America on Facebook on the new Roman Missal

Here is Fr. Rick Hilgartner on the Facebook fanpage for the newly translated Roman Missal, as reported at America‘s blog.


  1. Many of the opposition have boiled down their opinion to “I just don’t like this” so I guess it fits.

    1. Perhaps. Yet there are others of us who have been critical of MR1, looked to MR2, and now are disappointed in MR3 for any number of artistic, linguistic, and theological reasons.

      I can appreciate that some Catholics see MR3 as an improvement on MR1, but that relativistic comparison really dodges the point, doesn’t it? Human beings have within their capability to produce works of art that are broadly and generally embraced across cultures, education levels, age groups, and any number of factors that fracture us. So why couldn’t ICEL produce a truly catholic Roman Missal translation?

      Here’s hoping for a better MR4! Much better.

      1. And maybe MR4 won’t repeat some of the mistakes that drew reasonable criticism in MR2 (as opposed to the ones that drew unreasonable criticism); it would be nice to see more progressives holding ourselves accountable for our portion of responsibility for things, rather than persisting in devoting more energy in pointing fingers and exclaiming “Bad Rome! Bad Rome!”.

  2. Too much publicity…it would be so much better if we could keep all of this within committees, self selecting groups, and among specialists.

    Just like we did back in the late 1960’s.

    Then we could remake it all locally and claim that it is our “local tradition”.

    1. Perhaps a small group can get together under the cover of darkness one night and restore the wood, marble, crucifix, altar rail? 🙂 At this point, whether one is in favor or against the new translation, I am getting annoyed about all the talk and I think the delay is making the situation much worse. Advent 2011? Advent 2012? 2 and half more years of talk is going to make everyone sick of the topic. Those in favor would probably want it implemented as soon as possible. Those against it, who have finally internalized that it will happen, would seem to me to want to get it over with as well–so we can all move on.

  3. I attended our transitional diaconate ordination this morning at our Cathedral in Savannah. What is interesting is the fact that the prayer of consecration after the laying on of hands is a revised translation and of the genre of our new translation of the Mass. It was quite noticeable that it was English of another type than what we currently hear and yes it was noticeably far more elegant than the rest of the vernacular Mass, except for the “insert” for the Roman Canon praying for the newly ordained which again was of the genre of English of what we will eventually have and hopefully before Advent of 2011. Again, when comparing the English, our old for the main part of the Roman Canon and the new for the insert, it was like going from the “ridiculous–the old, to the sublime–for the new. It was so obvious that the new is a much improved and elevated English worthy of the mysteries the language is meant to highlight and bring about by the power of the Holy Spirit

    1. I would advise waiting until we have the final text before making judgments on it. The ground is shifting, and it remains to be seen how accurate or beautiful the final text will be.

  4. Fr. Anthony,
    Very true. And whether it is implemented in Advent 2011 or 2012, that means even more time to catechize the priests, and the people. Since I am active in the adult faith formation effort in my parish, I will push for sessions on the new missal once it has been published and a date of implementation is set in our diocese. I will move for interactive programs with one of our priests leading the sessions for the adults of the parish.

  5. What I find interesting is that while the liturgical pendulum is swinging far to one direction, the Catholic Social Teaching pendulum seems to be finding its way to the other. I’ll be spending my time in the one while waiting for the other.

    1. Is the liturgical pendulum swinging far to one direction, or is it settling towards the center? One could argue that from the 1940s to the 1980s the pendulum went from right to left with no stop in the middle, and is now beginning to settle.

  6. Interesting quote from Dr. Joel M. Hoffman’s “And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning”…The quote is from John Hay Beith’s play “Housemaster” where one character in the play says to another that:

    «he can translate English into a Greek not spoken in Greece, and Greek into an English not spoken anywhere»

    I would see that we can easily subsitute “Latin” for “Greek” in the sentence above and easily come to the same conclusion!

    The new “English” version of the Roman Missal is not a language which is spoken anywhere…and as for it being “elegant” it’s much more important that it be understandable…correct in its grammar…and actually mean what the language from which it is translated actually means…word for word translations seldom if ever achieve any such understanding.

    And it’s not catechesis we need to understand it, it’s English classes…perhaps even olde English classes!

    1. There is nothing,Lynn that says that the language must be understood by the faithful, but that it conforms to the original Latin text, as provided for in SC and LA. The official language of the Church has, and always will be Latin, and so when they refer to original text and language,they are referring to the Latin language, not Greek. That is why the phrase in the revised Nicene Creed will be “One Consubstantial with the Father”( The original Latin word as found in in the CC is consubstantialis) and currently we use homoousios, which is Greek, for “one being” and “one in being”. If our liturgy was originally in Latin, I don’t know why consubstantial was not used when the first edition of the English translation of the Roman Missal was implemented in 1969 and 1970.

      1. Tim, there is Sacrsanctum Concilium 34: “The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.”

      2. So the words are mere magical incantations and the need is to get them “right” and to heck with anyone actually understanding what they mean?

        And, yeah, I throw in that word “consubstantial” in all my conversations and prayers…[sarcasm off]; liturgy is supposed to be worship, not a lesson that has to be constantly explained to the baptized…or have words defined repeatedly so worshippers “get it”…such snootiness!

        Jesus was not “high class”…he spoke common language…unfortunately his followers who have ordained themselves as special consistently attempt to confuse & mislead by using high falutin’ language that no one else speaks…

        How simple Jesus was…if you know me, you know the Father…Jesus didn’t ask us to study systematic theology (which is conjecture, by the way…it’s how we “think” God is…but if we “know” precisely who God is, it isn’t God (thanks to Augustine)…we are striving to get close to God, to know who God is in our lives…that doesn’t require any study texts, ungrammatical twisted old fashioned English…it requires being quiet enough to see God’s work in our own lives…and to celebrate God’s activities in simple worship…

        Did the Apostles wear lace surplices? lace trimmed albs? ermine coverups? golden miters? or did they wear the clothing of the day, frequently dusty & sweaty from fishing & preaching…

  7. Please explain the “should not require much explanation” to the priests who love to add generous helpings of useless commentary to every part of the Mass!

  8. Tim, I believe that in 1969 and 1970, “consubtantiation” was still too tightly linked to Lutheranism to be used comfortably by the Church in the Mass. My “St. Joseph Daily Missal” printed in 1961 uses “one in being with the Father,” showing that only 8 years earlier, it was too sensitive a word.

    Lutheranism has lost a lot of its power to confront us, like most mainstream Protestant churches, in recent years. Maybe it is time to start using the closer translation again. Even the Orthodox use the formula “one, holy, catholic (lower case “c”) and apostolic Church.” They aren’t afraid; why should we be?

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