we will all need to concentrate a lot harder on our words – it won’t be easy for any of us but we are all in this together. However, I am sure you know that the change is not for change’s’ sake but to make the words we say a truer translation form the original Latin. As many of you from other countries will notice, what we will be saying from today onwards bears a greater resemblance to the prayers and dialogue in your homeland: “And with your spirit” rather than, “And also with you,” and the threefold admission of sin on our own part in the I Confess among many other alterations. Ultimately, all of these changes will not only bring us closer to the original text but encourage us to really think and pray about what we are celebrating.
Not to avoid the elephant in the room, the other major change is in your parish priest. I can understand how sad you must be to lose Fr Hugh, but if it is any consolation, the people of North Harrow are a little upset to be losing me – although I have heard rumours of street parties this weekend. And indeed, it is difficult for us to leave people and places we have come to know and love as parish priests.
Perhaps the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II can help us here: “The times change and with them many things, but man’s heart remains the same – it always needs love. “ May our love for the Eucharist deepen with these changes and lead us to a more profound love for Christ and His Church. And may our love for one another grow as we journey together in faith.
But for the time being, I crave your patience as I slowly unpack in the hope of finding all the things I need to serve you as best I can – the very things which will, no doubt, be at the bottom of the very last box I open. Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:39 am