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Surpassing All Expectations . . . The New Missal Translation Is A Spectacular Success
The Wanderer ^ | 12.08.2011 | JEFFREY TUCKER

Posted on 12/03/2011 9:01:00 AM PST by GonzoII

Surpassing All Expectations . . . The New Missal Translation Is A Spectacular Success


By JEFFREY TUCKER

As much time as I had spent reading the new translation of the missal, looking over the differences with the old translation, even saying the new prayers aloud and writing extensively about them, nothing could have prepared me for what I experienced on the First Sunday of Advent.

The experience was beyond anything I believed would come in my lifetime. I found myself nearly overcome with a kind of controlled glee from the beginning of the Mass until the end.

The changes are few compared with the overall effect. There was a new decorum, a new seriousness. The words are said to be more opaque, but the real-life experience is the opposite. The new text dispels the cloudiness that shrouded the Catholic Mass under the oldtranslation and its attempt to make the incredible so commonplace. At last we have a real match between the language we use and the things we believe. Both are now serious and robust. There is no more of that disunity we had become used to after all these decades.

As I thought about that throughout the day, I realized something I had not fully understood before. And perhaps this explains why the tiny opposition to this missal is so vociferous and noisy. Here is the thing: The new translation has given the Mass a cultural transplant. I hadn’t known that this would happen ahead of time. But these small changes, the more complex language, the longer sentences, the heightened formality — all of these have a cumulative effect in eliciting a certain kind of intensified belief structure and comportment.

Our choir sings from the front of the nave, so I was able to watch people that day. For the first time that I can ever remember, I looked up and saw the eyes of a hundred percent of everyone there looking up at the altar. Truly, this was a first. At the Incarnatus Estat the Creed, a hundred percent of the people bowed their heads. At the end of Communion, a hundred percent of the people there were kneeling with heads bowed in prayer. I cannot remember ever seeing this kind of unity of response.

For whatever reason, the responses were louder than I’ve ever heard them from this congregation. More people attempted to sing. And clearly everyone was paying close attention to the words. The readers, even without instruction, seemed to have a new dignity in approaching the sanctuary, and a better cadence about how they read. In general, there was a sense that what we were all doing was important, significant, and serious — and this sense was not something imposed on top of the Mass, but rather flowed from its essence.

You could say that this is because it is all new. Perhaps this explains part of it. But there is more than that. The language of the new translation is a different form of English than you would ever hear someone use in conversation. It cannot be mistaken for the usual blather we hear from television, radio, store clerks, and coworkers all day. It is the language of liturgy and that causes us to sit up and take notice. It causes us all to behave.

I can tell you, it is much better in real life than it is on the flat page. I would say that this is even true of the chants, which are much better in use than in practice. The Kyrie was effective. The Memorial Acclamation was very good. The Sanctus, which I had previously not been disposed toward, was remarkably good and nicely balanced with the style and approach of the rest of the Mass. The

Agnus worked too. I think I can be happy with these missal chants for a long time, and whereas I used to grant certain criticisms of the opponents of these chants, I’m now a believer that these are exactly what we need.

I suspect that many people who had doubts coming into this projecthave changed their minds already. InThe New York Times, Fr. Anthony Ruff is quoted with extremely critical remarks to the journalist: “The syntax is too Latinate, it’s not good English that will help people pray,” But on the Chantcafe.com blog, he wrote: “It all went quite well at the abbey, and I was struck by the beauty of the liturgy. . . . Overall, I liked it much more than I expected.”

Excellent. I’m sure many people felt the same way. Actually, so far as I could tell, most people seemed very excited about the whole thing. Most Catholics attend Mass in something approaching what a friend of mine calls “a vegetative state.” It’s true enough. It’s been true for years. To put matters bluntly, most Catholics have been bored out of their minds at Mass, and I think this might have something to do with the plainness and mundane quality of the language. With that stripped away, the boredom factor seemed vanquished.

An elderly gentleman after Mass opined that he felt a strong sense of relief, like a bad chapter in the history of Catholicism had been closed and a bright new one had opened. “Well, we went full circle, didn’t we, and we are back to where we were in 1965.” There is a certain sense in which this is really true. It is a fresh start for the reformed liturgy, a fresh start for the postconciliar English- speaking Church, and a fresh start in our lives as Catholics. I’m so grateful that I’ve lived to see it.

The people who were involved at all levels in the production of this missal are required as a matter of a vow to remain anonymous because they were working for the Church and not for themselves. Still, I would like to congratulate each one of them. What they did took courage. It took daring and guts. It requires something truly heroic to stand against the winds and prevail in this way. It takes special people to embrace something so profoundly countercultural and push it all the way to reality. They did it and we are all grateful to them for it.

If anyone is reading this who stopped going to Mass long ago, please consider coming back. You will find something wonderful, something completely out of this world. If any of your friends have stopped going to Mass, invite them to come back.



The Wanderer has been providing its readers with news and commentary from
an orthodox Catholic perspective for over 135 years. From vital issues
affecting the Catholic Church to the political events which threaten
our Catholic faith. The Wanderer is at the forefront every week
with its timely coverage and its cutting edge editorials.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; liturgy; newmissal
Next time I'm stateside I'll get a look.
1 posted on 12/03/2011 9:01:07 AM PST by GonzoII
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To: GonzoII

“The new translation has given the Mass a cultural transplant.”

Well are we Latins or Englishmen? ;)

I suspect the answer to that question is also the origin of most of the controversy.


2 posted on 12/03/2011 9:09:17 AM PST by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! 10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government)
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To: GonzoII

It now provides “formal translation”, which provides precision and depth of meaning that was lost in the more general translation that only “conveyed the idea”.

The Magnificat Roman Missal Companion explains the new translation in detail and is available for $4 here:

>http://www.magnificat.net/romanmissal/roman_missal_companion.asp<


3 posted on 12/03/2011 9:14:22 AM PST by G Larry ("I dream of a day when a man is judged by the content of his Character.")
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To: GonzoII

New translation or old, we Catholics were worshiping Jesus God and the translation didn’t get in the way of that.The new translation won’t enhance our worship of the creator, but it will satisfy the hierarchy of the church. Us catholics will embrace the changes and continue to worship our Lord Jesus Christ in the same way as always, but with different words as per the new Roman Missals New Translation!


4 posted on 12/03/2011 9:42:51 AM PST by zbogwan2
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To: zbogwan2
New translation or old, we Catholics were worshiping Jesus God and the translation didn’t get in the way of that.The new translation won’t enhance our worship of the creator, but it will satisfy the hierarchy of the church.

I suspect the definition of "success" being used in the article is "I had a subjective emotional experience":

As much time as I had spent reading the new translation of the missal, looking over the differences with the old translation, even saying the new prayers aloud and writing extensively about them, nothing could have prepared me for what I experienced on the First Sunday of Advent.

The experience was beyond anything I believed would come in my lifetime. I found myself nearly overcome with a kind of controlled glee from the beginning of the Mass until the end.

The changes are few compared with the overall effect. There was a new decorum, a new seriousness. The words are said to be more opaque, but the real-life experience is the opposite. The new text dispels the cloudiness that shrouded the Catholic Mass under the old translation and its attempt to make the incredible so commonplace.


5 posted on 12/03/2011 10:14:24 AM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: BenKenobi

The next step is getting rid of the awful tripe that passes for music in many parishes.

I made a rare appearance in a Roman parish last week. The translation was great, but the music was horrid.

I hope the Pope bans all but sacred music in the Mass.

The people can have the happy clappy stuff outside of Mass. The Coptic Church in America has that sort of compromise.


6 posted on 12/03/2011 10:20:03 AM PST by rzman21
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To: GonzoII

Am working on a detailed respose to be posted when completed


7 posted on 12/03/2011 11:02:27 AM PST by mosesdapoet (Moses ..A nick name I received as a kid for warning another -It's a sin to tell a lie")
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To: GonzoII

I haven’t heard anything but the new congregational responses, but I’m looking forward to it when I go to English (instead of Spanish) Mass for the Immaculate Conception.

The older ladies in my prayer group all seemed pleased with what they heard last Sunday. Our pastor has taken a very positive attitude, and the diocese and the parishes did considerable advance preparation.


8 posted on 12/03/2011 11:04:31 AM PST by Tax-chick (There is no satire that is more ridiculous than the reality of our current government.~freedumb2003)
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To: mosesdapoet
"detailed respose"

Take your time....;0)

9 posted on 12/03/2011 11:22:04 AM PST by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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To: rzman21

Good, though hard to enforce.


10 posted on 12/03/2011 11:25:30 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Alex Murphy

Heard no complaints at my parish so far.


11 posted on 12/03/2011 11:27:31 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: rzman21

Agree,Rzman21. Wish that I could get our priest to visit this issue. Unfortunately, I think he likes some of the current tripe. I told him that I thought the music(?) for the Agnus Dei sounded like insipid pop stuff. I think he was offended. Any ideas on how I might nudge him closer to more sacred music?


12 posted on 12/03/2011 11:56:57 AM PST by oldsicilian
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To: GonzoII

I refuse to take a heart pill after reading that glowing report. Because that certainly doesn’t sound like what happened at my rural parish where I’m stuck with good ole clap your hands tent revivialist hymns...sans the revivalist sermon....

I heard a pastor near retirement introducing the hyped “corrected liturgy” last Sunday with a series of complaints.... While it might satisfy those who argue “How many angels sit on the head of a pin” this new liturgy has not addressed in anyway partici[ation in the mass...There are still 52 different verbal responses and as many muscial modes to the antiphon that only those who can read musc respond particularly to a Sunday a 6 candle high mass which isn’t done anymore..

If the miter heads wanted to do something they’d go to the back of a church and watch the faithfull grope and grapple with participation in the mass because of its lack of not only uniformity but familiarity ... That’s why the latin ritual was prefered . One could go anywhere in the world and it was the same (catholic ie universal) mass. The problem is there seem to be members in the hirearchy who don’t have faith in the faithfull knowing and believing in the concepts attending the mass .

Presently the rural parish where I attend mass has built a brand new $1,000,000 church sans of course the altar rail, statues, and paintings. Which the old church had but now sets empty and the parish is attempting to sell . For our winter season because of operating costs our relatively new pastor who had nothing to do with this new constrution will stop observing the 3 mass schedule because of the light attendance to one mass on Sunday at the new church.. The only way I can help is if I win the lottery and pay if off ..Please say a prayer that I win because I will do so..
Thank You.


13 posted on 12/03/2011 12:46:15 PM PST by mosesdapoet (Moses ..A nick name I received as a kid for warning another -It's a sin to tell a lie")
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To: Tax-chick

I was talking to a liberal woman (retired schoolteacher) after Mass last Sunday—she was upset that the words of consecration now say “for many” instead of “for all.” I happened to have a copy of the Greek New Testament with me and showed her Matt. 26.28 where the Greek says “for many.” She took my word for it (I don’t think she knows any Greek).


14 posted on 12/03/2011 6:02:39 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Tax-chick

I look forward to the Christmas Eve/Christmas Day masses when those Catholics we only see a few times a year hear for themselves the English word changes.


15 posted on 12/04/2011 4:32:45 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Verginius Rufus; Biggirl

My husband is taking some kids to English Mass this morning. It will be interesting to see if they notice anything different, other than the congregation’s responses ... they’re not the most alert crew, especially in the morning. (If they don’t comment, I’ll tear a hole in the next kid who complains about Spanish service, when they’re obviously not paying the slightest bit of attention anyway ;-).

We’re supposed to get consecration bells after the first of the year. My prayer-group ladies think it’s great, and the Spanish congregation will cheer, but there will be snits and gnashing from a few of the old liberals, I’m sure.


16 posted on 12/04/2011 5:45:10 AM PST by Tax-chick (There is no satire that is more ridiculous than the reality of our current government.~freedumb2003)
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To: Alex Murphy
I suspect the definition of "success" being used in the article is "I had a subjective emotional experience":

You say that like it is a bad thing.

17 posted on 12/04/2011 6:05:22 AM PST by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: Alex Murphy
Tell us, Alex, which prayer you prefer, and why:

Lord, we are nothing without you. As you sustain us with your mercy, receive our prayers and offerings.
... or ...

Be pleased, O Lord, with our humble prayers and offerings, and since we have no merits to plead our cause, come, we pray, to our rescue with the protection of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord.
Both prayers purport to say the same thing, and are certainly prescribed for the same occasion.
18 posted on 12/04/2011 10:58:57 AM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: Campion
Tell us, Alex, which prayer you prefer, and why

Neither prayer is directed towards me. The question is a non sequitur.

19 posted on 12/04/2011 11:08:43 AM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: Alex Murphy
What a bizarre response. You are unable to have an opinion about a prayer not directed to you? Since presumably nobody directs prayers to you (it is to be hoped), you are unable to have an opinion about any prayers?

And, BTW, a question cannot be a non sequitur; the term means "it doesn't follow," a quality that can only be true if an assertion is involved, which is not the case in a question.

Are you seriously telling me that you see no difference in the theological content or catechetical value of the two prayers?

20 posted on 12/04/2011 11:14:52 AM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: Campion
Are you seriously telling me that you see no difference in the theological content or catechetical value of the two prayers?

The subject of my original post, which is called out in the title of the article/tread, is whether the translation "surpasses all expectations" and is a "spectacular success". The author begs the question of whose expecations? Who defined the measure of success? I pointed out that the author has made himself the subjective standard of success. Your question redirected the focus away from the authors' subjective tastes and onto mine. Neither opinion matters. FWIW, nor does yours.

My original post had in mind last week's thread titled “Well Actually, He’s Not Talking to You.” Answering One Critique of the New Translation. The "success" of the new translation cannot be IMO defined or measured by the parishioners' standards, because they are not the intended audience. Parishioners are the "senders", not the "receivers" of the worship in question. If the locus of the Mass is God Himself, then the measure of success has to be defined by God Himself.

The author does not prove or demonstrate that God was pleased with the worship offered. The author instead offers evidence that the author himself was pleased with it. The author has made himself the locus and center of the Mass.

21 posted on 12/04/2011 11:46:53 AM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: Tax-chick

This past weekend, the music minister said that those attending the vigil and the early morning Sunday mass was still messinng up in a few words of the new words. The midmorning mass, the one I had attended yesterday, was a bit better. :)


22 posted on 12/05/2011 3:14:40 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Biggirl

My husband and two of the teenagers had no comment, so obviously things went as smoothly as ever. Even they would have noticed if Father had stood at the altar in a puzzlement! I’ll be taking all the children to Mass on Thursday morning, and I’ll tell them in advance to listen carefully to the prayers.


23 posted on 12/05/2011 4:27:56 AM PST by Tax-chick (There is no satire that is more ridiculous than the reality of our current government.~freedumb2003)
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To: Tax-chick

Even my parish priest joked when he heard a little baby crying, he said that is how he felt about dealing with the new 3rd English Roman Missal words changes.


24 posted on 12/05/2011 4:45:57 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Biggirl

We had a liturgical ministers’ meeting a couple of weeks ago to discuss the implementation, and Father said he thought it would do him good to be forced to pay more attention.


25 posted on 12/05/2011 7:17:05 AM PST by Tax-chick (I'm surrounded by sullen mammals.)
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