Joys of MR3 No More

Fr Anthony Ruff’s defection from the “joys of MR3″ side is sure getting a lot of e-time in the blogosphere. Some people are really pee-oh’ed about it. Or a little too gleeful for my taste. It’s making me reconsider what sort of formation I’ll suggest we lay on our parishioners.

Maybe it’s as simple as providing cards for the pews, new settings for the singers, a new book for the clergy and leaving it at that. It’ll be like homegrown Mass settings with changed words, except that it comes with Vatican approval. No special sessions. No justifications. Rome changed most all of the words, and we’ll comply. End of story.

If I want to urge other Catholics to go deeper into the Mass, I don’t need a translation mess to do it. I can encourage Lectio Divina. I can encourage preparation of the upcoming Sunday readings. I can suggest musicians join me in searching out better texts and melodies. I can help clergy make connections with people who will assist their input on homilies. Come to think of it, I’ve been doing this for the last twenty-three years, and I’ll keep on doing it. Maybe the best way to handle the MR3 muddle is to implement it, then ignore it. Let the faults of it come crashing down around it supporters.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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13 Responses to Joys of MR3 No More

  1. Mein Bruder,
    When is too, “too” much?

    “If I want to urge other Catholics to go deeper into the Mass, I don’t need a translation mess to do it. I can encourage Lectio Divina. I can encourage preparation of the upcoming Sunday readings.”
    So far, so good, so on the same page. Every Thursday night w/ members of my schola and spouses.

    “I can suggest musicians join me in searching out better texts and melodies. I can help clergy make connections with people who will assist their input on homilies. Come to think of it, I’ve been doing this for the last twenty-three years, and I’ll keep on doing it.”
    Yep, the joys of synchronicity! Four decades worth. Rock on.

    “Maybe the best way to handle the MR3 muddle is to implement it, then ignore it. Let the faults of it come crashing down around it supporters.”

    Uh, you lost me, wobbly at “muddle” and towards the guard rail at “ignore it.” Ignore it? How? “Reckon with it” at least has a purpose. And the last sentence? To what good purpose in real time, with real people in the pews?

  2. Todd says:

    Ok. Ignore it = just a new set of words. Do ‘em, then let ‘em fade into the background till MR4.

    My pastor has urged me to find a good liturgy conference to recharge my batteries. Ha. They’re all talking about MR3. I’m sick of it. It would have been nice to go to the SWLC–it was a pretty good time for me this year. But to hear (yet again) about MR3? Why? I want to learn about hymnwriting, the patristics on the Triduum, mystagogy with other sacraments, wedding liturgy, and pastoral care of the sick. Interesting stuff. Not done deals.

  3. Anne says:

    I questioned my pastor a year ago about the best way to prepare our parish. His response shocked me then. “We don’t need to do a lot of prep…we’ll just read it!” I was shocked and disappointed. Today I feel that his plan isn’t a bad one and let the chips fall where they may…
    And good idea to encourage other ways to obtain a deeper understanding of the mass.

    • Jimmy Mac says:

      We are fortunate. My parish and others in the immediate area had the benefit of having Dan Schutte come and explain a lot of what was to happen. This does not eliminate the need for parish planning, but those of use who attended Dan’s presentation feel we have a step up on folks who are entering into this totally blind.

  4. Liam says:

    It’s a mystery to me what my parish is planning on doing. It’s complicated by the fact that we have a parish hymnal with decades of praxis of singing much more of the entire liturgy than is common elsewhere. We have a new music director, young and very talented but from the Anglican Communion and still coming to terms with Roman liturgical practice but also with the history the people in the pews bring with them, and a still-new pastor with, well, let’s leave that incomplete, shall we?

    I do suspect in many places it will not be as consequential for the PIPs as we fear (for celebrant priests, it’s a different story). But it will take a few years to fully digest and assess.

    I do think that, if this is a huge mistake, it will mostly likely be revealed most effectively by going through rather than around it. But, however mistaken I believe certain principles and choices in the process thus far have been, I can’t be so sure of the result. I have to trust the Spirit will reveal what needs to be revealed, in the Spirit’s time and way. And we should be ready to be surprised.

  5. Todd says:

    I tend to agree with Liam on much of this. It will impact clergy most of all. Let’s face it: implementation sinks or swims with them.

    As for the musical settings, if the new ones are an improvement over the old, one could chalk it up to progress in spite of any perceived weaknesses in the text.

    I have many critiques of both process and results. But I’m also prepared to be surprised. And that preparation may be best served with some distance, not unlike Fr Ruff. I’m not going to cheerlead it. I’m not going to lie about it. But I will implement. And that’s about it. I can do better work toward better liturgy focusing on my own musicianship, on mentoring young music leaders I work with, and urging my community toward a deeper liturgical spirituality.

    I know that God can work grace from great evil, and a bungled translation is far from a great evil.

    But I will confess my fatigue, plus a desire that the professional liturgy front move on to more interesting topics.

    As for the parishes, the best we can do may well be to implement, provide information as needed, answer all questions honestly, and be careful to attend to the real ways we can improve our communities’ liturgies.

    • Liam says:

      I agree on all points.

      I also note that Fr Ruff is not burdened with pastoral leadership; he is thus freer to do what he is doing without conflicting with his primary charge of duty, as it were. And we need people like that who are thus free.

      • Well, would you look at us all!
        Anne, Todd, Liam and Charles around the kitchen nook with our cups of java, conceding “another day, another….” No wonder there’s a hymntune called “Resignation.”
        I say “bully for us.” We’re waist deep in the big muddy and will still keep on keeping on, fighting the good fight.
        “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love….”

        Did I set some sort of cliche world record here?
        Peace, my friends. We work for “We, the people” knowing they are “Him, knockin’ at the door.”
        Have a great day, friends.
        I have a funeral for a three year old girl in an hour, with my 8th grade Bell Choir.
        This is what we do.

      • Liam says:

        Charles,

        We have to model what we expect of others. The test of responding to change is when its against your interest, not with it.

        Our Lord told us as much, and more. If we’re only gracious and kind when things are going well for us, then it’s not very meaningful. Lying is out of the question, but rationalizing all sorts of unworthy behavior under the banner of prophetic witness is self-serving (but, sadly, it’s a widespread rationalization).

      • Liam,
        I’m not sure, did I just get fraternally busted, I mean, er, corrected?
        I’m in kind of a “Philadelphia” film state of mind-”could you explain that to me as if I were a four year old?”
        C

      • Liam says:

        Charles

        Not at all. I was just developing the line of thought. Sorry to have sowed confusion!

  6. Anne says:

    “Well, would you look at us all!
    Anne, Todd, Liam and Charles around the kitchen nook with our cups of java, conceding “another day, another….”

    Just like in the old days when we all got along. Or did we?

  7. Well, Anne, the only point I was trying to celebrate is that each of us, we, are all still “at it.” I think that is also the other “meaning” deeper within the saying “to get along.”
    I hope your mileage doesn’t vary with that.

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