13 April 2009

Canada is Now Using an Approved Lectionary

I had a pleasant surprise this last Saturday afternoon. As I passed by the ambo during the practice for Easter Vigil, I noticed that the Lectionary looked different. Actually, at first I thought that it was some other book that someone had placed on the ambo. Upon a closer examination, I realised that it was in fact a Lectionary; and not just any Lectionary, the new Canadian Lectionary approved by the Vatican, which I had been waiting years for.

Nine years ago, I became aware that the Canadian Church has been using an unapproved Lectionary that contains "doctrinal and theological problems" since 1992. As I discovered the severity  of these "problems," I became rather passionate about this issue.

In the summer of 2000, I wrote four letters concerning this scandal: one to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), one to the Congregation of Divine Worship, one to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and one to Pope John Paul II himself. Five years later, I wrote another letter to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, this time not as the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but as My Most Venerable Shepherd, Pope Benedict XVI.

I've also written about this problem on my website over the years:
Could my waiting really be over? Could this book sitting on the ambo be the Lectionary rumoured to have all its "doctrinal and theological problems" corrected?

I looked at the beginning of the book. It said, "2009." Yes, it was new. I turned to the end of the book to look up Psalm 1:1, the first verse I test all Bibles with. The chart directed me to the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. I turned to the correct page, and what I found got me real excited. It said, "Blessed is the man..." The 1992 Lectionary says, "Happy are those..." Yes, the mistranslation of the First Psalm had been fixed.

I then asked our parish priest, "When did we get the new Lectionary?" He nonchalantly said, "Around two weeks ago." He didn't seem to think that it was a big deal.

He had actually been told a couple of months ago that we had to have the new Lectionary in use by Pentecost of this year. I hadn't heard a thing. I'm on the CCCB Communications Service e-mail list and I'm subscribed to the CCCB RSS feed, but I don't recall any mention of the release of the new Lectionary.

I rather excitedly explain this to our priest, who began to look at me kind of funny. I told him that little things like this get me excited. He laughed and agreed to let me know when he gets word that the new Sacramentary is coming out.

Later that evening at Easter Vigil, I heard the First Reading like I had never heard it before (I've only been Catholic since 1993, so I've only heard the unapproved Lectionary at Easter Vigil). Verse 27 of the first chapter of Genesis went like this:
So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
In past years, this is what I heard:
So God created human beings in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
I'm quite happy that the revised Lectionary for Sundays and Solemnities is now available. Now all we need is the revised Weekday Lectionary - Volumes A and B. Actually, what would be really great is a Bible based on these Lectionaries. The biggest problem with such a Bible is coming up with a good title for it. Though accurate, the title Revised New Revised Standard Version doesn't have a very nice ring to it.