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Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, is Editor of the Pray Tell blog. You may contact him at: awruff@csbsju.edu.

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  1. I have to admit that many of the names of the contributors are unfamiliar to me. None of them have Latino surnames, however. One massive liturgical issue that North Americans need to think about is how best to incorporate the liturgical needs and practices of the burgeoning Latino population in the U.S. and Canada. Will churches need to have 3 Sunday masses–one for the TLM crowd, one for the N.O. crowd, and one for a more charismatic Spanish-speaking crowd?

    Maybe, if you don’t have one already, you could have a contributor or two who are real specialists in the liturgical practices and expectations of Latino immigrants.

  2. I’m coming to the discussion late, so forgive me if my observations/reservations have already been discussed. Given the fact that this is a “fait accompli”, I just have to vent some of my frustrations. Having been through all this back in the ’60’s, I’ve gone over the changes with a careful eye & actually tried to say a “dry Mass” every day for the past month. Here’s what I noticed:
    1. Innumerable instances where adjectives or adverbs were inserted that limited the theology inherent in the
    phrase, or contradicted it (“spiritual” instead of “substantial”!).
    2. The order of the phrase was reversed just to be different, but added nothing.
    3. Several convoluted, run-on sentences that sounded like gibberish when SPOKEN.
    4. Several incomplete sentences, misplaced modifiers, pronouns and co-relative clauses that didn’t
    agree with their antecedents.
    5. Synonyms were used that added nothing; some words were just archaic (“dewfall” ?)
    Thus my questions”
    1. Was there anyone on the committee who had the slightest concept of grammar, style or sentence
    structure, or how unprofessional & stupid this looks?
    2. Granted a noble purpose, the solution causes more problems than it solves. So
    how do I answer my parishioners when they ask me “Why”?
    3. How do we justify the phenomenal outlay in energy, resources and expense (books, hymnals, etc.)
    to implement a vehicle that is at best marginally better than what we have now, & in many instances
    worse?
    4. Any chance they’ll admit it was a good idea that didn’t work & go back to the drawing board to do a
    better job, or am I just dreaming?

    1. Fr. Salvatore – Your criticisms might seem valid were they to fit the new translation. And, I am not suggesting that, generally, they don’t. But, pray, what is wrong with ‘dewfall’. It seems to me that with some poetry of this sort as a gift, the faults are more than made up for. How often have I noticed that those who want to do a hatchet job on our linguistic heritage do love, with an air of chic infallibility, to toss that word ‘archaic’ about.

      1. There’s another problem with dewfall. Dewfall is a time of day, or the formation of dew. It is not dew. So neither meaning of dewfall is equivalent to the word dew, which would have been accurate. They changed it from dew to dewfall because it would probably be unintelligible when spoken. Are they banking on the likelihood that it’s a word used so seldom that no one will notice the difference? Jackson, you didn’t notice did you?

      2. @Rita Ferrone – comment #7:
        I thought that dewfall was a reference back to the manna in the Old Testament: God feeds us now with the Eucharist as a parallel to what he did for the Jews in the desert.
        Would that be right? If so, then there’s actually a good reason to use “dewfall.”

      3. But, pray, what is wrong with ‘dewfall’?

        “Like the dewfall” is not in the Latin text.

        If memory serves “by the dew of your Spirit” is the correct English translation of the Latin.

  3. Fr. Ruff, thank you for your sincere and thought-provoking letter on the Missal mess. Will Rome ever get it? I’m sorry to hear of your decision but support it completely. Thanks for all you have done and conitinue to do for the Church. Let us pray for each other and this great Church which we love.

  4. Dear Fr. Anthony,
    Thank you for your honesty, courage and faith. I too cannot understand church heirarchy. Don’t give up hope, the Holy Spirit is still with us. Peace and all good……
    Deacon Gene Kramer

  5. Dear Fr. Anthony,
    On this Feast Day of St. Scholastica (Feb 10) I write to tell you that I just read your open letter to the Bishops today in which you decided to cancel all future speaking opportunities on the upcoming liturgical changes. Anyone reading your letter can tell that it was a decision over which you agonized and gave a great deal of prayerful discernment. Given your great love for the Church and Her liturgy, given your years of dedicated service, this was truly a decision of “conscience” and in my estimation required great courage and fortitude. Please know that I will pray for you and for the Spirit to work in and through your decision, to rekindle the fire of divine love in the hearts of all those who are willing to listen. Thank you.
    Stephen Steinbeiser
    Director of Liturgy

  6. I live in the UK but I respect and admire Fr. Ruff for his actions . Please can you e.mail me a postal snail mail address to send a card to Fr. Ruff ?
    Many thanks

  7. Rita Ferrone:

    Rita is there anyway of asking the subscribers to this feed if anyone has infomation on anyone who might be doing or thinking of doing a biography of Bob Hovda? I am thinking of the project and have gotten encouragement from Gabe Huck, but don’t want to underatake it if someone else has started.
    Many thanks.
    Bob Nugent

  8. I would like to raise the topic of art offered in the new Roman Missal by the different publishers.  Some are using black/white artwork, others using full vibrant colors. I am interested in critiques based on both personal tastes and the documents on  art/architecture/worship from the Church. 

    I appreciate the beauty of the full color art. However  I wonder if such art would be distracting to the presider. The cost of vibrant color editions seem outlandish.  Pehaps the simplicity of the liturgy and central focus on the proclaimed Word and Eucharist act would override the  purchase of highly priced editions.

    -signed by a pastor who has not pre-ordered a missal.

  9. As a retired priest with the pastoral care of a small ageing community, the introduction of the new translation has me beat. We have agreed to use the new people’s responses, but I will make moderate use of a marker pen on the prefaces, EP’s and prayers. If Lefevre can get away with non-conformity I can surely be allowed a few concessions for my advancing age. Anyway, the Bishop (Toowoomba Diocese) can’t discipline me, he got the papal chop.

  10. Fr Hanlon, it sounds like a lot of work. Why not root up the 1998 texts instead? I believe some churches are doing so. I shall recite the current EPs from memory.

  11. My parish had a dress rehearsal mass today using the words of the new missal and during it, I cried. They were not tears of joy, they were tears of sadness. Sadness that the liturgy of my church, the only liturgy I have ever known, the only words that I have ever known are dying, and that means that my church is dying.

    The words may be closer to the latin translation, but they are clunky, they do not flow, and they are too grandiose. The people don’t want a more mysterious church and more traditional church, they want the church they have had.

    My church is dying.

  12. Jeffrey Pinyan at 9:41 pm, 25 October

    But doesn’t 2010/2011 have:”from the rising of the sun to its setting”? Why then instance only 1998?

    At the end of the day, I think “from east to west” gets it just right, but alas I lost that battle in about 1990.

    Yes, it’s “dew” not “dewfall.” But there was a certain squeamishness concerning “dew” and how it would be heard. So that noted voice from antiquity, Cat Stevens, was seen as the sure way out.

    1. Because 1998 is touted by many here as the solution to both the problems of both the old and new translations. But if someone had a mind to correct with white-out and pen a phrase in the 2011 missal, they should be prepared to do the same to the 1998.

      “Morning Has Broken” predates Stevens by a few decades, unless he was the author of the “dewfall” verse.

  13. Rita Ferrone :
    There’s another problem with dewfall. Dewfall is a time of day, or the formation of dew. It is not dew. So neither meaning of dewfall is equivalent to the word dew, which would have been accurate. They changed it from dew to dewfall because it would probably be unintelligible when spoken. Are they banking on the likelihood that it’s a word used so seldom that no one will notice the difference? Jackson, you didn’t notice did you?

    Alright! Here it is! From the compact OED:
    ‘Dewfall: the formation or deposition of dew, the time when this begins, in the evening’. It has been around for centuries and is related to the Danish ‘dugfald’.

    Graham Wilson’s observation, though, is weighty.
    Still, this is a more interesting and justifiable liberty than the spoiled fruit of equivalency.

  14. Hi Fr. Anthony,
    I wanted to share this with your PrayTell community but I didn’t know how to post it.
    First I checked out the Vatican Liturgy… then I received this email.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9XNfWNooz4&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    This isn’t a worship service, it’s a concert, but still. What’s next? iPastor, iMusicMinister, iCatechist? Interesting that at the end they still needed a human being to finish the song. It is at that point the missing element of warmth is added.
    Oh well… whatever makes your marshmallow float.
    Merry iNativity!

  15. Change use of “Ordinary Time”? We know “ordinary”” refers to ‘ordinal’, ‘counted’ time. BUt not always consecutive. When we use “Sunday of the Year”, the 16th SUnday of the year chronologically could be the 21st Sunday of the year.
    Why not go back to “x Sunday After Pentecost”? Keeps the Pentecost event in our consciousness and may encourage us to ‘gauge’ our growth in the Spirit.

  16. I think I’ve found a some errors in RM3, see Euch Prayer Reconciliation 2:
    at section “2”:
    “You, therefore, almighty Father,
    we bless through Jesus Christ your Son,
    who comes in your name.

    SHOULDN’T THIS really be:
    “We bless You, almighty Father,
    through Jesus Christ your Son,
    who comes in your name.

    AND AT THE END OF THAT SAME SECTION (2),
    the last FOUR lines:
    RM3 =
    you brought us back
    to be reconciled, O Lord,
    so that, converted at last to you,
    we might love one another
    through your Son,
    whom for our sake you handed over to death.

    RE-ARRANGING A COUPLE WORDS
    and ADDING PUNCTUATION makes the text clearer when listening.
    “you brought us back
    to be reconciled, O Lord,
    so that, converted at last to you,
    we might love one another
    through your Son,
    whom–for our sake–you handed over to death.

  17. Has anyone on this site given an explanation of why Jn.1:29 as used prior to Communion has gone from “peccatum” (which is in the singular in both the Greek and Latin texts of Scripture) to “peccata” ?

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