This Sunday in Bible Class, one of the parishioners said something about how ours is a "fairly liturgical" church. My pastor immediately responded, feigning offense, "What do you mean 'fairly'?" The truth is that I am a member of a very liturgical church and our pastor puts a lot of thought into each aspect of the liturgy. He teaches us what each part means and why it's important. And even though I learned these things as a child, I love the refresher. And I'm very grateful to attend services so rich with meaning. But this Telegraph story tried to spin a liturgical conference in the worst possible way. Headline? "Priests stop saying 'good morning' to their congregations."
Oh simmer down Telegraph folks. The story is that clergy at a meeting at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds (although we're not told that the group is Catholic until the end of the story!) were told to question whether it was appropriate to offer informal greetings following the invocation. I must admit that I'm not a big fan of the "good morning" from the celebrant, although I'm a big fan, of course, of friendly clergy. Anyway, here's a bit from the story:
A spokesman for the diocese said: "The review of the liturgy is looking at whether there are elements of the service that have become a bit too distracting.
"People might argue that if you go in to a house, you say 'hi', but the priest is not going in to a house. He is going in to a sacred service. We need to emphasise that the priest is president of the community and is presiding at the service.
"It is a debate that has been going on in the Church for a long time -- are we doing a cabaret or are we actually celebrating the Eucharist?
"The fear is that if some guidance is not given and general decisions are not put down, the interpretation of the liturgy leads to unsuitable things, like strobe lights and girls in hotpants. The aim of the new translation is to bring more dignity to the service."
With quotes that delightful, one wishes this spokesman for the diocese had a name. One wonders why the spokesman doesn't have a name. Or why no one mentioned in the article is identified by name. Hmmm.
Anyway, the reason why I'm highlighting this story here is because of how the story ends:
Arguments have long raged within the Catholic church about the current translation of the Roman Missal. Some believe the translations that came out of the Second Vatican Council, in the 1960s, were too quickly done and failed to capture important nuances.
The Vatican has approved a new English translation for the most commonly used text of the mass but its full contents have yet to be revealed.
Changes that have emerged so far include; when the priest says "The Lord be with you", the faithful will now respond "And with our spirit", rather than "And also with you", as they do now.
At my congregation, we say "and with your spirit" or "and with thy spirit." So I'm pretty sure this change for Catholics is not from second person to first. I bet the change is to "and with your spirit." Some typo!