Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Okay, if you've heard and participated in the corrected English translation of the Mass and have heard the priest praying the corrected priestly prayers, i.e collect, prayer over the gifts, Eucharistic preface and prayers and Post Communion prayer, what are your thoughts??? I'm not asking about "style of music" or "having a hard time remembering the words that you once had memorized" but the content of the words themselves and the style of them as these come across to you either read or spoken or sung.

In Church language we all understand the distinction between "Ordinary" and "Extraordinary." Bishops, priests and deacons are "ordinary" ministers of Holy Communion. If you have six chalices and four Host stations, and you have 10 bishops, priests or deacons, they are the ordinary ministers of distributing Holy Communion. When you lack the number of ordinary ministers to allow Holy Communion to be distributed in a timely fashion, "extraordinary" ministers (laity) are selected and trained for this "ministry."

The same is true with the two forms of the one Latin Rite. The "Ordinary" Form is the form that is normal on Sunday and weekdays. It is the form that most of the Latin Rite celebrates and in various languages.

The "Extraordinary" Form is the form that is requested by an "extraordinarily" small group of Catholics who find it beneficial for their spirituality and Catholicism. In a normal, run of the mill parish the Ordinary Form of the Mass takes precedence. The Extraordinary Form is allowed when there are sufficient numbers of people who request it and attend regularly.

Some dioceses now are erecting parishes that are exclusively Extraordinary in the manner in which all the liturgies of the Church are celebrated. Of course these parishes are "extraordinary" and will never outnumber the "ordinary" parishes of any diocese.

But let's get back to the topic of this post, the corrected English translation of the Mass. The newly corrected missal must be implemented completely on the First Sunday of Advent, seven Sundays from now.

At Saint Joseph Church, a humble ordinary parish with some flares of the extraordinary when it comes to the Mass and Holy Communion ministers, has already begun to implement all of the laity's sung parts (and spoken too). I've practiced the priest's parts but I won't say where as that might incriminate me in implementing those ahead of time, such a horror!

The language is different than the older English and to my mouth and ears a bit more "sacred sounding" and certainly more accurate as it concerns two aspects of the Latin: what the Latin actually says and the spirituality or devotional quality of the original Latin (and by Latin I mean the revised Latin of the post-Vatican II Ordinary Form of the Mass). There are some aspects of the corrected translation that are difficult to speak in English and I hope a future revision will fix those.

But as I have written elsewhere, I have not received any noteworthy feedback on any of this as we have implemented it. No one has complained about losing the "equivalency translated Latin" of the older missal and no one has complemented the new translation as being nicer, more beautiful and more inspirational.

I don't know what to make of it. Do Catholics simply not care and just want to get Mass over with?

There was some push back when I implemented the Latin Greetings, but after two years of doing it, people embraced it.

Are we like frogs in a crock-pot? With time we get use to getting cooked because it happens so slowly that we don't notice or care about what's happening?

If you've heard and prayed the corrected translation, what are your thoughts? This is the first and major "salvo" in the reform of the reform. I don't expect any more major changes in my life-time, but I could be wrong. Maybe we can expect what the Holy Father does in his Masses to be codified for the universal Church: the way the altar is decorated and maybe kneeling for Holy Communion. I'm not clairvoyant as you know, but maybe I am?


Anonymous said...

We have had printed educational materials related to the changes available in our parish for some time, but to my knowledge, no implementation or verbal instruction. Musicians are preparing I know.

What do those who are unable to kneel -- pain, recovering from knee replacement, no cartilage left but otherwise, perfectly healthy -- do when they go to Communion at an EF Mass? A lot of the people at any Mass are older and such problems are very common. Just curious and no objection to kneeling ... For that matter, what do priests who cannot kneel do?

PTL said...

Living is all about change...some do not like to except change! We recently painted our walls in our house and patched all the holes. Guess what ? we put everything back exactly where it was before!
I liked the way our texts seemed to flow with the words of the Priest and the responses before. They don't seem to do that anymore for me. I look at what's going to be implemented, it all means the same only said in a different way; easier ? That's to be seen. We'll all get used to the changes soon enough, the only problem I have with any of the dialogue is the Penitential Act. Why add I GREATLY sinned and then THROUGH MY FAULT, THROUGH MY FAULT, THROUGH MY MOST GRIEVOUS FAULT; THEREFORE... we all sin it seems redundant to have to repeat it twice, but it wasn't enough we have to add grievous, to seem to exclaim this sorrowful act, how come we couldn't just say the latter? When I am asked to recall my sins I am already reminded of offending God so is this to try to make me feel even more guilty to ask for forgiveness?

excerpts from the summer issue of Faith & Family magazine. august 11'

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!

Have a blessed day Father.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As far as kneeling for Holy Communion at an EF Mass or even an OF Mass, one may stand if one can't kneel--I've given Holy Communion to many at the EF Mass who can't kneel and also receive in the hand!

The texts in English now follow a literal translation of the Ordinary Form of the Latin Mass which was revised in Latin after Vatican II.

The lame-duck translation followed an "equivalency and most liberally I might add, form of translating the very same Latin. So the Confiteor you mention is what is said in Latin that the older equivalency translation betrayed. Fr. McDonald

qwikness said...

I don't like the cantor singing "the word of the Lord" nor do I like the melody of the Gloria. During the penitential I would like to do the "through my fault" I have only seen the "Kyrie Eleison"

Marc said...

I agree with qwikness and add the following "noteworthy feedback":

- Having the cantor sing "The Word of the Lord" is too much and too cumbersome

- The new Gloria setting is just not good at all (although the translation is great, the music is awful and difficult to sing)

- Can we please use Penitential Act A instead of Penitential Act C?

- The new Eucharistic Prayers are quite good; however, I pray one day we will use the Roman Canon at all Sunday Masses

- Honestly, the new translation has been overshadowed in our parish by the soaring number of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and the return of the common Chalice. Both are completely unnecessary and absolutely distracting.

- Frankly, I can't seem to remember any of the new Collects as everyone seems to be in such a rush at the beginning of Mass I can't really keep up with it. I have, however, read many of them and like the translation.

- @ PTL: the Mass is not about how well it "flows" nor is it about making the people's parts "easier." Why do we say we have grievously sinned? Because we have. Why do we say the triple mea culpa? Because our sins are our fault. Yes, you should be made to feel more guilty and ask for more forgiveness. That IS exactly the point of that.

- @ first Anonymous: at the EF Mass, you can still receive standing if you are unable to kneel; however, reeceiving in the hand is not allowed in the EF whether you are standing or kneeling. At just about every EF I've been too (a quickly growing number), there have been people who approach the altar rail but are unable to kneel, so you would not be out of place and no one would question you at all!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Keep in mind that the ideal in the EF High Mass that everything be sung, including the readings! The ideal for the Ordinary Form Sung Mass as is made explicit in the "norms" of the General Instruction of the Roman missal updated in 2002 is the same, that ideally the readings should be chanted including the introduction and the ending responses. I'm somewhat disheartened that you don't like this rubric which is of course optional in the OF not implemented in a rigid way which is the way of the EF forms of the Mass when sung.

The melody of the Gloria are many to choose from and we found the one we are doing to be the easiest of all the ones available, but eventually we will also learn the Community Mass version. The same is true with the sanctus and mystery of faith, Great Amen and Lamb of God, we will return to revised versions of these once we learn the chanted versions well.
In terms of the Kyrie, we are using the third option now so as not to throw too many new things all at once to the laity (keep in mind that St. Joseph is ahead of almost the entire country in implementing the corrected English). During Advent we will begin to use the corrected Confiteor. Penitential Act B is totally different and we need to learn it also, it is done as the Confiteor, followed by the absolution and then the saying or singing of the Kyrie.
In terms of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion--there are those who strong desire to receive from the Chalice--it is permitted under the norms of the revised GIRM and governed by our local bishop and your local pastor. Now you have right to not like it and not avail yourself to it, but come now, we are not Protestants and make things up as we go independent of the college of bishops and our own local bishop who is the chief liturgist of the diocese. If we're going to be Catholic, let's then be Catholic as it comes to understanding authority and the implementation of that is allowed even if one doesn't like it- like singing "thanks be to God" and the bishop allowing the EF MAss--there are many who disagree with the fact that he has allowed it and I've been offering it! Get over it! We have the authority!

qwikness said...

Don't be disheartened, its not that there is a problem with the singing, the problem comes with the congruence of the sequence. If the readings are read and not sung then the "the Word of the Lord" should also be just for congruence sake. If the reading are sung then the "the word of the Lord" should be too. The Second point is the reader should say (or Sing) "the Word of the Lord" not the Cantor. Its sort of awkward. Must it be a Cantor?
I don't think Marc has a problem with the Chalice returning. Just that the return of it comes at the same time as we learn the new missal.

Marc said...

Father, you asked for feedback and I provided feedback.

To clarify, I don't disagree with the rubric in the OF calling for the readings and responses to be sung. I absolutely agree with that. Maybe we should follow that rubric and have the readings be sung and then it would make sense to have the responses sung. As it is, it is my opinion that the current singing of the "Thanks be to God" is cumbersome.

I understand the Gloria setting is the easiest, but that doesn't change the fact that it is, to me, not a good one. That is my opinion and therefore, my feedback. I like very much the Agnus Dei and Sanctus chants we are using. In fact, I have slipped into saying the second half of the Sanctus in Latin more times than I've said it correctly!

Penitential Act B is terrible and, in my opinion, should not be included in any celebration of the Mass. But, my opinion is that the actual Confiteor should always be used. That is my opinion and therefore, my feedback.

With regard to the extraordinary ministers, they are extraneous and their use at every Mass is unnecessary. I don't believe the standard as to whether the chalice is to be offered is whether "there are those who strong desire to receive from the Chalice". There are many in a state of unrepentant mortal sin with a strong desire to receive Holy Communion - that doesn't mean they are allowed to do so.

I do not question whether priests or the bishop have the authority to allow the common chalice and extraordinary ministers - although, based on my understanding of the GIRM and other applicable documents, I do question whether priests or the bishop have the authority to do so at every Mass, including daily Masses. I believe you yourself have posted about that very issue within the last week. Moreover, having extraordinary ministers at every Mass tends to indicate to me that they are not very "extraordinary." But, again, I am not questioning authority here, I am merely stating my informed opinion on these matters.

In summation, I agree that there are many things that are allowed that I personally do not like. Therefore, as you suggest, I do not personally do those things like Communion in the hand, receiving the Chalice, receiving from anyone other than a priest, etc.

Anonymous said...

It's fine, you prepared us well. Maybe to well. We got something in the bulletin every other week and two or three things in the mail, plus we were doing Latin for two years so there was no surprise. I'm proud to be the first to do it. Is that a sin? I think maybe pride and vanity.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

There's good "pride" that is not a sin, like being proud of a child or some good work and then there is "pride" thinking one is better than anyone else. So pride for me in terms of the translation being done first is that I did it first and I'm proud of that and because of that I've placed my soul in jeopardy and so I'll have to go to confession for this bad pride, so to speak. But I'm proud of my parish because they have embraced the new translation in such a magnanimous way.

Marc said...

I have been very impressed in the pews with the way people are really trying to participate with the new translation by consulting the books throughout the Mass. It's also nice to see when people slip up and say the old response and they just kind of smile to themselves. I haven't noted even a hint of frustration in the pews. Everyone is being very good humored about it!

That is completely due to the years of preparation and catechesis leading up to the implementation.

Templar said...

On the way out of Mass on the very first weekend of implementation I said to you "I think the Gloria is easier in Latin." I still think that's the truth, although now that I have been doing the Gloria for a few weeks as English Chant I have come to terms with it. Once I stopped trying to "sing it" and slowed down and "chanted it" and I do much better with it now.

I know you're tired of hearing it, and I know it has nothing to do with the new translation other than a coincidental return, but I too and greatly put out by the EMHCs. Fine you have the right, but do we really need the parade in the Procession, that's more awkward and out of place than the actual distribution.

PTL said...

uh oh Father you better watch what you say here... you said you picked out a melody; "we found the one we are doing to be the easiest of all the ones available." Marc might inform you; "nor is it about making the people's parts "easier." I am so laughing!!! :-)

I love your blog, and with it generally comes a good debate; but sometime it get's a little hairy in here Father! ;-)

Joseph Johnson said...

Yes, Father, I too know that priests and bishops have authority when it comes to certain liturgical issues such as whether to have Communion under both kinds. I do not consider myself to be a disobedient Catholic--I just prefer to state my opinion (in light of my past formation and experience as a Catholic), in appropriate settings, such as this blog. I do so because it might provoke more thought (or at least a better understanding of some of your lay people) on these issues by those in authority.

I, too, receive from the Chalice on certain occasions such as Corpus Christi or Easter, etc. I am not opposed, in principal, to lay Communion under both species. As you have probably surmised, my difficulty is more with the use of EMHC'S and with Communion in the hand (as to the Consecrated Host). As a general rule, the allowance of Communion under both kinds brings about a logistical need for EMHC's as a typical parish is very fortunate to have a resident priest much less a permanent deacon.

Communion under one form (as in the EF) can (as it was for centuries up into our own time) can be administered by one priest or he may be lucky enough to have a deacon or vicar. In larger parishes I've seen the non-celebrating priest come in at Communion time in cassock, surplice and stole to distribute. This would be done at the Communion rail or at the center, whether standing or kneeling--no multiple "Host stations or cup stations."

I read somewhere else that Communion under both kinds was brought about because of the "sign value" of both forms and because is more "ecumenical" (presumably because many Protestants use grape juice or wine and crackers for their "Lord's Supper" which most of them believe to be only a "sign" and nothing more). Further, women can be EMHC's and it gives women another opportunity to "participate" in liturgical ministry (Pope Benedict has written that "full active participation" does not mean that everyone should have a "job"). Sign value, ecumenism and more roles for women--these are the newer priorities.

The older priority, which I was taught, is a strong emphasis on the Real Presence to the extent that the Sacred Species should only be handled by the ordained and then with a very scrupulous carefulness. Hand patens, lay kneeling for Communion, holding of thumb and index fingers together after touching the Consecrated Host, carefully viewing the Sacred vessels during purification at the altar, use of humeral veils when carrying the Eucharist to repose or in Procession--all acts and items that emphasize the value of reverence toward and True Belief in the Blessed Sacrament.

This is why Msgr. Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission (part of the CDF) recently said in an interview that the EF more strongly emphasizes certain values (even though those same values can be found in the OF--he said they are less evident).

I'm only opining that maybe these older practices and values which emphasize the Sacredness of the Blessed Sacrament should take precedence over the newer values of sign value, ecumenism, and more roles for women. Its a matter of priorities as to what should be emphasized.

As to the main topic, I'm all for the new English Translation (and Latin, too!).

Gene said...

Here's some feedback (assume all caps for shouting): "Hey, all you people whining and complaining about the changes in the Mass,now hear this...any moron with a seventh grade education can learn them in thirty minutes. Get over it, shut up, and learn the stuff. If you don't like it, be a Baptist!"

Gene said...

PS For you St. Jo's whiners, the Baptist church is right next door. You may have to dress a little better for their service than you do for our's. Baptists tend to frown on old, grungy jeans, tank tops, Grateful Dead t-shirts, and skirts up to your you-know-what on the women. Oh, take a Bible, they like to proof text...

PTL said...

I have been reading Fr's blog for over a year. You're soooo bossy pin! I read your bio you do have kids, I bet you told them it's my way or the highway!! lol You do come across as being an educational individual. You have this knack of making wise cracks as to one's intelligence along with your debating points. I believe you're smarter than the average person; it doesn't mean individuals are inferior to you because of you being book smart! I am sure you were referring to me with the caps, I certainly didn't mean to yell at you... I only meant to separate it from the rest of the verbiage. Sometimes it's not about yelling, excuse me for not remembering computer etiquette about caps! You seem to yell at people in here without the caps!
Some people's kids!
Reading your comments sometimes (not all) is like watching a Charlie Brown Special on tv when he would talk to the grownups and they would make that blah blah blah sound! :-)

Gene said...

PTL, yes, I have two children. Neither I nor my wife ever had to tell them it was our way or the highway. We tried to model responsible, moral behavior for them. Children behave the way you expect them to. Those expectations were always there in the background and between the lines. Once in a rare while, there was bold print in the form of a swat on the rear.LOL! My son is a Pharmaceutical rep for a major company, and my daughter is an attorney. Both have kids and are active in their churches.
I am not bossy...I would never tell you what to do. I might ridicule you for doing it, but I would never tell you what to do. LOL! PS My caps were not because of your caps. They were for everyone who is whining about the changes.

Templar said...

Pin is lying. His memories of family were implanted into him when he was assembled in a Science Lab at a Presbyterian Seminary. The only reason he's Catholic is because Igor unearthed and stole the uncorrupted brain of St Eugene, the Patron of Dysfunctional Families. So if there's aps in his ramblings, please be patient and forgiving.

Gene said...

You see, Templar, you are being most uncharitable. But, that is ok. I did some research and learned that there are actually several Saint Eugenes (My name is Gene...Eugene). Unfortunately, most of them were martyred. There are actually a couple of Pope Eugenes, at least one of whom is Blessed. So, I am praying to the Blessed Pope Eugene and the blessed Martyred Eugenes that, when you get to Purgatory, you will spend the first thousand years in a detailed study of Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion." At the end of each session, you will attend an OF Mass led by some post VAT II kook with nothing but Marty Haugen hymns. Oh, there will also be required folk Masses...enjoy. LOL!

Templar said...

LMAO, I am humbled Pin that you believe I will merit Purgatory. The general impression I get is that you and I have been consigned to Damnation for being such poor Catholics.

As for St. Eugene, I picked the Patron of Dysfunctional Families to tie into the story line of the joke, the reference to the name was a monumental coincidence, but now I know something more about you and that can not be a bad thing.