Our parish has been, for the past few Sundays, practicing that great song of praise. I hope yours has been, too. Since we won’t be using it during Advent, the bishops gave us permission to do so. The first part of the Gloria sounds slightly different: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will.” This is almost a direct quote from Luke’s Gospel as he describes the angels rejoicing at the birth of Christ. And by the way, it’s a great example of how the enhancements to the Mass echo what we find in scripture.
The first change that we encounter in the Nicene Creed is the changing of We to I—from the plural to the singular. This is not to diminish our sense of community but is simply a more accurate translation of the word Credo –“ I believe.” The reciting of the Creed is a communal act;, however, each individual in the assembly is called upon to profess his or her own faith just as he or she did in Baptism. Our individual profession is then joined together with the profession of the whole assembly.
Next, the words “of all that is seen and unseen” will become “of all things visible and invisible.” There is a difference between something that is unseen and something that is invisible. Something may be unseen for a number of reasons, including an obstacle in our line of vision. Something invisible, however, is clearly unable to be seen with the naked eye, for example, the saints and angels who occupy a place in our worship. They are not just unseen but invisible.
The second part of the Creed, which deals with our beliefs in Jesus Christ, has a number of changes in the new Roman Missal. Here are just three:
* “consubstantial with the Father” – this replaces the phrase “one in being” in describing the relationship between the Father and the Son. The early Church labored intensely to find the correct words to define Jesus’ relationship with the Father. Consubstantial, while an unusual word in English, means literally “having the same substance,” which is more technically accurate than “one in being.” Sure, it’s an unusual word, but then again it is describing someone and something unusual and unique: Jesus Christ and his relationship with the Father.
And I love this one! Every pro-lifer should!
* “and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary” – here, the word incarnate replaces born. To be born describes the moment of birth. To be incarnate describes the moment of conception: the Word became incarnate – became flesh – in Mary’s womb.
Finally, instead of saying “we look for the resurrection” we’ll say “I look FORWARD to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” Amen! This expresses not only our EAGERNESS for the resurrection but our confidence that it will happen!
(Many thanks to Loyola Press and Mystical Bod, Mystical Voice for help on this!)