From a reader…
Due to a new pastor at our parish, I’ve been hearing all sorts of novel things as Mass, and was particularly struck by the use of “May Almighty God bless US” instead of “YOU” at the final blessing. I first assumed it was this particular priest, since he switches up a lot of things (cup and chalice, etc) and in general seems to downplay his priestly role. However, since I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve noticed at least two other priests, one at this parish, one elsewhere, doing it as well. Is this common/acceptable/a new trend/just another variation I didn’t know about? It’s noticeable enough that my children have asked about it, and I didn’t know what to tell them.
You put your finger on the sore spot: the priest downplaying his priestly role.
Priests are mediators. Priests are for sacrifice. They should not ever downplay their role. That doesn’t mean being all high and mighty over people, but it does mean acting like a priest for people, not something else.
Most of the men who do these things genuinely believe that they are being kind or sensitive or friendly, etc. Most of them have had dreadful formation, especially liturgical. It’s as if they can’t help it. They think they can do what they want in the cause of being nice.
It isn’t nice, as it turns out, to change something important like that in the rites of Holy Mass. But they are sort of stunted and they don’t know any better.
You have to be patient with them.
You could go to the priest, with your book or missalette, and, with the proper page open, ask him why he changes the words. “Father, you say this, but the book says this. Why don’t you say what is in the book.” His reaction will tell you a great deal about his motives.