America, the Jesuit journal, has a feature story on the new Missal translation by Fr. Michael Ryan, originator of the “What If We Just Said Wait?” petition. His judgment:

To read these prayers is difficult; to call them prayerful is to redefine the word; to pray them is almost impossible.

The forum has interesting comments by Fr. Edward Foley, O.F.M.Cap., Fr. Don Shane, Diana Macalintal, and Fr. Jan Michael Joncas. Macalintal and Joncas are Pray Tell contributors.

Ed Foley reports:

As I travel around the country, I have heard from a few priests who are vocal about their unwillingness to say certain texts: the phrase for many in the institution narrative over the “chalice” is the prime example. More often, however, I hear of presiders who are employing a strategy of selective proclamation, editing out some of the more obscure language and occasionally dropping the ever-recurring “we beseech you.” It suggests that the hybrid English liturgy might be on its way to being even more so.

Fr. Shane says:

Our people have been most receptive…  The implementation has been successful beyond my expectations. We really did learn from the late 1960s and 70s. We are blessed indeed.

Macalintal has asked whether the assemblies are more engaged now or less.

The overwhelming response was that they have mostly lost touch during the priest’s prayers. Perhaps this was true before the new translation, but those leaders perceive that their assemblies find the prayers unmemorable and unremarkable. When the parishioners do notice these prayers, it is for the wrong reasons.

Joncas says this about the normative English chant settings in the Missal:

While some hoped that the implementation would establish a common English-language repertoire for the Order of Mass in the United States, I see no evidence of that happening. The vast majority of the communities I have visited employ settings from one of the three most popular liturgical music publishers (GIA Publications, OCP, World Library Publications) or from a composer in their own community.

Read it all here and here.

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