November 27, 2011
In today’s proclamation, the Lord Jesus tells us to be watchful, be alert! As we begin this Advent season of introspection and anticipation, these words of the Lord are especially charged with meaning for us today…as we begin to pray holy Mass using the new third edition of the Roman Missal.
The men and women that make up the staff of Saint Brigid have done a masterful job in preparing us for this period of transition. Meredith Kane, our Director of Music, and the coordinators of the different music groups have assisted us in the work of learning the sung Mass parts of the Mass of Renewal, the Mass chosen by our musicians. I have learned a bit, and I trust you have as well. We will continue to learn…and to sing…to be fully attentive to our part in the celebration of the Lord’s great Liturgy of Eucharist.
Colleen Crupie and members of our staff have created the green prayer books you see in the pews. You will need to pick up these liturgy-aides throughout the Mass…for months to come…as you learn the new Mass parts that the assembly speaks in responding to the leadership of the presiding priest and to our longing for the Lord. Please leave these liturgy-aides in the pews…so that the folks at the next liturgy may also pray well!
Deacon Leo and members of the staff have prepared liturgy books for Fr. Exumé and me and for the deacons assisting at our liturgies. The clergy will need to be attentive as well. We have lots to learn!
I am excited about this new beginning. I am hopeful that the introduction of this new Roman Missal will allow us to fall in love again with the beauty of the Mass; I am hopeful that this new beginning will re-ignite our gratitude for the awesome privilege we have been given…to pray together as the Body of Christ…in His Spirit…through His Presence.
I will make many mistakes as I begin to preside at the Mass with this new Missal. For many years now, I have been able to pray the Mass from my heart, having memorized all the prayers we’ve used at Mass. I must begin again, and I’m guessing that I’ll stumble more than a few times. Fr. Exumé may stumble a time or two as well, though he is younger and wiser! But here is my promise to you: I will dedicate myself to preside at our prayer, faithful to the mind of the Church of Christ and obedient to the Spirit. In presiding at Mass for the family of Saint Brigid, I will hope to rediscover the beauty of the Lord’s liturgy as His disciple and as His priest.
As we begin this Advent season of introspection and anticipation and new things, the Lord Jesus says to us…be watchful, stay alert!