Any significant change is like a little death; and so any change brings about the need for some grieving. You sell a house and buy a new one; and you are sad about the loss of the old one--even if your new house is more spacious. You move from one job to another; and you shed a few tears at the loss of old colleagues--even if you’re looking forward to the new position. You graduate from high school to college, and even if it’s your top choice, you cry at your graduation.
It would be odd, therefore, not to acknowledge some sadness over the passing of something so central to our lives as what will soon be called the “old” Sacramentary. Even if you are eagerly anticipating the new translations, something significant is moving into the past, and being lost.
So let me say something: I will miss the old prayers, even as I look forward to the new. I’m 50 years old, which means that by the time I was conscious of the Eucharist, say around 1968, the Mass was being celebrated in English. I dimly remember saying things like, “It is right and just” as a very young boy, which was most likely a holdover from the earliest translations of the Mass after the Second Vatican Council. But, for the most part, my entire Catholic life has been shaped by the familiar prayers of the Sacramentary, the book that we are leaving behind this coming Sunday.
For now and for this week, however, I will cherish my last Mass with the current Roman Missal. Roman Missal 2.0, you’ve been my constant companion. I have celebrated with you, cried with you, and witnessed some of the most beautiful landmarks of my Catholic life with you. You were there when my siblings married their spouses, my nephews were baptized, and my parents renewed their vows. You were there when my friends became Catholic or were ordained or got married or when we celebrated their Mass of Resurrection. You were there when my IHM sisters celebrated Jubilee and when I professed my vows as an IHM Sister. I am grateful for you, Mass 2.0. Goodbye.