Wednesday, June 13, 2012

THE NEW AND IMPROVED ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE MASS: DOES IT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?




At a certain unnamed blog, the new and improved English translation of the Mass was derided and heckled and maligned even before it made its debut. There were a lot of hurt feelings amongst the intelligentsia that their voice in the translation was ignored and amateurs took it over and botched it. Of course there was great hatred for the monarchy of the Catholic Church who took things into their own hands and centralized the authority so that liturgists couldn't hijack the process as they did in the 1970's. I shed many crocodile tears for these poor souls made to suffer so greatly.

But in all seriousness, what impact has the new translation had. Is it an improvement? Does it help you to pray, feel more reverent or is the language to formal, stuffy and archaic?

You report and thus you decide. Please make cogent statements about the current translation compared to the old one and what your take on it is. Deo Gratias.

8 comments:

Templar said...

I think it is a better translation, but I "feel" only marginally more reverent at the new-new Mass, than I did at the old-new Mass with it's poor translation. I'm beginning to think it's got more to do with posture than words.

William B said...

I was hoping for it to make a difference, but it has not. We still have "liturgical music" from the Broadway and Folk hymnals, we still have art deficient parishes with plain wood altar tables and gaudy hippie banners, we still have the Holy Eucharist passed out by laymen as if it were raffle tickets, and we still have center-left pastors who support and encourage all of this instead of initiating the reform of the reform as Fr McDonald has done.

Bill Meyer said...

It is a better translation, but as I now have a Missal, I am more disturbed, rather than less, when a priest wanders off into his own land of innovation.

ytc said...

The old one was like sitting in fourth grade English class repeating definitions over and over and over and over and over and over and over. "God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father, God our Father."

The new one is a breath of fresh air and it gives hope for the future. Frankly it hasn't had much impact at all so far, but I hope in time... The bigger obstacle remains lackadaisical celebration due to celebrants who received Godawful training and due to there being nary a rubric in the OF Missal.

rcg said...

It was not the end of the world as we know it, as some seemed to think. Nor was it the Counter-reformation II. I think for people who listen to and feel the prayers in their heart, it mattered. For the somnambulists it was not.

Anonymous 2 said...

Thank you for asking for feedback, Father.

At first I did not care much for so many linguistic changes, especially when potentiated by other changes in our parish taking place over what seemed a relatively short period of time – a resistance rooted no doubt in an innate conservatism on the part of this particular fuddy duddy that prefers slow, gradual change over an extended period of time.

I am now getting more used to the changes in language, although I still have difficulty – doubtless due to advancing age =) – in reciting them all from memory.

One benefit to the changes is that they perforce compel a more advertent consideration of unfamiliar language and thus invite and encourage a more explicit appropriation of the underlying doctrine and theology.

The explanations of that underlying doctrine and theology are helpful. And thus many of the changes now make more sense to me -- for example: “and with your spirit” instead of “and also with you” or “for many” instead of “for all.” Some of them do not yet make sense to me, however. For example, I get “but only say the word and my soul shall be healed” instead of “and I shall be healed” but can’t quite yet see the improvement of “I am unworthy that you should enter under my roof” (although I think I understand the scriptural allusion – to the Roman Centurion’s sinfulness?) over “I am unworthy to receive you” (a nice play on the physical act of “receiving” and receiving into our home or temple?). I am sorry if I have misstated the exact wording for any of these – it’s from memory again =).

Perhaps you could check in again about this in another year? As the former Chinese Premier Zhou EnLai reputedly once said when asked what he thought about the French Revolution, it may be that “It’s too early to tell.”

This may be more than you wanted. But I have tried to answer as honestly and completely as I can. Again, thanks for asking.

Carol H. said...

Anon 2,

You seem to be in an honest persuit of the truth, so I would recommend that you visit Father Z's blog on weekends. Every weekend he gives an explaination of where the original latin prayer came from, a direct translation, the old ICEL translation, and the current translation. I am sure you will find this very helpful.

The adress is: wdtprs.com/blog/

Anonymous 2 said...

Many thanks, Carol. I will do that.