August 1, 2011
Dear Monsignor or Father,
The implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition throughout the dioceses of the United States creates many opportunities and challenges for those engaged in pastoral ministry. I write to apprise you of the plan for implementation of the revised missal in the Diocese of Greensburg and to ask your support for these efforts.
Throughout the diocese, we are currently engaged in efforts to provide the faithful liturgical catechesis on the mass and the missal. Parishes have been asked to include weekly bulletin inserts prepared by the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship. These serve to provide for the ongoing formation of the faithful, and draw their attention to those changes soon to be experienced. These efforts will be supported by articles to be published in our diocesan newspaper The Catholic Accent, as well as news and information to be made available on our diocesan website.
As we move closer to the date of implementation, all parishes will be asked to conduct targeted presentations which directly address those changes in the liturgical ritual that most affect the faithful. These presentations will be prepared by our Diocesan Commission for Worship and are to be presented at all masses celebrated the weekends of October 15/16 through November 20/21 inclusive. The presentations may be made either by the pastor or a delegated representative. They are to be offered either at a time preceding the celebration of mass, or during the homily. Bulletin inserts will also be provided to support the presentations made during these weeks.
Suggested Lesson Plans to be used for the catechesis of children and youth have been provided all parishes and schools by the Office for Evangelization and Faith Formation. These Lesson Plans are to take the place of regularly scheduled catechesis during the days or weeks leading to November 27, 2011. They may also serve as a basis for any adult formation on the revised missal to be undertaken within our parishes. For further information on these Lesson Plans, please contact the Office for Evangelization and Faith Formation.
The above actions are intended to address specifically the needs of the faithful. However, those most responsible for the planning and celebration of the mass continue to demand special care and attention. Workshops will be scheduled, throughout the diocese, addressing the specific needs of parish musicians. Likewise, workshops have been scheduled in each Deanery to provide support for priests and deacons in taking up the challenge of learning new chant tones and other sung acclamations.
Because the musical aspects of the mass present special challenges for assemblies, I have chosen to permit the gradual implementation of the revised sung responses, acclamations, and prayers according to the Roman Missal, Third Edition. The permission to implement these revised texts pertains only to the sung settings for the assembly. At masses where the responses, acclamations, or prayers are recited, these must follow the approved text of the current Sacramentary until the First Sunday of Advent when the new texts go into effect.
In implementing the revised musical settings the following schedule is to be followed:
· The weekends of September 17/18 and September 24/25 the revised Sanctus is to be introduced at all masses.
· The weekends of October 1/2 and October 8/9 the revised Memorial Acclamation is to be introduced at all masses.
· The weekends of October 15/16 and October 22/23 the revised Gloria is to be introduced at all masses.
Again, in those cases where the response, acclamation, or prayer is recited rather than sung, the text must be that of the current Sacramentary. Priests are also reminded that the Introduction to the Mystery of Faith as well as the Doxology must be that of the current Sacramentary. Use of the revised texts begins only with masses celebrated for the First Sunday of Advent.
It is to be expected that time will be required for the all the faithful to appropriate these revised texts. Patience and perseverance will be demanded by those who are called to pray with the use of a new ritual language. Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and all who are charged with the exercise of liturgical ministries, must recognize that only time and practice will serve to foster a level of competency equivalent to that which is currently experienced.
The implementation of the revised missal is therefore a single step in the much greater work of worship. Throughout this coming year of grace, we must take up the labors of helping the liturgical assembly to develop a new voice of prayer. For this reason, I strongly urge that the faithful of our parishes and communities be provided sufficient opportunity to master these new texts, especially newly composed musical settings. It is therefore the recommendation of the Diocesan Commission for Worship that any new, sung mass setting, be utilized for at least one year before additional sung mass settings are introduced. It is further recommended that parishes take up the challenge of learning the following newly composed or revised mass settings, which will be used exclusively at all significant diocesan masses celebrated during the coming year:
· Mass of Creation, by Marty Haugen
· A Community Mass, by Richard Proulx
· Mass of Christ the Savior, by Dan Schutte
It is to be expected that further questions, concerns, and needs will surface as we move forward with preparations to implement the revised missal. I have asked that our Diocesan Office for Worship serve as a resource to our parishes, and assist you in bringing the faithful to receive these new texts. Please join with me in praying through the intercession of our Diocesan Patroness, Our Lady of the Assumption, that all the faithful be led to that full, conscious, and active participation demanded by the Sacred Liturgy.
Fraternally in Christ,
Lawrence E. Brandt
The Most Reverend Lawrence E. Brandt, JCD, PhD
Bishop of Greensburg