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The Aftermass

Now that wasn't so bad, was it?Or was it?The choir processed in with the pastor and our fine troupe of altar servers. The congregation was a bit sparse, which I attribute to Thanksgiving weekend and not the new translation. We did pretty well by Bach and "Wake, O wake, and sleep no longer."We often go right to the Kyrie. which this morning solved the problem of the new Confiteor text with the breast-beating, repetition and "my most grievous fault." (Being someone known to say "Sorry, sorry, sorry," I've always been for the repetition and a little breast-beating doesn't hurt, but I know when I'm in the minority.)We've already been chanting the new Gloria text for a few Sundays at our parish but, for some reason, skipped the Gloria this morning. That solved that problem.Our cantor is excellent, so with the help of the choir the congregation seemed together at the Kyrie, the responsorial psalm, and the Alleluia.I'm a terribly difficult person to preach to but today's homily was genuinely helpful.We usually use the Apostles Creed rather than the Nicene, so that took care of that.The pastor usually chants the Eucharistic Prayer, so that "for many" and "precious chalice" slipped by without causing any uprising.

There was slight stumbling

over the Suscipiat, and at least a few aggressive references heard in my vicinity to "God's" name, and a little more stumbling later over "enter under my roof."As for the proper prayers of the day, I've always believed that for most congregants these simply mean assenting with their Amen to some pious, high-minded sentiments of which the precise content doesn't matter much. That seemed all the more true this morning: Dah da, dah da, dah da, dah da, dah DA. Through Christ our Lord. AMEN.There was a good deal more stumbling over "and with your spirit" -- about a 50-50 split, I'd say. After the post-communion prayer, we welcome any newcomers in the congregation, and when the pastor resumed "The Lord be with you," the response was particularly ragged. So he laughingly tried it again and again, and we rose to a rousing, "And with your spirit!"Frankly I wish he would do that more often. A majority of the congregation mouths most responses, if at all, with scarcely enough vigor to be heard by the person in back or front of them. This raises doubts in my mind whether forty years after Vatican II the basic idea of active participation in a communal worship has been successfully communicated. I was hoping that the introduction of the new translation might be an occasion to undertake the catechesis which had not been done in the 1970s.Mass concluded with the reliably lively "O come, Divine Messiah." We'll survive the new translation. That is now the bar we've set: Could've been worse.

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My wife, who is Lutheran, found the experience frustrating. As did I. The priest's prayers were quite difficult to follow, which distracted and annoyed me. I had to read along (when I could find his place). He did well, but stumbled through some of the more troublesome locutions. Too many chalices. Half the congregation kept forgetting "and with your spirit." The creed was bumpy. "Under my roof" was almost completely botched. Certainly not disastrous. But not very good either.

Addendum: At announcements and before the final blessing, the pastor observed (or was it opined?) that there were likely to be revisions! To which my neighbor behind replied, "in thirty-five years!"

Thanks for this. We struggled through just fine, too. At the close of Mass our pastor said that it would take "a few weeks" ("months?", I thought) until we all got comfortable with the new translations and urged us all to be patient with him, with ourselves, and with each other.He also opined---as someone who grew up with the Latin Mass and celebrated Mass in Latin in the early days of his priesthood---that this transition would be harder than the one from Latin to English, in part precisely because the changes are (in many cases) so minor, and the language so close to what we have used over the past 40 years.A couple of other observations after Mass: our teenage daughter, now in her 4th year of studying Latin, disapproved of some of the changes. She specifically mentioned "consubstantial" replacing "one in being" as being needlessly obscure. "One in being *means* the same thing as consubstantial! And it's clearer! I don't understand why they changed it." (Interestingly, a theologian in our parish made the same observation about consubstantial: "It's mystification. I don't mind mystery, but this seems like mystification for the purpose of keeping the laity in their place.")Our daughter also speculated (not having seen the Latin text) that the several places in which "adore" has replaced "worship" reflected some form of "adorare" in the Latin text. She then explained why she thought that was a poor decision by the translators. Adore, in her view, has come to have a "cutesy" connotation in contemporary English ("I adore Justin Bieber!", "Don't you just adore this picture of that cute kitten?"). Also, in her view, there's nothing "cutesy" about the God of the Bible! Thus, her conclusion that "worship" is a better, more appropriate, more accurate, dare I say more solemn, English translation of "adorare".

Luke HillYour daughter is very perceptive. All the arguments for "consubstantial" that I have seen are unsubstantial. She also has a fine sense of the effect of "adore". I wonder if she also noticed that "born of the Father" is rather odd. One might have expected "begotten by the Father", which, oddly enough, is what the Greek original has.

No Gloria because it's Advent. Our pastor said "here we go" a couple of times, trying to keep everyone together. He got jumbled up about three times and just stopped and began again.He thinks it will take about 3 months for everyone to get used to the new text. So here we arein Advent, watching ourselves begin something new together.

In our tiny parish, no big deal. One woman remarked: "What is all the fuss about?" It was a little bit like Y2K--nothing disastrous happened.The London Tablet in the 19 November issue (unfortunately not available on-line) has a 12-page comparison and analysis of the 1973 version, the Latin, and the new version.

Today's Mass was an exercise in English as a foreign language.

from St. Theresa's in the Bronx:The Vigil Mass was celebrated by a priest ordained just this past Spring. He said afterward it was like celebrating his "First Mass" again. He prayed Eucharistic Prayer II quite beautifully.This morning I prayed Eucharistic Prayer III, inviting the Congregation to follow in their books. It seemed to me that there was a considerable level of attention.Peter says: "I was hoping that the introduction of the new translation might be an occasion to undertake the catechesis which had not been done in the 1970s."Amen! and in the two parishes where I celebrate regularly, it is being done.Finally, though I love robust singing, and rejoice when there is heart-felt and impressively audible exchanges (much better at Saint Theresa than at Sacred Heart, Newton), the "participatio actuosa" that I strive to foster is in the paschal Mystery of the Lord: the ongoing Advent challenge for us all -- until we attain "the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ."

I agree with Luke's daughter and I think "one in being" is actually closer to what St. Thomas Aquinas was driving at.As I recall, "being" is "esse" which is, when applied to God, a verb as well as at the same time being a noun. In everything else the the thing "ens" participates in the esse (verb) of God. But God is the only being whose essence is his existence. This makes God by definition impossible to conceptualize in any way that is not misleading.When the term "substance" is used it sounds as if there is a stable substrate (noun) that holds everything in place which is actually misleading because the stable substrate is actually not so stable in that it is simultaneously a verb. If I am not mistaken, Aristotle believed in such a stable substrate (The Prime Mover) but it was corrected by the very revelation of God on Mount Sinai as "I Am who AM". The Hebrew term is a noun that means a verb.

Alan Mitchell and I belong to the same parish, but I go to Mass at 5:30 pm. So my experience is yet to come.I have heard several times in recent days from Catholics who are at Mass every Sunday (not members of the parish I belong to) ,"Why are they changing everything. Nobody listens to the prayers anyway." !!!Of course, I know the ready response of the proponents, "But they will start listening now." As one my former bosses, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, was wont to say, "If I were a betting man, ...."I am convinced that the jury will be out until at least the end of the Easter Season, if not a full liturgical year. I put no stock in instant analysis in something as consequential as this. Perhaps one of the contributors will take up this discussion next year on 2 December.

The Advent prefaces were some of the most beautiful prayers in the year. The new ones are gobbledegook. I couldn't makes heads or tails out of what I heard today. The old ones echo in my heart.

Some folks gravitate toward archaic verbiage; others don't. I recall attending Holy Communion service on Sundays with my Episcopalian wife thirty-odd years ago; her parish used the 1928 BCP. My Catholic parish, of course, used a more contemporary liturgical phraseology in its worship. I preferred the latter, not because it was Roman Catholic but because it was the American English of my times.This RM3 has been criticized on two counts:+ Quality (or lack thereof) of translation for ordinary people, and+ Its history of development.I'll let others debate the merits/demerits of translation (I've reached my conclusion).On the other hand, the new translation was the product of a top-down process clearly at odds with the principles and process of translation addressed in Sacrosanctum Concilium, especially articles 21, 34, and 36. Its latinized English brings to mind the old Tridentine liturgy that, no doubt, prompted the world's bishops to consider liturgical renewal to be *the* key priority at Vatican II. Old curial cardinals tried to stop change, and it appears that they have finally been successful. How sad.As for catechesis, nothing's going to change. Past performance is the best predictor of future performance. If it wasn't done before (or wasn't done correctly/adequately/whatever), it's not going to be done in the future (or be done correctly/adequately/whatever). If I may opine, when "catechesis" is necessary to explain the meaning, etc. behind a community's way of worship, something is wrong with the worship!!!I'll leave future debates on the translation itself to others.It's the underlying story of development that will stop me from every using this translation.

To me the most jarring and wrong-headed change was the repeated use of "chalice" rather than cup - "the chalice of salvation"? This fussiness about Jesus using a chalice is particularly silly since in the assembly's proclamation of the mystery of faith right after the consecration, it's still a "cup."My own pastor (after four masses with a total of 1500+ people) says he didn't get one single comment, positive or negative, about any of the changes. Not at all sure what that means, and neither was he.

Peter: I hope your servers weren't altered too much. You know the church position on transgenders!We have a very bright pastor/presider who pulled off his part with a minimum of muss and fuss, but he did substitute cup for chalice - deliberately.We also dodged the "C" word by using the Apostle's rather than Nicene Creed."Also with you" will not die easily.Few if any of us entered under anyone's roof, either.When all is said and done, however, if homilies continue to uninspired and the music insipid, then all of this new wording will simply be yet another example of rearranging the deck chairs on the Barque of Petrus.

I should be clear: our parish homilies are rarely if ever uninspired and our music will hold its own (along with our joyful, full and activie singing) with anyone's.

Today at Mass the answers from the congregation were pretty mixed. I could see people using their pew cards. The Creed was difficult. For the sentence about incarnation, almost every one stumbled, which produced a strange effect, almost as if we had skipped that line. I guess that line is just hard to read aloud without prior practice.The presider's part sounded foreign. One big plus was that, before both the opening prayer and the post-communion prayer, he remained standing in silence for a few moments before starting. He was probably just re-reading it in his head before saying it out loud, but the effect of that silent moment was a much more attentive congregation for those prayers. (Not that we got much reward for our attention, but at least we were praying, not looking for our purse or putting on our coat.)The only part to which I had strong negative reactions was at consecration. That chalice! Not just once but several times! And when the priest said "for many", I muttered under my breath: "For all! For all! For all!", and my neighbor turned and stared at me curiously.

Ordain Luke's daughter as a cardinal now! She knows something about the emperor's new clothes that too many of the sheople and clerics do not!

"To me the most jarring and wrong-headed change was the repeated use of chalice rather than cup the chalice of salvation? "Those same prayers in Spanish already used the word "caliz." Perhaps you should ask some Hispanic people how they manage to stand it.

The Washington Post has a helpful blog entry about the changes the English translation. Here is an excerpt:

Posted at 04:56 PM ET, 11/23/2011Will Catholic Mass changes cause mass confusion?By Elizabeth TenetyThe Catholic Church, its religious authorities often remind its followers, is intentionally slow to change, if it ever changes at all. The ritual of Communion, where the priest consecrates the bread and wine for distribution to the faithful, for example, has been observed in similar fashion for thousands of years.But this weekend, millions of English-speaking Catholics will experience some of the most profound change in their lifetime when the words of the Catholic liturgy are phased out in favor of a new translation. . . .One example of that shift is in a line familiar to Catholics at the height of the Mass, just before Communion. Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed, Catholics have said for decades. This weekend, those words change to, Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. This new translation borrows from a story in the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus entered a mans home and healed his servant.

Here is Elizabeth Tenety's bio from the Washington Post.

Elizabeth Tenety is the editor of On Faith. She formerly was producer of Divine Impulses, On Faith's video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.

Saying that the ritual of communion has been observed in similar fashion "for thousands of years" strikes me as incorrect for several reasons, although I suppose some might be willing to let it pass. But to refer to the story of the healing of the centurion's servant as one "in which Jesus entered a mans home and healed his servant" is to reveal a stunning ignorance of one of the most famous stories in the gospels. The Washington Post should temporarily reassign her until she reads at least the New Testament.

At end of Mass at LA Cathedral we (a very multicultural congregation) applauded ourselves for doing so well. AB Gomez also said we did well. The LA Times warned about the dangers of "consubstantial" but there have been no injuries reported.Dignum et justum est.

The for "many" makes me cringe too. It is like fingernails scratching against a blackboard or listening to a best man speech at a wedding.I wait to here the catechesis on that one. If you go by traditionalist oriented blogs who just love that translation, their interpretation is that Christ died for all but only some will avail themselves of Christ's grace.Actually this is incorrect. The translation of the for many comes from the Latin which in turn is based on a Semitic idiom which actually meant for all. So, for example if we were using Vatican logic, the correct translation in 1 Corinthians 15:22 "For as in Adam the many die, so in Christ the many will be made alive." But nobody translates it that way!This is precisely the reason that originally the Vatican opted for the principle of dynamic equivalence in translation for texts but then shifted later on to formal equivalence.

PSthe "for many" is QED of the problem of formal equivalence in translation.

As some have mentioned it is the arrogance of the change that gnaws. After that the constant dominative understanding is that missing Mass is a mortal sin, at least if one misses for a month. With all the learned repartee as to what is wrong or right it might be argued that few understand the theology of the Eucharist. Surely the Apostles were not all that illuminating because they were the "unlearned" of this world. What to do then is to follow Francis to say that we should continue praying (he said preaching) and sometimes use words.

Early liturgy this Sunday - little music; our foreign priest and deacon made it through with no explanations, no directions, etc. Priest does okay in english but he struggled. The deacon - well, to be charitable; it is a lost cause in english. The sparse congregation followed along as best they could.Both our diocese and parish did the minimum in terms of introduction and catechesis (did you know that the root words of catechesis have to do with listening - as in listening to those you are engaging with in terms of faith, community, witness, etc. vs. any US educational definition of teaching or instructing). Of course, we have a FBI bishop who still has the strong brough after 25+ years in the US who stated a year ago - well, the peoples' parts are barely changing; what is the big deal?. The diocese did choose one set of music for the Gloria and Acclamations which began in most parishes in September. The diocesan rag published the USCCB notices and explanations over the last three weeks. Sorry, Fr. Imbelli, don't think that we in this diocese will come close to what you were hoping for. Would agree with John Page - let's see by Easter time.Did have a couple of friends stop me after mass asking about that "strange" word - I guessed "consubstantial" which they affirmed. Tried to give a brief explanation - it only left them confused and wondering what was going on. They were more disturbed by the new pastor's elimination of midnight mass at christmas...guess we will have a more sacral vernacular but move with the secular times and provide masses on Christmas Eve but only one on Christmas day? Now how is that for countercultural and opposing secularism (how yeah, the stores did open Thanksgiving evening for Black Friday - guess it is all okay and in the spirit of the times).

Max Zerwick, SJ, of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome gave this definitive treatment of "pro mulits" meaning "for all". It was published in Notitiae, the official publication of the Congregation for Divine worship in MAy, 1970. Vox Clara has violated what the Congregation offered as the rationale for the translation "for all."http://www.americancatholicpress.org/Father_Zerwick_Pro_Multis.html

I was home for the holiday weekend, so my first experience with the new translation was in the parish where I grew up. It felt appropriate to be in such familiar surroundings for this venture into the unfamiliar (especially since, in my ordinary life, I'm adjusting to a brand new parish). I thought the priest handled it all extremely well -- he started out reminding us of the changes, in a positive but not patronizing tone. When, immediately thereafter, nearly everyone said "And also with you" anyway, he laughed with us. (By the end of Mass I was four for five with that particular line.) And he pronounced his texts about as well as anyone could, even making a solid effort to get across the unclear pronouns in the post-communion prayer. The congregation was likewise very game. The creed actually sounded more full-throated and less mumbly than usual, with everyone reading it from the page. The line about the incarnation was the exception -- but I suspect it was the marginal instruction about bowing that tripped everyone up. (For me, seeing that particular practice become more widely observed would be a nice outcome of having our heads buried in worship aids for the next several weeks/months.)I agree with Tom; "chalice" was the change that made me cringe most. Hearing "this is the chalice of my blood" made me feel like I was back in introductory Spanish, getting tripped up by apparent cognates and discovering how much more there is to thinking in another language than first meets the eye.

"The line about the incarnation was the exception but I suspect it was the marginal instruction about bowing that tripped everyone up. "Interesting, because that instruction has always been there, hasn't it?

The line about the incarnation was the exception" - a friend had a different conjecture: many people in the US, she said, learnt to read globally, and never learnt how to decompose a word into syllables, so when they meet a new word such as "incarnate" that they have not seen before, they do not know how to read it. (I find that difficult to believe even though I have noticed teenage lectors having trouble with unfamiliar words).

Raber said that the priest stopped parishioners three or four times for "do overs" when they made the wrong response or the responses were muddled. The poor man is in ill-health, so perhaps can be forgiven for being a little testy.National Public Radio ran an interesting spot yesterday about the big boost the new liturgy is giving to religious musicians, composers, and publishers! http://www.npr.org/2011/11/26/142664983/new-catholic-liturgy-reanimates-...'s an ill wind that blows nobody good (or, to Latin up a cliche, it's an adverse atmospheric ventilation that that exhales beneficences on no individual. Much better!).

FWIW, regarding "pro multis" - I don't see "many" and "all" as mutually exclusive choices. "All" exists on a continuum that runs from "none" through "some" and "most" before arriving at "all". "Many" exists in a different set of possibilities, one in which its opposite number is "few". It may clarify the difference between these two sets of possibilities to note that a statement about a group of things can refer to *all* without referring to *many*, if it is a small group. For example, if I have three children, and all received a flu shot at school, it would be correct to note that all of my children have been given a flu shot, but it wouldn't make much sense to say that "many" of my children have received the shot, because I wouldn't have many children, I would have only three, i.e. a few.As "pro multis" is used in the consecration narratives, the set of possibilities being referenced is both "many" - billions upon billions of people - and also "all" - no fewer than every person who has ever lived or ever will live.By tradition, only twelve others - subsequently reduced to eleven - heard Jesus utter the words of consecration at the Last Supper. Those words, as remembered in the Gospel accounts and in our Eucharistic Prayers, take care to note that the group of people being referred to is not just those twelve - a set that could be described as "all" but simultaneously "an exclusive, chosen few", but *many* - the twelve plus many, many others besides.I suspect that what folks object to - and what I would certainly object to - is the suggestion that "many" should be taken to mean, "most, but not all".

Peter's experience was almost identical to mine, except that our music seems a lot more contemporary :-)

I think in the begining, when Christians gathered to celebrate they all knew the tune. They knew because they were composing it. When the liturgy begins to sing a familiar song, one that flows naturally from the pews, life and its celebration will once more be one.

Ours went fine. Anticlimax.

Jim, You are losing your breath trying to explain that we replaced "all" by "many", and yet it still means "all". What is communicated is not what you understand but what is heard and understood by the congregation. In regular, everyday English, "many", in the context where it is substituted for "all", obviously implies "not everyone". You can explain what it means for you (and for Pope Benedict) as much as you want, but it's not going to change how people understand it.I glanced, right after consecration, at the row of gay men in the pew behind me. They were looking grim.

At my parish, our first mass with the new missal came off smoothly. Many (including myself) often said the old responses out of habit (particularly "and also with you" instead of "and with your spirit") even as we had the pew cards in hand, but overall the sound of the some saying old responses melted into the sound of others saying the new responses. Father didn't have to interrupt mass for any "do-overs." We've been practicing the Gloria and the Sanctus with the new translations and settings since September, and I think people are used to them (if not in love with them!).I will miss the words that I grew up with, but I open myself to the possibility of being elevated and enriched by a new translation that is not only faithful to the Latin but, more importantly, to the Scripture from which so much of the liturgical text is drawn. The success of the new missal will depend on the willingness of priests to take the effort to proclaim the more complex sentences of the new translation in the most effective way (similar to the effort a lector must make in delivering a passage from, say, Paul's epistles) as well as on the congregants' willingness to do the same and to listen more attentively, i.e. devotedly. As for the "infelicity" of substituting "adore" for "worship".... it is true that the word "adore" has been cheapened in colloquial usage, but I doubt that the cheapened meaning would occur to someone during a properly solemn mass (and "worship" has not escaped some colloquial "cheapening" either). Why shouldn't we RECLAIM these words for their original meanings rather than give up the field to the culture/the world? "Consubstantial"? Hmmm... The idea it is seeking to express is ultimately a mystery. The phrase "one in being with" may have been making things TOO clear, lulled us into believing we understand what cannot in itself be completely understood by the human mind. Perhaps an obscure word we have to ask about is more helpful in this context than a common word whose meaning we take to be transparent."For many"... simply an accurate translation of the Latin "pro multis" as elucidated by the Greek original ("peri pollon" in Matthew 26:28) it is translating. Don't quarrel with the translation of the liturgy; quarrel with Scripture itself. If indeed "for many" was an idiom in Latin, Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew for "for all," then why don't we (in catechesis) give ourselves the license to interpret "for many" in English as meaning "for all." In any case, "for many" does not exclude the possibility that "all" will be saved (i.e. that all will respond to God's grace and be saved by it) for that "all" would indeed be "many."

Attended 5pm Mass last night and, in general, it went okay. People's parts were the least of the difficulties and, with cue cards, most folks did fine. EPIII was my favorite and I'm not a huge fan of the new version. Concluding doxology is painful to listen to, although I'd like to reserve judgment until I hear it chanted.With that out of the way, I want to weigh in a bit on the arguments for replacing "one in being" with "consubstantial." I am actually in favor of this change for a couple of reasons.First of all, few words have caused more sturm and drang in the history of Christian doctrine than homoousious, the Greek word in the Nicene Creed that was translated as consubstantilem in the Latin version. In the 4th century, Christians literally gave their lives over the words of the Creed. Given that the East accepted the Latin translation of the term as orthodox, my personal view is that the bar to using anything but the closest possible English analogue would have to be very, very high. This is one case where I think a strong argument exists for "formal equivalence."Secondly, I question whether the term "one in being" is an adequate translation of the underlying concept. Here, I admit, my views are deeply influenced by the Trinitarian theology of Orthodox Metropolitan John Zizioulas. In his 1985 book, Being as Communion, Zizioulas argues against the general tendency in the West to see the "being" or "substance" of God as somehow prior to God's personal existence as Father, Son and Spirit. "One in Being" reinforces this tendency, because it suggests that the "oneness" of God is primarily found in God's being or substance rather than His uniquely personal existence. I realize that there are arguments to the contrary, but in some ways that is precisely my point. Given the very complex theological and doctrinal issues we are dealing with here, I do not think it was wise to paraphase this particular term. For that reason, I am pleased with this particular change even if I not am not a fan of some others.

Three things left me discouraged:In his homily, the priest said that the reason for the more difficult text was that we need a special language to speak in church that isn't the same English we speak when we go to the donut shop. I guess this is the idea of having a "sacral" language; carried far enough you end up going back to Latin. There was no instrumental music today. This is a church that until now has had a half-dozen different groups providing a wide range of music for different masses. Today there were no musicians in sight and except for a single unaccompanied hymn verse at the end of the Mass, there was only unaccompanied chant from the Missal. I was surprised at how much this diminished my sense of participation in the Mass. The third isn't related to the change in the Mass, but just piled on one more thing to add to my discouragement. Last month, on two consecutive Sundays, Communion was distributed under both kinds. I hoped this was a trial run for distributing under both kinds starting in Advent with the new Missal. I sent an email to the pastor thanking him for those two Sundays and encouraging him to continue. I got no reply from him and there was no Communion under both kinds today.

George D., consubstantial (homoousios) means "of one being with" or "of one substance with" -- it was used by the council of Nicea as a refinement on the previous lawyerly phrase "that is, of the substance of the Father" (dropped in the Niceo-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 which we now recite). Thomist ontology is not very relevant to this. But you are right that "when the term substance is used it sounds as if there is a stable substrate (noun) that holds everything in place which is actually misleading because the stable substrate is actually not so stable in that it is simultaneously a verb." Put more simple, ousia in Greek is better translated as being rather than as substance (Augustine already objected to substantia and preferred essentia). The refinements of Aquinas' definition of being as act and of God as the subsistent act of being were not in any theologian's mind in the 4-5th century.

One might even make a case that theology in the century from Nicea to Ephesus worked with a too substantialist idea of God's being and that consubstantial or even homoousios could encourage a regression to that. Like much of our Chirstian language it functions more as a historical memento than as present living expression of what we believe.

Hi, John H, if you don't mind my asking, what diocese are you in? Do I understand you to say that communion under both kinds is unusual there?Re: the missal chants - there is a (conservative) diocese that adjoins mine that is, I'm told, requiring all parishes to use the missal chants at least in these first weeks. While I am a proponent of liturgical chant in some situations, I think it's pastorally a mistake to mandate it for all situations.

Our celebrant at the mass I attended (our pastor) worked pretty hard to get the words right. By my scorecard, the collect, the preface, the Eucharistic Prayer (EP II) and the post-communion were all pretty easy to follow. (I was in listen-only mode - the parish has provided us with a pew card that has only the people's responses that have changed). The Eucharistic Prayer in particular allowed me to enter in to the prayer more consciously than is usually the case - no doubt in part because the novelty of the language; it will be interesting to see if it wears off after a while.Interestingly, the prayer that struck me as a bit over-the-top was the final blessing.

Translation of anything meaty is always an art, as well as an approximation. When it's considered important to remain faithful to the original, the second text can hardly fail to be a little rough at the edges. The roughness, then, reminds us that it's only a derivative and a crutch - albeit a friendly and permanent one. Reminders are good; we tend to forget.

Yes, the new trans is a crutch for readers of the Latin who may not have a good formation in Latin. The CTS "People's Edition" of the Sunday Missal helpfully prints the Latin alongside the new translation. Thus the faithful are kept involved in the Mass by discovering the Latin originals of what they are praying. Some truly educated people may even discover the meaning of the translation by looking at the Latin (a clear case of the need to consult the Latin to understand the English was given by yesterday's postcommunion).

"When, immediately thereafter, nearly everyone said And also with you anyway, he laughed with us."Good for him! take note, those of you who fear that this new translation is an attempt to roll back Vatican II. If this were truly 'the old days', I suspect that a priest breaking into spontaneous laughter in the middle of liturgical prayer would have been thought to have committed a mortal sin, and he would have dashed off at the end of mass in search of absolution.The times, they have a-changed. For good. Even if anyone wanted to roll back the clock or the calendar, it can't be done.

Then there's eduardo's thread.The general sense in reading this thread is a mixed bag of results.I think we muddled through -with laughter from priest and people, but that doesn't mean the clock wasn't turned back in this.People wil get used to the texts and wil try to cooperate nad do better in participating as good children should.That's the sense I have: after it's over, it's like daddy telling his kid, see taking that medicine wasn't so bad -even if it didn;t taste good.I think Joe J, is right that it won't make much difference in increasing faith!I fact, in this dysfunctional world, needing to hera the Good News, it will continue the dysfunctional proclamation that is tied up with (yes, Jim) the move backward.Peter's,"Could have been worse." struck me as accurate - but not good News.(PS not only "chalice" bugs me but way too many "graciously" inserts.But, words. words, words....)

Most folks I spoke with after mass said they thought it went fine. The priest has the more difficult adjustment, and he did a good job. The rhythm is a bit different, a bit more elongated; more poetic e.g., "...from the rising of the sun to its setting". Also, in my opinion, the rhythms are closer to the verbal rhythms used in the Spanish mass. The language reflects a deeper view of the mystery of our faith.I stayed for both the English and the Spanish masses this weekend (was selling Christmas cards for the KCs) and noticed that the English mass now closely tracks the Spanish mass. This was not the case before.I noticed that in both masses, the priest made a point of mentioning that from here on, in the Credo, when we get to the part about the Incarnation (incarnate of the Virgin Mary), we will all bow our heads.Also, I notice that during the consecration, the Spanish priest like in English - now uses por muchos where he used to say por todos.

Hi, Jim P. I'm in the Boston suburbs. The archdiocese has said that the ICEL Mass setting is the "official Mass setting for the Archdiocese of Boston" and all parishes should use this setting at least through the end of he Advent-Chistmas season - after which they can introduce other musical settingsThe diocese supports the distribution of Communion under both Kinds. Last year, after the flu epidemic ended, it published a notice asking parishes to revert to our "common liturgical customs" of distributing Comunion under both kinds and using a handshake as the sign of peace.The final decision seems to rest at the parish level. Some parishes do and some don't; others doom some occasions but not regularly.

doom = do on

I had hoped that I would not be as disappointed as I expected to be. But, in fact, meeting it finally off the page, I found the text shockingly second-rate. This, after eight years and a good deal of money and time? And 7,000 people consulted, we're told. (Not to mention a tendentious and wholesale re-writing of history under the guise of "catechesis.")Spin it as you will, it's an inferior product. We have gained little, or nothing. Lots of words, lots of long words, but no respect for the rhythms of the English language.It is largely ungainly and forgettable. The interruptive deprecative language makes the collects all but unintelligible. That is why 1973 and 1998 avoided this confusing clutter, and opted for "We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ ...." An eminently sensible pastoral solution in English. But pastoral considerations appear not to have been a great priority in the 2010 text. The Eucharistic Prayers are more literally rendered but at the expense of the sure cadences that marked the texts that were superseded on Saturday evening. Sonority is also an aid to prayer, especially public prayer.It's hardly likely that Catholics will leave the Church over this. And just as unlikely that this text will attract people to the Church, including the numbers of Catholics who, for various reasons, most unrelated to the liturgy, have already decided to opt out. Yes, I have broken my own rule on instant analysis. (But then I have thought a bit about these questions for some time.) I still look forward to that Commonweal article (or forum) in December 2012, "The Roman Missal: A Year On."A happy feast of Saint Catherine Laboure', Daughter of Charity and saint of the Miraculous Medal.

The new translation doesn't feed, clothe or house one hungry person. The new translation relies on a dead language. Who decided the latin was "authentic"? The new translation shows the bankruptcy of Rome and the American bishops who gave in so easily. The tales of those at your Masses is just as silly as the translation. Please let there be a schism from Rome and its bankrupt foolishness.

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About the Author

Peter Steinfels, co-founder of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture and a former editor of Commonweal, is the author of A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America.