Per an official decree, English-speaking Catholics will now recite certain portions of the mass that are closer to the original Latin translation, in the most earth-shattering changes to Mass since its English translation more than 40 years ago. Some are upset because the translation was meant to fulfill the goal of a more "shared liturgy" with other Christian denominations. Plus, it kind of snaps you out of your peaceful trance when the same thing you've been incanting for four decades is changed. But according to the Times, Corpus Christi Church in Morningside Heights has been giving the ecumenical finger to the Vatican since the 60s, and in effect, the church is catching up to them. Who's the cafeteria Catholic, now?
Before the decree, when the priest told the congregation, "The peace of the Lord be with you always," the assembled answered a variation of "And also with you." Now, they will say, "And with your spirit." HERESY! But to the members of Corpus Christi, it's just another day of numinous trendsetting: they've been saying it for decades.
"There are a lot of us who feel that the last 35 years of translation has been very banal and pedestrian, and the way that one wants to address God in a liturgy should not be pedestrian," parishioner Brenda Fairaday tells the paper. No word on whether Corpus Christi features a nice petite syrah in their chalices or an organic, whole-wheat host.
The church has been the James Dean of Catholic Churches since the 1930s, when the Rev. George Barry Ford allowed a priest to translate the Latin mass into English while Ford performed the sacred rites. The congregation would then respond in English. Efforts to make the church more "downtown" to follow the lead of the archdiocese at St. Patrick's have failed. "Ain't going to happen," one parishioner of Corpus Christie since 1971 says, presumably using the Latin phrase "ain't" to mean "No way José."
An associate director of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops says of Corpus Christi, "Sometimes it more important to have peace in the church than uniformity." In case you're still not at peace with the new changes, let Franciscan Father Greg Friedman soothe your fears. In ten years, you'll be enraged when they change it back.