Saturday, March 27, 2010

Not dead, not missing!

Hi gang, sorry to be AWOL.

This time of year is busy for more reasons than you might think:

> Lent with more penance services and preparations for Easter
> Budget season for school (finished) and parish (still ahead)
> End of school year, as activity level rises to a crescendo

Not to mention several projects that I've been working on:

> Hiring a new maintenance person for one parish
> Working with a committee of parishioners for some major improvements to the interior of that parish church
> Making some summer plans

I have been preaching Sunday homilies, of course, but the last several involved no text, and no notes other than in my head. So I'm sorry I haven't posted them.

Good things going on, just too busy, and in some cases too tired, to post about them. It should get a little better soon.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Q&A: What’s wrong with the present translation—why not keep it?

(Another Q&A about the new translation of the Mass...)

To be clear, no one is claiming that the translation is so problematic that the Mass isn’t a valid Mass. But there are some unintentional ways it gives a wrong impression about what we believe. Some are more concerning than others, but surely we want our Mass prayers to be translated so our Faith is expressed the right way.

A larger question is whether the current translation conveys the full meaning of the prayers of the Mass. This is a more common problem.

An even broader question is one of “fidelity” to the text.

When the current translation was put together, quickly, the approach was to translate more loosely. The new translation follows the Latin prayers more closely. There is a case to be made for both approaches, but in 1998, at the behest of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican issued a document called Liturgicam Authenticam that gave direction on how prayer texts for the liturgy were to be translated—and it called for following the Latin texts more closely, rather than a looser approach that was used earlier.

(FYI, also realize these are intended for use in the parish, so they are not as in-depth as they might be. But that's not to say they shouldn't go further...feel free to offer suggestions.)

Q&A on the new translation of the Mass: part 2

As mentioned in my prior post, I'm working on some Q&A about the new translation of the Mass.

Here some of what I've come up with, please feel free to offer constructive critique.

Please continue to suggest questions to answer--I've written answers to about 12 questions I could think of, and I can think of more still to work on.

(FYI, if your question is, "please say more about the points raised here--I will; that's what comes later, stay tuned...)

1. Why is the translation of the Mass changing?

Because the translation we currently use is not as good as it can and should be. And this is not a matter of minor tinkering. There are a number of ways the current translation significantly falls short of conveying the full meaning of the Mass prayers, or, worse, unintentionally distorts what we believe.

This is not to find fault. A lot of things changed very rapidly after the Second Vatican Council, and translating the Mass from Latin to all the languages of the world was a big job. They did their best; and that was 40 years ago. It’s reasonable that sooner or later, the job would be revisited. In the judgment of the pope and bishops, that time has come.