More UK Reactions

Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ, writing for Thinking Faith, the British Jesuits’ online journal, has trenchantly defended the 1973 Missal’s rendering of Domine, non sum dignus.  ‘What seems clear is that the text which we are about to lose will always be in the background’. Click here.

The correspondence in The Tablet also continues, if in lesser spate. In particular, Fr Michael Ryan makes it clear that his publicly announced decision to use the new text unadulterated represents anything but a welcome. See the second page here, and the contribution  in support of the new text towards the bottom of this page.

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15 comments

  1. Fr. Cameron-Mowat writes that before the 1969 Missal:

    the ‘Domine, non sum dignus’ prayer was for the priest alone

    But that’s not really true. The people commonly recite this prayer today in the ’62 Mass and, lest anyone suggest this is entirely a new development, there is evidence that they did so “back in the day” as well. For instance this from Worship in 1962:

    For example, it may be usual in a given church for the people to leave their places only after they have recited the threefold, Domine, non sum dignus. In this case the recitation by the congregation is adequate signal.

    Further on, he doesn’t deny that the new translation is more accurate than the old one, rather he implies that the old translation is a better text than the Latin. Even if that is true arguendo, the place to make the change is in the Latin text and not in the translation of the Latin text.

    1. Dr. Cameron-Mowat’s point holds good for the vast majority of celebrations that took place before the 1965 Ordo Missae was introduced with its rubric requiring communincants to recite Domine non sum dignus.

      Only in those places where the ‘Dialogue Mass’ had taken root would communicants have recited the same prior to then. Following the regularisation of the practice of dialogue contained in the 1958 instruction on Sacred Music and Liturgy (##27c, 31b) the quote from ‘Worship’ makes sense but in the vast majority of celebrations, Dr. Cameron-Mowat is quite correct and the only person speaking those words would have been the celebrant.

      1. I’ve provided contemporary evidence to the contrary. You’ve provided your assertion.

        Here’s another citation from before 1958:

        The order of the Mass in the St. Andrew Daily Missal (Copyright 1947, Imprimatur 1951) says “After the Confiteor and the formula of absolution, the priest shows the Sacred Host. All may say with him: “Domine non sum dignus …”

        So he’s not “quite correct,” rather the situation is at one of a diversity of practice that makes it wrong to say that it was the priest’s prayer alone (and that’s leaving aside the fact that the priest says it doesn’t make it the priest’s prayer, when he says it on behalf of the communicants.)

  2. For members of the congregation wishing to receive the Eucharist, the ritual itself gave little verbal or gestural support towards active participation of this kind.

    This is also a doubtful statement. There is (arguably) more verbal participation in the revised rite, but there is more gestural participation possible (though not required in precisely the same way) in the old rite, because there were more gestures. Gestures that have been removed include kneeling for the blessing, striking the breast at the “Domine, non sum dignus,” the sign of the Cross at the absolution, the occasions of genuflection in the readings and kneeling in the gradual, the signs of the Cross associated with the last Gospel, kissing the blessed palm on Palm Sunday and the blessed candle on Candlemas (and the priest’s hand), and bowing the head at the name of the Pope. Other gestures, which once involved more dramatic bodily participation have been made less bodily, substituting a bow of the head for kneeling at Communion and substituting bowing for kneeling/genuflection during the Creed, for example.

  3. It really is pretty funny how you liberals accuse us traditionalists of always attacking the novus ordo, but here is a case wherein a liberal is attacking the novus ordo. Does anyone else see the irony in it?

  4. Press conferences, DVDs, CDs, pastoral letters, repeated training days for priests, deacons, servers, musicians as well as layfolk, podcasts, special Mass leaflets, quantities of “bulletin inserts” and plenty of verbal encouragement to “at least give it a try,” together with a vast array of assorted books on introducing and implementing the new imposed format – that more or less covers the logistics of this current liturgy offensive. And what is that offensive ostensibly about? Superceding a comprehensible and familiar English text and replacing it with one that is less recognisably in my native tongue.

    If the Powers-That-Be think this is a commendable and necessary strategy to enforce a new translation, they are probably correct, at least on the score of necessity. But most people I’ve met seem to think we were very well served by the words and music we had a few weeks ago, and wonder why this upheaval is needful? Of course most of us will adjust, but it is truly painful on occasions when one needs the comfort of the familiar words, as in a requiem Mass. And it is especially saddening when other Christians attend, who had already adjusted many of their standard texts to match our own and now are once again “other.” Their relegation to a sphere beyond the pale is a counter-Christian extrusion. Not a few Catholics find themselves with them in alien country. And that in “our own” church.

  5. Press conferences, DVDs, CDs, pastoral letters, repeated training days for priests, deacons, servers, musicians as well as layfolk, podcasts, special Mass leaflets, quantities of “bulletin inserts” and plenty of verbal encouragement to “at least give it a try,” together with a vast array of assorted books on introducing and implementing the new imposed format – that more or less covers the logistics of this current liturgy offensive. And what is that offensive ostensibly about? Superceding a comprehensible and familiar English text and replacing it with one that is less recognisably in my native tongue.

    The hierarchy obviously realized that implementing the translation would be met with resistance. And while it was never kept a secret, the fact that the majority of Catholics only became aware of it just weeks before its implementation shows that they didn’t want to give people time to think about it.

    If the Powers-That-Be think this is a commendable and necessary strategy to enforce a new translation, they are probably correct, at least on the score of necessity. But most people I’ve met seem to think we were very well served by the words and music we had a few weeks ago, and wonder why this upheaval is needful? Of course most of us will adjust, but it is truly painful on occasions when one needs the comfort of the familiar words, as in a requiem Mass. And it is especially saddening when other Christians attend, who had already adjusted many of their standard texts to match our own and now are once again “other.” Their relegation to a sphere beyond the pale is a counter-Christian extrusion. Not a few Catholics find themselves with them in alien country. And that in “our own” church.

    If this change causes even one person to be left behind, the hierarchy has that person’s soul on their hands. The hierarchy is making the change. The person isn’t leaving the church. The church left the person.

    1. The hierarchy […] didn’t want to give people time to think about it.

      Every bishop knows about the new translation, and has known for some time. How is it possible that the priests of their dioceses don’t know about the new translation? Are they that in the dark? Have their bishops not told them about it?

      See, my concern is not so much the episcopal hierarchy as it is the presbyteral hierarchy. How long have (parish) priests known about the coming translation and avoided informing their parishioners?

      If this change causes even one person to be left behind, the hierarchy has that person’s soul on their hands.

      The same can be said about the liturgical reforms enacted in 1960’s.

      1. Except I was there (1964-67) and don’t remember a huge outcry. There was Gomar DePauw, who always appeared somewhat disturbed to me. Not only were most priests and parishioners, at least around here, accepting of or resigned to the fact that first parts of the Mass like the readings and proper antiphons and most of the Ordinary were now in English (1964), then the Collects and Prefaces (1966) – they were delighted. I can’t remember hearing anyone declare that the Canon in English (1967) was “the last straw,” only that the Roman Canon was so long … and by late 1968 there was an insert with three more Eucharistic Prayers. By then Gomar DePauw had been joined by L. Brent Bozelle and Abp Lefebvre was gaining steam in Europe. But souls left behind? I don’t remember massive objections.

        Even with the music: around here we went from SATB (aka Barbershop Quartet) Masses from McLaughlin and Reilly (Korman’s Mass of the Blessed Sacrament, WJ Marsh’s 200 Masses) and the Old St Basil’s Hymnal (O What Could My Jesus Do More? Wither Thus In Holy Rapture Maiden Mother Art Thou Bent? Let the Deep Organ Swell the Lay) to Jan Vermulst and The People’s Mass Book. If anything, a VAST improvement!

      2. You are making generalizations. It is one thing to posit that the bishops knew the new translation was coming and another thing to say that they have reviewed it, studied it, and are aware of the issues (we know that unnamed bishops have admitted that they have not even looked at the new translations).

        Priests – fact is that priests follow their bishops and many admit that they have barely looked at the new translation. The reasons for this are all across a range from don’t care to this is crazy; too, isn’t this the best thing since sliced bread.

        Your last sentence is just your own “meme” – the change in the 1960’s was overwhelmingly accepted and welcomed. And to compare the two changes is comparing apples to oranges – the VII changes were anticipated and prepared for; there had been changes going on since Pius XII; and the changes were transparent as was the process. None of that can be said about the 2010 edition.

      3. Jeremy, I’ve met people who have left the Church (that is, are SSPX-only-ers) over Vatican II and the reformed liturgy.

        Jeremy & Bill: As for this: But souls left behind? I don’t remember massive objections. /overwhelmingly accepted and welcomed

        What Sean said was: If this change causes even one person to be left behind, the hierarchy has that person’s soul on their hands.

        So Sean’s remark is about concern for even a single person, a single soul, not “massive objections” or “overwhelming” acceptance and welcome.

      4. Bill: It is one thing to posit that the bishops knew the new translation was coming and another thing to say that they have reviewed it, studied it, and are aware of the issues

        I didn’t say the second part, I said the first part.

      5. Yes, and since that time period, two popes have made provision for those “left behind”…..will that start a trend or will some folks now be left behind by Vox Clara?

  6. Mr.Stevens,

    Are you saying that the pre-Vatican II years left much to be desired? You wouldn’t advise me to bid more than fifty dollars for a S. Basil’s Hymnal from the sacerdotal dealers on eBay,would you. Should I stick with Sarum?

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