Saturday, January 16, 2010


This weekend at St.Joseph Church, we are phasing out the old, "lame duck" ICEL translation of the English Mass. But we are not yet implementing the new English translation. Rather, we are substituting the Latin responses. We will do this gradually over the next several months.

This weekend we are replacing, "The Lord be with you" and "also with you" with, "Dominus Vobiscum" "Et cum spiritu tuo." We will also replace the current English Preface Dialogue with the Latin Responses.

During Lent we will say good-bye to the "lame duck" English Sanctus, and Mystery of Faith, using the Latin ones. Eventually, during the season of Easter, we will sing the Latin Gloria. I'm not too sure about the Credo yet. It might be a bit much for the congregation in Latin, but we'll see. We'll do this only gradually.

When the new English translation of the Mass is allowed, we will return to the English. But by then, our entire congregation will be familiar with all of the Latin parts of the Mass.

Do you think this is a good way to phase out the lame duck English parts of the Mass in order to introduce sometime later the new English translations with Latin in the interim?


sewinggranny said...

I am not happy with using the Latin version of some prayers in Mass in 2010! Do I think this is a good way to phase out the English version to get ready for the "new" English version? No. Being a cradle Catholic born in 1956 I have been through the Latin era. When I was a child we knew what to say during Mass but surely did not understand what it meant. We were just repeating something that we heard over and over again. I am uncomfortable with the Latin and I know that the children coming to Mass will not understand it nor will they be more attentive during Mass with words that they do not understand.
Please let us continue with the English version we have now and change when the times comes. Using Latin now will not help us understand the new English version when it arrives.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

To sewinggranny: I was born in 1953 and you know what, we're of the same generation and we're not stupid! We can learn knew tricks and languages and certainly our children are even more capable! Don't underestimate yourself or your children or grandchildren--we're smart, we're God's creatures, His Children. Using Latin now will help us to understand the Latin--the normative language of the Mass. The vernacular is the exception--but we'll have the vernacular and its new translation when it comes, for now, the lame duck, passe language is, well passe! God bless. Fr. AJM

Templar said...

I too am a cradle Catholic, born in 1962, and if i ever heard the Latin Mass as a child I have no concious recollection of it. However I have been taking my children (currently aged 17 - 15 - 12 and 10) to the monthly Latin Mass for 2 years now and they not only like it, they prefer it to the vernacular masses. Last Sunday when they read the bulletin they were thrilled at the announcement of the change to Latin, so much so that one of them "high fived" Father Furgeson on the way out of Mass. They were actually mildly disappointed that all of the proposed changes to Latin were not implemented immediately as was their impression from the bulletin. However, I explained to them why Father might want to go slowly and they understood.

Our children's faith is in a shambles today because we have insisted on not maining things too hard. Challenge children and their faith will be better for it. I sit in Mass week after week and see way too many checked out vacant stares on peoples faces, young and old alike, repeating words in a language they understand but no longer dwell upon the meaning of the words. They go through the motions of the prayers just as they assume the orens position during the Our Father, meaning out of reflex and not because they know why they are doing it.

The Mass in English, yes even the OF Mass of "every day use" is an "exception" to the norms of our faith, just like Communion in the hand is an "exception" to the norms of our faith. So many execptions to the norms that no one even knows they are exceptions anymore.

I would like to see at least Sunday Mass every week offered as it should be, strictly in accordance with the MR, and I don't care what year's Missal that is. Either one would mean a Mass in Latin.

Anonymous said...

"Not happy using Latin", sounds like personal preference. Mass is not about that. In this day and age, no longer 1956, it is easy to hop online and look up what the Latin means, if you can be bothered. This is true active participation. And after reading the translation a few times you will know what the Latin means. Latin for the Ordinary does not change every week. It is not the readings in Latin but a few unchanging prayers. Support Father in this change, he is doing the correct thing.Nowadays you have the tools to understand a few prayers in Latin. Instead of bashing Latin people whould remember that the vernacular is simply "allowed" and be grateful for that. Your experience with Latin is yours alone, not everyone else's. A few Latin prayers does not transform Mass into a totally impossible experience in another language. Latin is part of Holy Church and denying its' use or importance goes against said Church. We should all take a look at the Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia which still has the force of law today. Read it with an open heart and mind. There are important reasons for the retention of Latin.