Saturday, July 26, 2008

Prot. n. 1464/06/L

The story has broken around the blogosphere about the "recognitio" (approval) granted by the Holy Father for the new English translation of the Ordinary parts of the Mass.  Rome has been pushing for years for one English language Missal for the entire English speaking world (meaning that, whether you attend Mass in New York, London, Ottawa, Dublin, New Delhi, Sydney, Manila, etc., you'll hear the same exact prayers).

In a letter from the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, dated over a month ago (June 23) and given Protocol number 1464/06/L, Cardinal Arinze (Prefect of the Congregation) wrote to Cardinal George (President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops), saying that the release of this first part of the English translation of the Roman Missal (notice that it's not being called a "Sacramentary" anymore) will "provide time for the pastoral preparation of priests, deacons, and for the appropriate catechesis of the lay faithful."  Once all the parts of the Missal receive the recognitio, and the Missal is published, then Cardinal George will announce when use of it is to begin.  

In addition, it's also being released to that musicians can get to work composing musical settings for the new translations, so I hope liturgical musicians will be sharpening their pencils and getting busy soon.

A friend of mine sent me the translations, and I've given it a perfunctory reading, skimming it briefly.  Other blogs are commenting on the content abundantly, so I won't need to do so.  But I will say this:  There's much more of a change for the clergy than there is for the laity.  In attempting to read the Eucharistic Prayers out loud, I kept "messing up", jumping back into the current translation that has been burned into my memory.  So for those who say "The Pope is making it hard for the people", realize he's asking the clergy to take a bigger bite.  In short, "we'll feel your pain".

Make no mistake about it: there's going to be "turbulence" (to use a flying metaphor), as clergy and laity adjust to the new language.  We'll have some bumpy roads as we adjust.  Plus, I can't even imagine what will happen when the "Christmas and Easter" crowd comes to Mass after the translation change and end up competing with regular Mass-goers, for a blend of "And also with you" with "And with your Spirit", among other things.  I'm sure parishes and publishing companies will be busy making "pew booklets" (you can't call them "missalettes", because one publishing company owns the rights to that word) with the translations.


Hilary Jane Margaret White said...


I've got a greast idea.

Why don't we just not bother with all these annoying and expensive translations that no one can agree on.

Why don't we have the Mass and liturgy all in one language, so everyone can understand it, no matter where he comes from.

Now, let's see...

what language can you think of that might work?


ruggierm1 said...

Father Jay,

I don't pretend to know any of the inner workings of the Vatican, but can you give some insight as to why it took soooo long to come to a new english translation? Thanks


eulogos said...

I expect to be a very old lady before anyone in the Diocese of Rochester, NY is saying "and with your spirit."

But maybe after 2012 I will be surprised.

Susan Peterson(aka eulogos)

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I'm with Hilary Jane, I'm all for using the Language of the Church.