US Order of Mass FINAL text – leaked

The FINAL Order of Mass – US has been leaked at WikiSpooks. This is the text that the BCDW mailed to publishers at 3:16pm CST yesterday. Hmm, this one took over 24 hours to leak. You’re slipping, whoever you are.

As you perhaps recall, the Order of Mass in its “final” form received recognitio (Roman approval ) on June 23, 2008 when Cardinal Arinze was CDW prefect. So it has taken only 2 years, 5 months, 21 days, with so many final versions since then that we’ve long since lost count of them, for Rome to issue the revised final text, approved for publication.

Yup, “bend” has now been changed to “bow” in the rubrics. So there is some consultation of the People of God by the Roman Curia. It works like this: Rome issues a top secret confidential liturgical text… someone leaks the text at WikiSpooks within a day or so… the blogs light up with humorous mockery of the most objectionable howlers in the “final” text… Rome, sometimes, changes some of the parts which got ridiculed.

So the system does work. At least sometimes. I propose but a few modest reforms – these could easily be mandated motu proprio. Let’s clarify how long the leaked text must remain in the public realm, let’s ensure that the leaked texts come out in manageable blobs, let’s get some working definition of how much ridicule is needed to trip the amendment mechanism. All this would tighten up an already good process. Most important is that all final authority remain firmly in Rome’s hands. Quality control.



  1. Still has those “disordered affections” for where the Latin says “inordinate desires” and we’re still going to try to “escape from dying” in Preface dor the Dead II and to stay “bound so tight” in Reconcil I but hey CDW if it would make your pals on Vox Clara look really dumb or you look really incompetent or just plain takes too much holiday time to fix it, leave it broke. You can always fire anyone who points out your mistakes. How is this mess up of the most important book in the Church after the Bible anyones idea of the reform of the reform. Let’s see if a certain newsletter that has spent thousands of pages knocking the old ICEL’s mistake and a certain blog that has done the same considers the replacement of the lame duck to be pretty lame itself. If they’re really honest they have to point out the new translations mistakes. If they don’t I guess that tells you all you need to know about their honesty.

  2. +JMJ+

    I still wish “in” were removed from “I believe in one holy…” in the Nicene Creed. And the phrase “come down on you” in the solemn blessing (“And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, come down on you and remain with you for ever”) sounds a bit awkward. At least in my experience, to “come down on” something (usually “to come down hard”) is negative. “Descend upon” sounds better poetically…

  3. Jeremy said: You can always fire anyone who points out your mistakes.

    This has already happened. Alan Griffiths, presumably because of his letter to the Tablet, recently reported on this blog, has now been told by ICEL that he will no longer be doing translation work for them. This expulsion is now in the public arena both within his diocese and elsewhere (nothing to do with Alan — he knows nothing of this — but his friends have blown the gaffe) and everyone knows that ICEL have not taken this step of their own volition but because of pressure put on them by CDWDS.

    As someone put it, they fired most of the people in the wake of the 1998 Missal, and now they’re firing the rest of them.

    Alan is one of the few translators, perhaps the only, translator, to have survived the post-1998 purge. One reason for this is surely that he is one of the few people qualified to do this work. We can’t actually afford to throw people like him away, or there’ll be no one left who is competent in English, Latin and theology. Perhaps ICEL could continue to use him under a pseudonym.

    1. What Paul is recounting here about Alan Griffiths is depressing, if also predictable. But, if what ‘everybody knows’ is true, why didn’t ICEL just say no to CDWDS, and at least make it do its own dirty work. The obtuse failure of authority to listen to anything remotely questioning is exasperating.

      There are, even now, plenty of people around with competence in English, theology and Latin. The trouble is that the authorities don’t want competence; competent people will inevitably question the rules of the game, set as they have been by mindless incompetents.

  4. I hadn’t paid too much attention to the Prefaces until now… I see they’ve reintroduced the problematic “May our voices, we pray, join with theirs” in some of the eschatols. . . thanksgiving interrupted with supplication. While this wasn’t completely undone in the current translation, it was certainly less jarring.

    1. Claire and all – I’m pretty sure James Moroney didn’t leak anything! Someone must have used his name to make fun of him.

  5. The EPs are much the same as what we’ve seen so far. The non-inclusive language is marked: “You formed man in your own image/and entrusted the whole world to his care” (EP4). There is a muddle about who is offered covenants: “For you came in mercy to the aid of all,/so that those who seek might find you./Time and again you offered them covenants/and through the prophets/taught them to look forward to salvation.” I currently correct EP4 to “Again and again you offered a convenant to YOUR PEOPLE (instead of “man”), and through the prophets taught THEM to hope for salvation” which gives a firmer emphasis to the root of salvation history in ancient Israel and its people. The entire text is weakened by a quasi-senile fussiness, as in “taking the chalice filled with the fruit of the vine,” and all those “graciously grant”s.

    1. The ecumenical version of EP4 that was proposed in 1975 for Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Methodists (and which only the Episcopalians and Presbyterians [PCUSA] adopted), read “You formed us in your own image, giving the whole world into our care, so that, in obedience to you, our Creator, we might rule and serve all your creatures. When our disobedience took us far from you, you did not abandon us to the power of death. In your mercy you came to our help, so that in seeking you we might find you. Again and again you called us into covenant with you, and through the prophets you taught us to hope for salvation.”

      Solves a lot of the problems you mention, Joe; but alas, it was too “Catholic” for some of the churches, and the single consecratory-communion epiclesis, following the anamnesis and oblation was problematic for the Catholics.

      1. Yes.

        This happens in RC circles too. Many change EP4 to “Again and again you offered a covenant to us, and through the prophets taught us to hope for salvation” etc. Much neater than “your people” etc.

    2. Is anyone here concerned about the ways these clericalinnovations are out-of-bounds? It makes it appear that the liturgy belongs to the celebrant because he is its master, he at least is the master of the prayers – they must belong to him alone. It is such a shame that a celebrant would presume to do this. The whole mentality appears clericalist to me.

  6. It’s true that the Noachic covenant is offered to all people, but not the covenant with Abraham and the covenant mediated by Moses. There is too much “us” in our prayer-language anyway. Why not bring the Jewish aspect of salvation history back into the picture in the one clause that seems to alllude to it.

    And why, above, all are we not composing new EPs that give a richer picture of salvation history, integrating the current perspectives of humankind on its evolution and history and the variety of cultural traditions? Our liturgical cosmos is a fictional construct, a relic of the ancient world; it asphyxiates faith; we need an appropriate language for worship today, a language that can be prayed by adults.

    1. “why, above, all are we not composing new EPs”

      Because, we’ve lost our nerve, self-confidence and exuberance.

      Important parts of the institutional Church today are like a sick old person: bed-ridden, senile, cringing and clinging to an imagined ideal past, afraid of the clamour around it, not able to apprehend or encounter the contemporary, easily roused to fury but mollified by its own mental musings about the good old days.

      The flight back to Latin is merely a symptom for us English-speakers of this feeble-minded insecurity and loss of self-confidence.

      Frankly, we lack the institutional intelligence, nerve and vigour to devise new EPs as we once did.

      But thank God, there is so much more to the Church than the institution…

      1. “why, above, all are we not composing new EPs”

        Because the vast majority of those composed in the 60s and 70s are cringe-worthy period pieces and we’ve learned from the experience.

      2. Fritz,

        Also, I doubt there is a genuine need. I recall during the Jubilee 10 years ago that there were two EPs composed and authorized for use during the Jubilee year (and they were available online, no less) that were quite serviceable, even lovely in parts, but I never once heard them used and I doubt many others did either.

      3. Fritz

        In the Boston area, I’d say EP3 is used on about 60% of Sundays, EP2 on 20%, and the other two major prayers 10% each. EP2 tends to be used most on hot Sundays where there is no air conditioning, or for Masses where there are extensive ritual elements like baptism or RCIA.

      4. Some reliable statistics on this would be interesting. Of the two priests in my resident parish where I attend daily OF Mass, one uses EP I exclusively and the other uses EP II exclusively.

        Another priest whose Masses I frequent practically never uses EP II and never EP IV. (The only time I recall EP II was Latin ad orientem, so it didn’t seem quite so thin.)

        Another said several months ago that, in the interest of ecumenism, he has resolved to use EP II once per year. However, he said, he had forgotten to do so in 2009, hence was fortifying himself for the ordeal of EP II twice during 2010. I haven’t heard whether he’s gotten past his procrastination. If not, he’ll face a triple ordeal in 2011.

      5. In response to #23, looking for statistics:
        One of our graduate students undertook a brief survey of the priests of our diocese.
        In regards to prefering a particular EP, here are the results:
        EP1 = 12
        EP2 = 21
        EP3 = 32
        EP4 = 11
        Other = 18
        In regards to rationale for picking a partiuclar EP:
        Time factor = 19
        Fit Season/Day/Saint = 18
        Rotation = 15
        Structure = 15
        Fit Scripture = 9
        Other reasons = 22

  7. I think there is little point in further mourning the many goofs in this text — my eye stopped, just now, at “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection”.

    Paradoxically, I think we are in for a period of heavy improvision on the part of (some) priests, who will be unable in good conscience to recite the clunky priests’ parts and will therfore modify them as they go.

    This, in turn, will lead to (some) laypeople following the Mass closely, text in hand, so that they can catch out these “dissidents” and delate them to Rome.

    Full, conscious and active participation!

    1. What’s the problem with “profess”? It’s a legitimate translation of the Latin “confitemur”. I suppose we could use “confess” in its place, but in Catholic English idiom, we tend to view “confession” as the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation, rather than as a profession (I do know one priest who refers to the Creed as our “Confession of Faith,” though he comes from a Protestant background). From what I can tell, the use of the word “profess” helps to avoid confusion.

      1. Where to begin? ‘Profess’ used in this way is stilted and somewhat obsolete. It confuses acknowledging something (in this case about the Lord) with proclaiming something about oneself, often with connotations of insincerity: ‘The bigwigs, those who professed to be carrying on the work of the Mahatma, were all dressed in white homespun pyjamas.’

        It will cause confusion, in a religious context, with professing the vows of a religious order, or with acting as a professor in a seminary, as though we are teaching the Resurrection during the Eucharistic prayer.

        Much better translations of confiteor (I agree that ‘confess’ doesn’t work at all) would be proclaim, declare, affirm, acknowledge.

      2. If the poorly catechized faithful don’t grasp the full meaning of “confess”, the answer is better catechesis, including the liturgical variety. People can learn, and need to. The Church owes them that.

      3. Other Jonathan,

        I don’t know that there would be a problem with the word being confused with Religious Profession, especially as “Profession of Faith” is in our idiom. Perhaps I’m wrong on this, but this particular acclamation appears very much to be a profession of faith directed to Jesus present in the Eucharist. As to wheter it is stilted or obsolete, I’ll leave to others. It seems rather “understandable” to me, even if not commonly used in English speech.

        For all that, a number of the other translations you provided seemed pretty tolerable to me. I think some might run afoul of reducing multiple Latin words into a single English word (as “Areas of Difficulty” pointed out with the numerous words translated as “nourish”).


        Are you suggesting that the Received Text needs to be revised on this point? 🙂

    2. This mentality is so unfortunate. If the liturgy belongs to the whole Church and is not the province of a group-think among the clergy you would expect that the laity would care enough about their liturgy to encourage their clergy to respect them and the sacred lturgy enough to recite the prayers as they are given in the authorized liturgical books.

  8. Sorry, Fritz – your comments are too easy. So, what did we exactly learn?

    To avoid; to reconstruct period pieces; what?

    1. That ritual is characterized primarily by repetition rather than novelty.

      That most people don’t really care if the Eucharistic prayer is up to date.

      That the timely soon becomes dated.

      That people who are good and holy can produce terrible prayers.

      All sorts of things.

      1. Thanks for clarifying w John francis. Now I get your reference to the “experimental” EPs.

        Repetition of EPs is the ritual; but the words and specific EPs may change – in fact, think of enhancements if we had inserts for key seasons, festivals, etc. that tied into that day’s cycle of readings?

        Don’t agree that most people don’t care that the EP is up to date – how do you know? Try doing EPI in latin; guarantee that some people would notice.

        Get your point about timely as in “relevant” but that is not what my vision is.

        Agree that good and holy people can produce chaos.

  9. I am not sure what the vast majority composed during the 60s and 70s means. Unauthorized texts long since discarded? Or, EPs II, III, IV, the EPs for Reconcilation, the EPs for Masses with Children? Are any of these texts the “cringe-worthy period pieces” referred to? All will be continued in the coming Missal, with the exception of the EPs for Children. It is said that these will continue in use, but in a separate book The EPs for Various Needs and Occasions (there has been a title change), composed in the 80s (?), will also be continued in the Missal. I think I have misunderstood the comment.

    1. JRF,

      I was thinking mainly of unauthorized period-pieces. Maybe it’s just a personal fetish of mine: collecting books like Huub Oosterhuis’s Open your Hearts and The Experimental Liturgy Bookedited by Robert F Hoey. The former is particularly fascinating, as the prayers become increasingly agnostic in tone, sounding like monologues from plays by Jean-Paul Sartre.

  10. Maybe I’m just in an optimistic mood today, but looking over the Order of Mass I am hoping for the following scenario: the people’s parts, which are not, in my opinion, all that bad, are likely to remain unchanged for another 40 years at least; but the priests’s parts (including the Eucharistic Prayers), which for the most part range from poor to dreadful, could be revised much sooner (say, within a decade).

    This is at least something I can hope for without retreating entirely into a fantasy world. And I really need something to hope for in the short term.

      1. There is that, but there are many ways to accelerate the wear. Bring many toddlers to Mass, for one. Might only take a week, if you get enough of them.

        We just bought new books a couple of years ago, and a whole set of Spanish books more recently than that. On top of 2 capital campaigns in 10 years, plus the weekly and annual stuff, I’m about done. There are other places to put my donation dollars that are at least as worthy. New books full of Latlish aren’t going to make my list.

  11. On a practical note, besides the change from “bend” to “bow,” has anyone noted any other differences between this “final” version [I assume that this really is final] and the OM posted on the USCCB website? I just did a quick scan and did not find any….

    Also, am I correct in assuming that, in the absence of further “leaks,” these texts will not be made available to us until the hardcover books are printed?

  12. “Because, we’ve lost our nerve, self-confidence and exuberance.”

    Or perhaps we’ve gained some amount of humility, and realized that our own myopic viewpoint, developed at most over several decades, is but a drop in the bucket of theological thought. Hopefully we’ve learned to see ourselves in some context, though I believe evidence suggests that Christians are more likely to value individual achievements, and less interested in living for one another and for God. Whether we’re composing new, rather narrow prayers, or trying to refashion the current ones so that they sound more venerable, my sense is we’re a bit lost right now.

      1. Nope. Hard to be humbled by an experience when you don’t realize/admit anything has gone wrong and can explain everything away.

  13. This first paragraph of the Advent Solemn Blessing, a testimonial to the skill of the still-anonymous-but-becoming-ever-more-obvious revisers, the supervisory dedication of Vox Clara, and the competence of CDWDS:

    2010 HOWLER:
    1. Advent
    May the almighty and merciful God,
    whose Only Begotten Son’s first coming you believe has come
    and whose future coming you now await,
    make you holy by the radiance of Christ’s Advent
    and enrich you with his blessing.
    R. Amen.

    has been replaced by this, it appears to me to be a “dynamically equivalent” version:
    1. Advent
    May the almighty and merciful God,
    by whose grace you have placed your faith [creditis?]
    in the First Coming of his Only Begotten Son
    and yearn [expectatis? isn’t that “emotional” LA, 54?] for his [whose?] coming again
    sanctify you by the radiance of Christ’s Advent
    and enrich you with his [whose?] blessing.
    R. Amen.

    As opposed to 2008’s “Liturgiam authenticam” / “Ratio translationis” version:
    1. In Adventu (M1295bs)
    Omnipotens et misericors Deus, cuius Unigeniti adventum
    et praeteritum creditis, et futurum exspectatis,
    eiusdem adventus vos illustratione sanctificet
    et sua benedictione locupletet.
    R. Amen.

    1. The Season of Advent
    May the almighty and merciful God,
    whose Only-Begotten Son’s first coming you welcome in faith
    and future coming you await,
    make you holy by the radiance of Christ’s Advent
    and enrich you with his blessing.
    R. Amen.

    Estimates of this debacle lasting a decade are generous indeed. Prediction: there will be a website (at least one) with all manner of scholarly and linguistically acceptable and usable “tweakings”. As always, watch the Bolletino for the “promoveatur ut amoveatur” which is almost certainly to follow final publication (as opposed to those, Griffiths, for example, for whom the ecclesial reward for their competence and integrity was simply “amoveantur”).

  14. There’s only one absolute: AVOID THE WORDS “FINAL AND “NEVER” for anything that’s good, true, beautiful and ALIVE, and is being led by the Holy Spirit–ultimately, ultimately–to become the best, most beautiful and most abundantly alive.

  15. Priests can survive the new Eucharistic Prayers by confining themselves to EP2 — it is the shortest and has the fewest infelicities — the notorious “dewfall” which even Msgr Harbert deplores can be quietly dropped.

    Is such tweaking a “clerical innovation” to be ruled “out-of-bounds”, suggestin gthat “the liturgy belongs to the celebrant because he is its master, he at least is the master of the prayers – they must belong to him alone. It is such a shame that a celebrant would presume to do this. The whole mentality appears clericalist to me.”

    In fact the priest is the chief celebrant of a given Eucharist and he has the responsibility to ensure that it is a meaningful and vibrant occasion. Bishops have failed in their reponsibility to provide the best textual basis for this, so priests have a heavier burden to carry. Priests has a specific role and charism that is currently disrespected by bishops and also by laity who only want priests that conform to their cut-and-dried conceptions, comfortingly conventional puppets, who demand no creative participation but simply provide a painless drone so we can get through mass as painlessly as possible.

    So more tweaking, more creativity please. “Once more into the breach, dear friends” and don’t let the mindless bureaucrats get you down.

    1. Let slip the dogs of liturgy?

      Or maybe not, since that might actually be a fair description of what we’re getting. . .

      Yes, more creativity, please. With a good helping of restraint, but creativity.

  16. There are some omissions from the leaked text.

    There is no daily requiem Mass. Is that Mass contained in a separate abridged missal? Yes, some priests still say the daily requiem at private Mass. Something tells me that priests that like to say private Masses (especially private requiems) will just use the EF form anyway. I get the sense that the OF discourages Masses for the holy souls on ferial days, which is quite sad.

    Also, the Missal includes a form for private Mass. Why? Interestingly, the priest is not supposed to dismiss the server after the blessing. Why shouldn’t the server be dismissed? After all, he is the proxy for a congregation.

    PS The translation of the Canon is A+. Hats off to the translators, especially for the te igitur and the unde et memores. Those of us that read Latin cannot deny that this new translation is infinitely clearer than the 1967 production.

    1. I’m not sure “private” Mass is the appropriate term. I think we have moved past it since the liturgical renewal which takes a broader view of the celebration of the Eucharist.

      To my knowledge there never has been a daily requiem Mass in the revised Missal. I don’t think requiem Masses are less common today than they were before in the sense that the fruits of a Mass are offered for a deceased person. I think its the externals of the requiem Mass that are less common (i.e. black vestments, propers for the dead being used, etc.).

      The Missal includes a form for the celebration of Mass at which only one person participates. I am not totally sure as to the reasoning behind the lack of a dismissal. Perhaps it is because the rite assumes the person present is acting as a minister and not just as a member of the congregation. I am also not sure that we still speak of the server as acting as a proxy for a congregation.

      As to the new translation of the Roman Canon, if you mean that it is a much more literal translation of the Latin, then yes you are correct. If you mean that it is faithful to the Latin which being intelligible in English, I am afraid I would have to disagree, and thus it is not clearer, but rather more obscure. The Canon, even in Latin is a patchwork of different eras and different qualities of Latin prose. In some places it doesn’t even really makes sense in the Latin, to render that literally in English does an injustice to both in my view. I would have preferred a better balance between fidelity and intelligibility.

    2. Nobis quoque peccatoribus famulis tuis
      To us also, your sinful servants
      To us, also, your servants, who, though sinners

      Per ipsum et cum ipso et in ipso
      est tibi Deo Patri omnipotenti,
      in unitate Spritus Sancti,
      omnis honor et gloria,
      per omnia sæcula sæculorum.
      Through him, and with him, and in him,
      to you, O God, almighty Father,
      in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
      is all honor and glory,
      for ever and ever.
      Through him, and with him, and in him,
      O God, almighty Father,
      in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
      all glory and honor is yours,
      for ever and ever.

      Oh yes, hats off to the translators: especially to the fired translator, Fr. Alan Griffiths, and the anonymous musician, who have received the due ecclesiastical reward for their competence, honesty and integrity from a gang lacking in all three (make that two gangs, CDWDS and Vox Clara, and possibly three gangs, if you include SICEL [Spineless International Commission on English in the Liturgy]: I know the job market is tight, guys, but really . . . how DO you sleep at night?).

      Hats back on, however, for the nitwits who don’t get an A+, but certainly deserve some recognition for the having set a record for the greatest number of commas used with the fewest number of words, and for successfully violating several prescriptions of Liturgiam authenticam in the doxology to the eucharistic prayer, a text which – unlike their god-awful Preface texts and mangled Collect constructions, recurs at the end of every eucharistic prayer in every single Mass.

      Special recognition, too, to Bishop Serratelli, who was urgently informed MONTHS ago about the problem with the doxology, and who not only did not deign to respond to that urgent concern but didn’t bother to get the thing fixed either. Must have been busily at work on his pastoral letter.

  17. The Canon is the thread that links the Roman Mass to centuries of history. Yes, it is cryptic at some points. No one knows what the postpositive igitur refers to (though even Cicero sometimes uses igitur without a clear referent.) However it is a prayer rich in alliteration and meter. I wonder why a priest would not want to say the Canon in Latin all the time. The beauty is inestimable.

    I respect those that would rather have a prayer that is easier to understand and written in a contemporary idiom. The new eucharistic prayers can fill that void. The Canon, however, is so vitally important to the liturgical development of western Christianity that it must be translated in the most literal way possible. People deserve to listen and understand the unambiguous theology of propitiatory sacrifice that is at the heart of apostolic faith. The Canon is a catechism of eucharistic theology in five minutes. Why should we obscure this profundity with paraphrases? People that have difficulty understanding the Canon in translation should be offered catechesis and not a paraphrase that blunts the profundity of the prayer. One might be surprised that your “average Catholic” appreciates a glimpse into this most ancient prayer.

    Immediate comprehension and congregational “reception” should never be the final stop in translation. All of us, at one time or another, struggle to understand text and meaning. Let’s give everyone a chance to learn and love the Mass as it unfolds.

  18. The Four Eucharistic Prayers are equally canonical — putting the Roman Canon on a different theological plane would be very wrong.

    “I wonder why a priest would not want to say the Canon in Latin all the time. The beauty is inestimable.”

    I certainly would like to do so, and I say it in English quite often (though I shall have to avoid it when the monstrous new translation comes into force). But of course the Mass is not about what a priest might want but what the people need. Falling back on the Latin would signify that we have failed to produce prayers in the vernacular, or that the Mass cannot be prayed in the vernacular, or cannot be prayed at all.

    “All of us, at one time or another, struggle to understand text and meaning.” But only when the text is beautiful or profound or appears to be so. The new texts of the Mass are not beautiful and they are no more profound than the current ones that they are supposed to replace; all they add is a dimension of fussiness and opacity. The people will not “learn and love” these texts; they may become acclimatized to them as to a bad smell; those with sensitive noses can leave.

    1. Falling back on the Latin would signify that we have failed to produce prayers in the vernacular, or that the Mass cannot be prayed in the vernacular, or cannot be prayed at all.

      I do agree that the new propers translations are lacking in many respects. It’s a shame that Coverdale and Cramner did not get a seat at the translation table. This translation certainly does not capture the union of Latin acumen and English prose of two theologians that sharply disagreed with the Roman Mass to say the least! This new translation attempts to capture something of these influential translations, and often misses the mark and even the target.

      Still, the new translations attempt to capture nuances lost in the Sacramentary. The endless repetitions of quaesumus or “we pray” in the orations of the new translation might annoy. Nevertheless, as Christine Mohrmann has demonstrated in her analyses of the Roman Canon, quaesumus is a seminal classical and late Latin ritual supplication. This link to Roman cult is profound and was lamentably dropped because it could not be “prayed well”. Which is more important? Comprehension, or prayer that conveys millennia of cultural memory? The Sacramentary cut this thread. Perhaps, then, we cannot reproduce supplication in a contemporary idiom, and either must settle for a stilted vernacular or the original Latin vehicle of semantic meaning.

      Any claim that the vernacular is necessary for the Mass falls on the enormous cultural, social, linguistic, and certainly theological weight of centuries of accumulated Latin prayer. The internal logic of the Mass is entirely Latin: the vernacular is merely an assistance for prayer.

      I do not wish to belabor this point: I know my views are in the minority. Yet one can disagree with aspects of the new translation and still admire its ideological direction.

      1. The Mohrmann citation:

        Mohrmann, Christine. “Quelques observations sur l’evolution stylistique du Canon de la messe romain”. Vigiliae Christianae vol. 4, no. 1 (1950) 1 — 19. See in particular her discussion of the quam oblationem on 16 — 17.

        The article is vailable via JSTOR for lazy researchers like me.

  19. How is the theology of sacrifice of the Roman Canon clearer or deeper than that of its current English translation or than of the three other Eucharistic prayers? Generally the 1973 translations move closer to biblical presentation of doctrine, which means in the direction of depth and clarity.

  20. The Roman Canon is “rich in alliteration and meter” — yes. But to retain or give an equivalent of its rhythmic qualities one cannot “translate it in the most literal way possible”. The current English translation actually gives a better sense of the rhythm and movement of the Roman Canon than the pedantic, flat-footed, tone-deaf literalist translation now being proposed.

  21. In fact this is a huge contradiction at the heart of Liturgiam Authenticam: a literal translation by definition has to sacrifice beauty of style and form — you cannot have it both ways.

  22. Jonathan Day :

    Where to begin? ‘Profess’ used in this way is stilted and somewhat obsolete. It confuses acknowledging something (in this case about the Lord) with proclaiming something about oneself, often with connotations of insincerity: ‘The bigwigs, those who professed to be carrying on the work of the Mahatma, were all dressed in white homespun pyjamas.’
    It will cause confusion, in a religious context, with professing the vows of a religious order, or with acting as a professor in a seminary, as though we are teaching the Resurrection during the Eucharistic prayer.
    Much better translations of confiteor (I agree that ‘confess’ doesn’t work at all) would be proclaim, declare, affirm, acknowledge.

    The point of the Confiteor is that it is an Act of Penitence, or Pentitential Rite, so therefore you are CONFESSING to almighty God that I have sinned through my own fault. If we were to declare, proclaim affirm or acknowledge, then that would take away the significance of the prayer being used as an option in the Act of Penitence. We asking the Lord’s forgiveness for any sin we have committed. It is a penitential prayer, where we are confessing our sins to almighty God. The priest’s invocation after that is “May almighty God have Mercy on us and forgive us our sins and bring us all to everlasting life or life everlasting.” Besides, the word confess has traditionally been used here, and we celebrate our Masses according the the tradition of…

    1. I believe that Mr. Day was referring to the word ‘confitemur’ in the response to ‘mystery of faith’: Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine, et tuam resurectionem confitemur, donec venias.

      It is not unusual, when discussing a Latin verb to refer to it in the first person singular, namely, in this case, confiteor.

      The issue, as far as understand it, is not its translation in the act of penitence, but its translation in the post consecration.

  23. Tim, somehow your post was cut off, so I can’t see how it ends.

    Nonetheless we were speaking not of the Confiteor, which, as you say, is part of the penitential rite at the start of the Mass, but of the triumphant acclamation in the Eucharistic prayer, where the priest says (my translations in brackets)

    Mysterium fidei (“The mystery of faith”)

    and the people reply

    Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine,
    et tuam resurrectionem confitemur, donec venias

    (“We proclaim your death, Lord, and acknowledge your resurrection, until you come again.”)

    Confiteor (here in the 1st person plural, confitemur) means “own”, “acknowledge”; it can mean “confess”, but in this context that translation would be stilted at best, misleading at worst.

    I agree that in the penitential rite it is fine to translate it as “confess”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *