As soon as I saw the thick 9-lb new Roman Missal, I knew that it was an iPad app waiting to happen. I didn’t know it would come so quickly.
Whatever one might think about the translation or the contents, the physicality of the new Roman Missal is unmistakable. Even the smaller Chapel edition will be heavy and unwieldy for young altar servers, and perhaps a strain for the many priests who celebrate the Eucharist in make-shift chapels in nursing homes, battlefields, and disaster areas. While some probably carry Magnificat rather than the Sacramentary when they travel, the new Roman Missal is just too much for carry-on luggage.
I’m not sure what I’ll think the first time I see an iPad propped on the altar. Will they develop new SmartCases in the traditional liturgical red? Will the Roman Missal App build in a Do Not Disturb feature so that flashing signal lights or screen notices don’t distract Father with “You’ve got mail!”
I do like electronic devices. I think they have their place. While I love the sense that Catholics around the world speak and sing their worship from around a common book, and the sense of history and unity that comes as we move from one section to another, the sheer weight of this new tome opens at least a wedge in my preference for paper.
It will certainly be interested, once this Roman Missal app becomes available around to July, to see who uses it. Pope Benedict used an iPad to send his first Tweet, and rumor has it that he will illuminate the Christmas decorations at St. Peter’s the same way. Who knows? Perhaps the first sighting of the iPad Roman Missal on a papal mission trip.
- US archbishop explains use of new translation outside of Mass (catholicnewsagency.com)
- Canadian bishops launch website on new Roman Missal translation (catholicnewsagency.com)
- CNA launches resource page for new missal translation (catholicnewsagency.com)
- CNA Launches Massive Resource Site for New Missal Changes (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- 10 things Catholics need to know about the new Missal translation (usccbmedia.blogspot.com)