Monday, November 28, 2011

What We Learned This Weekend: Mass and Conditioned Response

This weekend, I was at two Masses - one as the cantor, one as a choir member - and experienced the roll-out of the new translation twice.  In both cases, the experience was a bit mixed - some hits, some misses.

At the Saturday night Mass, when our pastor used the longer form of the greeting: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all" - I had a brain-freeze.  I had been practicing for months to  respond to "The Lord be with you" and that's what was on the Mass card. Miss number one.  The second time, it was better - I was ready.

What I quickly discovered is that when I hear "The Lord be with you" - if the card was not in my hand and I had just finished a cantor function, such a singing the Alleluia, I was still on "autopilot" and responded dutifully - "And also with you." (makes sheepish face)  About half of the Assembly apparently had the same issue. The responses were mixed.

It was better at the second Mass - and the choir led many of the responses, but again, as we were shuffling music to prepare for the eucharistic acclamations, we lapsed into the old response.

So, what did I learn on New Roman Missal weekend? I, and most other people are a bit like Pavlov's dog.  Apparently, even when you know better, it will take a while to readjust and correct our response. Meanwhile, I feel just a bit drooly!

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