Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Mystical Body, Mystical Voice" workshop

What does the opening scene of the movie The Voyage of the Dawntreader have to do with the new translation (3rd edition) of the Roman Missal? Parishioners at St. Peter Church in The Dalles can probably explain it after their participation in a workshop sponsored by the Society of St. Gregory the Great on Friday and Saturday, October 7-8.

The workshop concerned the changes in the Mass that will be evident starting the first Sunday of Advent when the third edition of the Roman Missal is formally and officially put into use. St. Peter's parish bulletin has been running short articles about the changes in the people's responses for several months, so the workshop participants were familiar with some of them. An important focus of the workshop, however, was the reason behind the changes, the importance of our choice of words and manner of speaking in the Mass, and the value and beauty of a "sung" Mass.

The presentation included both video segments of speakers addressing the issues, as well as a "live" presenter. Participants were reminded of the rich Catholic heritage that lies beneath the surface of the Liturgy, building on 2000 years of Christianity as well as several thousand years  more of our roots in Judaism. The Mass is more than it appears on the surface, and participants were led into a renewal of their understanding of the liturgy's spiritual depths and its true meaning. Instruction in singing the Mass was also included, as the new edition of the Missal contains more music than the previous editions, and the USCCB is encouraging priests and the faithful to reclaim some of the lost traditions of the Church by singing the Mass from start to finish.

So, what does The Voyage of the Dawntreader have to do with all of this? It's worth your time to attend a workshop and find out! To schedule one in your parish, contact Stephanie Swee at 541-550-0832, or email her at

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