America announces the Pope has ordered new review of missal translation [UPDATED]

Well, it’s like we noted earlier. Change is coming…

America has the general sketch — but without all the details — here.

UPDATE:

Also, see Fr. Michael Ryan’s essay that has just been posted on the America website: “Why Pope Francis Is Right to Revisit the New Mass Translation.” 

Pray Tell readers may remember that Fr. Ryan, rector of St. James’ Cathedral in Seattle, wrote the 2009 article “What If We Just Said Wait?” which gave birth to a petition for broader consultation concerning the translation of texts for the Missal. The petition garnered thousands of signatures.

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15 comments

  1. I’m sure some clunkiness can be smoothed out, but I firmly hold there should be an acceptable middle ground.

    A thought: if translators worked under the ideal that Mass is meant to be sung, not said, wouldn’t that help deal with some of the dreariness? Wouldn’t that incentivize having translations that are both accurate and easier to chant?

    Not that many congregations sing the Creed, but “Being of one substance with the Father” is far less awkward than “consubstantial with the Father.”

    I’ve looked at a handful of the collects from the present translation, and then looked at the Latin, and there are definitely ways to translate them in such a way that both honors the original text and makes them less crazy to sing (and by extension, one hopes) say.

    Admittedly, there’s some De Gustibus at play here. I’m spoiled by and attached to my Coverdale Psalter. 😉

  2. From my reading of the America article, the headline is misleading. There’s only a review of LA, not of translations that we done under LA. Such might be forthcoming in the future, of course, but no indications of such currently.

    1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt:
      Good catch, Fritz. I noticed that too.

      Though technically inaccurate, I suspect the editors probably wanted to signal the fact that this will have an impact on Missal translations hereafter. Which is true. For the language groups that have not implemented their new translations, this is especially true, as they may simply shelve them.

  3. Thankfully, I am able to attend the Extraordinary Form, but if they take that away too, I am going Eastern-rite Catholic.

    It would be a shame if we got rid of improvements to the vernacular texts like “and with your spirit” and “for many.”

    1. @Jay Edward:
      Not all think “And with your spirit” is an improvement. Many see it as an attempt to put the priest back on his pedestal.
      As for “for many”‘ this suggests that Jesus message is only for some, and that everyone else can sit and wail, and gnash their teeth in outer darkness!

      The things you like appear to be intentionally exclusive.

      1. Robert Rennick : Not all think “And with your spirit” is an improvement. Many see it as an attempt to put the priest back on his pedestal.
        As for “for many”‘ this suggests that Jesus message is only for some, and that everyone else can sit and wail, and gnash their teeth in outer darkness!
        The things you like appear to be intentionally exclusive.

        And many of us do not see those texts as being exclusive at all. In a translation, I don’t want to have another person’s opinions on the texts imposed upon me.

        I actually have sympathy for those who are critical of the translation when it comes to legitimate concerns that are not driven by an agenda. This would include rightful criticism of overly long sentences, latinate words used when better English ones are available, and awkward sentence structure. However, I see the 2011 translation as having a lot of good qualities that need to be retained, like the restoration of the ordinary text’s biblical, symbolic, and textual richness. People who want to change the translation need to be able to separate legitimate criticism from their personal ideological criticism if they want to be taken seriously.

  4. I would also add how is it the Eastern rites seem to not have issues with translating the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom faithfully? Maybe they can teach us something here?

    1. @Devin Rice:
      If, as the article suggests, the issue of inculturation comes under the remit of the review as something valuable and to be preserved and enhanced, that would mean that having hymn texts in the LOH by vernacular poets and authors, like J.H. Newman, for example, in the English version is preferable to providing vernacular translations of Latin originals which are currently in use in the Editio typica.

  5. Jay Edward : It would be a shame if we got rid of improvements to the vernacular texts like “and with your spirit” and “for many.”

    “Improvements” are in the ear of the beholder.

  6. Norman Borelli :

    Jay Edward : It would be a shame if we got rid of improvements to the vernacular texts like “and with your spirit” and “for many.”

    ### “Improvements” are in the ear of the beholder.

    And apparently in the ear of the translator who will get to decide what prayers we are going to offer in the Roman Rite in English. It seems as though they are being promoted from translator to editor of the Roman Rite. I will choose the venerable Roman Rite over the American Rom’ish Rite any day. I guess it can be an opportunity of grace if the translators do not allow their ideology to interfere as they translate the text. I will propose again the guiding principle of the NRSV, “As literal as possible and as free as necessary.”

  7. I preferred the previous liturgy as the flow was much better than this version, even with its known flaws. I have read the proposed changes that had been rejected and they addressed the largest flaws. I liked that version better.

    That said, I would be happy if they just fixed the grammatical errors and made it feel less like a “pig latin” mass. It is just not well written. I could live with the rest.

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