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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, September 12, 2011
24th Sunday of the Year – 11th Sept 2011
Quiet, Please
This is now the second week that we are using the new English translation of the Roman Missal, and you will have noticed the change right at the start of Mass. The priest says, “The Lord be with you,” and the people respond, “And with your spirit.” This is closer to the Latin Et cum spiritu tuo and matches the response in other major languages such as Spanish, French, Italian and German. Our previous translation was adequate but the revised translation is richer because the purpose of this greeting is not simply to say, “Good morning.” Bringing in the spirit alerts us that we are entering a sacramental realm and reminds us of our responsibility to pray the Mass rather than just go through the motions. It also establishes the interdependence of the priest and the people as they take up their roles in the praise of God.
As I said, even these small changes require a degree of concentration and engagement. That can be helped greatly by a period of quiet recollection before Mass begins, which means you will have to arrive early. So as you read this listen to the sounds around you and consider how you contribute to them yourself. Instead, think about why we are here and spend a few moments asking the Holy Spirit to help us pray with Christ and pray with the Church. We could also call to mind the week just gone and think about the week that lies ahead and bring them before the Lord.
The excellent book entitled Celebrating the Mass says, ‘The purpose of the Introductory Rites is to ensure that the faithful, who come together as one, establish communion and dispose themselves to listen properly to God’s Word and to celebrate the Eucharist worthily.’ The fact that we are all having to enter into the Mass with a little more care and concern gives us the opportunity to consider how well disposed we are at Mass and how our behaviour enables other people to prepare. Archbishop Nichols speaks of this in his book Promise of Future Glory – ‘Moments of silence are an important step in creating in ourselves a space, an openness, a receptivity to God, permitting the Holy Spirit to take hold of them. In these moments of silence we stand before the God who forgives, whose Word is about to be proclaimed, whose action we are to celebrate in the sacrament. And we do this not only as individuals, but together as the people called to this moment, this place of truth and life.’ Shhh! Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:43 am