Sunday, 4 September 2011

The new mass wording

Yesterday - the feast of St Gregory - was an appropriate day to go for some "training" about the new mass wording. It's been handed down to us, somewhat controversially, from the Vatican: was Pope St Gregory equally authoritarian in his day? (In this mid-19th Century stained glass image, from one of the windows in our Cheltenham St Gregory's Church, he is seen instructing Augustine and six other Benedictine monks, before their departure for England in AD 597.)

Jenny Baker, from Catholic Faith Exploration, led the training at Sacred Hearts Hall: I thought she spoke well on the whole, starting with an examination of what baptism is all about: really, she said, the Anglican "Christening" is a better word, denoting the conferring of authority to exercise ministry, that is to be Christ-like. "All ministry is ministry of humble service, with Christ as the model," she reminded us. Hospitality is a non-negotiable element in the life of the Church: not an innovation! We need to risk rebuff, and recall Hebrews 13:2, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Good to concentrate on this, and in doing so I expect we shall soon learn to accept many of the infelicities of the new translation.

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