by Krista Kutz
Change is coming this Advent. On Sunday, November 27, the English-speaking Catholic world will begin worshipping with the newly-translated Roman Missal III. Earlier this year, we began exploring these changes with our friend Fr. Ed Foley, who led us in a three-part lecture series about the Missal. Inspired by his critical questions and insights, we at Old St. Pat’s are about to begin this journey toward Advent together. The next three months—and beyond—will be a time of hospitality, not hostility. Of reflection, not mere reaction. And of renewal, not resistance.
For Old St. Pat’s, this time of transition is not just about words. This is an opportunity to renew our commitment to good Liturgy. For example, we are excited to reassemble an Old St. Pat’s Liturgy Committee, made up of ten voices who will help us examine and enhance our Liturgical life. We have also formed the first-ever Foundations Liturgy Team for teens to plan and host dynamic worship for the wider congregation. These are two ways we hope to make a lasting impact on the quality of Sunday worship in our sacred space.
The next three months—and beyond—will be a time of hospitality, not hostility. Of reflection, not mere reaction. And of renewal, not resistance.
Our sincere hope is that Mass will continue to be a prayerful, hospitable place for you to gather. To help all of us pray the new texts well, we will provide you with a variety of resources. The first begins on Sunday, September 4, when the musicians of Old St. Pat’s, under the direction of Bill Fraher, will lead us in singing the new versions of the “Holy, Holy, Holy” and the “Memorial Acclamation” during the Eucharist. Please dive in! During the next three months, you will find a series of eight articles in The Crossroads bulletin that will explore and engage the changes ahead. Soak them up! Also, we plan to stock our website with information about the Missal. In October, look for an “enrichment” session for lay liturgical ministers. In November, anticipate a symbolic “farewell” for the retiring Roman Missal II. And in January, after weeks of praying and reflecting with the new texts, we will gather your wisdom and feedback through “listening” sessions.
The Church has changed. It is always changing. And it will change some more. These changes will not occur exclusively from the top-down, but they will happen as Partners children are catechized, as couples go through RCIA and Pre-Cana, and as our congregation explores life in relationship with our neighbors in North Lawndale. Change happens, but many things stay the same…and some get even better.
Some of the words of our worship will soon be different, but the Good News remains. Jesus is still the Christ. The Catholic Mass is still Word, Eucharist and Fellowship. Our Church still has a mission. What remains true and constant are the Beatitudes, the Greatest Commandment, and our call to act with justice, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God. All of these things remain, despite years of change and times of transition.
May we at Old St. Pat’s engage the Roman Missal III with the spirit of hospitality that has become a hallmark expression of our community. May we renew our commitment to the Gospel of compassion and forgiveness. And above all, may we always trust that nothing and no one can inhibit the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, who can work through any language, any people, any time.
Krista Kutz is pursing a Master of Divinity at the University of Chicago. She formerly served Old St. Pat’s as a Ministry intern and continues to work in the areas of faith formation and Liturgy.