Translating the Roman Canon: 1967 and 2010 (part I)

Pray Tell regular Graham Wilson called our attention to a 1967 booklet titled “The Roman Canon in English Translation,” authored by ICEL and published by Geoffrey Chapman Ltd. On the back cover is a note, reading in part:

This is the first part of the Mass to be translated by the Committee, and its availability will bring forward the day when the canon of the Mass is said aloud and in English. The translation itself is of outstanding merit and its virtues are particularly apparent when it is read aloud. The Committee have annotated their translation of the canon so that all may see the liturgical, historical and linguistic considerations which have led to this particular version.

This 1967 “experimental” translation closely resembles the English translation currently in use, although there are signs that it’s an early draft (for example, “the mystery of faith” is not yet in its now-familiar location).

Editorial assistant Chris Ángel has prepared the following table, where the 1967 commentary is presented alongside the full text of the Canon in both the 1967 translation and the upcoming translation (as provided on the USCCB Web site). We share it with you to show the specific reasons for decisions made in the 1960s, and also to allow you to see the 2010 translation against this background.

Translating the Roman Canon: 1967 and 2010 (part I)

The second part of this series is now posted. The third part of this three-part series is now also online.

60 comments

  1. I am delighted to see this booklet exhumed. I read it in the British Library 2 years ago. It shows the mature theological reflection behind our current translation of the Roman Canon — a far more satisfactory text in every way than its proposed replacement.

  2. “The English spoken style does not have anything
    corresponding to the Latin multiplication of adjectives; in fact the effect in English is to weaken rather than to strengthen the sense.”

    I was interested to see this explanation, which helps me to understand why I find the chronic pile-up of adjectives so unhelpful in the new translation. Such a style of expression seems weak and flowery rather than direct and strong. It even at times suggests a certain sycophancy or palace flattery. The document suggests it is also just not good English.

    1. Are the Latin writers perhaps making up for the lack of adjectives in the Bible? Or is that another flaw in translating from the original languages into English?

      The comment about piling on with adjectives is spot on, RIta. I find I get lost in the new sentences. If I have to go back and read the printed version three times, cutting out all of the subordinate clauses to extract the point, I can guarantee that my attention will wander if I’m listening to someone read it aloud. Eventually, I’ll tune out altogether, I’m afraid.

    2. It is interesting that Christine Mohrmann in Liturgical Latin: its Origins and Character (1957) page 68-69 attributes, especially the Canon, to the

      “sacral style in the primitive pagan prayers of the Roman national religion. This monumental verbosity coupled with juridical precision, which is so well suited to the gravitas Romana…also betrays a certain scrupulosity with regard to higher powers.”

      The she gives some pagan prayer texts.

      “On this point there can be no doubt. In these primitive Roman prayer texts one finds the same stylistic peculiarities as in the prayers of our Canon: the same wealth of words, the same parallelism, alliteration, and rhyme, the same juridical precision”

      She indicates this was a sacred style that the Emperor Augustus had tried to revive for the imperial cult.

      Sounds to me like when the liturgy went from the Greek into Latin, they were trying to attract the upper crust of Roman society. Actually some of the upper class would have known literary Greek, but that was not the Greek of the lower classes of Rome who were Christian.

      Seems like we are keeping an old inculturation that is not understood or appreciated today in the name of avoiding an inculturation that would make our liturgy more understood and admired today.

  3. I will greatly lament the loss of “We come to you Father…” such a beautiful way to begin this section of the prayer.

    1. Good observation, Sean. I agree. There are some small phrases of this kind that have spoken so simply, to and from the heart, about the truth of who God is for us.

      1. I agree with you both! In addition to the one Sean mentioned, one of the phrases I will miss is,” He always loved those who were His own in the world”

      2. Yes, Linda, whether it was fit by LA/VC standards or not, I will miss that phrase, too. Funny how my faith seems to have survived the evils of MR1 and 2 in English. Many phrases indeed I will pen in my own prayerbook for private meditation. “Chestnuts of our faith” I have always called them.

  4. I am grateful, particularly, that the suggestion of ICEL in lines 30-32 was not taken up.

    The (non-biblical) list of the names of the martyrs from early on fascinated me– who were these people? Why are they worthy of being mentioned here? This led to my own personal search for understanding why these folks were important to the Faith, and also helped me to understand the Church as in continuity with that of what was received by the Apostles.

    1. I agree with this too–at least up to a point. I have always liked the longer lists. But it is interesting to me that neither the translation we have nor the 2010 takes up the actual suggestion of having available an abbreviated list based on those mentioned in the Bible as a possible “shorter form.” The shorter form is only: Peter, Paul, Andrew; and it is the same in both. I wonder how Andrew made the cut, and not any of the other apostles.

      1. Agreed. I think, too, that the ability to insert the “saint of the day” (ala EP III) would be a welcomed addition. I lament the loss of the current layout in the first set: “….Simon and Jude. We honor Linus, Cletus…” That simple break makes a very long list much easier to handle. I can imagine those presiders who do use the entire listing now hesitating with the new translation.

      2. Hey Rita,

        Good catch on St. Andrew. The answer comes via Archbishop Annibale Bugnini in his book The Reform of the Liturgy. Originally Andrew was to be in the brackets, but at the insistence of Pope Paul VI, Andrew as the brother of Peter and patron on the Patriarch of Constantinople, was to always be named.

        The Reform of the Liturgy, p. 381. Footnote 45.

  5. The 44-page booklet is available online for everyone who wants to study it.

    “The Roman Canon in English Translation” (ICEL, 1967)

    Link (PDF 4.1MB)

  6. ICEL’s decision to cover over threefold adjectival alliterations (dona/munera/sancta, sanctam/puram/hostiam, &c.) in their 1967 Canon paraphrase demonstrates both the consequences of the 1967 rubrical simplifications and internal ideological trends.

    The ICEL paraphrase’s removal of the adjectival alliterations faithfully aligns with the Concilium’s drastic reduction of sacerdotal blessings in 1967 (cf. tres abhinc annos 11b). Even so, the tripartite adjectival alliterations and sacerdotal blessings in the traditional celebration of the Canon, especially when combined with the blessings at the words corpus and sanguinis, affirm and celebrate both the Trinity and the dual nature of Christ within the context of sacrificial theurgy. ICEL’s omission of alliterations, as well as certain words such as hostia (in the classical definition, a very messy sacrifice of animal flesh, not a generic ‘sacrifice’), suggests a great unease with the re-presentation of actual human sacrifice. The ICEL paraphrase collapses marvellous semiotic junctions of blessing and prayer for no apparent profit.

    The 2010 translation restores a degree of semiotic depth lost in 1967. Perhaps the Vatican might restore the blessings to the Canon and reaffirm its profundity!

    1. Replace “alliteration” with “assonance” in all instances. Please pardon the mistake. Back to first year composition, then.

    2. Jordan, I want to understand what you are suggesting the translation of hostia ought to be if not “sacrifice.” I can’t think of an English word that says bloody mess flesh sacrifice except, well, sacrifice. Is there another English term that would be less “generic”? “Victim” isn’t any less generic really; we use the term for all sorts of misfortunes typically. (My program was the victim of budget cuts; he was the victim of identity theft; etc.)

      1. You are right, Rita (and by extension Fritz). There is no precise English equivalent to hostia. Both “sacrifice” and “victim” inaccurately capture subtleties.

        The supra quae of the Canon states sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam. The ICEL translation renders both as “sacrifice” in keeping with its translation of Latin adjective phrases.

        Hebrews 7:27, on the priesthood of Melchisedech:

        qui [i.e. Melchisedech] non habet cotidie necessitatem quemadmodum sacerdotes prius pro suis delictis hostias [θυσίας] […] (Vulgate, NA 27)

        The supra quae cites Melchisedech’s sacrifices (sacrificia/hostia, θυσίας) as a distinct instance of a non-flesh sacrifice. A translation of “sacrifice” is congruent with the definition of Mass as the unbloody re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary.

        Matthew 5:24 places θυσία in an entirely different sense:

        relinque ibi munus tuum ante altare [τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου] et vade prius reconciliare fratri tuo […] (Vulgate, NA 27)

        θυσιαστήριον (lit. “sacrifice-site”) is formed directly from θυσιάζω (to sacrifice). Matthew places the sacrificial context within the context of the Temple, a place of animal immolation. An implicit understanding of θυσια as “victim” makes sense here.

        Certainly Matthew and the author of Hebrews write from divergent perspectives, with different objectives, and in slightly different periods. Still, the flesh/non-flesh possibilities within hostia/θυσία suggests that the hostia in the unde et memores might not be the same sacrificia/hostia in the supra quae. Melchisedech cannot be retrospectively linked to the unde et memores even if Melchisedech’s sacrifice typifies the Mass in some respects. Ugh, typology — but I can’t think of any better way to put it right now 🙁

    3. suggests a great unease with the re-presentation of actual human sacrifice.

      As does holy scripture (presuming you mean by “human sacrifice” the sort of thing done in the worship of Moloch, and not simply a sacrifice offered by humans). I know of no orthodox Christian interpretation that identifies it as a species of “human sacrifice.”

      1. Quite true, The Mass is the re-presentation of the same sacrifice of Calvary, but now in an unbloody manner (the offering of bread and wine). The Mass is not a human sacrifice, but is the same sacrifice as Calvary. It is grossly illogical to conflate the two events without fine distinction.

        I am still puzzled by the hostia in the unde et memores. Heresy isn’t the way to square the circle.

  7. This is great – have not seen this type of line up since the late 1970’s and it documents in “black and white” the liturgical history, the theology, and linguistic reasons for choices made in 1969/1973.

    Appreciate the further addition of a historical work that lays out the canon, its evolution/development from ancient Roman Empire roots, etc.

    This captures the directive given at the end of VII to implement SC using dynamic translation; taking steps to be direct, simple, and clean in the vernacular. (which is more difficult task in english vs the romantic languages that are closer to latin roots).

    Unlike V2010, it is documented; the decisions have been given careful thought; given foundational reasons. Yes, you can see that a translator has to make a choice at times – and there were and are good/better reasons at times to not revert to a “literal” translation of MR3.

    Where is the equavilent today in VC2010 or even 2008? Where is the documentation; the historical trail that identifies the differences and why a choice was made?

    Thanks to those who recaptured and put this together. Without this same type of documentation, VC2010 merely brings us a step closer to the inevitable “grudge match’ – you got your way in 2010; some time later someone else will get their way.

    Rather than a well reasoned both/and approach that would have had the original ICEL work to bridge the concerns of both Comme Le Prevoit and LA to arrive at the best liturgical expressions.

  8. Attaching an adjective to a vocative is a violation of English usage? What about the current translation of the Exsultet: “Most blessed of all nights . . .” “O happy fault, O necessary sin . . .” “Night truly blessed . . .”

    After hearing this year after year, has anyone ever paused and thought “Hey, that’s an odd way of speaking, no one talks like that!”

    Alternative opening prayer for Advent III, year B in the proposed ’97 Sacramentary: “O God, most high and most near . . . ”

    Alternative opening prayer for Jan. 1, proposed ’97 Sacramentary: “Most high God, you come near to us this Christmas season . . .”

    We’ll get used to “most merciful Father.”

  9. How respectful of the reader! I love how they explain and try to justify their choices. By giving their reasons, they open themselves to criticism. They are letting themselves be vulnerable. They treat the reader as an intelligent being who can see for him- or herself what kind of problems faced them and how they solved them.
    They also have enough confidence in the seriousness of their work to be willing to show it without fear of being embarrassed by the exposure of numerous oversights or egregious mistakes.

    Where’s the booklet that goes with the 2010 translation?

  10. What I appreciate about this is that it does show that there was nothing really sinister about how the English translation came about. There are very good reasons shown. But none of the reasons shown are infallible even if one goes out on a limb and says this is a direct distillation of what Vatican II asked of the vernacular. Linguists more familiar with English I think would posit a variety of opinions too about the comparisons of the first English translation and the 2010. The translators were following a hermeneutic proposed by Comme Le Prevoit, that allowed for this type of translation, that’s an important element that we need to understand why we got what we’ve had for 40 years.
    Now when it comes to taste and a concern for accuracy in terms of the typical edition of the Latin Rite Mass, I prefer the 2010 over the earlier translation. I think most English speaking people in 1967 would have preferred the 2010 translation of the Roman Canon because that is what they were familiar with in terms of their hand missals that tried for accurate translations of the Latin original even though depending on the missal company, that translation would have varied but not so much in terms of accuracy. By the same token, I think it would be unfair to say LA is a sinister development in terms of a hermeneutic of translation. It too could be modified or even changed down the road. One could also write a rationale similar to what we have in the 1967 document.

    1. Fr. McDonald,

      Your comment that “most English speaking people in 1967 would have preferred the 2010 translation of the Roman Canon because that is what they were familiar with in terms of their own hand missals” at the time prompted me to open my 1961 New Marian Missal for the first time in many years. Thumbing through the missal got me to thinking that I must be a distant outlier from your hypothetical English-speaking population. As one who lived through the transition, I would not have have preferred the 2010 for its similarity to my 1961 hand missal, because at the time, I found the English of the missal to be quite alien.

      The thing that brought this to mind is a passage I happened across in my missal where the people’s response was “It is meet and just.” Of course we now say “It is right to give Him thanks and praise” and will soon be saying “It is right and just.” Anyhow, I thought back to that era and this response in particular. I remember asking my mother about it and she, with just an eighth grade education and being from a working class German-speaking neighborhood in Saint Louis, had no idea what it meant. No homilist or catechist had explained it to her.

      The Catholic school I attended in an affluent Washington D.C. suburb offered no help either. Liturgical catechesis there was administered with a stiff wide black belt by Father B., our parish priest, in an empty room across from the principal’s office. This catechesis was usually performed after the compulsory mass on the first Friday of the month. The catechesis did not delve into the fine points of the liturgy. Rather, it attempted to make the case for why nine, ten, and eleven year old boys should not fidget or chuckle during mass when we had to say something silly sounding like “It is meet and just.” Fortunately, I never received liturgical catechesis from Father B.

    2. Unfortunately, however, I did receive that black belt catechesis several times, usually around report card time, for being somewhat of a dullard academically.

      Nor were the nuns at that school much help. Following Father B’s example, they too seemed to follow a scorched earth approach to things catachetical and pedagogical. For example, Sister J’s method for teaching seventh and eighth grade math was to humiliate and intimidate. I remember one instance being made to stand in front of class while Sister J called me a human vegetable and a human sponge. This outburst was my reward for not memorizing the entire table of squares and square roots from 1 to 255. Under this regime, questions of any sort were not encouraged. Obedience, rote memorization and recitation were. I never dared ask Father B, Sister J, or any of the other nuns about the strange wording in the missal. It was just something we were expected to recite by rote without question.

      With all due respect Fr. McDonald, based on my experience with the catechesis associated with the pre-1967 hand missal translations, I almost find it laughable when apologists for the new translation assert that it presents a tremendous opportunity for liturgical catechesis. The new liturgical catechesis will not be of the black belt type, but I predict that it won’t be any more effective. In the case of this new translation, liturgical catechesis will likely evolve into a catechesis of benign neglect. After the initial catechtical furor associated with introduction of the new translation passes, catechists and homilists will explain with less and less frequency such things as why the Eucharistic Prayer says that Christ poured out his blood for many, not all. This fine and rather delicate point will be crowded out by other things. Then, five, ten, or twenty years from now, after millions of repetitions, the people in the pews will only know that Christ poured out his blood for many.

    3. At that point, to the extent anyone even thinks about it, they will conclude that because Jesus Christ poured out his blood for many, there must be some who fall somewhere between many and all for whom Christ did not die. Who are these people?

      Fr. McDonald, as one who used a pre-1967 hand missal, I believe I can say that I would NOT have preferred the 2010 version if it had been offered as a replacement. The two are too much alike. Both speak to me in an alien tongue. Furthermore, based on my catechetical experiences with the 2010-like translation of my 1961 hand missal, I have little confidence that the Church will mount the continued and sustained catechesis necessary to ensure that successive generations of English-speaking Catholics understand the nuanced messages contained in the sacred codewords being incorporated into this liturgy. In my view, it would be better to continue to use simple direct language that can be understood on its face and handed down from one generation to another without the need for continuing repetitive reinforcing explanation.

      1. Russ, I recognize your position. I agree that a thorough catechesis is not possible for most Catholics. However, I have also observed that a small number of Catholics, when presented with unfamiliar liturgy, will desire basic instruction. In my experience, relatively few people will take up on catechesis for any liturgy even when priests and laypeople are more than willing to start a discussion group.

        I have often wanted to read the Latin of the Mass with an informal group. I would not do this without an orthodox priest to provide catechesis along the way (as I have made some very bad theological missteps here at PrayTell — thank goodness I’m not a catechist.) Still, I have never been able to round together enough interested people even at a university. Strangely, I’ve been asked to read medieval philosophy with secular philosophy students in an informal setting. Why do secular students want a ecclesiastical Latin “jam session”, but Catholics do not want to explore the basis for their worship?

        I’ll moderate the group for free. Okay, maybe for a diet Coke. I have a great desire to share the ancient language that supports the translation. Finding similarly passionate people has been a trying task to say the least.

        Language exploration and catechesis are only effective when people seek out those who are willing to offer mutual assistance.

      2. Russ, CLP used one way of translating the Latin into English and LA uses another. Those who worked for missal companies prior to Vatican II did not use a CLP approach, but rather the LA approach. The missals normally had Latin on one side and a literalistic translation of English on the other. Different missals employed different translations, some used more archaic language others tried to be more 1950’s English sounding.
        When we finally received the 1970 missal, I don’t think many laity were aware that the translation from Latin into English was an equivalency. I can’t speak for others, but I always thought the post Vatican II Latin Mass simplified the Latin, thus we had a simplified English.Most of us equated simplified with being shorter and a shorter Mass was certainly to be praised! Certainly we can say that with the pre-Vatican II Confiteor and the Post Vatican II one, there is a significant change in the Latin text too. But I thought too that the Latin Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and First Eucharistic Prayer were changed in the Latin also. But these were not.
        So my perspective is that I prefer a more accurate translation of the Latin into English. For example, my mother is Italian and speaks to me in Italian. When someone asks me what she said, I give a literal translation, I don’t normally paraphrase. But then I speak my English like an Italian sometimes. Italian is very beautiful, no?

      3. Ultimately, though, I really believe that sometimes and no matter what side of the spectrum we find ourselves in terms of likes and dislikes, tastes, etc, we should be willing to be flexible and pray for the best interests of the English speaking Church as it refers to the Mass and her liturgical and spiritual life. While the Church may not be perfect or infallible in legislative decisions, administration or translation, she is guided by the Holy Spirit and it will all come out in the wash at the end, the Second Coming. Sometimes we have to swallow our pride and go with the flow and hope for the best and the best is redemption and the perfect liturgy of heaven of which the earthly one is but a foretaste.

      4. Jordan and Fr. McDonald,

        Thanks for your patient responses to my somewhat emotional outburst. We actually may share some common ground.

        Jordan: Diet coke seems like a reasonable fee. I’ll also bring coffee (the elixir of life).

        Fr. McDonald: I don’t know Italian, but from what little I’ve heard, it does sometimes have a beautiful sound.

        All: I must clear up one inaccuracy in my post #30. In the 1961-1962 timeframe, if my memory is now properly refreshed after a good night’s sleep, we 5th, 6th, and 7th graders weren’t chuckling and fidgeting in the pews over what we were reciting, but what we were reading in English in our missals as we followed what was being said around the altar.

      5. “While the Church may not be perfect or infallible in legislative decisions, administration or translation, she is guided by the Holy Spirit and it will all come out in the wash at the end, the Second Coming. Sometimes we have to swallow our pride and go with the flow and hope for the best ”

        Sorry, Fr McDonald, but after recently reading the Philadelphia grand jury report (and other reports in the last couple of years), those nice-sounding words strike me as dangerous. I cannot proceed from such an attitude of basic trust in church authorities. I *know* that such trust is not warranted.

      6. “Sorry, Fr McDonald, but after recently reading the Philadelphia grand jury report (and other reports in the last couple of years), those nice-sounding words strike me as dangerous. I cannot proceed from such an attitude of basic trust in church authorities. I *know* that such trust is not warranted.”

        But then of what use is our faith??

      7. Claire, do you trust anyone? Jesus? Who’s to say it wasn’t all a big hoax? Vatican II? We know Bishop Falley doesn’t trust it at all. The Holy Spirit guides the Church despite sinful members of the Church which includes the clergy and the laity. Certainly if civil law or canon law is blatantly disregarded or broken, there should be consequences. It is interesting though, that in the post on Pope Benedict you write: “I was particularly interested in the quote saying that councils before V2 used words of “threat”, “intimidation”, “surveillance”, “punishment”, “superior speaking to an inferior”, and that V2 was a sharp departure from that.
        The current missal, or at least my experience of it, emphasizes our relationship to God as one of love, family, friendship, closeness.”
        Isn’t part of the problem that we have had too little accountability since Vatican II and too little punishment for serious crimes against canon law and civil law?
        I don’t trust a translation that is Pollyanna on any of those things or people who suggest anyone is above canon law or civil law, that we should just forgive without repentance, without penance and without the possibility of damnation.

      8. After having read reports about sexual abuse cover-ups, it is impossible for me to *trust* that church authorities are guided by the Holy Spirit. As Tom Beaudoin wrote in America’s blog on 2/12: “Who can read the detailed reports of any single searing episode of abuse and coverup and not be changed by it?” …

        My way to keep faith has been to separate the Church from the collection of bishops, chanceries, and Vatican administrators. They are part of the Church, but they are not the Church. And so, when they come up with anything (including the new translation), I am willing to try to keep an open mind as I listen to their arguments, but, if those fail to convince me, I cannot resort to trust.

        If that attitude is widespread, it will make the new missal implementation even more of a challenge.

        (You might have a point about laxist attitudes having contributed to the rot, but that’s a different topic. All I want to point out is that the trust is gone, so arguments appealing to either basic trust or authority will not be heard by me nor by people like me.)

  11. We are about to give the majority of the people a new prayerbook, who never thought their current one was broken. It will be offered to them by priests, who for the most part, find the new missal a stumbling mess. It has the wordiness of Joe Biden with the unusual big word placements of Sarah Palin. To continue in a political vein, this should sound more like the beautiful words of Abraham Lincoln. Our English language has the potential to move our hearts to the heavens. I am saddened that something so dear to us will be dividing us. The people of God deserve much better.

    1. Would you identify your source for the declaration ” …priests, who for the most part, find the new missal a stumbling mess.”

      Did someone take a poll?

      The priests I know are pretty enthused and supportive.

      1. Well, let’s see your scientific sampling of the priests. You DO hear about priests in groups making known their distaste for the 3rd Edition. I am not aware of any groups speaking out on how wonderful it is. If there are, please let us know.

      2. Several thousand priest signed the WIWJSW petition – something unprecedented in the history of liturgical renewal in the US as far as I know. I don’t recall any such expression by so many priests since the 1974 translation came in.
        awr

  12. ” The shorter form is only: Peter, Paul, Andrew; and it is the same in both. I wonder how Andrew made the cut, and not any of the other apostles.”

    Saint Andrew was the first disciple called by Jesus and he brought his brother Peter to the Lord. I expect that is why his name is always mentioned in the Roman Canon.

  13. It’s interesting to read the 2010 version supposedly translated according to the principles set forth in Liturgiam Authenticam which called for, among other things, a greater faithfulness to scriptural references.

    Sadly, the very words of institution, found in all three synoptics, were altered….precious chalice???? Seems the 2010 version has more to do with ideology than theology and faithfulness to scripture. They showed their hand here.

    1. If that were the case, why wouldn’t these pious usages have been eliminated in the 2002 MR in Latin. I know some people and maybe some linguists who are knowledgeable in translating from one language to another, are saying that we don’t need the “flowery” language of the Latin that is still in the MR 2002 Latin edition. But is piety and devotion that remains in the Latin, useless for English speakers?
      Apart from accuracy of translation of the MR2002 into English, why should English speakers give up pious references still found in the Latin edition of the MR2002?

  14. Fr. Allen, I’m just looking for some consistency based on the principles set forth. If we will need to say, “under my roof” because it’s a scriptural reference….and we want to be more faithful to scripture…why not keep “cup” in the words of institution? The exceptions to the rules reveal the hidden or not so hidden agenda underlying this whole mess.

    1. Agendas have always been at work in the Church, before, during and after Vatican II. What my seminary was very good at doing was showing what the pre-Vatican II Church taught and why, what occurred during Vatican II including the major disagreements which one cannot deduce from reading the documents and what has happened since, especially in the formulation of the revised Mass and other intrigues down to this day. I think we need to be able to live with it; it always has been.

  15. The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland has requested that the new translation not be introduced for five years. A spokesperson for the bishops responded that the translation is written in stone. Stones can be broken.

  16. Anthony Ruff, OSB :
    Several thousand priest signed the WIWJSW petition – something unprecedented in the history of liturgical renewal in the US as far as I know. I don’t recall any such expression by so many priests since the 1974 translation came in.awr

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    That is nothing to be proud of. you have just taught several lay people that it is OK to completely disobey the Vatican, The Holy Father and Rome. How ill you delay the translations, or not use them and then a few weeks later continue to preach to your parishes about the importance of the magesterium and obedience? It will all sound rather hypocritical if renegade Priests refuse to use the new translation. As a simple lay person this whole thing saddens me. I am satisfied with whatever Rome is bringing us because they have proven in line by line comparisons that it is more expressive and clear. I trust them, that is enough for me. What I do not know I will have to learn on my own by digging a little deeper into our Mass. But I fully support our Holy Father.

    1. “you have just taught several lay people that it is OK to completely disobey the Vatican”

      Mitch, this is complete poppycock. Nobody, either on the What If We Just Said Wait initiative or here at PrayTell, has taught people to disobey the Vatican at all, much less “completely.” I daresay the people who have raised serious questions are using their brains to understand and respond to a very troubling and complex situation. It can’t be boiled down to: The pope said it. Besides, have you even read the WIWJSW petition? It never says what you claim it does, even remotely. It asks for time and consultation. Sorry, but that’s not disobedience.

      You may very well trust the people who sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, but that doesn’t mean you are going to get what you paid for.

  17. Mitch Powers, we don’t know yet how the translations will be received. If the faithful do not receive them at all the priests will not be able to receieve them either. Maybe the bishops will do what the German bishops had to do with the new funeral prayers — tell Rome that they would not be using them.

    Even Fr Zuhlsdorf says he will be tweaking the new translations judiciously and we saw one bishop here recommend his priests to do the same, without telling him. If a given priest found that retaining the current text of the Eucharistic Prayers was the most convenient and least stressful thing for all concerned that could be a wise pastoral adaptation, not a renegade act. I do not see how this could be proscribed any more than were an individual priests to celebrate mass in latin; the latter would be a shock to the faithful unless they had requested it; the former would probably not shock anyone.

  18. Better yet, like our bishops in the Philippines, don’t bother considering the translation change at all for fear it would open a can of worms–six different translations at least.

    Or that they have better things to think about, including a row over the hierarchy’s role in public life in the context of certain “dead horse” issues.

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