Skip to comments.Catholic Mass revisions launch war of words
Posted on 04/03/2010 2:06:35 PM PDT by NYer
As America's 68 million Catholics celebrate Easter this weekend, they also will start preparing to absorb significant revisions to the Mass that include a greater focus on sin and changes in wording that hearken back to majestic, traditional language used at the time of the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s.
What some have called a "stem-to-stern" revision of the English-language missal - the ritual text for the celebration of the Mass - has been in the works for eight years. It has not come without controversy and dissent.
The new missal may not appear in parishes until the end of 2011; however, the first of 22 workshops across the country to train priests and diocesan leaders in its use begins this month in Cincinnati, Richmond, Va., and Phoenix.
Members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which represents 85 percent of the world's English-speaking Catholics, have argued among themselves about the texts for years. After rejecting a large portion of the text at their spring 2008 meeting, they did not approve final sections until November.
The USCCB has allocated a good portion of its Web site, usccb.org, to explaining the changes.
Although some bishops have hailed the revisions as more reverential toward God, a Facebook page devoted to the controversy has 1,358 fans opposing the new missal. Even the former head of the USCCB's liturgy committee has come out against the revisions, saying the language was not accessible to the average Catholic.
"To what extent are the new prayers of the missal truly pastoral?" Erie, Pa., Bishop Donald W. Trautman wrote in a 2007 essay in America magazine. "Do these new texts communicate in the living language of the worshipping assembly?"
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
"Grant us, Lord, to begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service that, as we fight against spiritual evils, we may be armed with the weapons of self-restraint," according to a new prayer for Ash Wednesday.
That language carries more dramatic punch than the current Ash Wednesday prayer: "Lord, protect us in our struggle against evil. As we begin the discipline of Lent, make this day holy by our self-denial."
Strange how generations of Europeans immigrants could understand the traditional mass, but this generation of Americans is too stupid to participate.
>>”Do these new texts communicate in the living language of the worshipping assembly?”<<
What a doofus.
Who cares about the “living language”? Back when our kids learned liturgical Latin, they did better in all aspects of education. How about we forget about “Catholic Ebonics” and get back to the idea that if some illiterate peasant in the 1500 could understand the Holy Mass, we sure can today. Even without the “living language”.
less than 2000 against it on Facebook?
obviously, the elderly “Nuns” who run womenpriest can’t use a computer
I am in favor of the new translation. Since Vatican II, priests have been taking all sorts of liberties with the Mass, including “inclusive” language and paraphrasing the text as it is written.
The new translation (from what I have seen) is much more faithful to the original Latin text. Plus, learning terms like “consubstantial” should raise the SAT Verbal scores of Catholic kids.
Now, I can only hope that the handholding during the Paternoster fade away as it so richly deserves.....
Reinventing what didn’t need to be invented.
They should never have messed with the missal in the first place.
I never understood why the Latin (Tridentine) Mass became pretty much criminalized after ‘62.
I have just learned that my alma mater, Fordham Univerity, offers a Tridentine Mass every Monday night at 9:15 PM.
Now, if the Jebbies are getting on the bandwagon, what could be next?
I have gotten out my old St. Joseph’s Missal, and will be attending Mass there right after Easter.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
My mother used to work for Scandinavian Airlines. As a small child, she took me to Europe. Regardless of where we attended Mass (Copenhagen, Paris, Rome), we could follow along because it was the same Mass and it was in Latin.
OTOH, though, unless one understood Latin, the only way to follow along was with the English text on the opposing page. That meant recognizing hand motions in order to keep up with the priest. Also, it was a time when one attended Mass out of fear of condemnation to hell. The churches, though packed, were hot in summer because there was no a/c. It was also difficult to follow the Mass because there were no sound systems.
There is great merit in attending a liturgy celebrated in one's own language. Though Roman Catholic, I am a parishioner in one of the Eastern (Maronite) Catholic Churches. They followed the council's lead and translated their texts into English here in the US. The liturgical language of the Maronite Catholic Church is Aramaic! Now that would be a challenge to follow! As it is, the Maronites have retained Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, His mother and the apostles, as the language used during the consecration. We have several other prayers in Aramaic but, for the most part, the major portions of the liturgy are in English in the US. It is a magnificent liturgy that is chanted by both the priest and the congregation, at ALL the masses. There is extensive use of incense at each liturgical celebration, not just for high holy days.
Essentially, you are right. It does not take a liturgical scholar to understand the Mass but it becomes far more meaningful when translated into the vernacular.
‘62...last big change in the mass...isn’t that about the time they started letting homosexuals into the priesthood?
Maybe...the later sixties...still, the sixties ruined SO much...’bout time we went back and restored what was good.
Not sure what you mean by "criminalized". The intention was to translate the liturgy into the respective vernacular of the communicant. (see my post #10).
When I first encountered the new mass in its English translation, I was struck by the vagueness, even banality of the language. It seems to me that Trautman is opposed to the idea of beauty in language, just as he is opposed to beauty in architecture. No one really wanted this except the cabal who did liturgical reform, and now Trautman is depending on one thing: the people have gotten used to bad taste.
I am thankful for the use of English in the Mass. Being able to understand the words certainly was a great boon to me when I attended my 1st Mass 6+ years ago. :)
The vernacular ought not to be reduced to the dull and inexact. I have spent 40 years trying to figure out what “of one being with the Father” is supposed to mean?
But It all about duh libbing langwudge, yo. Time ta be celerbratens dem pastoralness no whaddam sayin? Yo Troutman I see ya yo!
“To what extent are the new prayers of the missal truly pastoral?” Erie, Pa., Bishop Donald W. Trautman wrote”
It’s a Catholic thing, you wouldn’t understand.
I grew up with the Latin Mass and, to this day, I still miss it.
Went to Holy Thursday “multicultural” Mass and it was not until the Gospel that I heard the first words of English spoken. (By the way, I live in America.) I do not speak Vietnamese nor Spanish.
And the people still complain about Latin being a foreign language. Sigh.
I don’t understand how it would be better if it were Latin and no one understood
The point is to give people a choice!
If you want to attend the Latin Mass (now, sadly, termed “extraordinary”), then the Church should support it.
If you want to go to a hippy-dippy Kumbaya guitar Mass instead, or to a Mass in a language other than Latin, well, that should be offered, too!
You won't get me anywhere near that tomorrow (Easter) or any other day. Would prefer to teleport myself to the 50s and attend a virtual Latin Mass, if we weren't gifted with a real one just 40 miles away.
Get an English/Latin missal. Besides Latin is the official language of the Vatican representing the Catholic Church. Did you not see the Roman Easter Vigil Mass on world-wide TV? They mostly used Latin for the official prayers.
The great convenience of having ONE Latin Mass worldwide is that you can take your English/Latin missal anywhere in the world on a particular day and are able to follow the Mass of the day, wherever you are, knowing that the same words of prayer are used at home, wherever it may be. It’s called UNITY.
I like it. As a Catholic I always thought the church was a little weak in conveying the gravity of what is happening in the spiritual realms in our age. The Catholic church needs to make it abundantly clear that we as Christians need to recognize evil (both in the physical and in the supernatural) if we are to fight against it effectively.
I am aware mainly because of friends of other Christian denominations where they make a point to enlighten you on how to recognize spiritual warfare in the heavenly realms. I had always wished my church would do the same.
In my town a Protestant congregation ("Living Room Church") is advertising an Easter service for which you are encouraged to wear a costume. Not religious historical garb or anything like that, but a Halloween-type costume and mask for a "wild" Easter ceremony. I suppose that would be OK, also, for you "Choice in Mass liturgy" advocates. Or did you forget the /sarcasm tag?
My own sincere belief is that any change to Mass rubrics since the first half of last century was part of Satan's grand plan to destroy the Church. And in some respects, it worked. Subsequent Popes, to one degree or another, have been semi-willing accomplices of the diabolical scheme, possibly due to naivete and popular delusion fostered by the modernists. The current Papacy demonstrates the first signs of encouragement for a return to correct liturgy and proper culture of the Mass.
I made my First Communion in 1959.
The Missel was in Latin on one side and English on the Other.
Even as a 7 year old Child, I knew enough that the Latin words meant what the English words said on the opposite side of the book.
Any Big English words that I didn’t Understand, I could ask my Daddy, who explained things SO much better than the nuns did anyway.
When They Changed The Mass to the vernacular, they also eliminated the reading of “The Last Gospel”(John Chapter 1..In The beginning was the Word, And The Word was With God, and The Word was God” at the very end of the Mass, after Communion. I never could figure out WHY they did that! For some reason, it was my favorite part of the Mass. Even as a child, I really liked the poetry of it.
Of course tonight prior to the Vigil Mass of Easter all the statues in the Church are draped.
We are pretty old school at our parish.
Ours too! It’s so nice to see stuff done this way. Father Greg rocks :)
After morning prayers a few of us had coffee with him and I mentioned I was amazed he could speak so long without notes of any kind.
He told me in Malta the services are 8 hours long on Good Friday. This was a piece of cake.
I must be off for Easter Vigil.
Have a Blessed Easter.
Learned my lesson on Holy Thursday — went to an “All-American” service on Good Friday where I understood every word spoken.
Funny thing, I didn’t feel like a racist at all.
I got out of the service in the late 60s
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Likewise..I had gotten ‘away’ from it while in the Navy and heard of all the changes and never did get back into the groove.
In my 2nd awakening in the mid 90’s, I got reinstated and was shocked at the Mass being offered in English, the hand holding and the lay people dispensing communion.
Made ‘peace’ with myself, stopped going again and maybe, just maybe with the advent of the Mass I grew up with - while being an altar boy in the early 50’s, (’bad’ priests then were ‘drunks’ and chased skirts for their vices)- I may partake again.
I hear ya, netmilsmom!
As a child, I had no trouble understanding liturgical Latin and followed along quite nicely in my missal.
The most shocking thing was the alacrity with which they stripped away the trappings of our church and tossed out all the old traditions.
As an example, when I made my First Holy Communion, we sang “Panis Angelicus” (and we knew what it meant). THE VERY NEXT YEAR, my brother made his, and they sang “I Got the Joy Joy Joy Joy Joy Joy Joy Joy Down in my Heart” — a Unitarian campfire song.
Fortunately for me, I am able to assist at a TLM right here in the next town over. My oldest son was Confirmed in the traditional Latin rite two years ago, and my youngest will be Confirmed this June.
So, I’m with you, kiddo...if 14th century illiterate peasants could understand it, so can we.
Here’s a link to a video of a Mass held a few weeks ago to commemorate the conclusion of a Gregorian chant workshop given to the girls’ schola that sings at our Masses. The young ladies are all between the ages of 14-17:
Here’s another from the same Mass, the girls’ schola accompanied by a few voices from the adult choir:
(The thurifur serving the Mass is my older son, BTW.) Enjoy!
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Lord Love YOU my FRiend!
My girls sang Latin at their first TLM.
It was beautiful for them and my convert husband!
>>Its a Catholic thing, you wouldnt understand.<<
You made me spew Orange soda up my nose.
from my diocese:
“US Catholic clergy encouraged by bishops liturgy decisions
Washington DC, Jul. 18, 2006 (CNA) - North American priests and deacons, who are members of the Confraternity of the Catholic Clergy, passed a resolution at their annual convocation last week expressing their support for the recent recommendations of the U.S. bishops to more accurately and faithfully translate the mass from the Latin text into English. The clergy asked, for a complete and consistent correction of all errors and deletions in the Roman Missal.
Rather than a partial repair, we, as daily celebrants of the Divine and Sacred Liturgy, see the need for a complete restoration of sacred language and precise translations, based on the axiom lex orandi, lex credendi, the resolution reads.
We are particularly concerned for sacrosanct vocabulary such as “consubstantial defined by the Council of Nicea in 325¦ and other areas the literal Latin expresses more reverence and clarity than the current translations.
The clergy association, which numbers nearly 700 members throughout the United States and Canada, held its 30th annual convocation in Washington, from July 10 to 14. Among the list of speakers were Senator Rick Santorum and Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Harrisburg.
However, the President of the Confraternity, Father John Trigilio said that the zenith of the week, was a meeting with Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, and Archbishop Donald Wuerl, newly installed Archbishop of Washington. The meeting with the two archbishops included the praying of Vespers and a Benediction followed by dinner. Fr. Trigilio told CNA that the archbishops spoke to the group and encouraged them to, continue fostering ongoing spiritual, theological, pastoral, and human formation among the clergy in a spirit and climate of sacerdotal fraternity.
The 700-member organization began in 1975 as a response to the call of the Second Vatican Council to foster associations among the ordained to support each other in service to the Church.
The annual gathering includes a week of intellectual discussion, lectures from expert speakers, common prayer and time for fraternity. Local monthly chapter meetings are held around the country. The group also publishes a quarterly journal, SAPIENTIA.
The clergy’s other resolutions expressed their appreciation to Pope Benedict XVI for his participation at the 5th World Meeting for Families in Spain, here he vigorously reaffirmed traditional values such as sacramental marriage and the intrinsic sanctity of family life.
They urged all fellow clergy to encourage their people to fully support those in public office who defend the sanctity of life and marriage and to educate parents about the threats to children present on the Internet and through cell phone technology.
The clergy also expressed their deep concern for the long-term harm being done to women, who are unaware of all the consequences and effects of abortion. Finally, they renewed their filial devotion and love to the Blessed Mother, consecrating their ministry to her Immaculate Heart.
Fr. Trigilio said that due, in large part, to the presence of the Archbishops Sambi and Wuerl that this was the most memorable convocation in his 26 years of affiliation with the Confraternity.
Next year’s convocation of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy is being planned for St. Louis, Missouri. Fr. Trigilio said that plans are being considered for a possible joint meeting in Rome in the coming years with the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy.
To learn more about the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy visit their website at: http://www.catholic-clergy.org/"
WRT to the vernacular, I’m a recent convert and I am still learning to better understand the Latin. It is useful to have translations available for the neophytes, but I think if you ran english/latin translations in the missals, that people would soon pick up the latin and would learn to understand it.
I’m a deaf person, so I really don’t care that the mass is in English and Latin, provided that I have a songsheet to read off of. I can’t hear the priest anyways.
The great thing about the Latin is that no matter where you attended Mass, anywhere on the Planet, the Mass was the same. I am a convert, and I understand the Latin. I find it odd, that some Cradle Catholics don't.
I don't translate the Latin into English, I think in Latin when I'm in a Latin Mass...Just like when you are in France, and speaking French, you think in French..Hope that makes sense.
I’ve never been to a latin Mass, I reckon I just want a liturgy that doesn’t invove puppets during the sermon.
Which, among other absurd things, actually happened at my parish. It has improved since then.
Perhaps sometimes your deafness could be a blessing, I know I wish I couldn’t hear “Lord of the Dance” being belted out during Communion.
Freegards,God bless, HAPPY EASTER!!!
I actually don’t mind the Lord of the Dance.
But my parish mangled, “Old Rugged Cross” by speeding it up.
Happy Easter to all!
Very interesting that you are able to think in Latin and not translate from English in your head.
Your post made me realize that during the propers, I also no longer translate the Latin into English...I am understanding it straight from the Latin. The readings are a different story. I do need the missal for that, though I certainly would understand the gist of the readings even without the it.
It’s fascinating how your brain is able to learn and adapt like that. I wonder what would have happened if they hadn’t yanked the Latin away from me when I was just a kid...and I wonder what will happen with my own kids who are growing up with the TLM. I’ll have to ask them about it and see if they are translating or understanding right off the bat.
“Now, I can only hope that the handholding during the Paternoster fade away as it so richly deserves.....”
I understand that protestants were invited to help invent the new Mass.
Meself, I don’t participate in the hand-holding. I am particularly offended by the handshaking as a “sign of peace.”
“I never understood why the Latin (Tridentine) Mass became pretty much criminalized after 62.”
What do you think of the theory that it was suppressed because it is so much more powerful than the new Mass, and Satan hates it?
“If you want to go to a hippy-dippy Kumbaya guitar Mass instead, or to a Mass in a language other than Latin, well, that should be offered, too!”
If people go off and do that on their own, then it can’t be helped. But I don’t think the Church should sanction it.
“My own sincere belief is that any change to Mass rubrics since the first half of last century was part of Satan’s grand plan to destroy the Church. And in some respects, it worked. Subsequent Popes, to one degree or another, have been semi-willing accomplices of the diabolical scheme, possibly due to naivete and popular delusion fostered by the modernists. The current Papacy demonstrates the first signs of encouragement for a return to correct liturgy and proper culture of the Mass.”
Thank God for the writings of such saints as Pope Pius X, Alphonsus Liguori, and Francis de Sales.
They also eliminated the Prayer of St Michael as well. I was born after the liturgical changes of the 60s and I did not discover that prayer until I was an adult.
As if the “Congregation” were a bunch of silly sheep who were incapable of understanding things of the Spirit. And yet, I was but a CHILD, and immediately noticed that my favorite things were now MISSING from the Liturgy, even though they had been in LATIN!
OK, so I was of above average intelligence, but STILL.
Blessings to you this Easter Sunday, FRiend.