The most popular app category accessed by users here at Catholic Apptitude is Roman Catholic Missal apps. Over the weekend, Pope Francis marked the 50th anniversary of the first papal Mass using a missal which included a new language– the language of the people in the pews. Formerly, Roman Catholic liturgy was celebrated almost exclusively in Latin. We can assume most Catholics today take for granted their Masses are celebrated in their native tongue. The idea behind this major liturgical reform spawned from Vatican II was to help Catholics become more involved in liturgy beyond their mere presence in church. Given the significance of this anniversary, it is a fitting time to pause to consider our engagement with Holy Mass, obviously an interest of so many who visit this web site looking for missal apps for their digital mobile devices.
For many, their engagement with the mystical celebration begins before they leave home. Having convenient access to the Mass readings makes it easy to take the time to ponder the Word of God in preparation for the upcoming liturgy. Some apps provide audio versions of the readings so you can be listen to them while getting dressed or driving to church. We presume a significant percentage of people who download missal apps do so for these purposes with no intent of using their mobile device at Mass. Many who bring their digital missals to Mass enjoy the ease of navigation and back-lit, large-print text which traditional book-formatted missals lack. Some printed missals do not contain daily Mass readings. Your smart-phone is much lighter to carry around than a bound daily Mass missal.
But beyond our engagement with the text itself–whether we read it or just listen to it–there is an element to engaging liturgy that’s even more important, Pope Francis instructs: corresponding liturgy to our life.
“..the Church is calling us to have and to promote an authentic liturgical life, so that there may be harmony between what the liturgy celebrates, and what we live in our daily existence.” The liturgy, he said, “is the privileged place to hear the voice of the Lord, who guides us on the path of righteousness and Christian perfection.”
In his homily on Saturday, Pope Francis recalled the Gospel account of the cleansing of the temple, and Jesus’ famous remark, “Do not make My Father’s house a marketplace!” This expression, the Pope said, did not just refer to those doing business in the temple; it refers to a certain type of religiosity. Jesus’ gesture is one of “cleansing, of purification.” God is not pleased with material offerings based on personal interests. Rather, Jesus is calling us to “authentic worship, to the correspondence between liturgy and life – a call that is true for every age, and also for us today.”
Check out this video report of the pope’s Mass celebrated on the 50th anniversary of the Roman Catholic Mass in vernacular (the language of the people)