A lifetime parishioner — baptized in our church, in fact — and longtime trustee of the parish died just before Thanksgiving. This morning, we had his funeral, the first with the new Roman Missal.
There was a substantial turnout, and a sizable crowd in the sanctuary, too: four priests, two deacons, six altar servers, and one seminarian, who hovered over the new missal and served in an important new liturgical ministry: Turner of the Page.
After the first “and also with you,” we all quickly realized we’d bungled it. After that, one of the priests boldly made sure he enunciated (no, proclaimed) the new responses loudly, for every prayer, at every moment. We all followed along, remembering what we could, when we could. It was impossible to tell how many of the people in the pews were regular Mass-goers, or how many even realized we were using a new version of the Mass. (At times like that, people have other things on their mind.)
But it marked another little milestone for us.
Later, my pastor and I were talking about the experience over coffee — and I noted an interesting quirk. “Just think: Bob was buried with a Mass he’d never heard before,” I said. “I hope he liked it.”