Christopher Carstens

In Encountering the Words of Christ in the Mass, Christopher Carstens reflects upon the third edition of the Roman Missal, giving particular attention to the changes in the Mass texts.


Christopher Carstens holds a B.A. from the Oratory of St. Philip in Toronto, and M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Dallas and a M.A. (Liturgical Studies) from The Liturgical Institute. He is currently the Director of the Office of Sacred Worship for the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where he serves as Coordinator of Pontifical Liturgies, liturgical coordinator for the Permanent Deacon formation program, and diocesan Director of RCIA. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Liturgical Institute and a frequent presenter in liturgical conferences and parish education. He is a member of the Society for Catholic Liturgy and is married with four children. Mr. Carstens is one of the presenters of Mystical Body, Mystical Voice.

Todd WilliamsonIn this blog, Praying, Believing, and Living, D. Todd Williamson discusses the pastoral, spiritual, and ministerial ramifications of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal.  Todd's blog is updated every other week.


Todd Williamson is the current Director of the Office for Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is the author of two editions of Sourcebook for Sundays, Seasons, and Weekdays:The Almanac for Pastoral Liturgy (2007 and 2008, LTP) and has contributed to subsequent editions. He is also co-author of Bringing Catechesis and Liturgy Together: Let the Mystery Lead You! (2002, TwentyThird Publications), and he has written for numerous periodicals (Rite, Pastoral Liturgy, Catechumenate, and Religion Teacher's Journal).

In addition to writing, he is a teacher and national speaker in the areas of liturgy and the sacraments. He is co-host of the monthly radio program, Focus on the Liturgy, which airs on the fourth Wednesday of every month on Relevant Radio 950 AM, in the Chicagoland area.

Todd has been the director of the Office for Divine Worship for eight years. As such, he has dealt with countless pastoral situations in regards to the liturgy. It is from this unique experience that he writes in this blog: breaking open the English texts and making connections to our spiritual and ministerial lives as people of faith.

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Sandra Dooley moved to Los Angeles in 1999 after 18 years in Orlando, FL. where she spent 10 years as the liturgy director of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Winter Park. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University in New Orleans, with emphasis in liturgy. She is an experienced church musician, religious educator and liturgist, and has been a committee member, coordinator and/or speaker at local and national conferences.

In June, 2001, Sandra joined the Office for Worship of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as Associate Director. She was Director of the Office from April, 2003 through July, 2009. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) from 2004 until her return to FL in 2009.

Sandy currently serves as the director of liturgy at St. Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park, FL, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate.


 

  
Blog Posts
By Sandra Dooley on 1/27/2011 11:18 AM
A few days ago I participated in a funeral Mass of the father of a colleague. At various times during the Mass, I found myself thinking about the impact of the new translation on ritual Masses such as funerals and weddings, mainly in terms of the people who often come to such Masses. At weddings and funerals you often find Catholics who are not regular Mass-goers. A year from now, these special celebrations will be prayed using the new translation. I wonder how people will respond--and I am thinking that we need to prepare for these occasions in addition to the preparations we offer our regular Sunday assemblies.In addition to needing a type of worship aid, also needed is an explanation for the presiding priest and/or the musicians. To be honest, this is an area to which I have not given much thought--until today. As I think about and reflect on the familiar and comforting words of the Preface for funerals (“Life is changed, not ended . . .”), I hope that the new texts will be as rich in imagery and as comforting...
By Sandra Dooley on 1/27/2011 11:18 AM
A few days ago I participated in a funeral Mass of the father of a colleague. At various times during the Mass, I found myself thinking about the impact of the new translation on ritual Masses such as funerals and weddings, mainly in terms of the people who often come to such Masses. At weddings and funerals you often find Catholics who are not regular Mass-goers. A year from now, these special celebrations will be prayed using the new translation. I wonder how people will respond--and I am thinking that we need to prepare for these occasions in addition to the preparations we offer our regular Sunday assemblies. In addition to needing a type of worship aid, also needed is an explanation for the presiding priest and/or the musicians. To be honest, this is an area to which I have not given much thought--until today. As I think about and reflect on the familiar and comforting words of the Preface for funerals (“Life is changed, not ended . . .”), I hope that the new texts will be as rich in imagery and as comforting...
By Christopher Carstens on 1/27/2011 11:13 AM
In our last post (The Gloria’s Return), we asked how it was that we could “glorify and entreat” the Persons of the most Holy Trinity with the lowliness of human words. What characteristics would such a language have? These questions may be rephrased into that single question asked so often today as we familiarize ourselves with a new translation of a new Missal: Why does the Church speak like she does when praying the Mass? In answer to this question, we saw in the Gloria the application of the linguistic device of anaphora, the repetition of beginnings: “We praise you, / we bless you, / we adore you, / we glorify you, / we give you thanks for your great glory.” There are, in addition to the rhetorical anaphora, other compositional methods employed to give the hymn an exalted tone, such as the following: • lengthy sentence structure: The Gloria itself is only four sentences. Rather than the usual fragmentary and abbreviated phrases we usually use (an extreme, yet popular, example is “texting”), elevated speeches...
By Christopher Carstens on 1/19/2011 2:03 PM
One of the most common Catholic prayers, right up there with the Our Father and the Hail Mary, is the Gloria Patri, or “Glory be”: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.” It is a prayer used not only by the faithful in their individual prayers, but it is one used also in the liturgy, when the Church prays as an assembled body. In the Liturgy of the Hours, for example, the “Glory be” is said as a part of the introductory verse and at the end of each Psalm and Canticle. The Mass, too, incorporates this prayer: it is heard at the conclusion of the Entrance and Offertory Chants, and it is also incorporated at the end of many hymns.  

But this “little doxology” (doxology means roughly “speaking praise” or “speaking glory”) is writ large in the hymn we call—you guessed it—the Gloria. The Gloria expands and elaborates on the “Glory be,” saying in high and lofty tones what we express more concisely in the simpler “Glory be.” By the Gloria “the Church, gathered in the Holy Spirit, glorifies...
By Sandra Dooley on 1/19/2011 2:01 PM
This past week a couple of musicians and I began reviewing some of the music settings of the Mass that have been written and revised for the new translation. This will be a very important part of the implementation of the new texts. As I have said numerous times, music will help us learn and remember the new texts. In fact, when we sing the new settings, it is sometimes difficult to isolate the changes because they just flow naturally with the new melodies. The importance and power of music cannot be minimized. Many years ago, when I was a junior high school music teacher, I taught the chorus a little song called “Fifty, Nifty United States.” In the course of the song, we sang the names of all 50 states in alphabetical order. To this day, I can name all 50 states in alphabetical order by singing through the song in my head. (Well, I could sing it out loud, but those around me might not appreciate it or might wonder if I had truly lost my mind!) Several years ago, when my mother-in-law was in the last stages of...
By Sandra Dooley on 1/10/2011 2:17 PM
We are now less than a year away from the official implementation date set by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for the revised edition of The Roman Missal. Do you have a timeline in place at your parish or institution? The materials and resources offered by LTP, the USCCB/FDLC, and others have suggested timelines, most of them starting about a year from the date of implementation—and here we are! If you have not yet begun any preparations in your parish, I suggest you contact your diocese to find out what is being offered on the diocesan level, then be sure to get some of the available resource material into your hands and into the hands of other key people in your parish so that you can begin making preparations for the coming changes. (Check out the materials available through this Web site!) Priests, deacons, liturgists, and liturgical musicians should be the top tier of people in the parish to begin catechesis and preparation....