Roman Missal 3.0: Updates Installed | Fr. David M. Friel | Homiletic & Pastoral Review
As a revision, the Roman Missal 3.0 has, as its obvious intention, to be an improvement upon that which came before.
The last time I put a pencil to music manuscript paper was 2008. That was the year I finally gave in and took advantage of my student discount to purchase one of the mainstream software programs for musical composition. I was absolutely delighted when it arrived, and I loaded it onto my laptop immediately. It was a moment of true emancipation for me as a freelance composer.
It was also the moment in which I became enslaved to unremitting advertisements for the 2009 version of the program. Six months later, the promotions began for the 2010 version. The commercials still come, both by regular mail and by electronic mail, though fortunately not over the phone. Software updates are standard procedure for those who choose to live in the digital age; nevertheless, I find myself easily exasperated with the arrival of each new promotion.
Almost a year has passed since the English-speaking world received “Roman Missal 3.0,” the new translation of the Missale Romanum Editio Typica Tertia. Before its implementation in late November 2011, I encountered many priests and laymen whose reaction to the announcement of a new missal was as unenthusiastic as is my reaction to the promotional spam I receive for my music software. And, just as I typically spend little time investigating what improvements are being offered in the software update, many (though not all) of these members of our Church had given little time to the task of exploring what the new missal would offer. As a revision, its obvious intention is to be an improvement upon that which came before. But how, and in what ways?
This is too broad a question to be answered in fullness here, so I will limit myself to present only five “updates” offered by the new missal. These observations are not intended to constitute a comprehensive analysis of the missal, nor do they necessarily represent the largest or most significant improvements. Clergy and churchgoers, at this point, will be familiar with the large-scale changes that have occurred, but many perhaps have not plumbed the more minute aspects of the revision. My hope is that the highlights that follow will serve at least as fledgling insights into the treasures we have received.