Language changes coming in Catholic mass - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Language changes coming in Catholic mass


America's 70 million practicing Catholics will soon hear some new language being used during worship services. 

The Catholic faith is steeped in tradition.  But soon, some of its traditions will be changing.  Specifically, some of the familiar phrases will be changing for English-speaking Catholic church goers.  It's part of an effort to bring the language more in line with the literal translation, which was originally penned in Latin.

"We've been saying for 50 years, 'And also with you.'  They're now going to be saying, 'And with your spirit.'  You know, the Spanish speaking people have been saying that all the time since the council, the Vatican council, they say 'Con tu es spirito,' which is exactly the Latin," said Father Dennis Colter with St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cedar Falls.  So that's an example.  It's more precise, more accurate."

Church leaders hope that in time, those changes will help the faithful have a better connection to the meaning of what they're saying.

"There's more to it.  'What are they saying to me?'  They're saying, 'And also with your spirit.'  May you and the Holy Spirit and your spirit help us to worship.  So it's not just, 'You too,'" Colter said.

Local churches have been working to educate members about the new text.  Still, it will take some time getting used to.  But long-time Catholics say they're ready.

"I don't notice that it's a big deal.  Either way, had we left it alone or changed it, it's acceptable," said parishioner Paula Eck.

That might be because even though the new text is one of the few changes made to Catholic mass in decades, it's a minor difference compared to previous changes in the church.

"Long time members my age went from Latin to English.  That was a much bigger change than this is going to be, from one English version to another," said Colter.

And ultimately, parishioners shouldn't be too nervous about the new switch.  The revision will be printed in a new booklet for reference.  And as Father Colter put it--the faithful can rest assured that slipping up by saying the old, wrong words in church doesn't put anyone's salvation at stake.

Catholic leaders expect the changes will be most difficult for occasional church goers to adapt to.  The new text becomes official at the beginning of advent, November 27.

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