Yesterday, Advent, we had the blessing of the new missal, and its first use for our congregation. It was a blessed day, having our own Missal, and using the Missal to give glory to God. The blessing used was from a variety of sources, the major one being Rituale Romanum. Here is the blessing I used:
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord,
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you.
Let us pray.
Almighty everlasting God, who decreed through Thy church, and Thy servant the Vicar of Christ, that this missal be used in fulfilling the ministry of Christ, by being the means of celebration of Christ’s Sacrifice, to dignify and beautify the worship rendered to Thy holy name; mercifully heed our prayers, and be pleased, through our lowly ministry, to bless ✠and to ✠ hallow and to ✠ consecrate this missal, bedewing it with Thy grace, so that this missal become Holy and suitable for divine worship and the sacred mysteries. Let every bishop, priest, or deacon using this missal be strengthened and defended from all assaults or temptation of wicked spirits; let them perform and celebrate Thy mysteries reverently and well; let them always carry out their ministry in a devout and pleasing manner; and grant that all who in its presence pay devout homage to Thy only-begotten Son in the Sacrifice of the Mass, obtain Thy grace in this life and everlasting glory in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord who liveth …
What I liked about the new Missal is the flow – from the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, to the Last Gospel – it flows with its own cadence, and its own rhythm. For instance, the Collect for Advent is:
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead; we may rise to the life immortal; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
English spirituality at its best. One member of the congregation said that, “It is good that we have a Missal, as it is from the Missal that we learn, and participate in Christ’s sacrifice”. Another commented that, “It was good, and Holy”. Another, “We finally HAVE come home.” All favourable, and all enthusiastic that God has blessed us with a spiritual home, and a Missal that will direct our worship. I always emphasise that we, as priests, are servants of the Missal, and not its Master – we say the black, and do the red (rubrics).