Q — As a follow-on to the recent question on the reemergence of the Tridentine or Extraordinary Form of the Mass, do you envision a day when use of the recently retired version of the Roman Missal will be allowed again?
A — I do not believe that the “recently retired version of the Roman Missal” will be allowed again in celebrations of the Eucharist. The new translation is taking time to be absorbed by clergy and people, so that we get to know it as well as we did the older translation. I understand that people, including me, had internalized, as it were, the phrases and cadences of the older version. We could recite so much of it — at least the Ordinary of the Mass — by heart. We need to be generous towards this new translation so that in time we may be able to do with it what we did with its predecessor. One way to do this, perhaps in parish study groups, would be to do Lectio Divina with, for example, the Eucharistic Prayers, or, indeed, any other prayers of the Ordinary of the Mass. The first step is super slow reading of the prayers, letting the words, the sounds, the phrases sink in, paying attention to the punctuation and grammar, and the meaning of the words. A really good dictionary might be of help at this point. The second step is thinking about those words. What do they mean? What meanings do they conjure up for me? What associations do they have for me? How open am I to having my understanding stretched by those words/phrases that may appear to me a little strange? And so forth. Hospitality and generosity towards a prayer text, just as with people, are always a formula for success. The third step is to pray in words of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication. Finally, let God speak to us through these words in the silence of our hearts.