Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Waiting for the Mystery of Faith

Perusing the new translation of the Assembly parts of the Roman Missal on the USCCB website you will notice that the Memorial Acclamation will now be called "The Mystery of Faith" - and that the one we use the most (Option A - the simple and strong text "Christ has died...") is up for grabs, as we wait to see if Rome will grant the USCCB an indult to allow us to keep it as an American adaptation.The proper text has it replaced with "We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again."

Not awful, but again, the familiar musical settings which are so much a part of the American worship experience will not adapt very well to the additional text.  For an example in recent memory of what happens when companies try that, those of us who knew and treasured the original Owen Alstott chant-psalms from OCP will remember what happened when the new Lectionary translation came about a few years back and others adapted his simple settings to the new words, sometimes with rather unmusical results.

Personally, I find it hard to imagine life as a Catholic without the sonorous and powerful Mass of Creation setting of "Christ has died..." the Mass setting which has become so much a part of our experience of worship. GIA, the publisher describes it as "one of the most sung in the English-speaking world."

And so, with the quality of our worship experience now under the control of the Vatican, we wait to see if we lose or get to keep this simple, strong and direct acclamation of our belief in Paschal Mystery.

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