Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Changes to the Roman Mass

Today in the secular press there has been some coverage on the changes coming to the English version of the new (1960's) Roman Catholic Mass. Interestingly, these changes are in fact just better translations of the Novus Ordo (New Order) of the Mass, which is of course in Latin. For decades traditionally minded theologians in the Roman Church (unfortunately, a minority as they are here in ECUSA) have been yelling that the American version was an awful translation, motivated by bad theology! The same bad theology influenced the revision of the 1979 American prayer book in the Episcopal Church!

Notice many of the changes match....our liturgy! That is because our 1928 liturgy, and its predecessors have their foundation in the ancient Western Liturgies (Roman, etc.) with good theology! Now with Rome correcting itself, could we pray for an American correction?
And my Roman friends who follow such things are saying the next big push is to return the altars to the proper position with the priest leading the prayers, instead of praying to the priest and visa versa! The current pope, while Cardinal, wrote the preface to one book pointing out the fraud of the 'facing the people' innovation, and he and spoken at other times that this should be done facing East (as we do at St. John's).
From the associated press...

Exchanges between priests and parishioners that now say "The Lord be with you" / "And also with you" would become "The Lord be with you" / "And with your spirit."

The Act of Penitence, in which parishioners confess that they have sinned "through my own fault," would include the lines "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."

In the Nicene Creed, the opening words "We believe" would become "I believe."

Early in the Eucharistic Prayer, "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might" would become "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts."

Before Communion, the prayer "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you" would become "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof."