Our First Date – The New Roman Missal

So this morning, we had our first date with the new Roman Missal and it was very much like a first date – filled with novelty, curiosity, and awkwardness. Thankfully, the parish I attend, St. Julie Billart in Tinly Park, IL, had done a wonderful job of preparing the assembly for the changes and provided a very helpful guide for the assembly to follow along. Even so, you could hear a number of “and also with you” responses throughout the Mass (I admit to letting one slip at the Sign of Peace). 

One thing I noticed was that the priest needed the server to hold the Missal as he blessed the Deacon before the Gospel reading. Our priests really are bearing the brunt of the changes!

The most notable changes of course are in the Nicene Creed and for the life of me, even with the new words in front of me, I still found myself uttering the old words, “by the power of the Holy Spirit” thus throwing off all those around me!

For the most part, however, it was an experience of being more conscious of the words we use to give praise to our Almighty God and I found it to be prayerful. I have to wonder what it was like at parishes where little was done to prepare people…I can only hope that they will use the  coming weeks to help people learn about the new words of the Mass.

What was your experience of the new Roman Missal? What observations do you have?

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. I’m glad I’m not alone! I was sitting there in mass looking right at the NEW WORDS and still saying the OLD WORDS! So frustrating! My mom said she has a headache from all the reading she had to do that she wasn’t used to 🙁

    Hopefully by lent we’ll get the hang of it 🙂

    • Old habits die hard, Beth Anne! During the Eucharistic Prayer, I still expect to hear “John Paul our Pope and Joseph our bishop” which was the phrase prayed in Chicago for so many years!!!

  2. I was at my parents’s parish, and they said that their parish had not done a good job of preparing people. There were laminated cards in the pews explaining the changes. The priest mentioned the changes before Mass began and throughout the Mass he would prompt the congregation that a change was coming. Furthermore, most of his homily dealt with the changes. The congregation seemed to struggle the most with “And with your spirit”; I would say that most people said “And also with you.” The priest seemed to have the most trouble, however; he stumbled several times. Overall, the transition didn’t go smoothly, and my parents don’t like the changes in general.

    • Thanks for sharing your story Beth. I find it very strange that a priest wouldn’t take time to prepare his congregation for changes in its CENTRAL ACT OF WORSHIP!!! In my parish, I liked the fact that, since so much preparation was done ahead of time (and a final reminder given before Mass with an indication of how to follow the prayer guide), there was no reference to it during the Mass itself. We simply performed the ritual. Granted, a few stumbles along the way, but it flowed smoothly for the most part. It’ll be interesting to see how your folks’ parish adapts in the weeks to come.

  3. Hi Joe. Things went great at out parish. Same thing with us….”and also with you” instead of “and with your spirit” was muttered a few times. I’ve watched one of our deacons and our pastoral associate work so hard in preparing out parish, I was actually happy for them that it went so well.

    We’ve been reciting the creed in class and I’m with you, I keep looking at the words and they aren’t always coming out of my mouth!

    What I did notice on Sunday a couple times is how loud the congregation seemed to be at the responses which was great! I guess that speaks to how these changes are making us really pay attention once again to what we are saying.

    In much of our preparation these past months, we kept being told how much more scripturally based these changes were. Coincidentally, yesterday’s Gospel (11/28) was Matthew 8:5-11 where the centurion tells Jesus “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof, only say the word and my servant will be healed.” This, of course, is our new response before communion. It was great to be able to hear those words in the Gospel and relate it to the New Roman Missal!

  4. Our parish was thoroughly prepared and I noticed it seemed more crowded at Mass with everyone holding their worship aides ready to go. It is strange having to hold an aide, and there were some stumbles, but I felt it was very positive overall. People seemed more “awake” since we had to pay attention! (:

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