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Sneak Peak?

The blog Valle Adurnihas posted what it claims to be the new English translationof the order of the mass. Some key points:

1) "And with your spirit" has replaced "and also with you."

2) "communion of the Holy Spirit" has replaced "fellowship of the Holy Spirit."

3) In the Confiteor, "mea cupla, mea culpa, mea maximum culpa" has been translated literally.

4) A much more literal translation of the Gloria. A lot of current musical arrangements are going to have to be rewritten.

5) Creed begins with "I believe" rather than "We believe." "Seen and Unseen" changes to "Visible and Invisible. "Only Son" becomes "Only-begotten Son." "One in Being" becomes "Consubstantial."Advocates for inclusive language take note that "For us men" has now been rendered "For us."

6) The sursum corda dialogue is now translated more literally:"The Lord be with you" "And with your spirit" "Lift up your hearts." "We lift them up to the Lord." "Let us give thanks to the Lord our God." "It is right and just."

7) Concluding doxology is translated much more literally.Not the most felicitious sentence structure in English, I'm afraid.

I'll leave the sorting out of the Eucharistic Prayers to the rest of you!

I have mixed feelings about this translation. There are certain things I like, such as the rendering of "et cum spiritu tuo" as "and with your spirit" and the more literal translation of the sursum corda dialogue. On the whole, I probably would have been a bit more conservative when it came to changing the people's parts. The translation of the concluding doxology ("Through Him, With Him, In Him...") seems very awkward. I don't think chanting it is going to work as well as it does with the current translation, but we'll see.

On the whole though,it's hard to see the result--assuming this is close to the finalversion--as justifying either the claims of its supporters or the charges of its critics. Thelanguage is moderately more "elevated" in a few places, but on the whole the changes are not dramatic and are unlikely to lead to significant changes in how the congregationunderstandswhat is going on in the liturgy.At the same time, I think that Bishop Trautman'sstatement that the new translation does not "adequately meet the liturgical needs of the average Catholic"is somewhatoverstated. There will be a period of transition, certainly, but I suspect most "average Catholics" have successfully weathered more significant changes than this in our family and working lives.



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The controversy has more to do with process and argument than with phraseology although the latter is of no small import.

I'm glad to see "seen and unseen" go. And, while I've disliked "one in being" since it came in, I have to congratulate them on finding an even less appealing expression.And, not to revive old issues from your much-lamented blog, I still can't see how this is a "more literal" translation of "sursum corda -- habemus ad dominum." Thought the syntax of the latter still puzzles me.In general, I'm reminded that one of the great risks being Catholic entails is self-parody, and I certainly see "and with your spirit" and the "mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa" certainly fall into that. I've always that language could be elevated without producing unintended humor.

Interesting. On the whole, I like it. I can do without the "for many", though, that's theologically a little suspect (Calvinist?) for my taste.I see the "dew of your spirit" made the cut in in EP2, despite earlier indications that it would be cut. Good!The bad news, but entirely predictable, is that "anthropos-homo" is still translated as "man" rather than "human". While the English purists will keep arguing that "man" encompasses both men and women, I still feel that many Catholics listening and reciting the Creed are unaware that the Church Fathers in 325 chose the language very carefully-- they did not say Jesus became male, they said he became one of us. That's very very important.Morning's Minion.

A tentative first impression is that the Eucharistic Prayers, poor in the present translation, are not improved in this version (if indeed this is the genuine rendition). They seem to me to be in places even more flat.And the venerable Roman Canon (EP I), unfortunately little used now, will be even more rarely used -- to our great loss.Having been a participant for the past ten years in the Anglican Roman Catholic dialogue in the U.S., I deeply regret that we do not employ the fine Eucharistic Prayers our Anglican brothers and sisters pray.I hope these first impressions are not accurate.

A while back, a buddy in the Albany diocese told me that before Mass one Sunday, his Pastor got up and told folks he had an anouncement of the highest importance. My friend said, " Gee, I thought they were finally changing the rules on birth control. Instead, he told us that we had to stand up when the priest said, "Pray brethren..." Holy expletive!"My own feeling is that the liturgy should be based on whatever enhances most the people's worship and joining themselves to Christ's sacrifice ... not the glorification of the Tridentine Mass, which, for those of us who are old enough, was mumbled quite quickly often by a priest for many who didn't understand and prayed their rosaries or daydreamed instead,So about these vital changes, I guess my feeling is: cui bono?

Well, it's clear a lot of good editing took place since the last draft. And there are aspects of the more sexist 1975 translation expunged here and there.For the sake of overall good liturgy, I think those who argue that the translation of the Latin original is somehow superior artistically have made a very weak case. Weighing in on the process, I think we can criticize the CDWDS for not accepting well-composed prayers in the vernacular from many language groups. That strikes me as a decision based on ignorance or laziness than authentic tradition.I think the loss of a Lectionary-harmonized set of presider prayers is a serious flaw, given the oft-mentioned desire for a deeper encounter with the Word of God at Mass. The Latin Missal just doesn't get it done as well as a vernacular-pumped one would.Musicians and publishers are happy, happy, happy with new editions and new Mass settings on the way. Those who wanted to see them crushed will doubtless bristle at new profits rolling in for those replacement hymnals and such. It will be interesting to see how much time is given for a transition from the 1975 formulae to the new ones.

I don't object to retaining "your spirit" rather than "you" but it would be better to render "Et cum spiritu tuo" as "With your spirit also" The force of "et" is correlative rather than additive. The translation "And with your spirit" is likely to be read with stress on "with" and the first syllable of "spirit" which makes nonsense of the response.As for "consubstantial" it inevitably will be interpreted by those innocent of the original languages to mean that the Son shares the substance of the Father, if it is interpreted at all and not merely parrotted.

What Really Important Matters will be dealt with next?Bring back the fiddle-back chasuble or not?Resurrect the pillbox hat .... oops, the biretta (six-chambered only, of course)?"On This Day O Beautiful Mother" given its rightful place of mariolatrial (?) prominence?I do hope that we get to start playing Barbie dressup with the Infant of Prague as we did when I was a kid.Oh, yes: can we start praying for the conversion of Godless communism again?Thanks so very much.

Professor Gannon's point is a good one, but I wonder if "also" isn't too weak for the Latin "et." I'd rather have something like "in return" or "as well." Which may just point up the limitations of "literal" translation.

In a dramatic moment of the first session of Vatican II, the bishops voted by 61% to reject a prepared text on the sounces of revelation. A two-thirds majority, however, was required to remove the text from the agenda. The next day Pope John XXIII intervened and ordered the text withdrawn and sent to a mixed commission for revison.Everyone wondered, "Who got to the Pope?" Most people thought it was Cardinal Bea, head of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. Those who were pleased that he had persuaded the Pope to his action, began quoting a billboard in Rome: 'Volate BEA!" "Fly British European European Airways!" Those who were upset at what Bea was alledged to have done lamented: "Bea culpa! Bea culpa! Bea maxima culpa!" For some time now I have not been able to tell this little joke because students, even graduate students, are no ,longer familiar with "Mea culpa, mea culpa...."

Apropos John XXIII's dramatic intervention (for which I as well as Father Komonchak were present in Rome), I tell my graduate students: here is one exercise of papal primacy about which I have never heard Hans Kung lament.

Professor Komonchak may find it amusing that a while ago I received an e-mail from a woman apologizing for having sent us the wrong time for a meeting which had the heading "Mea maxissima culpa."All in all, however, I'd sooner we were more familiar with Cardinal Bea and less with the Latin tags of our youth.

"I think that Bishop Trautman's statement that the new translation does not "adequately meet the liturgical needs of the average Catholic" is somewhat overstated. "Somewhat!

Will the change in wording change our hearts? I doubt it. It'll simply mean we have to buy new liturgical books that reflect the new language and satisfy a relatively small number of liturgical scholars. Of which I ain't one.I hate being tied to the missal at Mass. I feel more part of the service when I know it by heart and can respond without the book. But I suppose I'll eventually catch on.The Gloria is quite different from the current one. I like to think this will lead to more singable versions of it, but that hardly seems likely given the increasingly impossible versions of this that I hear.I'm with Jimmy Mac on this one. Is this all we have to do with our time? Though, I suppose if you want people to distract people from other, less pleasant topics, changing the order of the mass is a great way to to do it.

Thanks to Joe K for that great story. Also to Robert for mentioning Hans Kung. To clarify. Kung believes in the papacy as one grounded in humility and service. But at least Robert does not continue the "damnatio memoriae" that most of the church practices against Kung. Just with his book "The Council Reform and Reunion" Kung contributed more to VII than anyone. Not to mention a solid coterie of great Christian works.

Jimmy Mac's great description is spot on. But the real objection we should have to this is that this document is more an attempt to demonstrate central power and control than to foster solid liturgy. It is so obvious that the comedy and satire will continue unabated.Yesterday, I found this marvelous book "The Local Church" by Commonweal contributor Christopher Reddy. It is a tremendously important work as it centers on the meaning of church, local as including or opposed to the universal church. Kasper and Ratzinger clashed on this two years ago with R taking offense at Kasper's mode of attack. K stressed the local church while R stressed the universal. No question the local church has taken a beating for 1700 years. Yet it would be hard to argue for continuity without the good works and holiness of the local church. The hierarchy has it wrong to focus the issue on doctrine when it belongs on discipleship. Jesus gave the answer when he was asked: "who is my neighbor?", and "the blind see, the lame walk and the poor have the gospel proclaimed to them."At any rate as to this pertinent book, published in March 2006, (I have not completed it yet), although Ruddy gives thanks to Bauman and Jordan, no one at Commonwealhas mentioned the book, let alone reviewed it. I know there is a budget restraint and we do not want a repeat of the review of the "Thecons."I'll review it for free. But it should be reviewed by Joe K, who has written some on this topic. Again, Kung is responsible, along with Congar, for much of the work on the local church. It is a mark of shallow leadership, especially among liberals, when even someone like Ruddy does not even mention Kung. Joe K, rightly so, is referenced profusely.Finally, it is so important that such a solid theologian like Ruddy is emerging in the non-clerical world. Certainly he is a welcome antidote to the superficial Weigel whose theology is governed more by his politics. Even today.

AS I noted in an earlier thread, another contribution on BXVI is "Benedict the Invisible" in newsweek. While somewhat harsh, it has a point or two to make. While the Pope excoriated violence in his Easter message, starting with Iraq, there was hardly a prescriptive move forward..Bil's post from Peter Steinfels has immediate relevance to the continuing agony.In the meantime, we continue to fiddle with Tridentine restoration while the world burns.

Gene,I could go with "as well".The real oddity in this "new version" is that "pax hominibus bonae voluntatis" in the Gloria is back to being "peace to men of good will" which is correct translation of the Vulgate which, unfortunately, is a mistranslation of the Greek. "Peace to his People on earth" was an attempt to finesse the problem, and a rather ingenious one but pedants abhor ingenuity. The literal translation of the Greek as given by Joseph Fitzmyer S.J. is "peace on earth for the people whom he favors".

I might add that the NAB gives "peace to those on whom his favor rests" at Luke 2:14.This is not a matter of taste nor an idle point. If we produce translations of the Scriptures from the original languages and if we encourage the faithful to read the Scriptures so translated, and if at the same time we say that the liturgy is full of Scriptural language, we ought to see to it that the liturgical versions of Scripture correspond to the versions endorsed by the bishops for the faithful to read. Otherwise someone might conclude that there is confusion in the minds of those who say "Trust us, we know best. The Holy Spirit is guiding us".

Fiddling while Rome burns?

To those of you complaining (understandably) about this coup, I can only ask, What are you going to do about it?

Joseph,Um, continue to pray for the liturgists who are obsessed with these kinds of changes instead of doing work that might make the world a better place?To ask the Holy Spirit to help me crank up my efforts to bring Christ to others to take up the slack?Because like it or not, the Catholic Church is still the Church of the saints. You'd never find a St. Terese or St. Francis or St. Martin de Porres in a Protestant church. They'd have been told not to take that religion thing so far. They'd have been told they needed a good spouse to settle down with. Start a family. get a job. Make some money. Be productive members of society. Then if you want to help people, you could throw some money at them. This washing lepers bit is just turning people off.

I admire Jean Raber's comments, but her remarks on the Catholic monopoly of getting down and dirty to help the poor deserve a response.One might look to the miserable England of the 1840's, where the most important English speaking Catholic convert ever (whom I greatly admire) was figuring out whether he should leave the comfort of his Oxford fellowhip while other non-Catholic Christians from Elizabeth Gaskell to Brigham Young were in the slums of Manchester preaching the gospel and offering hope to the least of their brethren.More recently, I have been close to both Catholic and Protestant missionaries working with the poor in Nicaragua and Honduras at permanent risk of being murdered, and I'd be hard pressed to single out one group over the other.

Yes, sorry, Gene. I'll accept that slapdown in the name of Archbishop Tutu, a living saint if ever there was one, and who still makes me proud to have been an Anglican.

It wasn't meant as a slapdown, particularly of J Raber or J H Newman, just a reminder that we all have different charisms.

Jean,I agree that other things besides getting the liturgical texts right are important, maybe evern more important although in a different way. But I would say that changing the world for the better is not easy. Many have tried and failed. Getting the liturgical translations right should be relatively easy. So there is no excuse there.

Gene and Joseph, I'm not against a nice liturgy. I understand the desire/need to develop vernacular liturgical translations that reflect the same theological ideas--no mean feat--and still make it inspiring. In my view, nothing touches the Episcopal BCP Rite II liturgy or the prayers for all occasions and Psalter, which I still use.However, if I didn't think that the Catholic Church offered more substance over form, I'd still be an Episcopalian.Not slamming individual Episcopalians; some of my best friends yadda yadda.Nor am I slamming Roman Catholic liturgy (though I am going to be interested to see how the nice CCD ladies try to explain "consubstantial" to First Communicants, much less get them to say it properly). But lately there seems to be a preoccupation with liturgy forms and wording that I just don't get. They pose interesting fodder for linguistic discussions, but do they get us closer to salvation? Heaven? Loving our neighbors?That's my point.

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