Tuesday, April 12, 2016

“It Is Right and Just” - A New Book on the Responses of the Mass

Newman House Press has just published a work by Fr John Cunningham, a Dominican priest from Ireland, called “It Is Right and Just - Responses of the Roman Missal”, an analysis of and reflection on the new and improved English responses of the congregation for the Mass. In the preface, His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, chairman of the Vox Clara committee, writes as follows.

“This book reveals the layers of riches contained in the beautiful ancient prayers, rooted in the Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers, which have now been translated faithfully and accurately into contemporary English. ... (It) will help those preparing sermons or classes, and those seeking to understand the prayers of the Mass more deeply... why the Church insists on ‘consubstantial’ or why the response is ‘and with your spirit.’ It is pointed out here that ‘invisible’ has a different meaning from ‘unseen’... We are informed why we properly say ‘I believe’ and ‘I confess’, rather than shifting to the collective we.

“It takes time to get used to new translations, and this was true even of the King James Bible. One early critic... threatened to burn it, and raged that ‘I had rather be rent in pieces ... than any such translation by my consent be urged upon poor churches.’ Human nature does not change.

“This learned and lively booklet helps us understand why this English translation will serve us well for any decades, and why it is well received in the United States of America.”

Dom Alcuin Reid writes “To pray the liturgy is to immerse oneself in the Church’s rites and prayers, allowing them to penetrate our hearts and minds with their meaning and thus to feed our souls and to fire our Christian life and mission in the world. In illuminating the meaning of many of the texts of the Order of Mass, It is Right and Just facilitates precisely this. It is a small but important tool for liturgical formation, for unlocking some of the riches of the Church’s Sacred Liturgy for Catholics celebrating the newer or the older rites. Whether you have never read a book on the liturgy before, or have read (or even written) many of them, Father Cunningham is to be thanked for providing something for each of us so that we might draw more deeply and more fruitfully from the source and summit of the life and mission of the Church.”

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