Transitions are not always easy

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Today the priest of Toronto gathered in Nottawasaga heard from two gift Canadians, Msgr Murra Kroetsch, a priest of the Diocese of Hamilton, Director of Liturgy and Pastor as well as from Fr. John Hibbard, a priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston, Pastor the the lovely parish of the Most Holy Rosary in Belleville (which the friars served for many years) and former Director the National Liturgy Office in Ottawa.

Our speakers reviewed the proposed changes “coming to a mass near you”! Msgr. Kroetsch highlighted that these changes are in continuity with the past and also directed to the future as Vatican II called for.  The key value is still “Full, Active and Conscious Participation” by the faithful.  However, what is different is a much more clear emphasis on hierarchy in the Church and the hierarchy of ministries. It stems from a perceived confusion of some between the priesthood of the “ordained” and the priesthood of all the faithful as baptised.  This hierarchical emphasis sounds rather unfortunate to me. Another key emphasis is on the Sacred Scriptures. Msgr. Kroetsch also reviewed the types of things that are changing in the mass, but also the vast majority of the mass is the same as the 1975 edition.

Fr. Hibbard reflected on the reality of the challenge of this transition both for us and for the members of our parishes. We will need to be patient and re-learn some texts. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since it will call us to revisit and reflect, and prepare more for liturgy.  This led to a discussion of the kinds of resources that will need to be in place to facilitate this transition.  It is expected that the changes will take effect in Canada in September 2010 or 2011.