The comfort provided by the liturgical structure of the Roman Catholic Church often surprises me. When our pastor mentioned my reading (or singing) the Proclamation of the Birth of Christ at the Midnight Mass this year, I just considered it another aspect of my liturgical participation as Permanent Deacon. Hmm…
Today, as I gathered everything for tonight’s liturgies, I searched for the proclamation on the web. “USCCB proclamation” in the Google search bar yielded exactly what I needed: the 1994 revised proclamation translation by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops based upon the traditional proclamation in the Roman Martyrology. Here’s a link to the new translation in PDF form: christmasproclamation
As I read over the directives for use and practiced reading it, I was so much at peace… comforted by the simplicity and beauty of the words and confident in its use for tonight’s liturgy. That’s when I backed up to the Google search page on my browser and noticed this page: The Christmas Proclamation, Comparative analysis by Fr. Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D. What a thoughtful document! Here’s a PDF of the chart: Christmas Proclamation Analysis
As I reread the new translation and compared it to the older ones, I reflected on the wisdom of the Church: slowly, carefully bringing new life to well-grounded liturgy in a thoughtful manner. Christmas 2009 just became a bit more special!