Priest Alters Prayers


I was familiarizing myself with the parish missal today when I noticed that our priest had gone through and edited the Collects and the Prayers over the Offerings/after Communion. In general, his changes simplified the vocabulary and structure of the prayers. For example, he excised almost every relative clause. (Changing “God who reigns forever” to “God, you reign forever.”) A few edits removed calls to discipline and softened the tone of the prayers.

Is this sort of liturgical tinkering allowed? Is it common?
Is there anything I should do to address it?



Judging by your example, this is not just a change of vocabulary but a fundamental change in the prayer.

“God who reigns forever” is a descriptive term and it may be part of a longer prayer like, “We pray to God, who reigns forever.” “God, you reign forever” is basically telling God what he knows.

Relative clauses exist for a reason and they can’t be effectively replaced by other constructions because they function in separate and unequal ways. “Basically” saying the same thing is not saying the same thing.

Whether it is common or not, meh, but no, it is not allowed at all for the fixed parts of Mass. Whether you should to something about it depends on how you think he would respond or, if that didn’t work, on how well supported you think you’d be by your bishop.


Any answer you get here will not do justice to you or your priest. More information is needed, including the priest’s view of what you think is going on.

You should privately address the matter with your priest.


I agree, I will certainly ask him, but he is out of town this weekend, and I was so bewildered to see anything written in the Missal that I just had to ask someone about it.


Is it possible that you have here a priest who is using the [edited] ICEL 1970 translation of the Missal instead of the new translation introduced in Advent 2011?


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