Now it begins: the great task of implementing the final version of the revised Roman Missal. With the final approval of the text comes the responsibility of receiving it and making its use a reality in parishes around the English-speaking world. Lots of issues are out there, to be sure, but one thing that most of the commentators on the blogosphere and in the news releases have in common is that this is an opportunity for enrichment of the average Catholic's understanding of the Mass. If the goal is to navigate this change as painlessly as possible, we need to strategize now. It will be crucial to step out of comfortable parish "silos" and to work together as a team.
What should be happening right now, I suggest, is that every parish should hand their catechists and liturgical ministers a good pamphlet or workbook to begin to study (there are certainly a number of good choices out there). Catechist gatherings through the 2010-11 school year should include sessions on the missal led by someone qualified to answer their questions. If catechists and those who serve at Mass understand the changes, they can not only teach others about them, but can serve as people "seeded" throughout the community who can participate intelligently and with some authority, in discussions with other adults in the parish. It's a simple step, but if we build up a core of people in the community with a solid understanding of what is happening and why, this will not feel like it is Father and the music director asking people to change.