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“The rite of the Mass is to be revised in such a way that the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them, may be more clearly manifested, and that devout and active participation by the faithful may be more easily achieved.

For this purpose the rites are to be simplified, due care being taken to preserve their substance; elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were added with but little advantage, are now to be discarded; other elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the vigor which they had in the days of the holy Fathers, as may seem useful or necessary.”
Sacrosanctum Consilium 50

This quote is from a document of the Second Vatican Council. The recent revised translation of the Roman Missal is not without controversy, particularly because it is no longer as simple as the 1973 version and uses terms such as ‘consubstantial’ which most people do not understand but also because the prayers, particularly the collects are much longer, difficult to recite and even more difficult to hear.

This might beg the question: If people no longer understand the Mass, how can they fulfill their obligation to ‘hear’ Mass on Sundays (this surely requires active listening, not passive presence) and how can the laity participate in something many no longer understand.

The views of readers would be very much appreciated, especially as we approach the Year of Faith, a year in which Catholics are being encouraged to take time to gain a better understanding of their faith.

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