Dr. Edward Sri Talks about the Mass, Its Biblical Roots and the New Translation
Understanding the Mass Enhances our Worship
The Biblical roots of the Liturgy has been a life-long interest of the author, Dr. Edward Sri, who often taught on the subject over the past ten years. "We go to Mass every Sunday - some people go every day - and we know all these prayers by heart. Each of these prayers, these hymns we sing, these rituals that we perform are all rooted in Scripture."
The Biblical roots of the Liturgy has been a life-long interest of the author, who often taught on the subject over the past ten years. As he began working on the book project in earnest last year, with about half the manuscript completed, the announcement was made about the new Mass translation.
"I had to revise my book to some extent," he stated. "I was able to go back and incorporate the new Mass translation parts and give special attention to the significant changes we will notice."
Still, the mission of the book remained the same - to give people the Biblical "why" behind what we do and say in the Liturgy, a subject he felt need to be covered more extensively.
"We go to Mass every Sunday - some people go every day - and we know all these prayers by heart; we know them like the back of our hand. I joke around when I make presentations that if I poked you in the middle of the night and said, 'The Lord be with you," you'd roll over in your sleep and say, 'And also with you!'
"We say these responses almost robotically. Do we really understand what we are saying or what we are doing.
"There's not as much out there for the average person on the meaning of all those prayers. Each of these prayers, these hymns we sing, these rituals that we perform are all rooted in Scripture."
This book is a clear and concise resource for every Catholic who wants to know the background of the Mass. The Biblical roots and explanations provided by Dr. Sri will encourage every man and woman of faith concerning the importance of our liturgies.
The book carefully covers every section of the Mass in the Introductory Rites, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. A wealth of Scriptural references as well as quotes from the Church Fathers provide a solid foundation of understanding for liturgical worship.
The book also covers a lot of interesting and important information about the New Mass: why changes were made, the meaning of the changes, how they will enhance our worship of Christ.
I took advantage of my time with Dr. Sri to talk about some of the changes in the new translation.
And with your spirit
The first topic was the response to the priest's greeting, "The Lord be with you." In the current missal we say "And also with you," which is not an accurate translation of the Latin. Most other languages correctly translate the Latin "et cum spiritu tuo" with the equivalence of the English "and with your spirit."
In the new translation, English-speaking Catholics will join their brothers and sisters around the world in correctly saying "And with your spirit."
"'The Lord Be With You,'" Sri noted, "is a special greeting." He emphasized that it is more than just a clever way to get people ready to pray.
"It should be a wakeup call. We are invited to participate in the sacred mysteries!
"Then when we say, 'and with your spirit,' it conveys an important theological point. Just as the priest is saying to us, 'The Lord be with you,' (in other words) May God be with you as you prepare to celebrate these sacred mysteries, we're saying back to the priest, 'and may God's spirit be with you' - God's unique activity of His spirit is working in you by virtue of your ordination."
Another change we will notice is in the creed. Where we have regularly said, "We believe." This is now going to be changed to "I believe."
Again, America is one of only a few places in the world that made the earlier change from "I" to "we" in translating the Latin "credo" which means "I believe." The term emphasizes the one is personally embracing of the faith.
Dr. Sri stated, "At every Mass we are planting our flag with God and saying 'I believe in the three persons and I believe in all these truths of the Church.' But it's also a personal entrustment of ourselves. 'I have personally gifted myself to you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and I want to entrust more of my heart to you; I want to surrender more of my life to you; and that's something we can grow in week to week."
He went on to clarify that his is not just a matter of saying that intellectually "I believe" in this faith more this week than I did last week. It's true now and it was true last week too. We don't repeat the creed to update our belief but to say, "I desire to give more of my life to God."
He also indicated that this was more than just a translation adjustment.
"I would say it's not just about going back to Latin to Latin sake. The idea here is that the Latin text of the Mass, which is the base text ...
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