Tuesday, August 05, 2008

New Translation of the Mass

I thought some might like to see what I'm going to put in the parish bulletin this coming weekend--provided something more urgent doesn't bump it.

You may have read, here or elsewhere, that our bishops, working with the Holy Father, are revising our translation of the Mass.

Recently, a major part of was approved by Rome and published—the “ordinary” parts of Mass that never change. You may wonder why the change, what is different, and when we’ll start using them. Since Vatican II gave the option (not a mandate) using our own language for Mass, we may forget the Mass itself remains in Latin; the translation of such an important prayer must be done well and faithfully. The existing translation was rushed, right after the Council, and everyone concedes it is inadequate. The bishops have been working a long time on this.

The new translation aims to express better the Biblical imagery of the prayers; it tries to convey better the action of God in and through our prayer, and to better express transcendence and awe. Our current translation is often flat and bland. Once we get past the discomfort of change, we’ll gain the spiritual benefit of richer, fuller prayers, in our own native tongue—which was what Vatican II hoped would happen.

When will we start using it? Not until the bishops finish their work, probably over a year from now or even longer. They have other parts of the Mass still to complete. In the meantime, the texts were published so we can study them and get ready. At some point down the road, we’ll find ways to examine these texts more closely.


DG said...

Father, you should also give them the URL of the USCCB site where they can download the text and take a gander themselves:


Fr Martin Fox said...


Good idea! Thanks for doing it for me!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of language. . .I was finally able to attend the Weds. morning Latin Mass at St. Mary's, and found it quiet and beautiful.

Your homily was great too, Father!

Your comments re fears of "seeing" the mysteries took me back to my days as a schoolgirl. I loved to pop in church by myself for a visit to the Blessed Sacrament during recess or lunch hour. However, in school the sisters saturated us with descriptions of miraculous appearances and dramatic spiritual manifestations. I began to feel very apprehensive about such terrifying and awesome events happening to me. In my prayers on these solitary visits,I included fervant pleas that none of the saints, angels, Mary nor Jesus,would do anything
"disturbing or scary" while I was in church! Puh-leeze, no tears of blood, levitating statues, or booming celestial announcements while I'm in there enjoying some holy time!

Only after I had aged a few more years did I understand how unlikely it was that such things would happen to the likes of myself.

It was a Divine Liturgy this a.m.


Puff the Magic Dragon said...

What surprises me is all the times the instruction say that the celebrant is to "Face the People" Wouldn't that suggest that the celebrant isn't facing the people normally? And then there is the instruction at the Eucharistic Prayer, at least I think it's there, to Face the Altar?

The general set up for most of the Ordinary Form of the Mass is the priest would be facing the altar and the congregation at the same time.

These instructions don't seem to make sense unless the "ORDINARY ORIENTATION" is "AD ORIENTUM" and the priest stands between the altar and the people. But no where do the instructions clearly state that.

Maybe the Holy Father will ask that all celebrate OF and EF masses the way he does ad orientam. Also there is no mention of EMHCs at communion- just Priest and Deacon. This is all very interesting.

I'm just waiting our Bishops' Conference (CCCB) to make some kind of announcement. Heck I'll be happy if my archbishop made some kind of announcement.

mom v many said...

I am interested in this new language of the mass mostly because I have children and want to make sure they don't feel overwhelmed with the changes. My hope is it will make those who repeat from rote may take some new hope in looking with new eyes and they can be closer to Jesus.

I do have a question.
Our tabernacle is placed in the middle of the altar.
Should the priest stand in front of it for opening and closing prayers? He used to start and end at the presiders chair? The past few Sundays he doesn't and he was angry at me for even asking why? I'm I being ignorant?

Felix Infelix said...

I wonder why I find two versions of the new translation on the internet. One, from the USCCB has 'calix' rendered as 'Chalice' and 'pro multis' as 'for many'. The other has 'cup' and 'for all' respectively. Any thoughts?
Also why is this taking so long? From the first appearance of the vernacular to the full blown Novus Ordo in English took less than seven years. It is already thay long since 'Liturgiam Authenticam'. Are we into major episcopal foot-dragging here?

Anonymous said...