WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - The Masses for the First Sunday of Advent are now complete and, it seems, that the English-speaking Church has survived the shakedown voyage of the new translation of the Mass.

Change is never easy, even when it is welcomed and necessary. French Journalist and Poet Anatole France once wrote, "All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."

At the Vigil Mass for our parish in Northern Virginia we got off to a bit of a bumpy start with the first response - about a 50-50 split between "And with your spirit" along with "And also with you" from those who were still operating on automatic. Our parochial vicar smiled and gently said, "OK, let's try it one more time."

From that point on, we seemed to be more of less in sync.

As an ardent supporter of the new translation, I was surprised how self-conscious I felt in the Mass. It will take some time to get used to but worth the time in adjustment. I must confess that at the end of the Mass, when the priest said, "The Lord Be With You," my response kind of came out, "And also (I caught myself) with your spirit."

For me, one highlight was the declaration of the creed, all of us in unison affirming, "I believe." The new translation gives us the opportunity for a more accurate statement of faith, using great phrases like "visible and invisible," as well as "consubstantial with the Father."

Several times during the Mass I wondered what it was like during the first Mass in English in the 1960's after a lifetime of the traditional Latin Rite. Talk about change! I imagine many found that day to feel like the end of the world as they knew it.

As a convert, I experienced some adjustment coming into the full communion of the Church after so many years of the Anglican liturgy. The responses, creed and Eucharistic prayers were very similar but not identical. While it took some time to become accustomed to the changes, soon it became a part of me. The same will be true for all of us with the new Mass translation.

Ironically, one of the hardest adjustments we had to make coming in was changing from "And with your spirit" to "And also with you." Yesterday was a welcome return.

So how did the rest of you do? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.