On Sunday, Catholic Mass won't sound the same
Rev. Benny George is a associate pastor at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Burbank, California.
November 26th, 2011
01:40 PM ET

On Sunday, Catholic Mass won't sound the same

By Jim Roope, CNN Radio National Correspondent

(CNN)–If you’re Catholic, mass this Sunday will sound different for  the first time in nearly half a century.

You’ll hear it in the prayers of both the people and the priests.

“We have come back to a more accurate translation of the Latin from the Roman Missal,” said Fr. Rick Hilgartner, executive director of the Divine Office of Worship for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The language of prayer should be evocative, speaking in terms of imagery and metaphor.”

The changes are enormous, said Fr. Richard Albarano, of St. Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, California, and should help the 280 million English-speaking Catholics grow in their  love for the mass. “The mass is the center of our lives,” said Albarano.

Not since the Second Vatican Council in 1965 have such sweeping changes been made.

The Vatican II changes were radical – the priest spoke in English instead of Latin and he faced the people instead of having his back to them. An Old Testament reading was also added to the mass, a surprise to many who thought of the Catholic Church as a New Testament only church.

Other changes, large and small, were designed by Pope John XXIII to get the people (and not just the priest) involved in the mass. But the changes were not communicated in advance. People showed up one Sunday morning, and it was all changed.

“They wondered if they were even in a Catholic church,” said Albarano.

This time, the Catholic Church has been talking about the changes, and communicating them to parishes, since 2000. For the past three months, many parishes have been working to ready their followers for the changes in the wording of the prayers.

That doesn’t mean some won’t be caught by surprise. “It’s going to be like Vatican II all over again,” Albarano said. “I haven’t heard much about catechizing across the Los Angeles Archdiocese at all. We said we were going to do it. I hope we did.”

To hear the complete story, click the audio player.


Filed under: Catholic Church • Mass

soundoff (1,372 Responses)
  1. tony

    Have they changed the words at the bit where they light the fire under the heretics and their children?

    November 27, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Mirosal

      Yes, they changed those around slightly. They even set it to music now. In an example of life imitating art, the Catholic Church now uses the skit from History of the World, Part 1.

      November 27, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • GC

      Yes. The fire is now made with green logs.

      November 27, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • Cuervo Jones

      a manipulation by Ferdinand and Isabella political white trash

      November 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  2. Jon

    Call it a sixth sense, but I think South Park Atheist episode is accurately predicting the future. A sort of survival of the fittest if you will. The religions and their fanaticism will wipe each other off the planet leaving only atheists to battle it out amongst themselves for world power. You can't blame one religion either, just listen to any video by Richard Dawkins. Every religion garners people who are vulnerable to mind-control. Until such delusions are removed from the world, the world will cease to advance.

    November 27, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • ballin'


      November 27, 2011 at 8:25 am |
  3. Lisa

    As far as driving people away because of abortion, um..."Thou Shalt Not Kill" Ring a bell? not much grey area there.

    November 27, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Not much gray area?

      "God's plan" is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents. For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God's plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God's plan.

      “Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death.
      The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breath. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

      There is also this:

      Regardless of the circ umstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.

      Under this view of the universe, God plans everything.

      He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death."

      Let's examine one simple implication of this statement. What this means is that God has pre-planned every abortion that has taken place on our planet.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • I Dream of Jeannie

      It's only "killing" if you can establish that it's a person. You can't say a clump of cells with no neural fibers is a person. It may be a "potential" person, but it isn't a person.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • N

      Lots of grey area. Why do you think so many religious wackos glom onto the abortion issue ? Because it's the one issue they can say is "black and white". It's very grey, but you don't want to admit it.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Abortion is not a sin

      What a sin is is to raise an unwanted and uncared for child who is destined to go to jail

      November 27, 2011 at 12:48 am |
  4. Believer

    This is a troubling set of posts to read. No wonder our country is falling apart with all of this hate and vitriol.
    I pray that all of you find beauty and strength in faith someday.

    November 27, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Believer, explain to me how prayer works and how that makes our world a better place.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • JD JR

      @Believer: agreed. Prayer is one of the most misunderstood gifts God has given mankind.
      Brother in Faith

      November 27, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I can easily prove prayer does not work. You are idiots.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • Cass

      I can easily prove that prayer DOES work. It's all about faith, my friend 🙂

      November 27, 2011 at 8:27 am |
  5. CS

    Hi LS
    Just got back from Tahoe. Hope you are doing welll!!

    November 27, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  6. JimBeam

    The Mass is good in English, but you really need to hear it in the original Klingon.

    November 27, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Seth

      "To be, or not to be".......followed by photon torpedo up hi as* !!!!

      November 27, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  7. Burnz


    November 27, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  8. Janet

    If you're bothered by going from "And also with you" to "And with your spirit", please leave our Church now. It's harder for the priest leading the Mass rather than for the parishioner. Remember, he's the one who has to remember all the new stuff.

    November 27, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline


      November 27, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Jon

      Haha "Our church". I quite like that. Wouldn't you be in for the shock of a lifetime is your religion was wrong and one of the other twenty-thousand other equally possible religions was right. Man, what a waste of time going to church would have been.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Lisa

      Novus Ordo strikes again! Actually, along with the hack job they did to The Mass, they also tried to make folks feel comfy so instead of reverence and elevating ourselves to God, they dropped God down to the parishioners instead. Who is being worshipped here? People are not supposed to follow along silently in their Missal which is easy as half is in English, and half in Latin. Vatican II just says whatever they want, then announce "oh, we are going to say it in Latin” Big deal. It's not anything resembling a Mass anyways. You could say the Pledge of Allegiance in Latin! Would that also be called a Mass?

      November 27, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • N

      There is no such word as "anyways". Along with some Theology and Church History, take an English class.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  9. Kay

    I became Catholic because of Vatican II. Too bad, I won't be able to stay one. I don't need language that is "evocative and full of metaphor". What I need is the beauty of the Mass of Vatican II and its simpleness, not the trappings of more words which I have now studied and find no beauty in them. When will we ever have another Pope John. I can only hope I will live to see it.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Janet

      It'll be there, Kay. It's just you who is making it difficult.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Zwei Stein

      You won't.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • N

      So you're saying your faith is dependent on an esthetic experience, huh ? Try the symphony. No sky fairy.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • John Laffite

      If that is all it takes for you to leave the church, did you really belong? It seems that the church should exist to please people and their nouances. We need to mature and be more willing and ready to grow with the changes, not to criticize them simply because they dont fit "our like".

      November 27, 2011 at 12:59 am |
  10. Maty

    It's not controversial or intellectual to question 'God', so get over yourselves, atheist and god-fearing alike. It's been done. Nothing new. Find a new hobby.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Maty, please explain why you feel that way or don't post.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  11. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Well, this has been fun. I never knew religion could be so funny. Reading the posts of Higgy and fda have been truly laugh-inducing, while at the same time, soporific.

    I took several comparative religion courses as an undergrad, and I must say that I never encountered anything resembling the views of some of the more colorful posters on this board.

    My instructors would have had a field day with the likes of Higgy and fda and HS.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  12. Alison

    Our parish has been doing the new translation for the past two weeks in preparation. It's absolutely beautiful.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  13. mmi16

    Words words words

    November 26, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  14. Joe

    You atheists really have nothing to do all day but wait in front of your PC's, refreshing the CNN home page every hour while waiting for a religious/catholic article to pop up, so you can begin your endless, unimaginative, repetetive, trivial verbal assults on it. Insecure much?? lol

    November 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • tony

      I just want to protect my children from your continuous mind control grooming.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Sam

      Tony, who's forcing your kids into the church? Or who's forcing them to read religious articles/texts?

      November 27, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • tallulah13

      Freedom of speech, Joe. It's not just for christians.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      You are on the blog, I am on the blog. OK all even so far so you can take your self-righteous crap and choke on it.
      Now, what is your problem with atheists exactly? Please explain. I will be happy to reciprocate.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • tony

      If only it would stay confined to the inside of churches and between consenting adults. But every religious conservative believes it's her or her duty to proselytize, and on every form of media that innocent children need to have normal access to.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:48 am |
  15. I Dream of Jeannie

    Alright you human ants. I heard that. If you don't stop mocking me, I will send another tsunami, and kill some more babies. Now kneel before me, and worship. Or else.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  16. Ungodly Discipline

    What is your take on string theory and the"multiverse" theory? Follow up question, if these theories prove correct, does God function at the micro or macro level of the multiverse and does he not only intervene in our time/space but in the infinite time space predicted by this concept?

    In other words, if expansion theory is true, then "fda" exists in an infinite number of iterations due to the probability of mathematics as it relates to this very likely concept.

    Final question, why doesn't your God or Jesus know anything about math? Are they not God? The universe(s) can be explained with math but they seem to be completely ignorant. How can the all knowing God be ignorant of math?

    November 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • AK


      With apologies to the Lacedaemonians.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • yourworstnightmare

      First off, where do you get the idea that God is ignorent of math?, the fact is that he is the one who created the laws to which math is applied, you atheists take for granted the formation of the laws of nature but if you go back to nothing and there is absolutly nothing , there is no real reason that gravity, time,or space existed, the only thing there was and is, is the power of God, he is the universe and he created matter gravity, time, and space without them there would be nothing, the big bang is imposible because if there was at one point all the matter in the universe plus put into one point it would stretch time and space itself so low that the matter would simply turn to energy and form a singularity of energetic strings (in string theory of course) this would prevent any explosion let alone one which could turn into matter, also the creation of the universe would include quite alot of math, every number statistic and formula is known to God and he was the one who made them.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but, God did not "create" time. If it did, it would have had to start that before time existed. Before time, there was no "before" anything. It makes no sense.

      November 27, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Ok, then where is it? Where is God and the math? Christians live in the dark ages. Why aren’t Christians’ the smartest most enlightened people on the planet? Answer, there is no God.

      November 27, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • yourworstnightmare

      Bring it! tell me where how you get your ideas of creation how do you think it all started

      November 27, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • N

      Maybe they don't have all the answers. Maybe that's OK. Maybe they don't make up stories to fill in the blanks. Maybe it's OK to live with 'we don't know yet'.

      November 27, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • N

      he was the one who made them
      How many times do we have to tell you.......god is a SHE ?

      November 27, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  17. André

    God is imaginary. Simple as that.
    People who believe and pray imaginary beings are delusional.
    A delusion is a mental illness.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Illustration 1: Higgy

      November 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Ray

      Andre is imaginary

      November 27, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  18. Matt B.

    These changes have all the impact of a fart in a tornado! Not relevant! Bye bye

    November 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • George B

      Guess you were interested enough to read the article!...someone smells of farts! haha

      November 26, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  19. George B

    @ Tom: Its too bad not all religions can follow your rules or whatever makes you happy. There are many that can live up to fill those guidelines...join them if you please. I am sure you'd still find a problem to whine about.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I might, and I might not. I'll continue to comment here as I please. If it bothers you, don't read my posts. I'm sure I won't notice your absence.

      Have a good night, dear.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
  20. Mez

    If you would be so kind, I'd appreciate an answer to one of my earlier posts below. I may not answer, but I'd like to read one and just think about it. Thanks for your response too, Colin! I enjoy this stuff, although I'm not a great debater, just a thinker =P [Ctrl+F mez]

    November 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Matt B.

      Mez, you're not a thinker, either! Sorry. No one gives a s#@!

      November 26, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Mez

      I may not be as great of a thinker as you, but I try. Would you rather let me drop my attempts of seeking knowledge and not think at all like those that shelter themselves completely in their faith with no reason AT ALL to back it up? At least I try to have some reason behind it? By the way, you're response has shown me you're fairly ignorant yourself. Not trying to bash you, just an observation and initial thought. And thanks TR6!

      November 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.