How’d it go? A host of comments on the new Mass translation.

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Seen on the web: About the new Mass translation…

Posted by dunphyp
As a devout Catholic and a translator­, I am all in favor of the new English translatio­n. How dare we have one Mass when every other nation says another (and doesn’t complain about it). The problem is that we are trying to get back to “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” after celebratin­g a “Happy Meal” for years. It’s about time we recognize our sinfulness and ask God’s grace and forgivenes­s. As I’ve said elsewhere, everything else in life is “dumbed down”; can we not elevate the Mass a bit?
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I got a chance to experience the new, Revised Roman Missal, at Sunday Mass. It was good!

by Doug Lawrence

I attended Mass at my old parish in Chicago yesterday. They had decided to start using the new, revised Roman Missal, so we had little cardboard fold-outs to help keep us apprised of all the new “parts”.

The priest had some new language to get used to, as well.

The toughest thing seemed to be remembering to say, “And with your spirit” rather than “And also with you”.

The youngsters had a bit of a hard time figuring out what the people were thricely doing with their hands, during the penitential rite. But they’re smart. They’ll “get it”.

Probably the easiest thing to get used to was listening to the revised language, which did indeed add new emphasis to many of the awesome yet sublime beliefs and principles of the authentic Catholic faith, many of which had recently been either blatantly disregarded or totally forgotten.

One other thing I noticed was the “little c” used for the word “catholic” in the Nicene Creed.

The word “consubstantial” is in the Creed now, referring to Jesus Christ, the incarnation, and the mystery of the Holy Trinity, where God is described as sharing one and the same eternal, uncreated, godly substance, among three distinct, rational, divine persons.   

There were a few other changes, but nothing problematic. The little, cardboard “cheat sheets” proved to be more than adequate.

All in all, it was a positive experience, and not really that much a “stretch” at all.

I liked it!

Read and/or print your own official “cheat sheet” (PDF)

New Mass Translation: All over but the shouting.

There will certainly be challenges with the new translation for everyone. For instance, “And with your spirit” is not idiomatic, nor is the word “consubstantial” familiar to most parishioners. But we all know what the real disagreements will be. There is an online petition asking the Bishops not to demand the use of the new translation, and in the comments you can see the points of contention.

There is, of course, the procedural argument: The change is being imposed from above and does not reflect the views of the laity because it was not produced by a democratic process. This is the constant tension over the hierarchy. But there is also a theological argument, a dispute over what the language is for. According to one South African Bishop, the very reason for the new translation was based, among other things, upon “a purely arbitrary decision to demand that the English text had to faithfully represent the Latin . . .” Well, quite.

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New Liturgy translation ‘suprisingly good’

When judging the process devised by the Congregation for Divine Worship, however, most people will focus on its success in producing good texts that are happily received by clergy and laity. A tacit consensus has emerged that the consultation and transparency central to due process have been lacking, and that this lack has diminished the quality of the work and the good will necessary for its implementation.

Judgments about the quality of translations are inevitably subjective. Commentators tend to compare the best bits of the version they applaud with the worst bits of the versions they dislike.

My own judgment, based on a limited reading, is that, considering the narrow instructions governing its preparation, the new translation overall is surprisingly good. In less skilled hands the result could have resembled Inspector Poirot’s English. In fact it reads more like the English used in costume drama — workable, but with a slightly archaic and formal flavor. It demands that the celebrant slow down and settle into period. It also supposes relatively high linguistic skills in its audience.

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After 45 years, the Spirit finally returns to the Mass


The prevailing opinion seems to be that the newly translated Missal will come into use in the United States beginning with the First Sunday of Advent 2011. Other commentators consider 2012 a bit more realistic, but regardless of when it is introduced for official use the intervening months must be treated as “an opportunity for catechesis; a time to prepare for the reception of the new translation,” according to the Holy Father.

With this in mind, I’d like to share a brief excerpt adapted from,  And with Your Spirit – Recovering a sense of the sacred in the English translation of the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition, a booklet that I prepared for pastors, DRE’s, catechists and any other Catholic interested in preparing themselves and others well for what’s to come.

Once the Mass begins, we won’t have to wait long to encounter our very first change in the text:

When the priest says, The Lord be with you, no longer will the people reply, And also with you, but rather by saying, And with your spirit.

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Submitted by Doria2

NEW translation of the mass soon to be celebrated by more than 100 million English-speaking Catholics reaches back to church tradition, replacing the more colloquial and dumbed-down liturgy that was adopted by the Vatican 40 years ago.

Cardinal George Pell said the new mass had a “different cadence” to the translation of the Roman Missal that two generations of Australian Catholics grew up with, and which was a “bit dumbed-down”.

“The previous translators seemed a bit embarrassed to refer to angels, sacrifice and perpetual virginity,” Australia’s senior Catholic cleric said.

“They went softly on sin and redemption.”

The new translation places a heavier emphasis on Christ’s sacrifice and underlines the dependence of individuals on God. In one of the most controversial changes, the words of the consecration in the mass specify that Christ shed his blood “for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins”, rather than “for all” as the present translation puts it.

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