The reasons given for votes against the texts? Bishop Galeone said that he hadn't heard some of these words since 1949. Bishop Sklba said that if the texts were approved, that both clergy and laity would pester the prelates to fix "perceived" defects (interesting. So if it is only "perceived" to be broken, would you then only have to "pretend" to fix it?). Bishop Trautman complained of "archaic and obscure" terms. Bishop Lynch joked that the lengthy sentences of the new texts would force priests to prepare themselves by pausing long enough to gather some breath (though, believe me, I've witnessed enough banal homilies in my short number of years to debunk the rumor that clergymen are in need of greater lung capacity).
So old words, words that appear to be outdated or unused in modern society have no place in 2008? My question is this: Where were you people 30 years ago when I was forced to study old, outdated, and obscure words for the SAT test? Even if you weren't in any position to get me exempted from taking the test, the least you could've done was give me and my friends some support in our cause.
You see, thirty years ago we were using that same argument with our parents and teachers. Why do we have to learn the meanings of words that aren't used in regular, everyday conversations? While we're at it, why do we have to learn things like the atomic number for zinc? How about having to learn sines and cosines, secants and the Distance Formula? Do I really have to learn how to parallel park if I promise I'll never actually do it?
The answer we almost always got happened to be in pretty simple, easy to understand language: "Because I said so!" We had to learn it because our parents had to learn it, and their parents had to learn it before them, because our great grandparents wished they'd have had the time to learn it, but had to go to work instead. We had to learn it because, when we entered the classroom for whatever subject, those things were the important things to learn. It was how we communicated, how we understood things, and how we compared things to each other in the world of math, science, etc.
Doesn't our faith deserve the same attention to detail? Won't words we don't normally hear in our mundane lives give us the subliminal suggestion that what we do in church is not "of" our everyday world? You know, "tithing" is an obscure, some would say archaic word, but Catholics have been hearing plenty about it for the past twenty years or so. So "wrought" and "deign" and "gibbet" are new words; we'll learn them eventually. How many people every day, when push comes to shove, find themselves in the emergency room of a hospital, talking to a doctor about someone in their family, using big, complicated words like, "myocardial infarction" or "deviated septum", and adapt and learn the words? Besides, if this provokes clergy & laity to expand their vocabulary, is that such a bad thing? If it means that clergy will have to prepare themselves by reading over a few times the prayers they're going to pray at Mass, is that so bad? Don't we expect our doctors and lawyers to do similar preparation?
I promise, I'll still speak "regular guy" when Mass is over.