Skip to comments.Bishop Tobin: Get Ready – The Mass is About to Change
Posted on 05/20/2010 10:42:52 AM PDT by markomalley
So, sometime next year youre attending Sunday Mass as you always do, the priest takes his place in the sanctuary, makes the Sign of the Cross and says The Lord be with you, and you dutifully respond, And also with you. Wrong, the priest says, The correct answer now is, And with your spirit. Thats the scenario youre likely to encounter in the not-too-distant future as some of the language of the Mass, language with which weve become very familiar, is about to change. The change is the result of a new translation of the Roman Missal, a translation thats been studied and discussed for a number of years now, and is soon to be introduced into the English speaking world.
The reasons for the new translation are, in themselves, simple enough. The Mass is being translated anew to provide a more exalted, transcendent, spiritual language for our worship, and to make the English translation more consistent with the Latin original.
The translation process has been long and complicated, and it gets very technical, very quickly. The development of liturgical language is no small feat it involves highly trained experts in Canon Law, scripture, liturgy and language. Eleven different episcopal conferences from the English speaking world on five continents have been consulted.
The process of translating the Mass and its final product have been the subject of a fierce debate within Church circles. The Catholic blogosphere has gone crazy over the topic, with competing articles, editorials, surveys and petitions. The folks personally involved in the discussion can get very emotional about matters such as the role of the Bishops Conference vs. the Holy See; the composition and competence of consultative groups such as ICEL (The International Commission on English in the Liturgy) and Vox Clara; about the relative merits of arcane documents such as Comme Le Prevoit and Liturgiam Authenticam. In short, the process of translating the liturgy makes the recent debate over healthcare reform in the United States look like a walk in the park!
Theres so much intramural stuff going on here, you might be tempted to throw your hands up in total frustration and ask, Who cares . . . whats the big deal . . . arent there more important things to deal with? Good questions, all.
But as often happens in the Church today, the debate over liturgical translations reveals a broad division in ecclesial ranks pitting, in simple terms, conservatives against liberals. It seems to me though that its a mistake to read too much into the translation process, from either perspective. To those who think that the new translations represent the salvation of the Church and a great triumph for traditional values and orthodoxy; as well as to those who view the new translations as a giant step backward, a rebuke of the Vatican Council, and an abuse of hierarchical authority to both camps I suggest, respectfully, Get over it. While the debate might be interesting to ecclesial wonks and relevant to a theology classroom, it really wont help us solve the problem at hand.
Leaving aside all the inside-Church debate then, there are some important things to remember as we prepare for the implementation of the new language of the Mass in the Diocese of Providence.
The first is to acknowledge that the change in the prayers of the Mass will indeed present a significant challenge for priests and parishioners alike. Well need more recourse to liturgical books and printed materials for awhile; well have to think before we speak. There will be mistakes and embarrassing episodes. The process will require a little perspective, a lot of patience, and maybe even a healthy dose of humor.
The second point is to assure you that the changes will be preceded by a thorough catechetical process, a teaching process that will involve the entire diocese. Useful materials are already being prepared and published nationwide, and in the diocese a core committee of priests has been formed and has begun the very first phases of the process. In the near future the committee will be expanded to include other representatives of our diocesan Church. The committee will work hard to guide us in our journey.
And finally, Im convinced that the process of implementing and learning the new translations of the prayers will provide us with a truly blessed opportunity. I wonder in the thirty-some years that weve been using the current translations of the Mass, doesnt it seem that weve become a little too casual, a little careless about our liturgical prayer? When we attend Mass dont we sometimes sleepwalk through it, respond like robots, and pray without ever having to think about what were saying? Of course theres something comfortable and cozy about memorizing our prayers and taking them to heart, but the accompanying danger is an over-familiarity that leads to boredom and emptiness.
I suspect that in just a few years well look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. My guess is that some of the new translations will be much better than the old; and that others will be awkward and truly ineffable. But if the process of learning new responses and prayers of the Mass helps us to think about what were saying; if it helps us to grow spiritually and appreciate the wonderful gift of the Eucharist; if it helps us even a little to worship in spirit and in truth, then the process will have been well worth the effort.
The way in which we receive and implement the new translation, and its impact on our diocesan Church, is now in our hands. Lets do our best to set aside the drama and work on it together prayerfully, peacefully and productively.
Only the holy spirit change hearts. Including the hearts of leaders who lead churches.
Thank you for that fascinating and highly educational comment.
Of course people who don't like all this change could just attend a Tridentine Mass. Beautiful Ceremony, no odd changes.
The correct answer now is, And with your spirit.
.Et cum Spiritu tuo. It was like that for centuries until Vatican II.
Well, if they had done the translation right when it was initially translated, they wouldn't need to correct it now, would they?
Of course people who don't like all this change could just attend a Tridentine Mass. Beautiful Ceremony, no odd changes.
Works for me.
Of course, if they'd just get rid of that lousy Marty Haugen music, that, in of itself, would be a HUGE improvement.
Rote dictation in a religious ceremoniously setting does nothing engaging the holy spirit in changing a sole’s heart.
Did you ever think for just a minute that evangelization is not the purpose of the Divine Liturgy?
There is a role for solid preaching in the Church. There are some good preachers in the Church to deliver that work. (e.g., the famous Fr. Corapi)
But the Divine Liturgy is the communal worship of God. By believers. Within that liturgy, the Holy Spirit works on our hearts directly as we turn our minds toward God in adoration.
Just something to consider...
So, sometime next year youre attending Sunday Mass as you always do, the priest takes his place in the sanctuary, makes the Sign of the Cross and says The Lord be with you, and you dutifully respond, And also with you. Wrong, the priest says, The correct answer now is, And with your spirit.Deo gratias!
And why is it they just happen to set their watch so that their preaching lasts 15 min long so that the structure of the “Divine Liturgy” fits into the worship timeframe?
I just wish we could keep the traditional organ music and axe what I call the “guitar hero” celebrations. I don’t need cymbals, flutes and guitars. I love the pipe organ music, though.
How about a cod? Or a haddock?
You’d have to know the purpose of Mass to understand.
Well, I've heard good homilies that lasted 5 minutes and good homilies that last 12-13 minutes.
Usually, Masses are scheduled 1-1/2 hours apart from each other. If the homily goes too long, that couldn't happen.
Also, the purpose of the homily is:
65. The homily is part of the Liturgy and is strongly recommended, for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.
General Instruction of the Roman Missal
So the homily is supposed to be an explanation of the readings or about some other liturgical text used in the Mass for that day. It is NOT necessarily supposed to be a long exhortation. While the application to individual lives is necessarily part of it (therefore there is built in a call to conversion), the audience, remember, the purpose is to educate and exhort those who are already Catholics, not to evangelize those who are outside of the Church.
There are forums for that, but this isn't one of them.
The other point, in all candor, is that there are a WHOLE LOT FEWER Catholic priests who can belt out a good sermon than Protestant preachers. I've heard both, I know. And most of the ones I know have a hard enough time with 15 minutes...I'd hate to see them stumble all over themselves with a whole hour. There are priests who can do that. But not most.
That is not a reflection on the relative piety or sanctity of anybody...on either side, btw. I, honestly, wish we had a better forum for some good preaching (outside of Mass). Even street-corner preaching. But we don't. I think we are too comfortable and, in all honesty, need to undergo some chastisement from our Father in order to regain a lot of fire in our bellies and zeal for evangelizing like the early Catholics had.
I don’t disagree with what you said.
I just think setting your watch so that when 15 mins are up then the sermon is over and one sitting in a pew week after week can just wake up but not live what was taught and practiced in daily living is missing.
I think if you are setting your watch you aren’t really getting anything out of the mass.
Heck I could set my watch on the dot to an hour, and lo, and behold, the sermons are the same exact length every time.
It’s a miracle!!
Also, remember, that the homily is not the high point of the Mass. In fact, for weekday Masses, as often as not a homily is not given.
Is this thread a Caucus thread?
(Having said that, I do appreciate your very polite and respectful attitude)
I don’t want an admonishment from the religion moderator.
I’ve been responding with the “correct” response for years, in English.
So my response to this is “THANK GOD, someone in Rome is listening.”
Knowing nothing about a Catholic worship service but spending tons of sundays in a Lutheran worship service my guess is homily=sermon?
“e.g., the famous Fr. Corapi”
I so love listening to his presentations whenever I get the chance.
This change I think is a step in the right direction if you can get something to reflect more acurately the original then what is to complain.
Thanks for your opinion. Uh, what IS "rote dictation" and "a religious ceremoniously"?
Thanks. Glad someone got it (and thought it was funny, too).
It's how you cook fresh sole's heart. Kinda like BBQ shrimp.
And people say I don’t have a sense of humour. :)
The last Lutheran service I went to was in 1977 in Germany (HS trip over there for a month). If we were in a Catholic area, the Lutherans got dragged to the Catholic Mass. If we were in a Lutheran area, the Catholics got dragged to a Lutheran service.
So the answer to your question is: I "think so" but it's been so long, I couldn't tell you. (Both of them are when the liturgical leader talks...just not sure all of the details involved with the Lutheran sermon)
If you’re laughing at MY jokes, maybe you don’t. ;-)
At least by Catholic definitions, a sermon and a homily are different things. But they are similar and analogous between the Mass and the services of various ecclesial communities. Here's something from a blog that quotes Homiletic and Pastoral Review:
A homily explains a passage of scripture and gives practical applications. (”In this passage, Jesus is saying.... This applies to us today in such situations as....”)
A sermon develops a point of doctrine or morals in a systematic way. (God is ______. Scripture describes this attribute in several places.... or The virtue of _____ can be fostered in a number of ways; firstly....)
A [missing] link for the above:
cool by me.
Okay. How do you cook the heart of a frozen sole?
How about mackerel? Anybody got any mackerel around this place?
I've never had mackerel. Truth be told, I don't really like seafood, although milder fishes (sole, cod, haddock) don't bother me much.
Is mackerel a mild fish?
making christianity unattractive
Is there a deep meaning here that I am missing?
LOL! No, but I have sardines and tuna. :)
I like tuna fish all right. Albacore. With loads of mayo.
It’s an oily fish, I believe. I don’t think I’ve ever had it.
Fish makes Christianity unattractive?
I like it with finely-minced onions and chopped up pickles in the mix.