Vacations always excite me. The prospect of experiencing new sights, new sounds, new languages makes me almost giddy with anticipation. I prepare my bags early, with a list to guide me, and make sure I am ready for every contingency. (The day the airlines instituted surcharges for overweight bags was one of the saddest days of my life!)
This weekend I am taking a little journey, a journey of faith. For this particular journey, I don’t need an airline ticket, cell phone charger, or extra pair of shoes, for I’ll be in the same places I spend each Saturday night and Sunday morning: the two churches where I cantor. Advent begins, and with it all the new prayers and music of the updated Roman Missal.
My choir music bags are filled with new octavos and laminated prayer response cards (a.k.a. Mass cheat sheets); my heart is filled with the anticipation of unlocking the mysteries of faith in a new way. The new sights, new sounds, new languages we will experience this Advent should excite us in new ways. This journey’s destination is familiar: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will bring us closer to Christ as it has always done. The route may be a bit unfamiliar to clergy and congregation alike, but the prayer cards, hymnals, and new Missal will guide us.
Relax, have fun, and rejoice as you embark on this new journey of faith. Make sure to keep your liturgical tray tables in the upright and locked position, welcome your fellow passengers, and enjoy the best meal you’ll ever have: the Eucharist. Updated Roman Missal, you are cleared for take-off!!