Skip to comments.Mass should be enlightening and elevating, not a cookie cutter ritual
Posted on 07/30/2007 3:47:09 PM PDT by Serviam1
The Quiet Corner Fr. John A. Kiley, Rhode Island Catholic, Thursday, July 26, 2007
Mass should be enlightening and elevating, not a cookie cutter ritual
Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, PA, has taken great exception to the proposed new translation of the Mass into English. In a recent article in America magazine, his Excellency quoted the following Advent prayer as an example of the new rendering of the text: Accept, O Lord, these gifts, and by your power, change them into the sacrament of salvation, in which the prefiguring sacrifices of the Fathers have an end and the true Lamb is offered, he who was born ineffably of the inviolate Virgin.
Apparently references to the prefiguring sacrifices, Christs ineffable birth and Marys inviolate virginity stuck on the prelates tongue. What will John and Mary Catholic make of these phrases, he asks.
The bishop takes exception to other phrases employed by the English translators: God, who suffused blessed John with the spirit of mercy; Cyril, an unvanquished champion of the divine motherhood; consubstantial to the Father; incarnate of the Virgin Mary; sullied; unfeigned; gibbet; wrought; thwart.
The bishop points out that elsewhere in the liturgical translations the priest is provided with a sentence eleven lines long and a phrase totaling 56 words.
Translators are facing two separate challenges: one committee is translating the liturgy; another committee is translating the Bible. The work of neither is appreciated. English-speaking priests, deacons and lectors can sympathize with the bishops remarks. The scriptural translations into English have been particularly lamentable not so much because of vocabulary, but because of style. And rare is the priest who might choose an alternative collect for a Sunday Mass. They are a glossary of mixed metaphors.
Yet, with all due respect for the episcopal office, the bishop from Erie seems to be calling for a further dumbing down of Americas liturgical life. The church in the United States has already gone through its burlap banner and polyester vestment stage. Earthen goblets substituting for chalices and ceramic candy dishes passed off as ciboria have happily seen their day. Kumbaya and Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore are an embarrassment best forgotten. The American clergy have been relentless in bringing the liturgy down to the level of the people and the result is a drop of 40% Mass attendance in one generation.
A celebrant does not have to challenge his congregation with obfuscating verbiage. But worshippers should realize that they are in churchnot at the water cooler or inside a convenience store. A word or two might be unfamiliar the first time they hear it, but how can the church promote an authentic air of mystery, of the supernatural, of the transcendent, if the Mass never surpasses the level of a backyard picnic? It is precisely because the church brought the Mass down to the level of the people that the people stopped going to Mass. Why go to Mass if the Mass is just business as usual? The ambiance, the decorum, the manner and the utterances at Mass should all speak powerfully of another world. The ceremonies of the Mass should be elevating if they are truly to be enlightening.
I thought I would alert you to a column on page 18 of this weeks (26 July 07) Rhode Island Catholic, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Providence. It is penned by Fr. John A. Kiley is a priest of the Diocese of Providence.
In nomine sancto ejus,
Rob Quagan West Roxbury, MA
But the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on the Liturgy is holding a special meeting next month in order to offer bishops around the country some guidance in their responsibility of supervising the sacred liturgy now that there is to be a more generous availability of both forms.
Just out of curiosity, what sort of publication is Rhode Island Catholic? Is it a "house organ" completely controlled by the bishop like the Boston Pilot?
Excellent piece, BTW!
Another excellent article here to ping your list to! :)
Too many, Mary. Be more selective. We are trying to get a more national or international sphere of interest. We could PING these all day.
I think it’s significant since it’s about Trautman, Chairman of Liturgy Committee planning to meet next month, and his objections.
I believe it is the official weekly of the Diocese of Providence, as is the Pilot for the Archdiocese of Boston. It appears to have been recently reorganized under Bishop Tobin.
So can we conclude that Tobin supports the TLM? (We’ll all be old and gray waiting for an article like this in the Pilot!)
He indeed does. In fact he has hosted Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan of Campos, Brazil to do a missionary appeal in several of his Portuguese (Azorean and Brazilian) parishes last week. I understand that he has resided in the Rectory of Holy Name of Jesus Church in Providence and was the guest of Fr. Joseph Santos its Administrator. For those who do not know this Holy Name has been the site of the Indult for several years. It has grown considerably under Bishop Tobin and Fr. Santos.
I wish we could be granted similar support from Cardinal O’Malley in Boston, seems less inclined.
"There are Catholics all over the country who would die for what you have here," said the priest, a former Lutheran who converted to Catholicism after attending a course in Latin in Minnesota.
We get some good converts from Lutheranism! :)
Bishop Donald W. Trautman
(sigh) Bishop, for the sake of all of us, please wake up.
Now there's an unfortunate choice of words.
Is this your first encounter with Trautman (aka Pope Donnie I)?
He is the one sheltering the heretic Joanne Chittester, Amazon Queen of the Erien Catholic(?) Church.
This scourge is my cross to bear.
AB Vlazny also made sure to get in this little reminder:
“Every bishop is the moderator of the liturgy in his own diocese.”
“Amazon Queen of the Erien Catholic(?) Church”
LOL, I never heard Sister Chit described that way, very funny!
You’ve probably seen Diogenes refer to Trautman as “Bishop Mackerelperson”...!
Ha! Mary is as excited as I am! Good to see the enthusiasm! LOL!!! I guess we’re seeing so little (in my diocese at least), that it’s good to hear what’s going on in other places. So Mary, if you post, you can send me a personal ping if you want! lol!!! Or give a link in another of Frank’s threads. I read them all and so do others and we’ll all see them!
(sorry Frank - hope I’m not being presumptuous!) :-)
The Diocese of Providence is a very interesting Diocese. I have been to Mass at many of its Parishes and find an over use of Extraordinary Ministers to be typical, but also it seems to have a fair number of older orthodox Priests (usually its younger).
They also have a Church on every corner and one Priest in each one. For instance there are two parishes in Pawtucket (St. Leo and St. Cecelia) which have a house and street between them....and they both have grammar schoola and one has a high school.
Most interesting are two things (1) they don’t send their guys to Boston to study and (2) under the previous administration they advertised for Vocations on MTV.
My overall impression of Tobin is pretty good, he seems Pastoral and may just have inherited some of the schizophrenia I precieve in his Diocese.
You're right about the vicarious joy at seeing some people well placed, diocese-wise! And, of course, for the rest of us, well, misery loves company! :(
Petronski, are you in the Diocese of Erie?
Yes I am.
Have you ever heard of Catherine Gandeaktena, the Erie Indian who founded the mission that Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha later came to? I’m trying to spread devotion to her and I’m hoping someone will start a canonization inquiry. She was said to have died in the odor of sanctity.
I have more stuff on her if you’re interested.