Missal unrest in New York

It seems that Archbishop Timothy Dolan, newly elected president of the US bishops’ national conference, has some unrest to deal with among his clergy about the new missal. The priests of the vicariate in Yonkers in the Archdiocese of New York just passed a resolution (see below) calling for postponement of implementation. The priest who brought forward the idea, Chris Maloney, is former secretary to Cardinal O’Connor. The discussion among priests was heated. The mood shifted decisively when the texts to be proclaimed by priests were distributed. After seeing the new texts, a majority of priests voted in favor of the resolution. The vicariate in west Manhattan passed a similar resolution.

This is only two vicariates in one diocese, so I wouldn’t overestimate the significance of this action. We don’t yet know whether this is an outlier or an indication of widespread sentiment among priests. Time will tell.

Pray Tell hopes for the best possible implementation of the new English missal and, above all, the worthiest possible celebration of the sacred mysteries. We will report a wide variety of perspectives on this issue going forward, including voices both supportive and critical of the new translation. If nothing else, reports such as this one might help bishops and diocesan officials and parish liturgists think through how they will respond constructively when questions and objections such as these arise.

 

RESOLUTION

Whereas,
many priests have not had the opportunity to study and discuss the forthcoming changes in the Roman Missal (especially the celebrant’s parts) with groups of priests; and

Whereas,
there have been serious questions raised about the quality and character of the language used in these changes; as well as the pastoral effectiveness of those changes for the 21st century American Church,

Be It Resolved:
that this area conference of priests requests that the Priests’ Council of the Archdiocese of New York advise the Archbishop to seek a postponement of the implementation of the new Roman Missal in the Archdiocese for at least one year (from Advent 2011), or until such time as priests of the Archdiocese have the opportunity to review all the changes in the new Roman Missal and to offer suggestions to the Archdiocese’s Liturgical Commission as part of a collegial consultative process to be determined by the Archbishop.

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162 comments

  1. Man, maybe they can boot Archbishop Dolan up to Social Communications or something in the curia and nudge Bishop Seratelli to St Patrick’s Cathedral. He’s given his own clergy until May to submit an implementation plan in writing. If the Congregation of Bishops can act quick, they might be able to save this thing yet.

    1. What Jeffrey wrote.

      Since our liturgy office and music office were closed by the previous ordinary, there has been no staff to do anything. There is no NPM chapter here either. Attempts to get diocesan support for anything new in recent years all have failed. There is no regular continuing education program for clergy. The priests are expected to do everything for themselves and they are on their own. This is the real situation on the ground.

      And they have a lot of work to do aside from mastering tongue-twisters; they’re not supplied with free time to comb the blog world or read up on missal translations. Notice that ONCE THEY READ THE TEXTS, the tide turned? Hello…

  2. This is hilarious. As if they’re NOT going to have to implement it, or they’re going to actually obtain changes unique and “pastoral” to Yonkers, New York?

    I’m sure the same vicariate plead a similar stay forty years ago when the treasure of centuries was thrown smashed at their feet.

    1. I fail to find the humor. Whether or not this resolution will lead to a delay or changes is perhaps not the main point. It seems to me that this group of priests is doing what they ought, by taking time to study the new translation and think about how it will sound when proclaimed. While doing that, concerns have arisen, which they are expressing in an appropriate way. These are some of the people who actually must use the translation day in and day out. If they don’t express concerns, who will? If they don’t do it now, when will they do it?

      The great sadness here is that I think we all try to offer our best work (first fruits, so to speak) to God, and many of us feel that the translation that is being promulgated is not an example of the institution of the Church doing its best work for the faithful and for God.

    2. Hey Jon, how’s this for hilarious: “May these mysteries, O Lord, in which we have participated, profit us, we pray, for even now, as we walk amid passing things, you teach us by them to love the things of heaven and hold fast to what endures. Through Christ our Lord.” Hilarious just figuring out what the them refers to. Not to worry if you don’t like that version which is for Mondays in Advent because on Thursdays of Advent there’s the same prayer only in a slightly different translation slightly less tough to follow. Monsignor Reviser must have been cutting and pasting so fast he got messed up.

      Fifty years ago I was a kid serving Mass in New York and the usual weekday Mass was in black vestments because Father said it was the shortest one to say and it only took less than 20 minutes unless it was a Month’s Mind High Mass with the organist singing. Then it might run 25. Father showed us that whenever the little black Ordo with the purple ribbon had a VR next to the date it meant we put out the thin black Requiem missal instead of the big red one and Mass would be short. Kind of like the Eucharistic Prayer II of the Tridentine Rite I guess. Those 15 minute specials sure didn’t look like “the treasure of centuries.” But I’ll bet that 40 years ago your parents were the age you are now. You sound like someone who misses what he doesn’t remember.

      1. Those 15 minute specials sure didn’t look like “the treasure of centuries.”

        They sure do now.

        You sound like someone who misses what he doesn’t remember.

        Lots of people who love the EF — I dare say most of them — have no memory of pre-conciliar days. Nostalgia has nothing to do with it.

        Since quality translation is important to Jeremy, I trust he does not defend the disingenuous dreck currently in use.

      2. +JMJ+

        Fr. Anthony, where’d this sudden optimism come from? 😉

        Seriously, though, if the “correction” is simply to copy-and-paste one prayer over the other, that doesn’t bode well. (Who’s to say they’d choose the better of the two translations?) Hopefully, it will be realized that this error is symptomatic of a larger problem, and not just some anomaly.

      3. Hey Bobby, if you think I’m a fan of the current mess, you’ve never read anything I’ve written on here defending the 2008 translation which DOES follow both LA and RT and was prepared by people who know both Latin and English. And 15 minute masses rushed through in speed-reading mumbled mispronounced Latin were NOT worthy celebrations of the old Mass. I know. I was there and saw them. Also served the beautiful Solemn high Masses done the right way, and private daily Mass at the seminary offered by priests who took their time and were reverent. Your condescending sarcastic sneers are really no testimony to the graces the EF has brought you. In fact it’s the kind of attitude that makes people think that maybe it doesn’t go much deeper than nostalgia at all.

      4. Jeffrey, “Hopefully, it will be realized…”
        Nope, I’m afraid it’s beyond that. The train has left the station. The texts are on their way.
        awr

      5. Fr Ruff,

        Somehow, “Love, the Text, is on the way” doesn’t have an Advent feel to it, does it?

      6. “People look east, the time is near
        for the text that so many fear:
        soften your ears as you are able
        for bad grammar at God’s Table. . . uh, altar of sacrifice, that is. . . .
        Eastward behold, acclaim today. . .

        . . . nah. . . just too easy.

  3. Fr. Ruff writes, “This is only two vicariates in one diocese. . . ”

    Yes, only two, but both with extremely high percentages of Catholics among the general population, and one with the diocesan seminary in its bounds (St Joseph, Dunwoodie).

    1. “but both with extremely high percentages of Catholics among the general population”

      I’m not sure exactly what this means (high relative to what?), but do you actually have data that these Vicariates have a higher percentage of Catholics than others in the diocese? That would surprise me in the case of the Vicariate of West Manhattan, more so even if the numbers are for “practicting”.

      Much of this article raises more questions than it answers. What does “celebrant’s parts” mean here? The Eucharistic prayers? It’s puzzling that a heated debate took place in a Vicariate meeting and that the priest’s parts were then distributed (all the collects, etc?) and then there was a consensus? Was it more than one meeting? Had someone done the hundreds of pages of printing in advance? Was there a side-by-side comparison with the Latin? Many (most?) Archdiocese of New York priests would, I think, have a difficult time doing translations on their own.

      Was this some sort of coordinated effort that the two vicariates both passed resolutions? Who’s behind it? The politics of the Archdiocese of New York are somewhat opaque, but when you say “Cardinal O’Connor’s secretary” the obvious next question is whether this is a generational/personal thing, given the repeated tensions (rightly or wrongly) we’ve had here over the various O’Connor/Egan/Dolan styles/factions.

      What did the resolution in West Manhattan say?

      What archdiocesan liturgical commission is going to do the consultation? As far as I know, it was abolished in 2001.

      1. Samuel, the office of the liturgical commission was closed. The commission itself still exists. But it meets only rarely, I am told. (Perhaps once or twice a year?) The new archbishop may have some intention of reviving it, however. I would not be too quick to assume the priests appealed to a non-existent body!

  4. “I fail to find the humor.”

    So did Cromwell.

    “You sound like someone who misses what he doesn’t remember.”

    Sorry to disappoint, friend. I, too, was an altar boy in New York (Buffalo), when the hobnailed hippie sandal kicked the glass from the “red lamp where God awaits.” You bet I remember.

      1. Jeremy, dude, you’ve already used that “life of the Christmas party” thing against me. Got anything new?

      2. What else can you say to a couple of Grintches? I’ll try to think of something. Meanwhile do you have a pleasant side or is it pretty much nonstop sarcasm? Told you already about the people at the EF chattering about the women visitors who came in without chapel veils and complaining at the coffee hour about the young priest. Until he showed up of course then everyone was “Nice sermon Father etc” I just think that if the EF is so much better than the NO it should be having more of an effect on people than I saw there or here.

  5. Is anyone suggesting that we petition for implementation of the 2008 Gray Book instead of the 2010 Received Missal? Since, by all accounts, the 2008 is the better translation and since it received recognitio, is that at all a possibility? For myself, I would much rather see that happen than either implementation of 2010 or waiting around another year…opinions appreciated!

    1. No, the Gray Book didn’t receive recognitio. The Gray Book is, with very few amendments, what the conferences approved. Then a small group, we think Msgr. Moroney and a few Vox Clara people, created the “Received Text” which the pope received on April 28. It seems that this group began creating this “Received Text” even before the conferences had submitted their final version. It is this text which got recognitio. The CDW has been tinkering with it every since, but for the most part the final text will be as bad as the Received Text.
      awr

      1. Father Anthony wrote: “Then a small group, we think Msgr. Moroney and a few Vox Clara people, created the ‘Received Text’ which the pope received on April 28. It seems that this group began creating this ‘Received Text’ even before the conferences had submitted their final version.”

        But Bishop Serratelli wrote: “The work of translating the third edition of the Roman Missal was done with much collaboration among bishops, priests, scholars, poets, musicians and the faithful.”

        Could it be that the Bishop “misremembered” the process?

        The alternative explanation is as unflattering to the Bishop as the work of “we think Msgr. Moroney and a few Vox Clara people” is to the Latin Missale Romanum, the English language, and the documents of the Holy See currently governing the preparation of vernacular translations.

        If I hadn’t been hanging around these parts as long as I have, I’d be shocked, SHOCKED I tell you! I wonder if their obtaining the Nihil Obstat to do the work involved submitting any college and graduate transcripts . . . or maybe even their SAT verbal scores. The first paragraph of the Advent Solemn Blessing (now corrected, apparently) is truly a classic: “May the almighty and merciful God, whose Only Begotten Son’s first coming you believe has come and whose future coming you now await . . . ” Right up there with the USA Lectionary’s “Light immortal, Light DIVINE, / Shine within these hearts of YOURS”. The same hand, surely! Amazing!

      2. But I still can’t figure out why the 2010 tinkerings were considered necessary. What was the motive? If, indeed, Msgr. Moroney & Co. made the changes, why? Did they do it of their own accord, thinking they were improving? Did someone in authority prompt them? Did they think they were appeasing this or that faction? Culture wars? The MOTIVE? There doesn’t seem to be a logical one? Or am I missing something? Political machinations that I don’t understand?

      3. MOTIVE: yes, that is a crucial question. I’m getting the impression that a few people had an agenda against ICEL because of some old wounds, and in large part this was about pay-back. I hope the full truth eventually seeps out.
        awr

    2. The problem, Jeanne Marie, is that even 2008 is not a good translation. It is clunky, inelegant and far from beautiful, however accurate it may be. Think Babelfish translation and you’ll get the idea. 2010 is just a lot more clunkier, even more inelegant and uglier….while being less accurate.

      If you want a translation which does everything everyone has been asking for, it already exists: 1998, the one that Rome kicked into touch for political reasons.

      1. “the one that Rome kicked into touch”

        While I love this rugby metaphor, Paul, I suspect it might strike some on this side of the pond as somewhat quaint, likely obscure, and maybe even impenetrable.

        Hmm … maybe English speakers around the world might not understand exactly the same texts in the same way? Should somebody notify the curia?

      2. I’m laughing, Chris — Because I didn’t even realize I didn’t understand Paul’s reference. I just thought there must be a typo or something.

        Just to make your point, I guess!

      3. Your assessment of the ’98 translation is not true in the sense of being everything for everyone. It too would need work. But there is much to commend in its work.

      4. +JMJ+

        Karl, you said what I was considering saying: the ’98 translation doesn’t do everything everyone has been asking for. I don’t think such a translation exists, because one group will want X and the other group will very strongly NOT want X. (Let “X” be “for many” or inclusive language or “of hosts” — or even “Sabaoth”! — or barely-revised people’s parts in the Order of Mass.)

  6. I am certain that there are parishes that require quite a bit of time for implementation. There are many bilingual parishes in the Archdiocese, and not a few multilingual parishes. The higher register of this translation could cause difficulties in parishes where a significant number of people speak and read English as a second or even third language.

    However, there are also prominent parishes in Manhattan alone that are quite “high up the candle”. These parishes are not merely ready to celebrate according to the new Missal. I suspect that the clergy and many of the parishioners eagerly await its promulgation. These parishes should not be denied the opportunity to being 1st Advent 2011 with the new Missal. I pray that high church parishes will be permitted to celebrate according to the new translation as soon as the missal is printed, but all things in good order.

    The “indult years” should be a reminder to those who prefer the Sacramentary and wish to suppress the new translation. The suppression of the Tridentine rites by progressive bishops only sowed rancour, division, and angst in dioceses. True diversity is mutual respect between high church and traditional Catholics on the one hand and progressive Catholics on the other. Let’s not revisit the ugly past.

    1. Jordan, you’ve put your finger on a very important point when you bring up the multi-cultural pastoral situations we must take into account here. There are also a lot of foreign-born clergy, especially those from Africa and Asia, who can be difficult for English-speakers to understand at the best of times. This puts a special strain on the oral proclamation of complex texts.

      1. Completely agreed, Rita. I can’t see why multilingual parishes couldn’t get an extension or even an indefinite suspension of the new Missal in exceptional cases. Still, the possible granting of indults will inevitably result in dispute. The implementation of the new translation will try everyone’s patience regardless of which “side” each one of us is on. Hopefully, people will look past the ideology to the specific needs of individual parishes.

    2. “I am certain that there are parishes that require quite a bit of time for implementation.”

      Can you provide examples of concrete steps that will need to be taken by the parishes that you think they won’t have time for?

      1. I’m not a pastor or a catechist, but I could see that the following would be needed in some cases: Remember, delays don’t need to be long — perhaps some parishes will delay until the first Sunday of Lent, for example. A few months is insignificant.

        Along the lines of what Rita said, a slight delay in implementation might permit pronunciation and enunciation practice for priests that speak and read English as a non-native language or that speak a non-North American dialect of English. Priests should be given time to say Mass confidently. Does a delay in implementation mean that Indian English or Irish English is inferior to North American English? By no means. Still, a little extra time might give foreign priests time to acclimate themselves and their parishioners to the text.

        As a liturgical conservative I must admit that this issue also applies to priests that speak and read Latin poorly. Our tradition is not immune. I have been to a number of EF Masses where the priest amply demonstrated his Latin illiteracy through very poor cadence, pronunciation, and enunciation. These priests would do well to refrain from saying the EF until learning at least how to pronounce Latin properly, especially if these priests have no idea what they’re saying. Liturgical proclamation is an issue for the liturgically conservative church as well, even if we tend to de-emphasize the didactic aspects of liturgy.

  7. But Jordan, that’s exactly what we are doing is it not? Until we recognize and respect our liturgical diversity, the ugly past is once again coming to a parish near you.

    Fr. Anthony, have we ever had a thread on these liturgical divisions, and what if anything can be done to heal them? Just a thought.

  8. Whatever happens to the New Translation now, it is evidently a project that is careening toward doom. It may be successfully inflicted on the long-suffering clergy and faithful for a few years, but if it is the backlash against it, whether vocal or in the form of passive aggression, is easily foreseeable. Paul Inwood rightly reminds us yet again that the remedy lies near to hand: the 1998 translation.

    Meanwhile let us remember that creative, inculturated liturgy goes far beyond translation.

  9. A word on Robert Ramirez’s entry at 3:07 pm, 20 December:

    Since coming to Washington in the summer of 2006, Cardinal Wuerl has written a weekly column in the diocesan paper, The Catholic Standard, on The Catechism of the Catholic Church. This week he treats the “cardinal virtues.” In his exposition, he laments a lack of “temperance” on blogs and on Facebook. Mr. Ramirez’s comment seems to me, sadly, to illustrate the Cardinal’s point.

    Iesu mitis et humilis Corde, fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum.

  10. “the disingenuous dreck currently in use” may not be intemperate, but it is quite mistaken, if it refers to the current translations of the Eucharistic Prayers (we all know the preces are sawdust). The principles of the current translation are far more transparent and above board than those of the new translation being foisted on us. To wax romantic about the qualities of the Roman Canon in Latin is not a helpful way to judge any English translations; as to the Latin of the other three Eucharistic Prayers, it is flat, modern, functional Latin.

  11. I think that the proposed resolutions in New York, while obviously, will not lead to in my mind, any real consideration or possibility – truly echoes the concerns of many priests throughout the US. From what I am sensing, whatever angst is felt by liturgists and musicians, is magnified in huge proportions by many priests throughout the country… I agree with what others have said here… this is a mere polite and respectful objection, which I feel will erupt in many other places, in far less polite and respectful ways. I believe we will be heading toward some downright anarchy among certain priests, who will just downright REFUSE to use these texts. What will bishops and archbishops do in such cases? How will they police such opposition? Would they really remove faculties from priests (in this era of huge priests shortages) as a punishment? I certainly do not wish discord, and I certainly am spending much time presenting workshops and the like, trying to support the implementation as much as possible, especially in my work with musicians dealing with the Order of Mass texts. But I think we will be seeing more of this manifest itself in many, varied, and sometimes, unpleasant ways. What will the hierarchy really do when such things erupt? Do we really think that this recent information from New York will be the only case in this regard? I would be very curious to hear what others here think about this.

    1. You know, David, it’s an interesting situation. In New York, there is a great tradition of pastors being able to decide things for their parish if they think it’s pastoral, and the bishop keeps out of it. And I mean out. The respect given to a pastor is immense here. He reigns in his fiefdom. A feudal concept, admittedly, but then so is the church structure we’ve inherited, which has only been bureaucratized in recent decades. Better than absolutism, if you ask me.

      So you can have a situation like that of Msgr. Myles Bourke in Corpus Christi parish, who decided in 1973 not to use the ICEL translations. He remained pastor there until he retired at a grand old age, and they never used them. It has been “And with your spirit” there uninterruptedly, up to this day. Of course, it helps to be chairman of the New American Bible and things like that, but his freedom to do that was also part of a Church culture that oddly seems to be targeted for demolition by all the chorus of voices saying to pastors you MUST do such and such OR ELSE.

      I mean, if you treat pastors like errant children or order them around like slaves, how are they going to respond? The older theory is that you treat them like the proper vassals that they are with their own fiefdom, and they will return the favor by respecting the bishop with full allegiance.

      If I know Archbishop Dolan’s number, he is going to try to schmooze the pastors into doing this. He will not order them to do it. They will petition him, as they have, to lead them as they wish to be led, with proper deference all around. And, unless the system is totally on the rocks, which I doubt, compromises will be reached without loss of face. And yes, there will be parishes which do not adopt the translation. Nobody will hold an auto da fe. Ten years down the pike, the arrangements arrived at now will be revisited, and then we’ll see. Much more reasonable.

  12. I mean, and I am not trying to be funny here – unless they are entirely clueless (and I don’t think all of them are- I think some are), don’t you think the bishops might be developing some sort of response plan to such dissent or discord?

    1. Wouldn’t the bishops’ time and energy be better spent:

      1) identifying the nitwits whose ambition and incompetence produced 2010

      2) removing said nitwits from any further work with liturgical texts

      3) informing the Pope what’s happened (he’s a professor: he must have corrected erroneous grammar and syntax as well as faulty concepts in supervising dissertations)

      4) bringing in Canon Griffiths and those who authored “Areas of Difficulty with the Received Text”

      5) implementing the Order of Mass on schedule, as a fascicle for insertion into the current Sacramentary, while correctively redacting – sans Vox Clara clowns – the “Received Text” (see step #4)

      6) publishing the full Missal after that redaction. There were slight changes to the previous translation between publication as a fascicle in 1969-70 and the full Sacramentary in 1974-75.

      This would accomplish several things:

      1) get people and priests used to a new translation of the Order of Mass: a limited number of new texts, with orations and Prefaces staying the same temporarily

      2) show the priests (and faithful who are aware of the “translation problem” and are interested, primarily because of liturgical ministries: lectors, cantors/musicians, etc) that

      a) the hierarchy knows what we already know they know: ambitious nitwits screwed up
      b) they’re as upset as everybody else
      c) they’re doing something about it

      3) get a translation out in due time (not a long time: final Missal ready the following Advent or earlier) that, while not to everyone’s liking (no translation ever would be), has been prepared with due attention to the linguistic and pastoral concerns this Received Mess has generated.

      NOW SURELY THERE IS AT LEAST ONE BISHOP FREE OF AMBITION AND BRAVE ENOUGH TO “BISHOP UP” AND GET IT DONE!?

      1. Excellent. All good ideas. I especially like the first Nos. 3 and 4, second No. 2.

        Now, who is the man for the job? Believe it or not, I suggest Card. Burke. I can’t imagine he would prefer 2010 over 2008, he is clear-seeing enough to recognize the nonsense, he can get to the Holy Father, he has, dare I say, cajones. Plus, it would have the added benefit of a certain kind of unity. People not otherwise in his camp on other issues together with him on this one. Perhaps the Holy Father would find that compelling.

        Or maybe Cardinals Burke and Wuerl together??

      2. . . . to get it done?

        How about Archbishop Joseph Augustine DiNoia, OP who has just been announced as the celebrant for the next Pontifical Solemn High Mass (EF) at the Basilica of the National Shrine:

        http://www.pontificalmass.org/about-this-celebration

        The “About the Celebrant” page at pontificalmass.org notes that

        “Archbishop DiNoia now serves as Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, second only to the Prefect, His Eminence Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera ( who personally suggested His Excellency for this Mass). His Excellency was named Titular Archbishop of Oregon City and appointed Secretary by Pope Benedict on June 16, 2009. On July 11, 2009, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at the hands of His Eminence William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the then-Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington a co-consecrator. The Congregation for Divine Worship has been responsible for the production of the new English language translation of the Roman Missal as well as the vernacular translations of all other liturgical texts.

      3. Excellent ideas, but I doubt any Bishop has the “equipment” to raise their voice. They can deal with it NOW, or – deal with it later.

      4. The water here has gotten so muddied, with dueling texts and complaints based more on process than product, that it’s not clear that any significant difficulties are headed for survival in the translation that will be implemented next Advent. Some of the allegedly egregious examples that people here point to are so vastly superior to their 1973 predecessors that the crocodile tears are unconvincing.

        However, if they were apprised directly of any such problems, what would impede Cardinal Burke and Archbishop DiNoia from dealing with them? Both have their heads screwed on perfectly straight, and are well placed in the CDW (as member and secretary of the congregation).

        Obviously, no one with clout wants a bad job done or has any bad intentions, so what’s the real or imagined difficulty? If, indeed, there are any difficulties remaining in the “final” text at this point, I’d assume it’s because these executive-level officials in CDW or Vox Clara haven’t been involved with the details (and, I assume, wouldn’t ordinarily be).

      5. +JMJ+

        CHE, it ain’t crocodile tears from me. Find a different reason to ignore the clamor.

        Almost all of us here agree that 1973 needs to be improved.

        Some of us here think 1998 did a good job. I do, but I have other reservations about it.

        Some of us here think 2008 did a good job. I do; I think it does a better job than 1998.

        Some us here think 2010 did a good job. I don’t. I think it fails to live up to the guidelines of LA and the RT. I think it’s better than 1973, but only according to certain metrics of measurement. In other ways, it fails.

        2008 has a few blemishes that could use ironing out. 2010 needs a face lift. Or rather, 2010 needs to undo its defacing og 2008.

      6. FWIW, my aesthetic judgment is different than CHE’s. 1973 does fairly well at meeting its goal, however much we agree that that isn’t the goal anymore. 1973 is flat, simple, unpretentious, direct, easily comprehensible, generally faithful to the main message of the Latin but not to all the subtleties and complexities of the Latin. This is more or less as it set out to be. Crucial to my aesthetic judgment is that it is consistent about all this. (The prefaces are much better than the collects.)

        Both 2008 and 2010 fall short of good, strong, elevated, poetically beautiful English. Beauty was sacrificed for accuracy – and then 2010 lost a fair bit of the accuracy besides! Both have as their goal to create a “sacral vernacular,” neither succeeds.

        But the biggest problem with 2010 is that it is so inconsistent as it lurches arbitrarily from archaic to 1973-colloquial to 1997, most of it fairly stilted and even bizarre. How anyone could prefer this to 1973, I cannot fathom.

        1973: they had a plan I don’t much like.
        2010: they didn’t have a plan.

        It’s sort of like comparing well performed Salieri to very badly performed Elgar. I prefer the former.

        awr

      7. Jeffrey Pinyan, I agree with most of what you say in assessing the relative merits of the various versions. However, I’m afraid that the language of this discussion has been so strident—bristling with outlandish disaster predictions and train wreck terminology about matters that won’t really matter all that much to folks in the pews—as to forfeit credibility with those in position to actually do anything if needed. Convincing them that this is just the “same old, same old” from the kind of people who simply oppose all change, and in particular line up reflexively against any attempt to make the liturgy more beautiful and transcendent.

      8. I certainly don’t agree that the goal of 1973 was inappropriate. Its execution in places, yes. Some of its judgment calls, yes. But its overall aim was sensible, and one that we should still, broadly, be pursuing. Crassness entered this discussion with Liturgiam spuriously authenticam.

      9. How about S.E. R. Mons. James Harvey, Prefetto, Prefettura della Casa Pontificia, 00120 Cittá del Vaticano. Fax (39-06) 6988-5863.

      10. “How anyone could prefer this to 1973, I cannot fathom.”

        Because 1973 (and its later versions) actually makes participation in the Roman Mass more difficult, it frustrates people who know the triple “mea culpas” are there and those who know what the Gloria, Credo, the prefaces and collects express in their original form. It is usually words of supplication that have been nixed by 1973, and other words like “grace” and “thrones and “principalities” not to mention “dew” and “consubstantial”. The common texts that you and others may enjoy are pastorally insensitive to those believers who want to pray in a way that is more consistent with the prayers expressed by Catholics more generally, both those alive today in other language groupings and our ancestors who knew the EF alone.

        The 1973 version makes it easier to imagine a “sing s new Church” model, the new translation reveals more continuity between the EF and OF. That is probably the root of much displeasure with the whole LA project.

  13. Actually, the write-up left out quite a bit of details and as such, is written in such a way as to encourage a pessimistic view; now whether that is true, God alone knows.

    It is wonderful to hear some posters here saying that they’re doing their best for the smoothest possible implementation of the new texts, and I would like to commend their efforts. Let each of us model fidelity and obedience to the legitimate authority in the Church as the new texts, and help each other receive and grow with the new texts. And perhaps after working with the new texts for a few years, we would come to realise treasures in them too that we didn’t notice at the first instance.

    By the way, I live in a region where many of the Priests don’t proclaim the current texts well anyway. I doubt my liturgical life has suffered as a result of that. Perhaps yours won’t too – if you don’t stay fixated on the accidents.

    1. Simon Ho,

      I included everything that was reported to me. I promise, I didn’t leave anything out or try to slant it toward a pessimistic view. The only thing that perhaps was not clear is that there was more than one meeting, and I think (I’m not sure) that the sample texts were distributed between meetings. The write-up perhaps gave the impression that distribution happened during one meeting and then the mood shifted. But in my view, the timing of all this doesn’t affect the substance of the story or the basic truth of what transpired.

      awr

  14. Not all “Missal unrest” is equal; i.e. how one views the statement posted has a whole lot to do with the underlying motives, which are not entirely clear. Are the priest-signatories concerned that the new text doesn’t engender a deep enough sense of the sacred, do they share Bishop Trautman’s well aired grievances about words that are “difficult to understand,” etc.

    I don’t know but I can guess. The phrase “the pastoral effectiveness of those changes for the 21st century American Church” is a giant red flag.

    So too is the proposal, “until such time as priests of the Archdiocese have the opportunity to review all the changes in the new Roman Missal and to offer suggestions…”

    Could it be that the signatories’ idea of an “American Church” is wrapped up in the illusion that somehow the Church in the U.S. has to function as a democracy?

    I honestly believe that in spite of whatever well founded causes for concern may exist, the driving force behind much of the Missal unrest in the Church is no more complicated than the fact that human beings often bristle in the face of authority. This sentiment is reflected in something a local pastor recently said WRT the Missal, “When will the American bishops finally get the balls to stand up and tell Rome NO!”

    So what I see is the possibility of strange bed-fellows with a variety of motives forming unspoken alliances in resistance to the new text: those who are angry that Rome played too heavy a hand effectively standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those who are loath to embrace sacred mystery, along with those who just plain don’t want anything to change EVER… and so on.

    The only remedy as I see it is humility; finding that balance between accepting legitimate authority while also working for the good of the Church by challenging our sacred pastors, with reverence, when necessary.

    The alternative, which may well happen in some parishes, is sheer rebellion.

    1. When legitimate authority screws up, big time, and refuses to listen to inquiries or respectful disagreement, then it pretty much loses legitimacy. And, it’s not only in a democracy that government is by consent of the governed. It’s that way in all temporal governments, bar none. Withdrawal of consent may cost an individual’s life, but it can be withdrawn. Check the American Revolution for plentiful examples.

      The US bishops as a group disappoint me.

      1. “And, it’s not only in a democracy that government is by consent of the governed.”

        A profound truth.

    2. I had a bad-tempered reaction to this, following a pre-Christmas party, that I have deleted, probably wisely. But I do find this ‘the Church is not a democracy’ argument quite exasperating. True though that is, it needs to be supported by some sane policy regarding what to do when reasonable people believe that authority is perpetrating an abuse. Otherwise just any madness can be legitimated as an act of faith.

    3. “the driving force behind much of the Missal unrest in the Church is no more complicated than the fact that human beings often bristle in the face of authority. ”

      Again, this is not borne out by consulting the posts on Fr Ryan’s website.

      And does Louie realize how dangerous it is to play this “submit to authority” card, which in the past licenced so many horrors — think of how critics of the inquisition or of antisemitic activities were treated by authoritarian churchmen.

      1. Some of the worst pogroms ocurred when authority was ignored. The inquistion is a red hering here & is somehting an adolcescent apologist could answer.
        Having said this, I am well aware that the entire Pauline Missal project of the consilium could never have happened except with the backing of highly centralized papal authority. Liberal & conservative Catholics are generally aware of this though liberals may be embarassed by it.
        It would be interesting to consider how much of this missal unrest is connected to 1980’s (America, Commonweal, NCR) style pastoral theology and views of authority.
        It is difficult for me to imagine a celebrant who cannot even bring himself to vest with his stole under rather than over his chasuble to submit to any missal without the endorsement of the journals listed above. The fact is that the crisis in obedience is only being made visible with the new missal & that may be one of its greatest gifts.

  15. Louie:
    Are the priest-signatories concerned that the new text doesn’t engender a deep enough sense of the sacred, do they share Bishop Trautman’s well aired grievances about words that are “difficult to understand,” etc.

    No, they are concerned that it is rotten English and difficult to proclaim, let alone pray, the latter being a not unimportant consideration.

    Xavier:
    a) the hierarchy knows what we already know they know: ambitious nitwits screwed up
    b) they’re as upset as everybody else
    c) they’re doing something about it

    I really like this rationale, and suspect that (b) is more true than we know. Certainly the E&W bishops are distinctly unhappy. Whether (c) will come to pass, given the Serratelli statement and others like it, is anyone’s guess.

    Xavier again:
    3) get a translation out in due time (not a long time: final Missal ready the following Advent or earlier)

    In E&W we are now resigned to the fact that the full Missal text and ancillary texts (e.g. national propers) will not now be available in time to meet an Advent 2011 implementation date.

    The present game plan in E&W is to introduce the Order of Mass on September 1 2011, with the Missal following ‘whenever it is ready’, but with the proviso that it not be introduced during the period Lent-Easter Sunday 2012 as that would mean Holy Week and the Triduum with a set of completely unfamiliar and difficult texts. That makes Pentecost 2012 look like a possibility. But none of this has become official policy as yet. Discussions continue.

    I hear that one US publisher would by now normally have already gone to press with its materials for Advent 2011. They have the final Order of Mass, but if they don’t get the rest of the Missal by December 23, in two days’ time, Advent 2011 will be out for the US too. Even if they do get it by then, a lot of people are going to have to give up Christmas with their families to get the work done.

    1. It might be helpful to explain to people why the 11-month lead time is need for missalette/annual hymnal distribution.

      1. It takes time to design the books, lay out the pages, then get in line at the printing house, then actually produce the physical objects, then get them distributed….and I didn’t even mention quality control at various points. THAT by itself will take either several weeks or a _lot_ of people to proofread the galleys.

        http://www.baen.com/FROM_MANUSCRIPT_TO_BOOKSHELVES.mov

        This link [how _does_ one format in this box???] discusses the timeline for publishing fiction, so some of it won’t apply here, but much will.

        The short answer is that producing physical books isn’t a really fast process, even with all the automation involved these days.

    2. “I hear that one US publisher would by now normally have already gone to press with its materials for Advent 2011. They have the final Order of Mass, but if they don’t get the rest of the Missal by December 23, in two days’ time, Advent 2011 will be out for the US too”

      Time to use another publisher..

      1. Using another publisher likely won’t change anything if the publisher doesn’t own the printing plant, and many smaller publishers don’t. They contract with larger publishers or independent printing houses to produce their books, and that means getting in line. And, just getting the text doesn’t design the book, though some of that may be done in advance. Still, you can’t do final layout until the text is delivered.

    3. What a windfall for these publishers and their employees. During a time of recession when many others are losing work opportunities these publishers have received a gift that will only keep on giving.

  16. This is an outrageous bureaucratic dragging of the feet bordering on defiance and I pray that Archbishop Dolan sees this as well, because his approval of any delay of the Missals’s implementation will see the same game played out elsewhere. How many years has it been since Lithurgiam Authenticam has been out? How many of these same priests in this vicariate have begun informing and preparing their congregations as they have been asked to since we knew these changes were coming? For how many months now has the USCCB website had a special section available to all, in English and Spanish, especially for this purpose? This is not nuclear fission, this is really High School English. Both the most-inconvenienced clergy and the people of this vicariate will survive this most necessary correction and act of liturgical justice. Reverend Fathers, you have played the game for 40 years and you have lost, have some dignity and stop dragging your feet. It is time to step aside and give the English speaking world, your vicariate included, the authentic Liturgy of the Church.

    1. +JMJ+

      How many of these same priests in this vicariate have begun informing and preparing their congregations as they have been asked to since we knew these changes were coming?

      Well, we’ve known generally what changes are coming, and in the last two years, we’ve had a much clearer idea, but we still don’t know for sure what changes are coming. The changes we thought were coming with the 2008 Order of Mass weren’t set in stone. South Africa’s going to have a ball next Advent…

      The problem is not a new translation. The problem is this particular new English translation. The 2010 text has issues that need resolving!

    2. No high school English teacher would approve of this stuff. For starters, it’s not English at all, but that’s another discussion we’ve already seen here more than once.

    3. “For how many months now has the USCCB website had a special section available to all, in English and Spanish, especially for this purpose? ”

      Yes, but that text contained an error that made Mary the mother of Joseph her spouse, which remained uncorrected until I drew it to Bishop Trautman’s attention. This shows how seriously the US bishops take their task…

      1. Suggesting that the truly meaningful answer to the question is apparently “Not enough”, or, I suppose, if I wanted to be a grammatically picky, “Too few.”

        Has anyone ever heard the kiddie song “I’m My Own Grampaw”?

  17. If I may add to Fr. Ruff’s and Paul Inwood’s comments (picking up from Xavier):
    1973 – most of the folks who implemented this plan also developed 1998. In retrospect, these qualified and dedicated folks should have had their work implemented;
    some of the reasons given for moving ahead is to ignore the glaring difficiencies; make the best of it; and shift goals to using this time to re-educate on eucharist; re-educate on ars celebrandi; re-educate on the Order of Mass and introduce (re-introduce) antiphonal singing, chant, etc.

    Picking up on what Xavier says – the above is a nice goal but built on quicksand. Why the changes? Well, let’s not talk about LA, RA, etc. but let’s skip to refocusing on the eucharist. This type of dance creates only mischief – folks can see through it. How do you get folks to be enthusiastic about eucharist when you foist a less than good translation on them? More and more, this has feeling and attitudes similar to the way abuse has been handled for 20 years. Blame others, society, 1973, etc. but never get at the complicity of conferences; the utter passivity in passing approval for various books; never questionning the small group at the top.

    We seem to repeat history over and over.

    Louie – there are many levels in reading this “unrest”….sure that these priests each have different motivations; may even have different goals but to question their motivation??

    We need more open disagreement in the face of authoritarianism – it needs to be named for what it is. Notice I do not use the word -dissent- they disagree and are expressing this disagreement in a civil tone naming why they are concerned. They deserve a respectful reply.

    You may not agree with the substance of their objections but you can at least admire and respect their right to speak as priests serving the people of God. If only we had more of this in other areas e.g. sexual abuse (note the recent vice-chancellor of a Wisconsin diocese)

  18. “bristling with outlandish disaster predictions and train wreck terminology about matters that won’t really matter all that much to folks in the pews”

    Isn’t this wonderful! The folk in the pews don’t really care what the priest mouths, so that’s all right then.

    Except the same author goes on in the next breath to claim that the New Translation brings back the beautiful and the transcendent which its critics allegedly hate. So the people in the pews, in their hebetude, won’t even notice the lovely transcendences being laid on for them?

    Critics are fools, the laity are fools, and only I know the truth: that the New Translation, under the species of bad and flat English, is in reality the magical embodiment of beauty and transcendence… It is significant that defenders of the New Translation end up twisting themselves into such postures, all in order to cock a snook at perceived liberals and soothe themselves with comforting conservative noises…

  19. I suspect that bishops are more chagrined in regard to the New Translation debacle because of the rebellion they can feel brewing among their priests than because they themselves have failed in their duty to nourish their flocks. Their thinking is probably more political than pastoral, just as their passivity in regard to Rome’s bullying was more a political than a pastoral response.

    CHE writes:

    “complaints based more on process than product,” — seemingly ignoring the copious textual commentary that we have had from many expert people.

    “it’s not clear that any significant difficulties are headed for survival in the translation that will be implemented next Advent.”

    Again, one wonders if CHE has looked at the new Prefaces on Wikileaks, which I comment on here: http://josephsoleary.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/12/wikileaks-announces-new-text-of-roman-missal.html

    Would he deny that there are any significant problems with these texts? Would he claims that the problems are bound to be cleared up by some last minute deus ex machina?

    ” Some of the allegedly egregious examples that people here point to are so vastly superior to their 1973 predecessors that the crocodile tears are unconvincing.”

    Actually, the 1973 Prefaces shine magnificently against the murky foil provided by the excrementitious new texts.

    1. R”However, if they were apprised directly of any such problems, what would impede Cardinal Burke and Archbishop DiNoia from dealing with them?”

      I love this! It reminds me of Bp Arthur Roche’s ingenuous presumption that translating the liturgy afresh would be a “relatively straightforward” business.

      “Both have their heads screwed on perfectly straight.” I doubt that very much, but if it were so, they would be sane enough to realize that the mess cannot be fixed by one individual in a few days.

      “If, indeed, there are any difficulties remaining in the “final” text at this point, I’d assume it’s because these executive-level officials in CDW or Vox Clara haven’t been involved with the details.”

      So the underlings have made a mess of things and the boss will step in at the last minute and everything will be all right. That is deus ex machina thinking. But the true deus may step in: the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues of fire, thought the angry People of God.

  20. corr: through the angry People of God.

    The murmurs of dissatisfaction and unease and anger have been audible for years now from those spiritually and linguistically sensitive people who have examined the nauseous new texts. Now the numbers of those exposed to these texts is rapidly growing as the deadlines near. And the murmur is palpably increasing in volume, to the point that it poses a genuine political danger to the bishops and the Vatican, comparable to that posed by the child abuse scandal. I think many bishops would wish the process to stop, and soon there will be episcopal delegations to the Vatican begging them to stop it. But the Vatican hates bowing to such pressure (as seen in the terrific trouble the Japanese bishops have had to go to to win concessions about the activities of the dangerous Neocatechetical sect.) Very likely the CDW will dig in, make it an issue of authority and obedience and papal primacy. If they do, they will have made a major miscalculation.

  21. Actually, Joe, I’ve looked through your comments on your website. The style is certainly what we are not accustomed to in everyday speech, but I really don’t see your comments beyond just personal preferances. And you have interpreted some of the phrases wrongly – e.g. the holy exchange refers to the mystery of the incarnation of Christ, which has indeed shone forth in the Christmas mystery. It might be a patristic phrase.

    Thanks Fr Ruff for your follow-on comment. I never doubted that you reported what you knew. But I wondered, for example, what texts were distributed. Fr Z has been doing some comparisons of the leaked “texts” on his blog also, and those from the collects of Advent were fine, even if not they weren’t as literal as the 2008 texts. Even the prefaces pointed out by Joe, though not in the common register and style, aren’t that difficult – once you realise that you can’t apply the same style of speaking for the 1973 texts, with the new “texts”.

    Having dealt with public queries, I know how the presentation of information can guide/affect people’s interpretations. Given the information gap, I wondered if it would be more prudent to get more information before forming personal opinions.

    1. Simon Ho, you read my comments carelessly indeed if you imaging I don’t know what the holy exchange refers to. My critique, as you should have perceived, dealt with the ghastly language of that Preface in which “the holy exchange that restores our life has shone forth today in splendor”. Your way of defending the linguistic infelicity of the texts is the same as that of Msgr Harbert — he segues from the language to the theology it is meant to convey and treats the critics as morons who need to be instructed in basic theology. In short, he has not even begun to think seriously about the nature of liturgical language. I also got the line from Archbishop Vincent Nicholls that the diction is fine if properly delivered, (“though not in the common register and style, [the texts] aren’t that difficult – once you realise that you can’t apply the same style of speaking for the 1973 texts, with the new “texts”) — again I find this patronising, and factually false — a bad text cannot be redeemed by the manner of its delivery; nor does the text have an intrinsic authentic rhythm that teaches its reciter how to read it best (the question of “tone” stressed by Robert Frost) — such as one finds in Shakespeare, Milton, Yeats and such as is lamentably, totally absent from the rhythmless and toneless dreck now being served up as liturgical language, and which bears all the earmarks of an incompetent committee. And the ultimate absurdity is to say we have not sufficient info about the new texts to form personal opinions (while of course personal opinions in their defense are very freely delivered — usually on the basis of a less close inspection than the critics have given them)!

  22. There was a priest in my diocese who whined and whined about the new English translation of the lectionary that we got about 10 years ago. When compared to the older version, it did seem like it was a step backwards in many parts of the translation.
    Today, I don’t hear any whining about it and I don’t know of any parishes that have asked or been granted permission to use the older version of the lectionary.
    Isn’t that the problem with those who are “progressive” in the Church, a lot of whining and stirring of emotions and then when all is said and done and time passes all is quiet, all is calm.
    Cue the music now for “Silent Night.”

    1. What do you like most about the current USA Lectionary (1998), Father?

      The “smooth” transitions? Like this one on the Solemnity of Christ the King: “The he [the good thief] said: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He [Jesus] replied to him [the good thief]: “Amen, I say to you . . . ”

      Or the “unobtrusive” attempts at inclusive language? Like this one from All Souls’ Day and the Funeral Mass selections: “None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself” (Not making that up: Romans 14:7 Lectionary/Funeral Rite).

      Or the “judiciously” updated poetry of the Sequences? Like this “revision” of the Caswell translation of Veni, Sancte Spiritus: “Come, Holy Spirit, come! And from your celestial home / Shed a ray of light divine. // Come, Father of the poor! / Come, source of all our store!” To de-archaize the text, the “reviser” simply removed all the “Thous,” without even a glimmer crossing his mind that it would throw off the meter. If “Thou” must go, how about “O” in its place to preserve the meter/rhythm of the poem, not to mention singability to the old chant? Then this: “O most blessed light DIVINE, / Shine within these hearts of YOURS” – the “archaic” THINE stricken by simply inserting YOURS, irregardless of the rhyme.

      Or this example from Corpus Christi’s Lauda Sion: “You who all things can and KNOW, / Who on earth such food BESTOW, / Grant us with your saints, though LOWEST, / Where the heav’nly feast you SHOW.” The duly-authorized, nihil-obstat-ed, recognitio-ed “reviser” has simply dropped the archaic ESTs, again irregardless of the rhyme.

      So, in my (very limited) experience, priests simply change these howlers as they go along. But my guess is that the same hand, wielding the same hatchet, was at work on the 2010. Same results. Same consequences.

      1. XR,I prefer the old translation myself (in my previous parish which still has the worship hymnal with the old lectionary in it, everyone could see that the older was better as they followed along). The point I was making is no one is complaining about it until now and you pointing out the flaws, but no one actually says anything anymore or agitates for a better lectionary. My point is more about time passing, the psychology and/or sociology of that movement of time and the comfort that people take in even dysfunctional translations, such as the current 1973 one. It has little to do with theology or the hermeneutic of translation.

      2. “My point is more about time passing, the psychology and/or sociology of that movement of time and the comfort that people take in even dysfunctional translations, such as the current 1973 one. It has little to do with theology or the hermeneutic of translation.”

        Oh yes, indeed, you’re quite right. Sorry I missed that point. You’re absolutely right about the Lectionary translation. I wonder, though, if it will be different with the Missal, both technically (given that we’ll be able to compare versions, thanks to the internet) and by reason of frequency of repetition. Let me explain. Back in August, I wrote Bishop Serratelli a very heartfelt request to please, please, please look JUST AT THE PER IPSUM, in which 2008 rendered the Latin perfectly, datives, word order for “honor et gloria,” etc. And which 2010 botches badly. My point to him (and I think this might apply to the Lectionary texts) was that a really poor Collect or Preface, heard once a year or so can pass . . . but the Per ipsum at Mass after Mass after Mass, sometimes several times a day in big parishes with multiple funerals, etc. just has to be perfectly the first time around since it’s going to be heard – and in the case of the Per ipsum chanted (even by priests who never chant anything else) – over and over again daily!

        That’s why I truly believe that if they publish the Order of Mass as a fascicle insert, while continuing to refine the orations and prefaces, they can even make a few minor changes in the Order of Mass (at least the priest’s parts, obviously not the people’s [musical] parts) when the final, bound Missal is published.

      3. HR, I’m all in favor of that, but will it happen, there was whining at the new lectionary with the hope of getting it changed and we still have it and most are comfortable with it now, “comfort and joy!” Most of my weddings here in the south are mixed marriages. I’ve had the Protestant fiance ask that we use the traditional King James version for the Scripture readings. I have to tell her, no we can’t, we have to use ours and when she reads ours and compares it to her King James version, she says “O my God!”

    2. Hey Fr.BillO- We’re educated adults expressing important concerns. Nobody here is going to “Shut Up!” Your frustration with adult dialogue betrays the fact that -YOUR the one whining. Really- to engage in dialogue one needs the ability to listen.

      1. +JMJ+

        Who is “Fr. Bill O”? Are you calling Fr. Allan J. McDonald “Fr. Bill O’Reilly”? Could we not resort to name-calling, at least during the octave of Christmas, on this eve of the new year?

      2. Dear Will, I only saw your comment yesterday and didn’t know you were referring to me and I certainly didn’t realize that the Fr. Bill O’Reilly comment was meant to be an insult, many would see it as a compliment. In terms of the new lectionary in 1998 or there about, I didn’t whine about it, but implemented it when it was mandated and not one parishioner complained about it, even though they still had the older version available to them to critique the new in our hymnal. I’m not whining about the new English translation now and will implement it in my parish on November 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM, although I have to confess that I’ve experimented with it a few times over the last two years and no one complained or whined about it. I think Bill Dehass raked me over the coals for that as I recall.

      3. Besides, Will, there are more urgent and upsetting things for me to whine about this morning, especially the date of Epiphany being transferred to today when it should be on January 6th! La Bafana visits Italian children on the eve of Epiphany and leaves either nice sweet things in their stockings or lumps of coal for bad children. Evidently the bishops of our country forgot to tell her that she should have come to my rectory last night. My stocking is empty this morning. Yes, I am whining and crying! And I blame the bishops of the USA for it!

  23. Joe wrote: a bad text cannot be redeemed by the manner of its delivery

    I couldn’t agree more. A well-known Internet priest has posted recordings of comparative readings — 1973 vs. 2008.

    He reads the former like someone reciting the latest prices on the stock exchange. He reads the latter in an unctuous voice, oozing with “sacral” feeling. The 1973 still sounds better to my ears: clearer and crisper, and English rather than faux Latin.

    That said, his readings of the 2008 do offer a fair imitation of Rev Lovejoy on The Simpsons, so at least there’s some mirth on offer.

    1. +JMJ+

      What is with the selective omission of names and blogs? Fr. Z ain’t Voldemort. It’s not like someone has “Father Z” as a Google alert and will swoop in to comment on his manner of delivery of prayers in his podcazts.

      1. Note said priest’s refusal even to identify which is 2008 and which is 2010? That’s the “Don’t Complain / Don’t Criticise” approach being taken by so many who were so critical of what he calls “the lameduck ICEL.” And as for his “you decide.” News flash, Father: “THEY” have already decided!

      2. +JMJ+

        XR, I figured Fr. Z was not labeling them so that people would not be biased by what they had heard, and would make their judgments strictly based on the English text they saw. A “single-blind taste test” as it were. 😉

        I didn’t think there was a subversive motive behind it. I do not think he will avoid making the appropriate commentary on the relative quality of the 2010 and 2008 texts.

  24. “Louie – there are many levels in reading this “unrest”….sure that these priests each have different motivations; may even have different goals but to question their motivation??”

    I tend to equate “goals” and “motivation” in this matter. As I said, a “strange bedfellow / common enemy” phenom is taking shape and I think it’s important to at least consider the end game of the players involved – not specifically WRT the NY situation, but in general. The truth is, obviously, lots of voices are being raised in protest over the state of the Missal translation, but they’re not all shooting for the same end result.

    Fr. Ruff said, “We don’t yet know whether this is… an indication of widespread sentiment among priests. Time will tell.”

    Yes, and even within the NY group there are numerous sentiments. When I read things like the NY resolution, I can’t help but question motivations and look ahead…

    Once the 3rd Edition comes into official use, then we’ll see who’s who in the current, broader unrest. At that point “submit to authority” is the correct card to play. Some will, some won’t. And BTW, analogies to past horrors are not applicable here. Praying the liturgy in faithful adherence to the text of the Missal even when there’s a legitimate bone to pick with the translation is no horror. It is necessary.

    Does that mean that whatever deficiencies may exist should be ignored? Of course not. We are obligated to address such concerns. LG 37 tells us how.

    BTW – I should clarify my own sentiments. I’m not going to applaud bad translations or bad behavior simply because either one may come from “Rome” – an impression I think I may have inadvertently made with some. I want what I think most others here want – a translation that is faithful and accurate, one that has a decidedly sacred quality about it… and to the extent that these things are not happening, I’m truly disappointed and disturbed.

    1. “I want what I think most others here want – a translation that is faithful and accurate, one that has a decidedly sacred quality about it… and to the extent that these things are not happening, I’m truly disappointed and disturbed.”

      Well said, Louie. That’s exactly how many of us posting on here feel. That was the point of my article “A Tale of Two Prefaces: Advent I and II”: http://www.praytellblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Advent-Prefaces1.pdf

      2008’s Advent I did a lovely job of maintaining the “First Coming / Second Coming” of the Latin original; while 2010 ends up with “First Coming” / “When he comes again”. Sad. And Advent II in its first 2010 incarnation had this howler: “He it is who grants our anticipating with joy the mystery of his birth.” At least in the text that has come back now, they’ve changed it to: “It is by his gift that already we rejoice at the mystery of his Nativity.” But the 2008 kept the whole body of the Preface very much closer to the Latin: “Whom all the Prophets’ oracles foretold, whom the Virgin Mother awaited with love beyond all telling, of whose coming John the Baptist sang and whose presence he proclaimed, who has granted us to anticipate with joy the mystery of his birth, so that he may find us watchful in prayer and joyful in his praises.”

      1. It seems to me that the 2010 “Received Text” (insofar as we have seen what has so far been published on the USSCB site) almost might be said to have been designed perversely to upset the “two camps” –
        a] those who have come to love the 1973 translation
        and
        b] those who yearn for something more faithful to the Latin original, more sacral in its use of English words, idiom, and style..
        It is sometimes said that a solution which pleases no-one has achieved its ends by achieving a via media: however, in this case, the RT 2010 seems to have fallen, crashing, between two stools, having failed to bridge the gap.

        And still, it seems, day-by-day, in almost every preface, we shall be asked to conclude . . .
        without end we acclaim: Holy, Holy, Holy . . .

        using one clause “we acclaim”, to translate any number of differing participles, all of which were verba dicendi for which perfectly adequate translations have been used for years, right back to Cranmer’s “evermore praising [thee] and saying:” when the English verb acclaim demands to be followed by someone or somthing being acclaimed as something or somone, as in “And all the people acclaimed Solomon [as] king.”

        Is it really too late to have some final proof-reading of grammar, style and accuracy in translation as well as of spelling and punctuation?

        One further small point. Why, in the new music for the introduction to the Preface, do the notes to lift in .We lift them up to the Lord go down, rather than up, as they do in the second syllable of Ha-bemus in both the Solem and Simple Tones of the Missale? Surely it is counter-intuitive to sing downwards for a verb expressing motion upwards?

        Kind regards,
        John

  25. But the 2008 kept the whole body of the Preface very much closer to the Latin: “Whom all the Prophets’ oracles foretold, whom the Virgin Mother awaited with love beyond all telling, of whose coming John the Baptist sang and whose presence he proclaimed, who has granted us to anticipate with joy the mystery of his birth, so that he may find us watchful in prayer and joyful in his praises.”

    This text is so beautiful! To think that it has been reduced as you state is just… heartbreaking.

    1. Also, note the odd departures from LA that recur in 2010, justified by Bishop Serratelli’s disingenuous (with all respect, but really) “faithfully but not slavishly” explanation. Granted that the “sustinuit” in Advent Preface II admits of various interpretations supported by diverse precedents, still LA specifies: “54. To be avoided in translations is any psychologizing tendency, especially a tendency to replace words treating of the theological virtues by others expressing merely human emotions.” While “sustineo” is obviously not a theological virtue, still, note the sober, very “Roman” rendition in 2008, the Virgin Mother “awaited.” 2010’s “longed for” seems to me to stretch LA 54 beyond the breaking point. A small point, perhaps. But so many inconsistencies: ICEL gave such a detailed explanation as to why HOMINES had to be translated MEN in the Credo. And no reference at all to HOMINIBUS as PEOPLE in the Gloria. Oh well . . .

      1. +JMJ+

        XR, regarding “homo” in the Creed vs. “homo” in the Gloria, I was in a conversation with Bosco Peters at liturgy.co.nz. While I wouldn’t mind seeing “hominibus” translated as “men” in the Gloria, I don’t see it as being as necessary as the “homines”-“homo” connection made in the Creed. Various other possibilities in the Creed range from heretical (“for us people [he] became a person”) to the sci-fi-ish (“for us humans [he] became (a) human”) to inconsistent (“for us [he] became one of us”).

        Since “homo” has multiple meanings, must it be translated the same way every time it appears?

  26. Since “homo” has multiple meanings, must it be translated the same way every time it appears?

    I personally don’t think so, but those who composed the Ratio Translationis apparently do. The clear preference (if not mandate) is for “homo” to be translated as “man” even when intended as inclusive, with “human being” or “person” or “humans” or “people” all . See RT sections 127-128 (this is in part 3 of the RT as uploaded to Wikispooks).

    Speaking of Bosco Peters, he made an interesting suggestion on his blog some time ago: Why not retranslate the Our Father? Its current (and proposed) recital in the Mass is a weird lapse into Henricean English, whereas retranslating it would (ideally) put everything into a consistent voice.

    1. +JMJ+

      Thanks, I have the RT printed out, but I have not read it all. (I have priorities and responsibilities above my liturgical interests, alas…) Perhaps I will tackle it between now and New Year’s, when my work load is slightly less.

      As for the Our Father, when attempts were made to retranslate it in the early 2000’s, the response from Cardinal Medina was the following:

      The Congregation in the course of its various contacts and consultations has encountered widespread, ­indeed, virtually unanimous, opposition to the institution of any change in the wording of the Lord’s Prayer. More than one reader cited poignantly the experience of having seen this prayer coming to the lips of Christians who had otherwise appeared unconscious, its familiar wording having been learned by them from infancy. By contrast, the Mixed Commission’s justification for its changes, in its Third Progress Report on the Revision of the Roman Missal, seem inadequate and somewhat cerebral.

  27. Catholics In New Zealand have been praying the ELLC text of the Lord’s Prayer since 1986, when it was introduced prior to the pope’s visit. We thought at that time the rest of the English-speaking world would follow suit.
    While the older translation is still used by some, including some elderly people in times of illness, the ELLC text is now regularly used by all age groups in all situations, including people “who had otherwise appeared unconscious”, people with Alzheimers etc.
    People may sometimes get the small words mixed up, eg “as it is in heaven” instead of “as in heaven”, or “this day” instead of “today”, but the more substantial changes, (nouns and verbs) eg “sins” instead of “trespasses” and “save us from the time of trial” instead of “lead us not…” are now well ingrained after24 years of use.
    We are already the children of God, but how things will evolve in the future has not yet been revealed.

  28. “Since “homo” has multiple meanings, must it be translated the same way every time it appears?”

    “Must” as in “mandate” is perhaps too strong, but common sense alone (if not the RT as Bill’s post suggests) would seem to indicate that “men” is at the very least is strongly advised in the Gloria.

    Can anyone be surprised when proponents of gender inclusive language compare the Credo and the Gloria to make their points? Seems to me this has been needlessly invited.

    1. Sometimes a uniform translation of homo as “man” creates more problems than it solves. The hominibus bonae voluntatis of the Gloria is not the same homo as the homo factus est of the Credo. The translation of this Gloria phrase as “people of good will” better reflects the nature of the participants. All, clergy and laity, male and female, are “people of good will”. The plural hominibus cannot ever refer to Jesus Christ or his sex. Is there more than one Jesus? What are the incarnated sexes of the multiple Jesuses?

      The use of ‘man’ in the Credo is difficult from a philological standpoint. The Greek and Latin explicitly state the personhood of Jesus but not necessarily his sex. The original Greek for homo factus est is the aorist active participle ἐνανθρωπήσαντα or “enfleshed”, from ἐνανθρωπέω (ack, what a horrible verb!) This verb is derived from ἄνθρωπος, “person”, and not ἀνήρ “male”, just as homo is not vir. The ambiguity of the Credo demonstrates the difficulty with the indiscriminate use of ‘man’ in translation.

      1. “The ambiguity of the Credo demonstrates the difficulty with the indiscriminate use of ‘man’ in translation.”

        I’m not sure ‘indiscriminate’ is quite the right term. It might be very discriminate, at least from some points of view. I’m going to reach way out on a limb here and surmise that the linguistic ‘male preferred’ business drove those translations, and we got the male preference because women were [and, to too many, still are] lesser beings, classed as ‘human’ solely for their reproductive necessity. Will SOMEONE please come up with a good gender-neutral human-referent pronoun? Soon?

      2. Homo factus est definitely refers to Jesus.

        Propter nos homines is different isn’t it and you could make the same argument about it as you did with hominbus bonae voluntatis. Jesus became man for us men and women or just for us would have worked just fine.

        The inconsistency remains. But hey that’s going to be one of the many negative trademarks of this missal.

    2. “…common sense alone (if not the RT as Bill’s post suggests) would seem to indicate that “men” is at the very least is strongly advised in the Gloria. ”

      Why? Common sense to me seems to suggest exactly the opposite. Inclusive language is not a horrible thing, the more so when speaking of humans. One can argue about it when referencing the Almighty, but humans come in male and female shapes and “men” excludes the larger half of them.

      1. The best retort I’ve heard to using “men” as the catch-all term for “all humans” was from a woman at a RM presentation a month ago: “When you need to use the bathroom, you typically have two doors to choose from. Are you saying that I can walk into the one marked ‘Men’ now?”

      2. Everyone knows that there are different definitions for the same word in English and different spellings for the same sound. Men/man, generic or particular; to, too, two, need to know the context when hearing it; for, four ,fore; so, sew, sow; gay, referring to an orientation, or a gay old time on the Flintstones; then, than; doe, dough; and there are others. mailman or mailperson? woman or wo? Chairman or chairwoman or chairwo? Humankind or hukind? Person or perdaughter or just per? It really does get silly taking offense at such things.

      3. Christian Cosas,

        I really don’t care which door she uses – close the stall door and it doesn’t matter. A friend of mine who traveled in France some years back reported that nearly all the restrooms she encountered were unisex anyway.

        Fr. Allan,

        At some point it does get silly, but not at the starting point of using the specific noun ‘man’ for all people, male and female. If it’s just a generic, we should be able to just as easily use the word ‘woman’ as a generic, and you won’t mind a bit, right?

      4. Language is evolving and the meaning of the word “men”, that used to be recognized as a generic term for people, has changed rapidly, at least in the US. Nowadays, in the US, among people younger than a certain age, “men” is male and no longer accepted as a generic term for men and women.

        If the liturgy insists on using “men” to mean “people”, “many” to mean “all”, “stand” to mean “appear”, etc., we will need a dictionary of false friends giving us the translation of ambiguous words from liturgical English into English. Otherwise we are lost in Wonderland like Alice talking to Humpty Dumpty.

      5. One might argue that most people with a few years of schooling can gauge readily from the context whether “men” means everyone or only males. But I suppose that for those less sophisticated, we could use more explicit male-only language as in the Douay-Rheims translation of 1 Kings 25:22,

        “May God do so and so, and add more to the foes of David, if I leave of all that belong to him till the morning, any that pisseth against the wall.”

        Hmm . . . Might that biblical “pisseth” be a concrete example of hieratic English?

      6. I know of very few people, outside the anguished of rather narrow circles of certain church communities, concerning generic male terms that are inclusive, who have any problem with “man” in the generic sense and mankind which is clearly generic no matter how you hear or read it. When others who are not so anguished by these terms read and hear about those who are, they think it is rather silly and it is.

      7. Hmmm. New Jerusalem Bible has this for 1 Sam 25:22:

        May God bring unnameable ills on David and worse ones, too, if by morning I leave a single manjack alive of all who belong to him!’

        New International Version:

        May God deal with David [David’s enemies], be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!

        Ah, King James:

        So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

        Sounds as if our forebears had a certain preoccupation with micturition. Must go and consult the Jerome Biblical Commentary…..

      8. +JMJ+

        Menstruation too, Paul: see Isaiah 64:6. I have heard tell that not is “the rag of a menstruous woman” the best translation of the Hebrew, but also the most proper to the imagery Isaiah sought to evoke.

        But what makes you think it was a “preoccupation” with urination? Could it be that the KJV and DR accurately — and to what a tee! — translate the Hebrew and Greek, whereas more recent translations prefer to (heh) sanitize it? Are we trying to cover up David’s language to scrub his image clean?

        As for the urination reference in 1 Sam 25:22, I find these commentaries helpful.

  29. Indeed. It might be better to strive for accuracy, and err on the slavish side. Say “men” when one means “men.” “Women” when one means “women.” “People” when one means both, plus children. Otherwise “adults.” Latin, after all, notes the distinction: vir, femina, homo.

    Anything beyond that is the realm of metaphor. Or misspelling.

    1. +JMJ+

      Then what is “homo” in “homo factus est”? “Person”? I think saying “and he became a person” in the Creed is a bad idea from a theological perspective, unless we’re going to force this “homo != man” issue to require a re-shaping of our trinitarian vocabulary. Shall we revert to using the Greek “hypostases”? I don’t have anything against it — this is not a Latin vs. Greek issue — but isn’t using the word “hypostasis” in English just as bad as using the word “consubstantial”?

      Then again… perhaps “person” as a theological term for the three hypostases in the Trinity is too simple-sounding.

      1. I suspect most folks don’t actually have a problem using male pronouns when referring to Jesus, who was a specific individual. The male pronoun referring to all of humanity is another matter.

        I can’t translate the Latin, or the Greek, but I do think ‘consubstantial’ or its Greek equivalent is idiocy. If it means “one in being” then say “one in being”. The phrase itself is somewhat elevated English, but I guess it’s not stuffy enough for some. Pity.

  30. Fr. Allan,

    I repeat, if it’s so generic, there then should be no problem using the feminine terms in an equally generic manner. Like the lady said, she can use the restroom marked “Men” then. And you can use the one marked “Women”.

    Or, maybe, we should figure out some truly generic words to use. The “male preferred” or generic use comes from a time when women were thought of as lesser beings. We’re still working on getting past that thinking, and the language can either help or hinder the process. I’d prefer it help, as do many to most of my acquaintances in and out of church circles.

    Fr. Allan J. McDonald :

    I know of very few people, outside the anguished of rather narrow circles of certain church communities, concerning generic male terms that are inclusive, who have any problem with “man” in the generic sense and mankind which is clearly generic no matter how you hear or read it. When others who are not so anguished by these terms read and hear about those who are, they think it is rather silly and it is.

    1. Hey Lynn,

      Everyone Father knows thinks it’s silly and Father has decreed that it is. Discussion over. Case closed. Isn’t the return to the pre-Vatican II clerical Church fun?

      1. So much fun that I may take an indefinitely long sabbatical from it, starting soon. Or, maybe I’ll stick around to watch males use the church restroom marked “Women”, since it’s all generic. From Father’s comment below, it appears he’s not been in an English class lately. Nor have I, but the English teachers of my acquaintance aren’t teaching much like that any more, because the usage patterns have changed.

        Oh, well.

        Merry Christmas, all!

    2. I would agree Lynn if that was how our English language is used, but it isn’t. That’s why all of this is so silly except to an elite group of the anguished. There really isn’t much to figure out about English in terms of usage; there are rules governing it, just ask an English teacher unless you think teachers of English are into clericalism. Such manipulative rubbish. Blessed Christmas!

    3. Actually, I understand that—so far as the liturgy is concerned—the discussion is, indeed, over and the case closed. Isn’t that one of the1998 lessons? Which, perhaps, some some of the slower learners haven’t yet assimilated.

  31. Anthony Ruff, OSB :

    FWIW, my aesthetic judgment is different than CHE’s. 1973 does fairly well at meeting its goal, however much we agree that that isn’t the goal anymore. 1973 is flat, simple, unpretentious, direct, easily comprehensible, generally faithful to the main message of the Latin but not to all the subtleties and complexities of the Latin. This is more or less as it set out to be. Crucial to my aesthetic judgment is that it is consistent about all this. (The prefaces are much better than the collects.)
    Both 2008 and 2010 fall short of good, strong, elevated, poetically beautiful English. Beauty was sacrificed for accuracy – and then 2010 lost a fair bit of the accuracy besides! Both have as their goal to create a “sacral vernacular,” neither succeeds.
    But the biggest problem with 2010 is that it is so inconsistent as it lurches arbitrarily from archaic to 1973-colloquial to 1997, most of it fairly stilted and even bizarre. How anyone could prefer this to 1973, I cannot fathom.
    1973: they had a plan I don’t much like.
    2010: they didn’t have a plan.
    It’s sort of like comparing well performed Salieri to very badly performed Elgar. I prefer the former.
    awr

    Again,as the Genius of the Roman Rite points out that throughout Church history from when the liturgy was translated from Greek to Hebrew, from Hebrew to Latin and to English from Latin, there has always been disagreement on the appropriateness of the liturgical translations. So this board’s goal of a perfectly agreed upon translation will never happen.

  32. I also must point out again, that the Gray book that ICEL issued, was NEVER meant to be the FINAL text-it was only a RECOMMENDED translation that the bishops conferences could accept or reject. If indeed Vox Clara was working on a final “received” text, before the bishops approved their texts, that would be counter to the principles as set forth in LA. But the bishops conferences, particularly the USCCB had already submitted their translations twice before, 2007, and 2008, which was given in recognitio this past March.

    1. But the bishops conferences, particularly the USCCB had already submitted their translations twice before, 2007, and 2008,

      More than somewhat lacking in factual accuracy, I fear….

  33. Allan: I would agree Lynn if that was how our English language is used, but it isn’t. That’s why all of this is so silly except to an elite group of the anguished. There really isn’t much to figure out about English in terms of usage; there are rules governing it, just ask an English teacher unless you think teachers of English are into clericalism. Such manipulative rubbish.

    You might be interested to know that current patterns of English usage only date from the 18th century, when the grammarians got hold of the language and decided that verbs had to agree with their antecedents. Before that, the usage for hundreds of years had been to say, for example, “If anyone loves me, they will keep my word”, not “he will keep…”, a comparatively recent and artificial construct.

    As far as manipulative rubbish is concerned, let those without sin cast the first stone…

    A blessed Christmas to you too.

    ————

    Jeffrey asks about homo factus est. It’s perfectly possible to say “and became a man” — no problem there.

    ————

    Re Lynn on ‘consubstantial’: I have mentioned here on a previous occasion that the E&W Creed has always used “of one being” rather than “one in being”. That’s an improvement over “one in being”, I think. But ‘consubstantial’ is just going to go over people’s heads, alas, any amount of catechesis notwithstanding. The English term for this kind of language is Gobbledy-Gook. No one takes it seriously, nor will they take ‘consubstantial’ seriously either.

      1. It doesn’t, but “a man” is so much more concise than “a member of the human race”, given that he was of the masculine gender.

      2. Another thought is that the “word became flesh.”

        Another example of translation being a little more slippery than transliteration.

        Is the significance of the incarnation that The Son of God became a human being, or that he became a male?

    1. “Of one being” is fine by me. That change could be slipped into the US Creed and be comfortable within 2 weeks. OK, a month, since many folks attend only monthly or so, it would take that long for the word to reach everyone. “Consubstantial” will take a lot longer to learn to pronounce, and the rest of _that_ discussion has been discussed here repeatedly, so I’ll stop.

      1. The version of The Nicene Creed used in Catholic worship since the mid-1970s is one of the texts that we now share in common with other Christian Churches. This will sadly end with the coming Missal.

        The body that prepared the texts for common use was founded in 1970 as The International Consultation on Common Texts (ICET). It met from 1970 to 1975. It issued texts in draft form in 1970, 1971, and a final text in 1975.

        Since the US bishops were anxious to have the reformed Missal in English as soon as possible, they did not wait for the final ICET version. When the US Missal was published in 1973, it incorporated the 1971 ICET draft texts. When the rest of the English-speaking conferences published their Missals in 1975, they had the advantage of the 1975 final ICET texts.

        For this reason the US has always had some slight variations in the “common texts” that are not found in the later Missals of the other English-speaking countries. One of the US variations is that under discussion, “one in Being with the Father.” The other countries in ICEL have had since the mid-1970s, as Paul Inwood has pointed out, “of one Being with the Father.” Another example in the Nicene Creed is “by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary” (US, taken from ICET 1971) whereas the other countries have “was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary” (taken from ICET 1975).

        So, people in the US will have more changes in the Creed to cope with than the rest of the English-speaking world. “Consubstantial” will be new to all. As well as “I believe” and others.

        When the ICEL 1998 Missal was prepared, the 1975 ICET texts were proposed for all countries, including the US. And so, “of one Being with the Father” and “was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.”

        I hope this is clear. When ICET was re-constituted in 1985 it was re-named The English Language Liturgical Consultation, partly to avoid the till then frequent…

  34. Jeffrey Pinyan :
    +JMJ+
    CHE is going by the old “1-2-3-4 Kings” designation. 1-2 Samuel are 1-2 Kings, and 1-2 Kings are 3-4 Kings. So look at 1 Sam 25:22.

    Oh good Lord, Caligula’s given the EF its own Old Testament for Christmas?!

    1. Just to set the record straight:

      The body that prepared the texts for common use was founded in 1970 as The International Consultation on Common Texts (ICET).

      Actually it was founded in 1969.

      It met from 1970 to 1975. It issued texts in draft form in 1970, 1971, and a final text in 1975.

      Yes, but in general the texts were not revised, they were simply added to.

      Since the US bishops were anxious to have the reformed Missal in English as soon as possible, they did not wait for the final ICET version. When the US Missal was published in 1973, it incorporated the 1971 ICET draft texts. When the rest of the English-speaking conferences published their Missals in 1975, they had the advantage of the 1975 final ICET texts.

      No. It was ICEL who adopted the ICET texts for the ICEL Missal. The US bishops, like the rest of the English-speaking world, simply adopted the ICEL Missal text.

      For this reason the US has always had some slight variations in the “common texts” that are not found in the later Missals of the other English-speaking countries. One of the US variations is that under discussion, “one in Being with the Father.”

      Incorrect. The ICET text is “one in being”. This was modified in E&W to “of one being” at the insistence of Bishop William Gordon Wheeler, who was then chair of the E&W National Liturgical Commission. All other countries stuck to “one in being”, I believe.

      Another example in the Nicene Creed is “by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary” (US, taken from ICET 1971) whereas the other countries have “was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary” (taken from ICET 1975).

      Once again, incorrect. The US has the ICET text: it is E&W that went its own way.

      1. When the ICEL 1998 Missal was prepared, the 1975 ICET texts were proposed for all countries, including the US. And so, “of one Being with the Father” and “was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.”

        Once again, “he was born of the Virgin Mary” is the ICET text, which the US adopted via ICEL. E&W under Gordon Wheeler modified this to “he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary”

        I hope this is clear.

        It is now! The US followed ICET via ICEL. It was only E&W that deviated because of Gordon Wheeler.

        Sorry to be pedantic, John Robert, but in fact the US was in line all the way along. It was E&W that wasn’t.

        I do agree that it is tragic that common texts between the denominations will end when (if) these new texts come in.

      2. “…it is tragic that common texts between the denominations will end when (if) these new texts come in.”

        I disagree. With the new translations English speaking Catholics will enjoy a common text with other Catholics from the other language groupings.

  35. Hey Paul I.!

    Sorry for not following this discussion very closely. I only wanted to post today because our Cathedral’s choir sang a lovely Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Amen, during all Christmas Masses yesterday and today. (no, I’m not in the choir)

    I was just thinking how beautiful and un-haugenesk they sounded! I grabbed the program, hoping I had not simply, finally, gotten ‘assimilated’. I was relieved to see it wasn’t just Marty’s latest!! But then more puzzlement!! The composer: Paul Inwood!

    Have I been assimilated?

    George

    1. Thank you for the compliment. I wonder which setting it was. Coventry Acclamations? Gathering Mass? And which cathedral?

    2. Ah, Coventry. Used at the Papal Mass at Coventry Airport in 1982.

      Just goes to show that you can’t believe all you read on certain blogs (not this one!) where some people will take another piece you have written for children and parade it as somehow typical of your entire output.

      Thanks once again, George

      1. btw, Paul, my computer is acting funny right now, but I am told if you follow http://www.goccn.org/ you can find a video of the Cathedral’s Christmas Midnight Mass wherein your compositions are featured. Wish I could give you a direct link. Mr. Gwodz promptly flew off to Rome with the youth choir right after that Mass.

        I know we have our disagreements at times. But imo your music is beautiful –(at least what you wrote when you were in jr. high school 🙂 !)– and this comes from someone who is sometimes guilty of being a real fascist regarding church music. for what that’s worth…..

  36. Dear Paul,

    Thank you for the welcome corrections. I should have done more research, but I cannot find my copies of the three ICET booklets. What I was working from was (1) the 1988 ELLC revision of the ICET texts as published in “Praying Together” and (2) the approved (but not confirmed) ICEL Sacramentary of 1998.

    Now I have to hand “The Third Progress Report on the Revision of the Roman Missal” (ICEL, 1992). The texts and notes to the Nicene Creed appear in the report on pages 25-27.

    The Nicene Creed text (p.25) reads at line 11: “of one Being with the Father.” The note to line 11, also on p.25, says: “The conferences of bishops of Canada, India, and the United States adopted the 1972 edition of ‘Prayers We Have in Common’, which for this line reads: ‘one in Being with the Father’.”

    The Creed text reads at lines 15-16: “was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary/ *and became truly human.” The note for these lines, p.16, says: “These lines have been completely recast from the ICET version in favor of a fresh translation from the Greek. … … …. The 1975 (final) ICET rendering of these lines, accepted in most of the conferences of bishops, was ‘by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man’. The conferences of bishops of Canada, India, and the United States adopted the 1972 edition of ‘Prayers We Have in Common’ which reads: ‘by the power of the Holy Spirit, he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man’.” (*The 1998 text that ICEL presented to the conferences for vote reads “and was made man.”)

    So I think there were textual differences in the three editions of the ICET booklets. The second note makes this clearer than the first. (As well as this from the Introduction to “Praying Together”:”The ICET translations of these thirteen liturgical texts had been prepared from 1969 to 1975. After two preliminary editions they were issued in final form in 1975 ….” Bp. Wheeler was a gentlemanly but determined man, and I don’t doubt he had a hand in the 1975 final version of the ICET Creed.

    As you know well, the charter given to ICEL by the founding conferences encouraged ecumenical cooperation.

  37. cont. — Together we have much to regret. With appreciation and renewed thanks.

    (In the 4th paragraph, l.11, strike the comma after “Holy Spirit”)

  38. Jack Nolan :
    With the new translations English speaking Catholics will enjoy a common text with other Catholics from the other language groupings.

    Jack raises a vitally important point. When Scripture quotes Jesus as saying “Father, may they be one” what he clearly meant was “Father, may the various language groups of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church all have ‘a common text'” and we’re all in Jack’s debt for the clarification.

  39. And wull someone shake Bishop Wheeler from his grave so we can be assured that “ALL” english speaking conferences are on the same page.

    Nothing like the tail wagging the dog – it would seem that the VII Council underlined one of their primary goals as trying to heal the scandal of multiple Christian denominations via liturgy, ecumenism, etc.

    So, Mr. Nolan, would sacrafice that so that if I find myself in south Wales next year at a little country parish, this one phrase will be the same as what I may hear in Dallas, Texas. What an accomplishment and obviously the core message of Christianity.

    1. Gordon Wheeler, for all his faults, would be a LOT easier to deal with than some of his “successors” in Leeds, in other English-speaking conferences, and in Rome.

      Giants walked the earth in those days.

  40. I have to correct the post above. There was no true majority voting for the resolution above. It was a plurality vote. Four parishes were absent and there were four abstentions. I was present at the voting; I voted against it and there was vigorous opposition to this resolution even after texts were distributed an “offending phrase” being “prevenient grace” from offertory prayer of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The question was asked can you preach on this? The answer is yes. The notion of prevenient/anticipatory grace is of the essence of the solemnity that God in anticipation of the Redemption preserved Mary from original sin. As Bishop Serratelli has pointed out no translation will be perfect and I think that some of the concern about language is sincere. In other cases I think this is cover because what is really offending is the theological content of the Latin text which the current translation often neutralized based on a different theological agenda.

    1. Fr. Villa – but in a democratic system, I think we call this a majority. A majority of those who did vote, voted in favor of the resolution, hence it passed. This happens in our presidential elections all the time. For example: one guy gets 25% of the vote (of total population) and wins because the other guy got 20% of the vote, while 55% didn’t vote at all. I can tell you’re disappointed that the majority of voters favored the resolution – but the fact is, they did.

      People have many reasons for opposing the new translation, not just because they allegedly opposed the theology of the Latin original. Perhaps some of these priests in your deanery had that reason, I don’t know. Most people I know oppose the translation for other reasons – it’s bad English, it’s ugly, it doesn’t proclaim well, people won’t understand it, it will hurt rather than help people’s prayer, there is not sufficient pastoral reason to take away well-loved people’s texts, and so forth. Some conservatives oppose the translation because it is not always faithful to the Latin, as was the 2008 text ICEL provided the bishops’ conferences.

      awr

    2. A good reason to express our gratitude that the Church has not adopted the faith determined by plebiscite model.

      I think it is a mistake to underestimate the degree that theological disagreements with the official Latin texts underscored the problematic existing translation (concepts like supplication, grace), contributed to the deficiencies in the 1998 version, and sustain a plurality of the objections to the forthcoming English RM. The revision of “for many” in the consecration of the chalice is indicative of these theological objections.

      No one opposes “for many” because it’s poor English or ugly. No one opposes “for many” because it doesn’t proclaim well or because people won’t understand it, we’ve used it before and the Eastern Catholic Churches all use it rather well in the vernacular. No one has shown how it will hurt rather than help people’s prayer. The complaint that there is no sufficient pastoral reason to take away well-loved people’s texts is difficult to sustain during a time of declining Mass attendance with the existing translation and after so many complainers had already supported the proposed (1998) translation. The familiar text objection was not put forward when 1998 deemed to change some familiar responses to make them more inclusive nor when “for all men” was changed to “for all” or when “This is the word of the Lord” became “The word of the Lord” even before 1998.

  41. Fr. Ruff the reason I said plurality in the Yonkers vote was that there were four abstentions and four absent parishes hence those voting for the resolution cannot really be said to reflect a majority of the Vicariate. I indicated to the representative to the priest’s Council that if this is brought up on the agenda, the full facts be made present: four abstentions and the parishes that were missing. With respect to the English I offer this comment which I don’t fully agree with:”…recent rereading of Liturgical Latin, Christine Mohrmann’s slim classic from 1957, has reminded me that slavish literalism and barbarous constructions have always been a hallmark of Christian liturgical language.” Lastly I don’t want to suggest that any of the priests at my Vicariate necessarily had problems with the theology expressed in the Latin original. They did not indicate that. I made that comment with respect to the larger debate. I still think this translation is a vast improvement over the present which in many cases is not a translation but a paraphrase with some things just made up. Check out the current translation of the collect for the Second Sunday of Advent and then compare it to the Latin. We finally also pray from the rising of the sun to its setting rather than from east to west two different concepts one in the Latin text and one made up. A blessed New Year.

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