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Weekly Message from our Pastor – 12/17/2017

Dear Parishioners,

For the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Church publishes the Roman Missal and the first part of it is a long instruction on how to say the Mass. It is called “The General Instruction of the Roman Missal,” popularly known as the “G.I.R.M.”. Number 299 of the GIRM states, “The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people wherever possible. …” Those who came to my Vatican II presentation know that this was never legislated nor even recommended in the Council. Msgr. Bugnini and his accomplices were in a great hurry to get the new Missal (originally called “Sacramentary”) published and widely distributed before Blessed Paul VI realized what they were up to. So they didn’t have the chance to make sure that the rubrics (small red type interspersed throughout the Missal giving particular instructions for the Mass) matched up with the GIRM. So four times in the rubrics the priest is instructed to turn and face the people. At the beginning of the Mass, the official Latin rubric says, “…dum sacerdos, ad populum conversus salutat, dicit.” The loose English translation says, “…then the priest facing the people says.” The Latin word “conversus” means to turn around, or change completely. From there comes our English word “convert”. A more faithful translation would be, “…then the priest, turning around toward the people, says.” Then after the initial elevations of the offertory it says again, “…versus ad populum…dicit,” and then the priest says, “Pray Brethren…” After the Lamb of God again the priest is instructed, “…ad populum versus, clara voce dicit.” Again at the end of Mass just before the final blessing it says, “…Sacerdos, versus ad populum, extendens manus dicit.”

(to be continued)