Handel: Hallelujah Chorus (with video by 5th graders in Quinhagak, Alaska)
Christ the Despot?

Ready For the New Liturgical Translations?

So, a week from today we begin using the new translations ("we" in this case being not just Catholics but Latin Rite Catholics). I'm wondering how much and how effectively other parishes have been preparing for this. In my case, I think not so well, unless it's been different at other Masses besides the one I normally attend.

Our pastor is a very fine priest, but he's also a very down-to-earth sort of guy whom one suspects did not really enjoy his theology studies. His discussion of the changes has not gone much past pointing them out: "We used to say this, and now we're going to say that." I get the feeling that he sees them as being more or less arbitrary, and that he's a bit annoyed at having to bother with them. So I'm expecting a somewhat rough transition.

On the other hand, I saw the bulletin of another local parish the other day, and there was a very good discussion there of what was changing and why. (It's possible there could have been something like that in my parish bulletin, because I don't always look at it.) What about your parish?

I think it will all be fairly anticlimactic, really. I don't think either the alarm and despair of the liturgical modernists or the triumph of the traditionalists is really justified, though I do certainly think these translations are, for the most part, a step in the right direction.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

There has not been much fanfare at our parish. For a few weeks they ran a short blurb in the bulletin saying "The first translations were produced in a hurry and it was always expected that they would later be replaced by something better. Now they are." This is a tactful approach, I think, because there are a lot of people in this parish who are critical of the 'old' (can I call it that now?) translation, including, I expect, the priests, but why beat a dead horse?

A week or two ago there was an evening talk entitled "Traduttore, Traditore: The New English Mass", but I was not able to attend so I do not know what was said.

Yesterday some pew booklets, containing the new texts for the people's parts appeared in the church, courtesy the Canadian Bishops. They look nice and are easy to follow.

I know some parishes have been learning new music -- and complaining about it, from what I hear -- but at our parish we sing the Ordinary in Latin, so there are no changes on that front.

It's not even all Latin Rite Catholics - AFAIK, it's just the English-speakers. I assume something similar will happen with German at some point (German mass has "with your spirit also", but still has "all" instead of "many" in the words of consecration), but I don't know when.

The preacher at the local English-language mass (the only one in the city) explained the "all"->"many" and "with your spirit also" changes in a sermon; although given that the congregation is a mix of locals who want to practice their english, and resident aliens who just want something they can understand, I doubt many here are too concerned by text-tweaking.

Right, I was assuming not only English speakers but English speakers in the U.S., which was rather inattentive of me since there are a number of non-U.S.-English-speakers who read this blog. But then I guess the ICEL translations are the only English ones? I think of them as an American...problem, as we tend to be world leaders in crass religiosity.

South Africa is already using the new translations, I thought, and at least some of them have already been introduced in the UK. The two Benedictines I've spoken to see them as an improvement on ICEL, but not without problems of their own (from over-literalness where ICEL tended to go for fudge).

I've heard exactly the same criticism from people who were basically in sympathy with the effort.

All we've done at our parish is practice the new responses. We're really ready for that, though!

On our retreat I heard a couple of really good talks about the reasons for some of the changes--things I have heard elsewhere.


At least at the Sunday evening Mass, there has been nothing like that--no practice or anything. Literally just what I said, a brief rundown of the changes in what the congregation will say.

I hope this doesn't sound hopelessly smug, but I go to the ancient rite on sundays now and have been watching the preparations where I live with benign lack of interest. I do go to the novus ordo on weekdays, and realise I will never get the hang of the new one.

Ah, well, lucky you. I'll try to be happy for you. :-) Perhaps someday I'll get my Anglican ordinariate parish and be able to be equally uninterested.

Our priests have used their homilies for the last three weeks to discuss the upcoming changes in some detail. They began with the historical background (emphasizing that JP2 got it started, which I think was a tactful pushback against people who think it's due to the reactionary BXVI) and went on to discuss many of the changes in detail with explanations of the improvements. Also, we've been singing the new responses for a few weeks. I am eager to get started--I think it's a huge improvement.

I was forced to go to it today because I arrived at the 9 am ancient rite and there was noone there - probably because of Thanksgiving break. I am as grumpy as ever.

[wry sympathetic chuckle]

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)