The Responsorial Psalm reminds us of times when we started our Masses with parts of that Psalm in Latin.

Friday, 9/23/11

In the Responsorial Psalm we read, “Then I will go to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy.” In an earlier version of this Psalm it was a little different. It went, “I will go into the altar of God, to God who gives joy to my youth.”

Up to fifty years ago our Masses began with those words, only we had them in Latin. Before going up to the altar the priest would start it, saying, “Introibo ad altare Dei.” The server boys would then say, “Ad Deum qui laetificat  juventutem meum.” Back then, memorizing those Latin words that we didn’t understand was our gateway to becoming servers.

I can't remember what we said next. It was something like: "Quia tu es  Deus, fortitudo mea, quare me repulisti  et quare tristus incedo dum affliget me inimicus.”

 Back then we thought the Mass prayers could never change. But they were changed, and the server boys’ old Latin responses are forgotten.

We wonder how we will put up with the new changes that we must begin in December. Fifty years ago when we were supplied with Eucharistic Prayers I, II, III, IV I loved them from the start. I felt that they had to have been composed by people who had grasped the poetry of our language. I found that without making a conscious effort I had them memorized.

We will need to go along with the new changes, just as we need to go along with the wrinkles that come with age. Youth doesn’t last.

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