Wednesday, October 12, 2011

THE REACTION TO THE "EQUIVALENCY IN ITS MOST LIBERAL FORM" TRANSLATION OF THE MASS, 41 YEARS AGO!

USING THE "EQUIVALENCY METHOD" TO REINTERPRET THE SYMBOLS USED AT THE CATHOLIC MASS. BUT DON'T LAUGH, THESE SYMBOLS WERE ACTUALLY USED IN THE RADICAL DAYS OF THE LATE 1960'S AND EARLY 1970'S ESPECIALLY AT YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT "HOME MASSES, CAMPUS MASSES, SCHOOL MASSES AND MAYBE EVEN PARISH MASSES! THERE ISN'T MUCH DIFFERENT FROM THIS TYPE OF EQUIVALENCY IN TRANSLATION AND WHAT WE GOT IN ENGLISH AS A EQUIVALENCY TRANSLATION IN THE LATE 1960'S! DID ANY OF YOU MY AGE AND OLDER OUT THERE EVER EXPERIENCE WILD MASSES IN THE 1960'S AND 70'S AND IF SO WHAT WERE THEY LIKE?

THIS IS EQUIVALENT TO BREAD AND WINE ISN'T IT:

Excerpts from the summer issue of Faith & Family magazine. August 11: sent as a comment to the previous post:

On the way home from Church on that first Sunday of Advent, 1970, I joined my parents’ grumbling chorus:

“Why does the Creed say, ‘We believe” instead of “I believe’? How do I know what the guy sitting behind me really believes? I want to speak for myself.” (That was Dad.)

“They’ve taken all the poetry out of the mass. It was a more elevated type of language before. This sounds like a third grade reader.” (That was Mom.)

“And now it just says plain ‘Church’ instead of ‘holy Church’ during the Offertory. Like the Church isn’t holy anymore?” (that was 11-year-old me chiming in, proud to be part one of the Grumbling Grownups.")


I loved reading this article by Ms Sockey. It goes to show you,with change we will complain if it's not to our liking; even 41 years ago!

My comments: I remember the transition from Latin to English and the first English translation of the people's parts much closer to the corrected English translation we are currently implementing. I also remember the English translation changing very quickly toward the late 1960's and wondering some of the same things in the comment above.

All the while I thought the Latin had been changed in the Post-Vatican II Mass for the people's parts. I had no idea that it was the style of translating the English that had been changed. And it would not be too far-fetched to acknowledge that those who took the "equivalency" method of translating the Latin into English had a "theological agenda" in doing so for the English, to make it more pedestrian and like we speak everyday and without any pious sentiments or sentimentality.

What is sad about the liberties taken with an extreme liberal approach to equivalency is that those translating the reformed Latin Mass into English betrayed what Vatican II intended for the Vernacular Mass which should have had as its guide the theology, piety and sentimentality of the Latin. Why do English speaking translators think that the English Mass should be any different in these characteristics than the reformed Latin Mass in the Ordinary Form? Was there an arrogance issuing from these English translators?

Let me make clear that I think an "equivalency" translation of the Mass that soberly uses this method could have produced a very sound English text that remained as faithful to the original reformed Latin Mass and that a literal translation can belabor the Latin too much in the English format.

12 comments:

FJH 3rd said...

Father, I too recall the more elevated English of the so-called "transitional" 1965 Missal, prior to the complete break with the Tridetine Mass in 1970. And my heart was elevated a couple of years ago reading some of the new translation that resonated with that original English translation. How I look forward to the first Sunday of Advent this year!

Templar said...

I remember my Mother being more than a little upset at the stripping of the Sanctuary. Our Church took the opportunity to eliminate all but the minimum of Altar Clothes, Vestments, Altar Boys Vestments, Viels, etc. She was a member of the Altar Society and they took care of the cleaning, washing and mending of these things.

I also remember that our "new" Saturday Mass was a Folk Mass, with Guitars, Drums, and Bob Dylan Hymns (Blech).

My recollection of the text changes is somewhat dim, although in all honesty I wasn't that interested at that age. I do recall missing the Litany of Saints which I used to like as a kid. But I guess I accepted it as Trendy since a few scant years later all talk of Saints was gone.

Marc said...

Here's a legitimate, non-argumentative question that correlates to the discussion between Father and myself in the comments to the immediately previous blog post:

Bishops and priests have the authority to do the things Templar mentions in his comment above. Are the laity just supposed to go along with that when it is a bad decision? How far must be bend to the authority of priests and bishops?

I have been really racking my head about this issue of authority since Father raised it in response to one of my previous comments... Helpful thoughts are appreciated on this issue. (To see where I'm coming from, you can check out my other comments in the previous blog post). Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Fram, I am not sure that a slavish translation, mechanical in nature, actually is a real translation. And even if the changes and original cut at the translation were not intended to cause a rupture, they at least allowed it, and were therefore inadequate to transmit the message, inform, and support faith formation.

rcg

Frajm said...

In the areas of faith, morals and church law, Catholics owe an obedience and faithfulness. It is all for Catholic unity, that's why we have the God given authority of the bishops handed on first to the Apostles and then their successors. This obedience does not extend to politics, the weather or any other decisions of conscience. The pope can ask you to obey the teaching on birth control, but he can't make you. Just think "unity" and then obedience in what is essential comes easily.

Marc said...

So, then, what should be the response, if any, of lay people when bishops and priests take the sort of action mentioned in Templar's above comment? Should we just deal with it because they are bishops and priests? What if the bishop or priest is a Modernist, for example (and I mean a self-avowed Modernist, not a closeted one)?

I am not assuming that I know more than the Church, I am assuming there are situations where the members of the hierarchical Church disregard the (t)- and (T)-radition of the Church. If we know better, should we still participate just because the leader is a bishop or priest? This is different than the example of birth control because I am talking about looking back at the history of the Church and reading Church documents that state the Tradition/tradition and recognizing that there is an apparent disconnect in terms of liturgical practice and theological emphasis (to put it mildly)...

(Note - I am not talking about any particular bishop or priest in this comment and I honestly don't have any particular person in mind. I am, however, thinking of people like the SSPX who believe they are now custodians of Catholic traditions that have been lost or deliberately set aside.)

Father Shelton said...

Marc,
If I may humbly assist FrAJM with an answer to your very important question, Number 111 of the GIRM requires "consultation with the faithful about things that directly pertain to them" in planning the sacred liturgy, and number 126 of Sacrosanctum Concilium says, "Ordinaries [i.e. bishops, abbots, etc.] must be very careful to see that sacred furnishings and works of value are not disposed of or dispersed; for they are the ornaments of the house of God".
The lesson Vatican II--and Tradition in general--teaches us is that the sacred liturgy and sacred things do not belong to the pope, bishops or priests, but to God. We are given authority from God to be pastors of his holy Church and stewards of his sacred things, not dictators and vandals.

Marc said...

What recourse do the lay faithful have when priests and bishops become dictators and vandals?

Anonymous 4 said...

Fr Shelton (and others),

I think where Marc is heading is if the authoritative documents of the Church seem to state clearly X on a matter of faith or morals (or even discipline), and an Ordinary declares that his diocese shall be not-X, what then? Especially if the Vatican declines to get involved?

An analogy is the case of Kelo v. New London, when the US Supreme Court simply struck the phrase "public use" from the Fifth Amendment and substituted the phrase "public benefit." It tried some sleight of hand by saying "use" really meant "benefit," but at some point such violence to the language becomes obviously and openly Orwellian. White, for instance, doesn't mean black. So if a bishop officially declares in essence that white means black, and white is clearly what magisterial documents say--what then? Does the laity have any recourse? Is the laity at any point relieved of the duty to obey?

Templar said...

Obedience to the Church is the same as obedience in a Military Chain of Command. When one joins one understands that one is obliged to obey without question all LAWFUL orders. So in the military when a soldier is ordered to violate the UCMJ and kill a prisoner for example, he is relieved from the obligation to obey because it is an UNLAWFUL order.

Likewise in the Church. We are obliged to follow all lawful orders. But, for me, I refuse to meekly accept unlawful orders. When the Hierarchy creates things out of thin air that were NEVER directed lawfully (like when V2 says retain Latin and the implementers switch to Vernacular for just one example) it is UNLAWFUL. The Church, when she refuses to follow he own Laws, acts unlawfully, and removes (from this Lay person at least) any obligation to follow.

Frajm said...

Templar, you are on thin ice as it concerns the validity of the OF Mass and it's promulgation by Pope Paul VI who had and has the authority to promulgate it. Now one might side with Pope Benedict that it's creation and implementation was a "rupture" with tradition and did not develop "organically." But Pope Benedict has never as pope celebrated publicly an EF Mass although as Cardinal he did. He continues to celebrate the OF Mass of Paul VI while modeling for the clergy and laity how this might be celebrated within the hermeneutic of continuity. But as far as I can tell, at every one of his Masses at the Vatican and abroad, it's the OF Mass incorporating lay lectors for the readings and intercessions, altar girls in Rome and elsewhere and a mix of vernacular and Latin not to mention the "Benedictine Altar arrangement" and kneeling for Holy Communion. However he has yet to demand that what he does be done universally, including the use of altar girls (which is still up to local parishes to decide).

pinanv525 said...

Maybe when they get to Hell, they will convince themselves that it is "equivalent" to Heaven.