CHICAGO (CBS) — For Roman Catholics, this year’s Advent season is also a season of change. For the first time in almost half a century, a new English language translation of Catholic Mass went into effect on Sunday.

As CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, parishioners were adapting to new prayers and new responses.

At St. Clement Church in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Sunday, and all around the English-speaking world, Catholic Mass sounded a little different.

In the past, when a Catholic priest told his congregation, “The Lord be with you,” the response was “and also with you.” Now, the response has changed to “and with your spirit.”

It’s the first new translation of the Roman Missal, or prayer book, in more than 40 years.

St. Clement pastor, Father Ken Simpson, said, “We’ve spent, really, the whole year reviewing what the mass means in general, what the prayer means.”

Many parishioners used “cheat sheets” at Mass on Sunday, but praised the new prayers.

“It just, like, freshens things up a little bit, and it changes the way that we think about Mass a little bit, instead of just being in the same old routine,” said Laura Clemons.

“For what I understand, it’s just a more accurate translation of the Latin,” said Jody Porter.

The changes represent the first major alterations in the Mass since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, when the Roman Catholic Church transitioned to saying the Mass in local languages rather than Latin for all churches.

With the change always comes controversy.

Critics worry the new translation is too lofty or too remote.

For example, in the Nicene Creed, the words “one in being with the father” have been changed to “consubstantial with the father.”

“When people are forming words and trying to learn words that they have to look up in the dictionary, that’s a challenge,” Simpson said.

It’s a challenge that might enrich worship for some, but could turn off others.

The English-language Missal that’s being discarded has been in use since 1973. It was intended to be temporary, until improvements could be made.
It turns out those improvements took more than 40 years.

Watch & Listen LIVE