This is what happens when your mom forces you to go to mass every Sunday for the first 18 years of your life, and also every month at Catholic High School.
As such, I not only know the prayers by heart, but I know which ones indicate that the mass is almost over.
(The “Our Father” = home stretch!!!!)
These memorization skills come in handy the times my mom still forces me to go to church or during Christmas, the only holiday where I worship on my own free will.
Because despite my lack of regular worship, no one can tell I haven't been to church since before Easter when they see me politely recite the Eucharistic prayer word for word.
And the Our Father
And all that business about Pontius Pilot.
But today, everything changed for me.
(No, I did not become enlightened.)
Today, I looked in horror at the brochures in everyone’s pew about the “new translation” for the Bible and our new, revised prayers.
Isn’t the Bible a gagillion years old? And NOW we’re making changes???
This must be a mistake!
But no. I read both sides of the brochure. Entire words of well-memorized prayers have now been changed, effective immediately.
Basically, a whole bunch of bishops got together and decided to make changes in order to be relevant or something.
The priest said the change only affects English-speaking Roman Catholics.
“When you tell your Spanish and German friends about this change, they won’t have any idea what you’re talking about!” the priest said.
That’s funny, I thought. Who would bring that up to ANY friend, let alone a foreign one?
The problem with the old way, he said, is that the English translation from the original Latin was translated a few different ways depending on if you live in England or Australia or the United States or maybe Canada, too.
For example, the word “dead” in one version may be written as “passed away” in another version and obviously that’s super-confusing so now everything is being streamlined to be the same word no matter what English-speaking country you’re in.
It’s also supposed to give people better insight into exactly what the disciples and Jesus “really meant," the priest said.
(You know, big misinterpretations like instead of chanting the word “cup” we're now expected to say “chalice.” Because no one wants to confuse a "chalice" with the thing that protects guys’ junk when they play sports.)
And now, when the priest says “Peace be with you” instead of saying, “And also with you,” we’re now supposed to say, “and with your spirit.”
DO YOU SEE THE DISTINCTION?
Now, normally this would be as insignificant in my life as Google + , but it turns out this change is really going to screw up fly-by worshippers like me.
I have to memorize everything all over again!!!
I can no longer impress
I’M GOING TO BE EXPOSED!!!
Because while everyone today stumbled through the new changes, regular church-goers are going to memorize the new sayings with each passing week and I’ll be left out in the cold by Christmas.
I bet by then all the brochures will be removed and I’ll be nervously lip-syncing the Gloria hoping I won’t be accused of being a Baptist.
Thank God we still get to keep the wine.