Missal Implementation V

See earlier posts: part one and part two and part three and part four.

Holy See Confirms English Third Edition of the Roman Missal” the headline reads in the issue which just arrived of the US Committee on Divine Worship Newsletter. This is old news – we all read this some time ago. Cardinal Caňizres, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, signed the decree on March 26, 2010 approving the entire missal, and wrote in the accompanying letter that the official text, after final editing, would appear “in short order.” (I think we’ve already missed that). On April 28th, members of the Vox Clara Committee hosted a luncheon with the Holy Father to celebrate the occasion. The Holy Father was presented with an elegant bound copy, what has become known as the “presentation text” or “presentation version.”

There are a few photocopies of this “presentation text” floating around. There is much speculation on how much “final editing” of this text will take place, since this text introduces over 10,000 changes, not all of them improvements to say the least, to the text prepared by ICEL (working with the national conferences) and then given to the conferences for their submission to Rome. And this does not count the fiddling around with the text of the Order of Mass which received the recognitio in 2008. (This is a novel canonical situation, as far as I know – can Church officials alter a text to which they’ve already given recognitio? Apparently they can now.)

The Newsletter reports that the final copy is expected from the Congregation before the end of the summer. And then the implementation will proceed as planned.

Another papal meeting, another press release, the usual formalities – no big deal, you say. But what is not said, and how the things that are said are said, is the real story here. The Pope, the members of Vox Clara, the officials of the Congregation – anyone you know missing from this happy picture? ICEL, for example? Helloooo?

Over the years I recall seeing posted in the monastery every so often a photo of Fr. Godfrey Diekmann with the Holy Father – another meeting of ICEL in Rome. But this time, nobody invited ICEL. Don’t you find that strange? The bishops’ conferences, and ICEL, which is the bishops’ inter-conference translation commission, have spent years and years working on this translation. Vox Clara’s role, we were told, was merely to advise the Congregation as it reviewed and approved texts. But now, Vox Clara hosts the festivities, Vox Clara celebrates with the Pope, and ICEL is shut out. Do you suppose the slight was unintentional? Yeah, right.

The Pope thanks Vox Clara for their work over the last eight years – “This has been a truly collegial enterprise.” The Pope continues, “you have been assiduous in drawing together contributions from Bishops’ Conferences in English-speaking territories all over the world.” Now that is interesting wording: Vox Clara coordinates the conferences! The Pope welcomes the news that the missal will soon be published, “so that the texts you have worked so hard to prepare may be proclaimed…” Vox Clara prepares texts now?? The Pope wants them all to know how much he appreciates “the great collaborative endeavor to which you have contributed.” Collegial, collaborative – how nice.

Now we hear a rumor from a reliable source – not yet confirmed but we’re working on it – of a meeting in Rome in October, and this time ICEL will be invited. To be told that they’re being restructured? Or, in the version we heard, to be told that they no longer exist? I expect more news to emerge in the next few days. Stay tuned.


  1. Father Anthony, thank you for your candor with this post. This whole thing feels like a subterranean shift of seismic proportions. After having prayed well with my parish community this morning, I just hope that in the years to come, I am able to post a comment that repeats these words without a sense of regret or suspicion: “I prayed well with my parish community this morning.” Very interesting times. Glad to see you in Detroit.

  2. It certainly sounds like a vote of no confidence in ICEL. Or maybe they are being sent off to brush up their Latin translation skills? 🙂

    1. Ceile, what is the joke here? All the reports are that ICEL translated Latin extremely accurately, down to the letter, as instructed by Rome. But their work was undone, and the translation was made shockingly inaccurate, by members of Vox Clara.

  3. Ceile is right (this time :)); ICEL does seem to have been found wanting. The 10,000 changes should have tipped us off. As for the “collegial” and “collaborative” venture; it’s like newspeak.

  4. As a historian, you could put your timeline up against any series of Five Year Plans pronounced by the USSR – the result would be the same. A series of disconnected statements with no basis in reality covering over the fact that a dictator ruled unconditionally.

    Forgot the quote/speaker but it went something like “Russia’s rulers said they led but didn’t; Russia’s people saide they followed but didn’t”

  5. Dom Anthony – in an earlier blog, someone went to the trouble of listing what they called members of Vox Clara. There was no list of ICEL members. Confused – some of the list were easily identified as members of Vox Clara (again, thought this was originally set up as just a consultative body to ICEL the Second?); a couple of the names looked like members of the ICEL the Second group? Does anyone have the actual members of Vox Clara and ICEL – realize that ICEL seems to have radically changed over the past three years? Does or can anyone show these changes?

    1. Bill – the small office staff of ICEL is public information – although I only find Fr. Wadsworth listed at their website. But all their translators and collaborators and consultants are required to work in confidentiality now. The membership of Vox Clara, on the other hand, is listed publicly in any number of press releases. The BCDW Newletter lists them as: Pell (Australia), Lipscomb (US), Murphy O’Conner (England), George (US), Gracias (India), Hughes (US), Prendergast (Canada), Kwasi (Ghana), Felix (Santa Lucia), Boyce (Ireland), and Rigali (US) – all bishops, some are also cardinals. The advisors are Driscoll (US), McManus (US), McKay and Johnson (England), Moroney (US) who is executive secretary – these are all priests, some are also monsignor or abbot. Note that the membership of Vox Clara will soon undergo some routine shifting as some rotate on and others rotate off.

      1. I can think of one priest in Rome employed in translation work, and with a background as an academic musician, who would do a good job if rotated onto it.

  6. Hi Fr. Anthony! Dave here from the Philippines and an MA in Liturgy student. Fr. Chupungco is my mentor. ICEL is not anymore the ICEL I knew who promote the real liturgical reform of Vatican II rather a puppet-commission of the present administration. What will happen on the future if such moves are happening today? Tsk…

  7. McKay is actually Scottish, not English, but let that pass. And that list does not include the notorious Anthony Ward SM (England), who has been working closely with Vox Clara as a collaborator from the start and is specifically mentioned in the April presentation report. If the BCDW newsletter spells Murphy-O’Connor as Murphy [no hyphen] O’Conner, then they are misinformed.

    As far as recognitio and subsequently altered texts is concerned, exactly the same thing happened with GIRM, which was consistently altered at frequent intervals for 18 months after the Pope signed it, and for over a year after it was first released. This seems to be becoming a habit. Give something recognitio, then realize that there are mistakes in it, and change them at will, never admitting that a mistake might have been made in the first place. In the case of GIRM, no one realized that the Latin text was defective until they had seen the first English version. Hurried amendments were made, but those who saw what went on were not convinced….

    I must disagree with Rita. ICEL bent over backwards to do what the Congregation demanded of them, and have now had their work thrown back in their faces. The fact that we might disagree with the principles they were required to follow is not relevant. What is at issue is that the Congregation and Vox Clara then changed the rules to suit themselves. The result — chaos, from which there seems to be no immediate escape.

    1. The BCDW Newsletter does spell “Murphy O’Connor” without a hyphen, and it does list McKay and Johnson as “England.” Both of those could easily be a typo.
      I only spoke of ICEL and Vox Clara members, I thought that was the question. Paul is right – there is also the Congregation, and Tony Ward is a huge part of that establishment.

    2. Paul, I guess I am confused. The Congregation and ICEL and Vox Clara are 3 separate entites, but I thought Vox Clara was supervising ICEL. How could ICEL be doing what the CDWS wanted but not what VC wanted, when VC is in the role of supervising ICEL?

      I normally would take the repudiation of the translation + repudiation of ICEL to = a repudiation of the norms themselves (though in favor of what, I don’t know). Do you mean to say that Vox Clara and the Pope are holding the ridiculous position that the norms are fine, but they produced an unacceptable text when followed??

      I realize you are not responsible for this state of affairs and are probably at a loss to explain it, but do you have any theories?

  8. Mr. Inwood – helpful clarifications. Can you please explain a few items listed:
    – GIRM; you are referencing the time period in the early 1070’s and Paul VI? If so, did the hurried amendments go back to each of the 17 conferences? (you seem to suggest not?)
    – understand what you are saying if this is the 1970’s but not sure I would say that the 1970’s = 2000s. One, you state that the latin text was defective (did anyone realize that at the end of Vatican II?). GIRM was the first attempt to significantly change a Roman Missal to the vernacular (quite a change); so not surprised if there were glitches. Now, 40 years later, we seem to be repeating history and we should know better. ICEL is fired in 1998; now the second ICEL seems to be fired? The whole project to translate “latin” following someone’s vague outline or idea or whatever seems to be the problem.
    – it is my understanding that LA was composed and written by Anthony Ward (can you speak to that? is he a former Anglican priest? his own religious community seem to have distanced themselves from Ward and his work?)

  9. How rich. The liberals in the 1960s had no problem with Bugnini’s “Consilium” doing an end run around the Congregation for Rites. Now, when “Vox Clara” does an end-run around ICEL (yet in seeming coordination with said dicastery), all heck breaks loose.

    Double standard?

    The fact is, the Holy See itself retains all rights to issue liturgical texts and translations. It may delegate this, and it may retract those delegations. Clearly, this Pope knows what he’s doing.

    Advent 2011. The liberation awaits…the 1980s are over, and a new dawn beckons. The new English translation of the Third Edition of the “Missale Romanum” slouches toward Collegeville, waiting to be born.

    1. Really, if you’re going to go over the heads of ICEL and the bishops’ conferences, why not just have Vox Clara do all the work instead of wasting everybody’s time with this procedural nonsense? Why waste years translating? Why waste years voting on green books and grey books and white books?

      The CDW already Maciel-ed ICEL when it killed the ’98 Sacramentary (at least a dozen years of work, BTW, thrown out with the bathwater). If this was already going to be the end result, was it really necessary to go through all these motions?

      Ryan, are you really arguing that two wrongs make a right? And the “liberation” of what, exactly? Grammatically incomprehensible Yoda-syntax passing as “English”?

    2. “…Bugnini’s ‘Consilium’ doing an end run around the Congregation for Rites.” Could you please explain what you mean when you say this?

  10. Mr. Ellis, you say that the liberation awaits. I find that comment incredibly insensitive and innapropriate at a time like this. The pain and confusion will be real and it WILL destroy some people’s faith. As my friend and teacher Fr. Anthony would vouch, I am hardly a liberal on matters musical or liturgical. The only liberation I see coming is that of pew space on Sunday mornings in churches all accross the English speaking world.

    1. I think what we will see will depend largely on how the text is introduced. Good music is certainly important – apparently, the chants produced by ICEL were pretty good but I can’t read music – but also how those people who were deemed important, such as liturgical scholars and those who seem to know about the liturgy (whether they know anything in reality is beside the point), receive the texts. If they recive the texts with anger, a lot of feet-dragging and disdainful criticism, they will scandalise many of the faithful and prejudice the reception of the texts. It won’t be texts that will destroy anybody’s faith, it is people – you and I – and God will judge us for that.

      I am reminded that when St Jerome’s Vulgate was introduced, people were unhappy with it too; but eventually after centuries of use, we’ve forgotten how unpopular the Vulgate was initially. Perhaps the new translation will be like this too, if people don’t cause others to lose faith and leave the Church first.

  11. Bill de Haas asked GIRM; you are referencing the time period in the early 1070’s and Paul VI? If so, did the hurried amendments go back to each of the 17 conferences? (you seem to suggest not?)
    – understand what you are saying if this is the 1970’s but not sure I would say that the 1970’s = 2000s.

    Sorry. I should have been clearer. I was speaking about the latest GIRM, not the original one. The whole process of producing that was disgraceful.

    1. You forgot to mention that the English texts from each conference seems to be slightly different too, and we aren’t just talking about the regional adaptations.

  12. Rita commented The Congregation and ICEL and Vox Clara are 3 separate entites, but I thought Vox Clara was supervising ICEL. How could ICEL be doing what the CDWS wanted but not what VC wanted, when VC is in the role of supervising ICEL?

    I don’t think VC is supervising ICEL at all. VC is advising CDWDS. And now CDWDS is not communicating with ICEL at all, only with Bishops’ Conferences. ICEL appears to have been cut out of the loop.

    I normally would take the repudiation of the translation + repudiation of ICEL to = a repudiation of the norms themselves (though in favor of what, I don’t know). Do you mean to say that Vox Clara and the Pope are holding the ridiculous position that the norms are fine, but they produced an unacceptable text when followed??

    It does appear that ICEL followed to the letter what CDWDS wanted it to do. However, the thousands of changes introduced by VC appear to take the text further away from the Latin, in contradiction of the stipulations of LA, as well as introducing actual errors in translation. The goal posts are being moved, and no one seems to be in charge. I cynically view all this as nothing more than a huge power play on the part of VC, a body which should have never been set up and, as I have said before, is accountable to nobody and apparently incompetent too.

    It is probably unfair to lay the blame for that at the feet of the episcopal members of VC. It is the advisors and Ward who have done all the work.

  13. Ryan-a beautiful sentiment…I too look forward to the new text with hopeful anticipation because it does seem to be, as John XXIII said, a sign-of-the-times.
    In honesty and with charity, I don’t understand why the new texts would cause a loss of faith. I do understand that there are some hurt feelings especially among liturgical elites and Church professionals but a loss of faith over a more literal translation seems overstated. Hurt feelings and lost pride should not be projected on to the people at large. It’s just not there. And Mark, have you considered what how much hurt and confusion occurred with the imposition of the existing ICEL translation? Have you read Archbishop Dwyer of Portland, OR.? Have you read Father Stephen Somerville (who resigned from ICEL in 1973)? I think Fr. Somerville is the only surviving member of the early ICEL. Are you familiar with the criticisms of H. P. R. Finberg?

  14. Mr. Dibdale – you need to at least try to be educated on liturgy. Read the earlier posting by Don Anthony called “A Cold Wind in Rome”. Most of hte original ICEL members are very much alive (e.g. John Page, executive director; Bishop Taylor, etc.)
    Ridiculous to quote one bishop in 1973 or even one member of ICEL – that is like quoting Fabian Burskewitz today on how the abuse changes are useless.
    Fact – also, your comments about Bugnini and the Congregation of Rites are incorrect. Paul VI based on a 2400+ positive vote on SC then directed CR to appoint Bugnini who had been sidelined by CR and the cura since the beginning of Vatican II. You really do pick and choose how you relate and remember history.

    1. Bill, I said original members of ICEL (Somerville-1964).Page-1980, Taylor -1997.
      Quoting one bishop is a problem. How many have quoted Bishop Trautman in recent years? But please recall that I also referenced whole conferences who had difficulties with different submissions by ICEL in those early days. Remember England & Wales rejected their funeral rites altogether. FYI, Cardinal Spellman wanted to preserve the Latin Mass.

  15. “…since this text introduces over 10,000 changes, not all of them improvements to say the least…”

    Fr. Anthony,

    It seems like you’re going out on a limb to say that these changes are most certainly not improvements. How do we know this? We have no idea what is going on…no idea what changes are being made or when they will be available. Do you have insider information about these changes? If we are truly in the dark about the happenings surrounding this translation, how do we know that these 10,000+ changes are not actually improvements?

    1. Brad, I’ve looked at the text which the conferences submitted in 2009 and the 2010 Vox Clara revision, so that is the basis for my judgment.

    2. We know because some of us have seen some of these changes, and some of us who are not posting here have seen most or all of them. What we do not know is how many additional changes may be being made, even as we debate all this.

      1. So, are these changes that you’ve seen (assuming your leak is reliable) final, approved, cast in stone? If not, is it right and just to stir up the dust, and opposition to the new texts, with the 10K modifications, hearalding doom and gloom, that almost everyone else have never seen, save the privileged few?

        Cause the only few that have been leaked to the public domain (not even sure if these were part of the 10K) are not problematic, such as the reintroduction of the “I believe” in the Creed.

      2. Simon, the 10,000 changes referred to here are not changes like “I believe” instead of “We believe”. That change was already present in the texts the bishops viewed and voted on. It is reported that the texts are being continually tweaked and fine-(or not so fine)-tuned beyond what was voted on. Many of these changes occur in the Propers, rather than in the Order of Mass, although I’ve seen a few changes in the Order reported here.

      3. Jeff, I think Simon means the reintroduction of I believe into the body of the creed, where it had been replaced by the conjunction “and.”

  16. “There are a few photocopies of this “presentation text” floating around.”

    We had Msgr Moroney here last week to videotape another entry for our Webcatechesis page. He had one of the presentation texts with him – one of twenty bound books that give the sense of what the published Missal will look like. He let me page through it while he recorded.
    I smiled once during the morning at the thought of having a spy camera and taking surreptitious pictures to load up on the web. Then I smiled a second time in the afternoon when I remembered there was a photocopy machine across the hall from my office.
    I would make a bad spy, it seems.

  17. Robert said Have you read Father Stephen Somerville (who resigned from ICEL in 1973)? I think Fr. Somerville is the only surviving member of the early ICEL. Are you familiar with the criticisms of H. P. R. Finberg?

    Although your question was not addressed to me, I have certainly read Stephen’s tirades. I knew him well. You need to know that he had a breakdown, after which he never celebrated again except in the Extra-ordinary Form. You also need to know that he became Mel Gibson’s personal chaplain. Hmmm. Not the best basis on which to judge his words.

    As for Professor Herbert Finberg, whom I also knew, he was deliberately included on the ICEL Advisory Committee in order to provide a different viewpoint. It is fair to say that he was a considerable thorn in the side of the AC for a number of years, since he was incapable of dialogue. It was his way or the highway. In the end, the AC became very tired of his tirades (for that is what they were), since they were based on his own idiosyncratic view of language and not on any principles that the ICEL AC were trying to use in the translation process. Herbert’s biggest problem was that he had already produced an English translation, in the extraordinarily archaic language that was then in vogue, in the preconciliar ‘Finberg-O’Connell’ hand missals which had been widely used in England. (O’Connell, was the same Mgr J.B. O’Connell who was responsible for the (ctd)

    1. (ctd) renowned Fortescue-O’Connell books which turned the rubrics of the Roman Rite into an art form. He had punctiliously edited the great English rubricist Adrian Fortescue’s texts and made them more usable.)

      If you want a real piece of liturgical trivia, Adrian Fortescue was a close friend of my paternal grandmother. At one point, my parents were thinking of naming me Adrian Fortescue Inwood after the great man. Fortunately (I think) they changed their minds… 🙂

  18. I’m not certain it is charitable to judge a priest according to the actions of a lay man to whom he’s ministered. It seems to me that the former ICEL could have saved us all a great deal of time and expense if they had listened to Fr. Stephen, Bishop Dwyer, and Professor Finberg as it turns out that the Holy See concurs with much of what they had to say about the earlier ICEL translation.

    1. It may not be charitable, but it is realistic.

      I’d like to ask you, Robert, what is your opinion of the ICEL Alternative Opening Prayers (i.e. collects) in the current Missal.

  19. It was in fact the Holy See that gave its confirmatio to the canonical approbatio of the conferences that adopted the 1973 (1974,75 depending on the conference) Roman Missal. It wasn’t ICEL that proposed the Missal of 1973 to the Roman authorities. It was the episcopal conferences.

    Just a thought. Since Liturgiam authenticam (2001) was intended (so it says) for the universal Church, where are the revised Missals of the other language groups? Slowly, very slowly coming along it would seem, nine years on.

    Has anyone here done a close comparison between the Latin of MR and the Italian Messale Romano? In the collects especially, the Italians add or subtract at will, more the former than the latter. It is said that the Italian revision of the 1983 Messale was begun but has stalled because the Italian revisers are not happy with the dictates of LA.

  20. Is there any playwright out there who could draw from the Byzantine intricacies of this incredibly confused situation the elements of a frank farce, a Comedy of Errors?

    One of the most farcical things is the huge amount of money, energy, ego, good food and drink, invested in this ridiculous charade. Our Sadducess strutting in their cappae magnae are having a ball of a time, but they are playing with people’s faith and devotion in a shocking manner.

    Perhaps it is not a farce after all, but a brewing tragedy…

    1. Joe:

      A brewing tragedy?

      It’s well beyond the brewing point.

      It’s full- scale, full-blown. full-fledged.

      It’s the Catholic Church’s BP oil spill, and then some.

      Wait till all that ooze and slime hits the shore!

  21. There was a pastoral letter from the Bishops of New Zealand last weekend, saying that they are hoping to introduce the new missal on Advent Sunday THIS YEAR!! Have they received the final text from Rome, or will the printing they refer to contain the presentation text given recognitio in March?
    See http://www.cathcom.org.nz/
    Fr T Lewis

    1. Tellingly, what the NZ bishops actually say (about timeframe) is ‘It is our desire that we will be able to pray these new texts on the First Sunday of Advent, 28 November 2010’ and even more tellingly, they conclude the letter with ‘Becoming One Body, One Spirit in Christ’ whereas the actual words, thanks to Vox Clara’s post-recognitio revision, will be ‘become one body AND one spirit in Christ’!

    2. It looks as if they are going to use the presentation text. I wonder if they realize that they actually need to receive a text accompanied by recognitio for their territory? Is it possible that they have in fact already received? Does anyone know?

      The generic recognitio given with the presentation text, as we have seen, means precisely nothing in the light of the changes that are being made.

    3. Their catechesis page is up, and it mentions a Maori translation of the people’s parts. Don’t these guys need a recognitio for that, too? Other items:
      – this weekend begins a four-week homily series
      – bypass publishers; the bishops are sending print and projector templates to parishes in October
      – A November 21st liturgy of transition is planned.

  22. Paul asked: What is your opinion of the ICEL Alternative Opening Prayers (i.e. collects) in the current Missal.

    I do not care for them. I’d prefer to have fewer options which leads me to wonder about the other six Eucharistic Prayers. What will the status be of these additional EPs and the prayers supposedly used at Masses with Children? Anyone know?

  23. The alternate Collects are useful on weekdays of Ordinary Time (when a little variety might be needed) – but perhaps one of the best is that for the 23rd Sunday with its subtle reference to Ps 85:11 and to the Theology of St. Bonaventure.

    1. The best thing about the alternate collects, to my mind, is that they tie in with the three-year Lectionary cycle, whereas the present “unicycle” collects do not. Add to that their theological and spiritual meatiness, and you have there a resource which means you wouldn’t ever have to use the other collects if you chose not to. These collects have been published as a separate book, which I am sure that many pastors will use when the new Missal senza the alternate collects is implemented: http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Prayers-Contemporary-International-Commission/dp/1853114286

    1. The EPs for Reconciliation will be retained in the new Missal, as will (I am informed) the Prayer for Various Needs and Occasions with its fourfold options.

      The EPs for Children will not appear in the Missal, but they have not been dropped either. ICEL is currently working on a new translation of them, which will be issued as a separate booklet, we are told.

    2. Paul is correct. And there is a logic to this in the Latin books: The Children’s EPs in Latin are not liturgical texts, but models or starting points for a good vernacular version, ergo the Latin doesn’t belong in the Missale Romanum. But alas, they’re following that logic, which I think only applies to Latin texts, in the English missal. Since the Latin missal doesn’t have Children’s EPs, the English won’t either. I think it’d make perfect sense to include the English Children’s EPs in our missal, but they don’t want to deviate from the Latin format, I guess.

  24. I am disappointed that the EP’s for Reconciliation will be retained. I shall hope that they will be reserved for private Masses though it is possible that my discomfort with them will be tempered when I experience a better translation of them. I know one pastor who uses them every Sunday in Lent and many Sundays in Ordinary Time.

    Thanks be to God that we shall be liberated from the Children’s EPs if only in their current form. I’d be happy to see them dropped altogether.

    1. You shouldn’t be surprised the Reconciliation EPs will be in our English missal – they’re in the Latin missal so there was never any question. The pastor is entirely within his rights using it however often he wants – and the Roman documents consistently defend the right of the celebrant to follow any legally permitted option without being influenced by lay people or liturgy committees.

      As far as I know, the Holy See has no intention of dropping the Children’s EPs – they’re planning to re-issue them in their own fascicle, distinct from the Latin missal.


  25. Paul,

    If the alternative collects are not in the missal how could a pastor justly use them?

  26. Indeed, if the alternative collects are not approved, they must not be used in the liturgical contexts, period. It violates the rights of the faithful to the Church’s liturgy.

    I am also not in favour of matching the collects to the readings of the day. The propers of the day (and these include the much neglected antiphons) also present and unfold the paschal mystery through the cycle of the liturgical year, together with and complementary to the Liturgy of the Word.

    1. complementary to the Liturgy of the Word

      If only they were. During Ordinary Time, the antiphons and prayers have little or nothing to do with what’s going on in the rest of the liturgy. They may exist side-by-side, but complementary is not a good description.

      As for the alternative collects, actually they are approved, which is why they are being used now. Unless that approval is specifically rescinded, I think pastors will take it as continuing.

      1. One of the interesting aspects of Summorum Pontificum is that, in an effort to be a legislative minimalist, the Pope established the principle that new editions of the Missal do not by themselves abrogate the preceding edition.

  27. While I have always defended a priest’s independence from pressure groups…especially the “that’s not how we do it here Father” type – “without being influenced by lay people or liturgy committees” is the last thing I thought I’d see on this thread. I agree 100% as long as the pastor is not himself the source of any unjust impositions on the people that run contrary to the liturgical books. For example, using the alternative collects if they are not in the new missal would be an unjust imposition.

    I do think that the four standard EPs have a special place and that EP’s I, III, and IV are especially suited to Sundays. I do look forward to seeing the improved EPs for Reconciliation in the new translation because I anticipate they will be far superior to the existing translations.

    I think we’d be better off if there were far fewer options in the OM, especially in the penitential rite. I’ve noticed that liturgical minimalism can be very comfortable for many priests.

    1. I think we’d be better off if there were far fewer options in the OM, especially in the penitential rite.

      You’ll be interested to know, then, that the England and Wales bishops included in their derogations from the Order of Mass a request for recognitio to incorporate 17 other Penitential Rite texts in the body of the Missal (i.e. all those in the present Missal, plus some others).

      I think the whole point of having different forms of the Penitential Act (as we must now call it) is to tie in this part of the Mass more closely with the mood of the day as expressed in the Liturgy of the Word. Having even more options will enable this to happen more easily.

      I agree that some priests cannot handle creativity and options, but personally I prefer not to be ministered to by Father Autopilot.

      1. Yes, they are, Jeffrey. But there is only one sample text given in the Latin of the new Missal, and thus only one text in the English. The E&W Bishops want far more choice here. Perhaps ‘options’ was the wrong word to use.

      2. I agree that some priests cannot handle creativity and options, but personally I prefer not to be ministered to by Father Autopilot.

        Don’t you think, Paul, that this is an unhelpful caricature that begs more questions than it addresses?

  28. Paul,

    Just to check, are we refering to the same set of alternative collects? I thought someone was speaking of the alternative collects composed by ICEL based on the 3-year lectionary cycle – I didn’t know that the Bishops have approved those, but would be happy to stand corrected.

    And here’s why I feel they are complementary: the Paschal mystery is presented without any particular emphasis. While the euchological texts may not be along the same theme as the readings (actually, only the 1st Reading and the Gospel can be said to be along the same ‘theme’, the 2nd Reading is quite by itself), they present aspects of the same Paschal mystery before the faithful – that to me is how the texts are complementary.

    At my cathedral parish, we almost always use Form A of the Penitential Act, followed by the sung Kyrie. The mood of the season is captured elegantly by the choir in the tone of the Kyrie used. I think that can bring out the emphasis of the seasons very thoughtfully.

    1. Just to check, are we refering to the same set of alternative collects? I thought someone was speaking of the alternative collects composed by ICEL based on the 3-year lectionary cycle – I didn’t know that the Bishops have approved those, but would be happy to stand corrected.

      They were part of the 1998 ICEL Sacramentary, approved by all the English-speaking conferences.

      1. For those who think such a thematic prayer would be a good addition to the liturgy, they could always be used as the concluding collect for the prayer of the faithful. I suspect they would have a greater impact after the Word and been proclaimed, and I am sure they would be an improvement over most of the improvised prayers we typically get at this point.

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