Holy Family’s Youth respond to changes in the Roman Missal
submitted by Flannery LaGrua
The EDGE program at Holy Family is an extra-curricular group for youths in grades 6th through 8th from both Holy Family School and other private and public schools in the community. The youth devoted their Wednesday educational nights for the past three months to learning about the Revised Roman Missal. Now that we are using the new form during Mass, I wanted to address this month’s question to the EDGE youth. I asked them, “What are your reflections on the changes to the Roman Missal”. I have left their responses anonymous because I asked the youth to be honest in their answers.
Question of the Month: What are your reflections on the changes to the Roman Missal?
“I think that the changes to the Mass are going to be hard to learn, but once we learn them, everyone will forget that they even changed.”
“I feel as though the changes were unnecessary. I understand that it is supposed to be closer to the original, but they didn’t have to change the words.”
“I don’t think it has changed.”
“I don’t like the changes because it’s harder to learn.”
“I don’t like the changes because I get mixed up with the words.”
“I hate the changes! It makes it hard to understand.”
“I feel that it is more accurate.”
“I don’t get why they had to change the Mass. It’s pointless.”
“I am indecisive because it does not make much of a difference.”
“I think the changes in Mass are OK.”
“I think it is fine. Why shouldn’t we be as specific as we can?”
“To me it does not matter about the changes. Everything is fine with me.”
“I don’t like the changes because it’s harder to remember and I’m used to the old one.”
“I don’t like the new Mass. I understand it, but I don’t like it at all.”
“I don’t particularly care for the changes to the Roman Missal. Although I understand why they want to change it, I find it unnecessary. Some of the things have the exact same meaning, just different words. What’s the point?”
“My opinion on the changes in the new words in the Mass are that I am happy that there is progress and change, but at the same time I am upset because I just barely memorized the responses and prayers and now they are going to be changed so now I have to get used to the new one.”
“I don’t like the changes. I had the Mass memorized, but now I don’t know it. It should be changed back. I don’t think that the changes are that different from what we have. They are unnecessary.”
“I feel good about Mass.”
“I am fine with it. I accept changes as long as it doesn’t interfere with things I like.”
“Because it’s hard to memorize it again, I hate it.”
Ronald Heifetz, founder of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, wrote, “You know the adage, ‘People resist change.’ It is not really true. People are not stupid. People love change when they know it is a good thing. No one gives back a winning lottery ticket. What people resist is not change, per se, but loss. When change involves real or potential loss, people hold on to what they have and resist the change.”
I think this quote sums up the responses of the youth. As I read the above responses, I thought that they encapsulated a general feeling which I have heard and felt expressed by people of all ages. Change is disruptive and uncomfortable. In this case change brings with it the loss of some of the Masses familiar responses and phrasings. Even though we know and have been reminded that the words themselves are not the important focus, but rather the intention and faith behind them, there is, at least for me, the sense of loss where something that was very much alive yesterday is over and replaced with something similar, but new. Adaptation and change always comes with some amount of growing pains. For the youth in EDGE, as for many, this is the first change to the Mass that they have encountered; though, it is not likely to be the last.
Please add your reflections on the Revised Roman Missal in the comments section below.