What if we just said ‘Pray’?

Here is the story, here is the petition, and here are the signatures. Sign on here.


  1. What a wonderful idea and it is interesting to recognize that Fr. Ryan’s initiative was a clerical one while this is a truly lay initiative.

    1. Given the obvious interest in comparing the two petitions, it would be good if the designers of this petition included the category of “lay minister” in their responses. It would be relatively easy to change this at this early date.

      There were many people who identified themselves as lay ministers in the what-if-we-just-say-wait petition. If this petition aims to claim that they represent PIPs more clearly, then it would be helpful to be able to identify the people who self identify as the lay ministers in this survey.

      I understand that people might have wanted to eliminate the ambiguity inherent in self identification distinctions, but sometimes they are important, and it is always important to compare apples with apples.

      1. PS It would also be helpful if deacons, priests, and bishops were separated as in the original petition.

    2. I opened the site expecting some intelligent initiative. To my surprise the site is a parody of Msgr Ryan’s and spends a lot of space in a vicious and mendacious personal attack on him. Does it have any comment on the merits of the new translation to match the veritable library of comments, many from lay experts, published by Msgr Ryan? This is a symptom of desperation.

    1. Oh I disagree, Allan. I still think your post canonizing the Maryknoll Missal translation as a gem of English literature was unsurpassable.

    2. A petition like this serves to alert people that the new missal is very controversial. In the act of taking a pro-missal stand in the controversy, they are provoking Catholics to be aware of the problem and to think about their own response. It’s stirring up controversy – I predict this will cause laity to be more skeptical about the new missal. Controversy tends to help the resisters and skeptics.

      1. If people don’t know about the translation controversy, they must be living in a liturgical cave! Prayer is a good antidote for whatever ignorance there is out there about the controversy and about the controversy itself so that the unity Christ prays for His Church may come about.

      2. Father,

        It is my experience that most lay people do live in a liturgical cave and are quite happy doing so.

    3. Presumably Father, by ‘best’ you mean ‘the one which most coincides with my point of view.’ As an observation that is somewhat interesting. As to its objectivity, well….

  2. No-one is against praying; praying is an important way in which we maintain our integrity in the face of authority’s abusiveness. But I’m reminded of a line from Gerry W. Hughes’s God of Surprises: to say ‘pray, and all will be well’ is just disastrous advice if our image of God is despotic.

  3. Fr. Allan J. McDonald :
    If people don’t know about the translation controversy, they must be living in a liturgical cave!

    Allan, you would be surprised to know just how many of the world’s English speaking bishops live in your “liturgical cave.”

    Very few bishops are “internet savvy” and I know of several Ordinaries who had NO idea of the translation controversy until the last few weeks.

    Not everyone has as much time as you appear to, for dropping comments on blogs.

    1. I recently spoke with a bishop who had no idea Rome sent back a text different than what they approved. He was quite shocked – especially because they were told there would be but minor editorial corrections!


      1. Reminds me of the time a lay diocesan director of liturgy told a packed parish church assembled to discuss the general instruction that the striking the breast gesture for the laity no longer exists in the post V2 missal.

    2. “Not everyone has as much time as you appear to, for dropping comments on blogs.”

      Chris – what gives with the personal attacks in your posts? There is no reason for them and they seem disrespectful to say the least.

  4. Honestly, reverend fathers, it exhausts the imagination wondering why and how the “Chicken Little Scenario” must continue to be spun into each and every narrative about MR3. As I read the article I got the author’s concern and criticism about the other petition, fair enough. But, the author’s initiative in his petition is decidely self-explanatory, and at its heart it is NOT about taking a pro MR3 stance. It’s objective is simply to call the faithful to pray over these concerns, to pray in humiity (is there any other manner?) that in English Catholic Christendom “et unum sint.”
    Taking your (AWR) own prediction at face value that it will only serve to stir up more controversy I ask: is that acceptable only when it abets protestations? As a tolerant, inclusive historian and commentator on “the Church,” are you really sincere indicting this effort as being injurious to the Body by helping “resisters and skeptics”? Help a brother out, AWR, your response boggles my mind.
    Fr. Endean, I have read and appreciated pretty much all of Garry Wills’ books about the Church, most notably “Why I Am a Catholic.” Could you help me understand why you portray prayer as almost some sort of weapon in one breath, and a dying gasp in the next?
    Either “Credo” or I don’t and I’m gone.
    I’m trying to be respectful, but I sincerely do not follow the incessant drumbeat that this will even demarcate some sort of huge demographic faultline failure.

  5. Is there anyone else out there who is IN FAVOUR of a new translation, whilst nevertheless concerned about the fact that the “episcopate has laboured ten years to get the new translations right,” and STILL you have mistakes such as the one I discovered, quite by accident, in the Preface of the Annunciation: namely, the entire phrase referring to “the heavenly messenger” has simply disappeared! Now surely that must be a typo: the same way Vox Clara sent their first version out to the publishers with TWO versions of the same postcommunion prayer in the same first week of Advent?

    Bear in mind that, well before publishers started typesetting the new Missal, a 30+ page brief, “Areas of Difficulty”, was sent to the CDW, pointing out WITH SPECIFICITY mistranslations and mistakes in English usage. To what end?

    Let us hear not from those who oppose a new translation under any conditions, but from those who, like the author of this petition, do support a new translation: speak up, lads! Aren’t you at all upset when you find that the recognitio has been granted to a Missal that omits the Archangel Gabriel from the English version of a Preface, that misuses “even” (also here a mistranslation of etiam) in the Annunciation Collect, that butchers standard English usage in multiple places – and that does all this AFTER these egregious errors were respectfully and specifically pointed out to the Congregation?

    Come now, speak honestly to this staggering display of …. of what, incompetence?

  6. From the post: “As I wrote in a previous column, I sincerely believe that the majority of Catholics, like me, actually welcome the “reform of the reform,” we applaud the bishops for their work on the new translation and we want to encourage them as they attempt to shepherd the faithful more deeply into the Sacred Mysteries being celebrated at Holy Mass.”

    Clearly, this man and I move in dramatically different circles.

    1. It probably does depend on what circles you are in – everyone I’ve encountered who knows about the new translation is looking forward to it, even those I know who do youth ministry (rock masses) and such.

    2. It would also be a blessed relief to hear fewer Catholics write they purportedly “speak for “the majority of Catholics” on any subject. Unless, you have met and talked to a majority of Catholics (including deacons, priests, bishops and laity), registered and can document their views, please don’t say that. You aren’t adding to the vast body of knowledge we need in order to make a judgment one way or the other on the reform of the reform or any other subject.
      If you knew what a majority thought, a petition probably wouldn’t be needed.

      1. Dustan, I think your point is a good one to consider. I agree that we cannot know what “the majority” of RC’s think about any aspect of the post conciliar reform – including Pope Paul’s reformed missal in comparison to its predecessor because, until SP, we’ve not had much of a choice in the matter and polls or anecdotal information about the implementation of the vernacular do not consider the changes in the rubrics per se.

      2. Actually, Daniel, on that we do have hard data. Polls and surveys have shown repeatedly that the vast majority of Catholics welcome and accept the postconciliar changes, but it is not unanimous.

      3. We would need to break down “which” changes and who the people are in the poll. When asking people whether they like the vernacular in the Mass we are not asking about the reformed ritual per se nor are we necessarily asking whether they like a totally vernacular celebration.

      4. Damage control, anyone?

        There have been numerous studies, done scientifically, asking a variety of questions. The vast majority think what they think, whether you like it or not. And this is not to deny that a sizeable minority thinks otherwise.


      5. Fr. Ruff – it is difficult to find one, simple survey to address Mr. Dunstan’s comment (esp. reformed vs. unreformed). But, would like to link and cite from Merz and his mentor, Pecklers which ends with a reference to the 1981 world bishops’ survey on the use of the vernacular:


        Cite this because it broadens the comments and provides early 20th century history in terms of local bishops and national conferences asking for vernacular by presiders in sacraments and eucharist (beyond what had from time to time been permitted in terms of vernacular missals for use in the pew):


        In 1906, Pope Pius X (1903-1914) granted permission for certain areas of Yugoslavia to make permanent liturgical use of the classical Paleoslav language.
        • In 1920, Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922) granted permission for the use of Croatian and Slovenian in Church rites and for sung epistles and gospels in the vernacular at solemn Masses.
        Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) allowed the celebration of Mass in Estonian in response to a plea from the bishops of Estonia that their people were going to the Protestants and Orthodox for intelligible liturgies.
        • In 1929, Pope Pius XI granted permission for a vernacular Ritual (the book containing the other sacraments besides the Eucharist) in Bavaria, Germany.
        • Permission for a vernacular Ritual was granted to Vienna, Austria, in 1935.
        • In 1941 and 1942, missionaries in various countries in Africa, China, India, Indo-China, Indonesia, Japan, and New Guinea were given permission to translate the Roman Ritual into the local language, retaining Latin only for the essential
        sacramental formulas.
        • In 1948, a limited use of French was allowed in the celebrations of baptism, marriage and anointing of the sick.
        • In 1949, permission was granted to China for the complete celebration of Mass in Mandarin Chinese, with the exception of the Eucharistic Prayer remaining in Latin.
        • In 1949, the bishops of Cameroon in Africa petitioned to use French in their liturgy, but the Church refused, saying instead that Cameroon should prepare a translation in the mother tongues of the people of Cameroon and to leave a French version to French citizens.
        • In 1950, India received permission to use Hindi for the celebration of the sacraments in regions where Hindi was spoken.
        • In 1954 an English Ritual for Baptism, Marriage, Extreme Unction and Funerals was approved by the Congregation of Rites for use in the dioceses of the United States.
        • In 1960, Pope John XXIII authorized permission for Melchite-rite Catholics in the U.S. to celebrate their whole liturgy in English, with the exception of the Eucharistic Prayer.

        As can be seen, the vernacular has had long and widespread use long before Vatican II.

        In 1981 the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome conducted a survey of all the bishops regarding the use of Latin in the liturgy, the desire for more Latin, the use of the vernacular, and its level of acceptance. The response was overwhelming in favor of the pastoral benefit of the vernacular. The views of the bishops were that without the vernacular, “the liturgical reform would have been much less fruitful; that the demand for Latin is almost nonexistent; and that Latin is more and more disappearing from use as a liturgical language of the Church.”

  7. There is a very subtle subtext about fidelity in Verrecchio’s article — which is less subtle in a number of other sources in the same stream of thought. If you disagree with some aspect of the new translation of the missal, with the so-called ‘reform of the reform,’ etc., etc., you are somehow less faithful.

    I find that very disturbing, not least because those who take issue with the forthcoming translation do so out of love and fidelity to their church, the liturgy of which they see as being severely distorted in haphazard translation, selective (and incoherent) application of Liturgiam Authenticam and the Ratio Translationis, and the unchecked meddling of Vox Clara.

    Re-read Verrecchio’s piece. It is little more than a subtly worded ad hominem attack against perceived opponents, with little substance.

    1. Why Cody, have you never read blogs like What-Does-The-Priest-Really-Do-All-Day and The New-Bowel-Movement?

      Little substance (and even less scholarship, but lots of put-downs and lots more pictures, and acres more lace, silk, brocade and emboidery) is what the “reform of the reform” is all about!

      1. Two thoughts Chris: first, as regards popular media, apologetic blogging, and even some material that has come from individual curial members, I do agree. While one occasionally sees respectable scholarship invoked along the way — and let’s be clear, I think the current Bishop of Rome to be an eminently respectable scholar (quite apart from his office) — it is usually parroted, rarely developed, and almost always embedded in invective.

        Second, it is quite one thing, I believe, to point such things out, as I did above; it is quite another to take a cheap shot at those you find disagreeable, as you have done.

        As I’ve stated before, I consider particularly the folks at NLM to be respectable colleagues, working for the same ultimate ends as we do at Pray Tell, however differently our approach and vision of those ends may be. As for some of the other blogs and self-appointed apologists out there. . . well, see the Rule of St Benedict, Chapter 7.

      2. I am amazed that one of the persons to whom you (Chris Grady) facetiously refer with your customarily naughty wit will post pages against the “lame-duck” translation, but, after an initial criticism of the obviously defective Vox Clara text (including a thinly veiled swipe at the person he thought primarily responsible: he wrote “to WARD off criticism,” an obvious reference to the CDW’s Fr Anthony Ward), it’s been “loyal soldiering” over on his blog. Think he’ll be honest enough, daring enough to point out that Vox Clara omitted an entire phrase in the March 25 Preface and reverted to the “lame-duck” preface conclusion in replacing divine agency (ut admitti iubeas) with human wishing (may our voices join)? Any predictions?

      3. Charles

        Indeed. Since it’s Lent, I limit my Catholic blog reading, which helps to minimize exposure to a certain Pogo-like quality that can become infectious….

      4. Re: #24 by Chris Grady on March 26, 2011 – 9:46 am

        We traditional Catholics have dealt with grave setbacks without descending to this level of foul language. Traditional Catholics have not resorted to vulgar language when progressive bishops have mocked the EF faithful and have denied traditional Catholics our right under Summorum Pontificum to say and hear the EF publicly in any church at any time.

        Yes, traditional Catholics have long hated the 1973 translation and have been quite vocal about this for many years. Still, I do not know of one traditional Catholic blogger who has used the excretory functions to defame progressive Catholic aspirations. If you can find me an example, I will humbly acknowledge it.

        Please, don’t inflame the liturgical wars with such language unless you wish to prolong the trench warfare that is modern Roman Catholicism.

      1. Chrit Grady seems actually to know personally the perpetrators of the new translation. His account of their motivations is more credible than Fr Cody’s in that we have seeen their behavior and the shoddy product of thier labors.

  8. Quick, while our guys have the upper hand, tell everybody to be be pious and obedient.

    Shut down your intelligence, people, shut your mouths and pray, pay, and obey.

    The problem is exactly that the bishops have not put in ten years of work. A secretive committee has done what should have taken ten years by cribbing old translations and then making idiosyncratic changes.

    1. From 1973 on there should have been intense discussions and consultations involving every level of the Anglophone world, Catholic and non-Cathoic, in readiness for the next translation. This damaged product illustrates what happens when careful, deliberate, ecumenical and studious efforts are absent from the process, with all the hard work of the English-speaking bishops being dismissed in a flurry of activity by bureaucrats.

  9. The church I love and serve is primarily a “we”, not a “she” nor an “it”. The authority that Jesus entrusted to Peter and the apostles and their successors directs them not to lord it over their subjects since he came to serve and not to be served. IMO, the process of imposing a new translation has taken ten years because the Holy Spirit has been trying valiantly to intervene on behalf of those for whom he is the Lord and giver of life.

    The proposer of this petition obviously believes that authority must be exercised in a way contrary to that of loving service to the church. He espouses the viewpoint that we members of the lowerarchy and the lowly laity must humbly pray to accept that the authors of Vox Clara know better than any of us how to pray the Sacred Mysteries. Give me a break.

  10. Jack,

    Problem is – as this petition shows, many laity and lower clergy are pleased to see the new missal.

    1. What I think most of those herein, who (aggressively) promoted the Why Don’t We Just Wait approach, fail to grasp about those of us who support the new translation, even in the less than desirable 2010 rendition, is that the 2010 vastly improves upon the 1973. Sure, 2010 is not “perfect”, but we can live with those flaws when it is such a tremendous improvement over that which we have tolerated for nearly 40 years. Yes, many of us are greatly pleased to see the new corrected translation of the Missal.

      1. I (and those I have been serving for the past 38 years) have been praying these prayers long enough to have taken them to heart. I have carefully examined great numbers of the new texts even to the point of laying many of the ’73, ’98, and ’10 texts side by side. There are shortcomings here and there, but both the 73 and 98 texts are clearly more prayable than what is being laid before us. I don’t experiene lofty and more sacral language, I experience syntactical goo, horrible word order, and incredibly long sentences. That even some “youth workers” are eager for the new texts tells me that there are plenty of ecclesial fundamentalists in our midst: if the pope is for this it must be something good.

      2. I suppose to go into more detail about my comment above regarding youth ministers – most of the people I know who are looking forward to the new translation are mostly familiar with the new Mass Ordinary rather than the propers that are getting most of the attention here. While I know some people dislike the new ordinary, I think it is probably the least controversial part of the new Missal. Most the buzz I’ve encountered for the missal is about the people’s parts, and most people I know have judged the new versions to be vastly superior to the 73 version (and to the 98, I suppose, since they were so similar).

        I would have no problem with the 1998 translations of the propers if the 2008 ordinary were used with it.

      3. “I don’t experience lofty and more sacral language, I experience syntactical goo, horrible word order, and incredibly long sentences.”

        Well put. I particularly like the phrase “syntactical goo”. May I borrow it?

        Your further comment about ecclesial fundamentalists I also think is spot on, and scary.

      1. Good question. The text is not yet available for the not-on-line laity (the riff-raff in the pews), who have minimal notion that anything is being planned.

        My scattered and rural diocese has put on study days for priests, one for deacons, none advertised for servers. There have been area “days” for layfolk, but ours was 21 miles away. For non-drivers it would have involved three buses and two and a half hours travelling, and same to return. I don’t know anyone who went.

        Importantly, the music department of the Diocese has not put on a study day for organists and choir leaders, so although they may well be aware that change is mandated, they do not have sensible resources to plan ahead. For September, we are told!

      2. Mary,

        Large dioceses may be no different than rural ones. Looking at bulletins in local parishes, the New Missal is a very distant event for most PIPs.

        Nothing about it in pastors’ columns the one sure guide to what is important, except for a few mentions months back when there was a diocesan orientation for pastors. One pastor expressed relief that it would not involve behavior changes on the part of the people such as raising their hands at the Lord’s Prayer, just minor changes like “and with your spirit” Nothing about it in terms of regular items in the bulletin or longer explanations in the bulletin.

        Nothing about it in Lenten parish programming, or indeed in parish theme programs, except for one parish.

        One parish in the county does have a series on the New Missal including speakers from outside the parish. A notice of this program appears in most of the other parish bulletins along with other such notices of unique programs in other parishes. Nothing to indicate it is any more special.

        So a PIP would have to be a close bulletin watcher, probably have learned elsewhere something about the New Missal that would encourage interest, and travel about 10 to 20 miles to find out more about the New Missal. (Oh, there is no regular bus service to this parish in a rural part of the county!).

        My suspicion is that not many pastors or pastoral staff members are prepared to do anything about this yet, and that PIPs will not hear much about the New Missal in the bulletin or in parish programs until the Fall.

        This does not mean that planning for the fall is not taking place now. The one Lenten series could be replicated in the Fall in a several more parishes if it proves successful. In regard to diocesan initiatives, some parishes often take a wait and see attitude while other parishes try out the new program.

  11. As my pleas above have fallen upon deaf ears, which I lament as having been expected, I might as well beg the larger question.
    The O.P. is assignated “Other Voices.” However, it strains credibility to believe that Mr. Verrecchio sent Prof. Ferrone an email or link and said, “Would you please post this at Pray Tell, thanks?” (I will most happily accept proof that Mr. Verrocchio did initiate just that!)
    If that’s true, then exactly who was the “Other Voice” and to what purpose and end did PT choose to publicize the Verrecchio petition?
    I hope to receive some truthful enlightenment and accountability, as that is the ostensible purpose of this blog. I don’t want to presume anything prematurely.
    Again, who is responsible for this O.P.?

    1. This is only a guess on my part, but I suspect that the editors are trying to present both sides of the issue. One can have a clear editorial position on a topic (in this case, the vices of the new translation) while still thinking the other side should have its say.

      1. Bingo.
        I’m back at the helm for a few weeks while Rita Ferrone is away, then Rita returns for a bit, and then I take over again for good near the end of April.

      2. Fr. Ruff, you’re back at the helm? Does that mean that mean comments will disappear? I have been having second thoughts about my opposition to comment deletion. I like the principle very much, but it does not seem to work so well in practice…

        At realclimate.org they have an interesting policy: comments unrelated to the post get sidetracked to a special thread (“unforced variations”); comments that are downright ignorant or wrong get sidetracked to a special thread called “The Bore hole”, “a place for comments that would otherwise disrupt sensible conversations.”

        That’s an interesting approach. This way, people cannot complain that the moderator deletes comments at their whim: anyone can go and see those comments in the bore hole, and judge for themselves whether sidetracking them was warranted. It’s a way to make the moderator accountable, sort of, and it salvages threads on more interesting topics than “you misquoted me” – “no, YOU misquoted me” – “here you go again” – etc.

        If you create such a thread, I volunteer this present comment to be the first one to go in there!

  12. It’s a universe of possibilities, Deacon. And, like you I think, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
    But my question to the purveyors of PT still stands.
    It is a stark, simple question. I am hoping for a stark, simple and true answer, not veiled in frock and lace as those attributes are clearly anathema in these here parts.

    1. Charles,

      If you go back through the archived “Other Voices” posts, you will find a number of them pointing to other peoples’ blogs, on-line, articles, etc. It’s a broad category that the editors use not only for direct contributions to Pray Tell from others, but also to point to others’ work that they run across on the web.

  13. Mr Culbreth:
    If your image of God is healthy and liberative, then prayer is an important spiritual resource. It helps you and strengthens you.
    If your image of God is demeaning, then prayer is part of your problem.

  14. Thank you, Father Philip, for your kind reply. Taking your response literally, I can only declare the former image to which I offer “Credo.”
    Father Cody, “Other Voices” cannot merely be ascribed to an “it,” or a nebulous policy that points to random articles on the net for no other reason that “it” is there. Someone made a decision with a rationale for that choice. Is it too much to ask who and why?
    Father Anthony, is “bingo” (in response to Deacon) the answer to my questions? If so, should I accept that answer in its brevity as sufficient out of fealty, obeiscence (sp?), trust…..?

    1. Charles,

      Sorry, I thought I had done so above in my reply to Fritz.

      I put up this petition because PT wants to give coverage to a variety of viewpoints, and because I thought it newsworthy and likely to interest our readers.

      But of course we’re free to put up anything without having to justify it or give our reasons. 🙂


  15. We have all heard presiders, when displeased with the volume of response to a gathering hymn or the first dialog, repeat the call until they are satisfied with the vigor of the response. I see a bit of this in the Pray petition, and I think we will see a lot of this in every parish church next Advent. Our liturgies will turn even more into pep rallies; talk about celebrating ourselves!

    Many of us (“many” in the expansive sense) who signed the Wait petition did so because we had read about and disowned the command-and-control politics that took over the translation process. The end product gives us more reason to counsel caution. If many bishops are not yet aware of this history, as has been reported, then neither are many clergy and laity. Initiatives like the Pray petition can go on collecting signatures, but would have very little effect when “what has been concealed is revealed.” We are all familiar with citizens groups here and in other countries that condemn a book they have never read.

    We, church, will hang in there despite the failings of our leadership, because God is faithful.

  16. Sorry to bring in the “old news” thing again, but shortly after “What if we just said wait” began, an opposing petition started, and was noted (I think) on this blog. I can’t remember the exact name, but it was along the lines of “We’ve waited long enough”. Why, oh why do we need another one? Divide and conquer? Desperation?

      1. Spontaneity? Have you studied the ideological background and institutional context of the petitions? It is the usual noisy NeoCath circuit usuing their usual techniques.

    1. Since the “We’ve waited long enough.” petition only got 5000 signatures, one wonders why anyone thinks that the new petition will get more. It seems to be aiming for 20,000. However it seems unlikely that could be achieved without there being renewed interest in Ryan’s original petition, and of course the original petition has the head start for any race. Maybe we will have duelling petitions as we head for Advent?

  17. Absolutely, Father Anthony, you are under no rhetorical obligation to justify your blog’s postings.
    But, now that that’s all “cleared up” for me, I’m under no rhetorical constraint not to posit whether the O.P. was, in intent and purpose, a straw man. 😉
    And I concur with Mr. Schlachter’s last sentence with some amplification, “We, church and Church will hang in there despite the failings of our leadership, because God is faithful.”

    1. Charles,

      The post has only been up for a few hours, and it already has over forty comments!

      It is like blaming TV programmers for putting on highly rated poor television programs. If no one watched the programs they would not be there.

      There are many high commented on posts that I sure wished had never been on this blog, but I hold the commentors not the editor responsible for that. When I encounter a post I wish were not here, I just try refraining from commenting.

      1. So many that there is not time to read them carefully. Could we call it a cacophony of voices?
        The other trouble is that we seem to get the same old arguments about the merits and failings of the new translation and the process by which it is coming about.
        PG Wodehouse wrote a book “Something Fresh”. Could we discuss the story and text? It would make a change. Then we could try “The great sermon handicap”.
        Now there is a master of English.
        Cheers to all readers!

  18. Cody C. Unterseher :
    Two thoughts Chris: first, as regards popular media, apologetic blogging, and even some material that has come from individual curial members, I do agree. While one occasionally sees respectable scholarship invoked along the way — and let’s be clear, I think the current Bishop of Rome to be an eminently respectable scholar (quite apart from his office) — it is usually parroted, rarely developed, and almost always embedded in invective.
    Second, it is quite one thing, I believe, to point such things out, as I did above; it is quite another to take a cheap shot at those you find disagreeable, as you have done.
    As I’ve stated before, I consider particularly the folks at NLM to be respectable colleagues, working for the same ultimate ends as we do at Pray Tell, however differently our approach and vision of those ends may be. As for some of the other blogs and self-appointed apologists out there. . . well, see the Rule of St Benedict, Chapter 7.

    Sorry Cody, when it comes to the Rule of St Benedict, I could never get past the chapter on how many monks were to sleep in one bed.

  19. I concluded a recent article in Spirituality with these words of W H Auden, from his poem “If I could tell you” written in October 1940, which begins with these three lines.

    “Time will say nothing but I told you so,
    time only knows the price we have to pay;
    if I could tell you I would let you know”

    That, I am afraid is a neat and poignant summary of our present position. We will only realise the consequences of the new translation and the machinations of Rome when it may be too late to repair the damage.
    Chris McDonnell UK

  20. Daniel McKernan :

    Problem is – as this petition shows, many laity and lower clergy are pleased to see the new missal.

    Pleased, or ignorant of its nature and trusting, and how could we tell the difference?
    If certain bishops are living in a liturgical cave and have been unaware of the VC2010 wholesale substitution, how much more likely that the laity are so?

  21. John Drake :

    … the 2010 vastly improves upon the 1973. Sure, 2010 is not “perfect”, but we can live with those flaws when it is such a tremendous improvement over that which we have tolerated for nearly 40 years.

    I do not see how it is an improvement.
    I’d love to see three or four examples of what you consider to be improvements and explanations of why, but that might take several posts.

      1. I do hope that, once Advent rolls around, WDTPRS will be featuring a comparison of the Latin, the “slavishly accurate”, and the 2010. When rumours first surfaced of “tinkering” with 2008 by Vox Clara/CDW, WDTPRS began posting BOTH versions. I wonder why that was discontinued. And I do hope he takes up the task again in Advent.

      2. The WDTPRS “slavishly” literal translation of that particular prayer also seems rather slavishly tied to flowery stock phrases and sacralizing interpolations from Victorian hand-missals:

        Taking/eating the down payment of the sacred heavenly mystery,
        and, placed on earth having been filled already with bread from on high,
        we, kneeling in entreaty, beseech you, O Lord,
        that, what is being accomplished in us by the sacramental mystery, may be brought to fulfillment by work.

        LATIN (2002 Missale Romanum):
        Sumentes pignus caelestis arcani,
        et in terra positi iam superno pane satiati,
        te, Domine, supplices deprecamur,
        ut, quod in nobis mysterio geritur, opere impleatur.

        Where does Fr. Zuhlsdorf get “sacred” in the first line of the prayer? “Kneeling in entreaty” for supplices? (“Humbly beseeching we beg” is the most literal rendering for “supplices deprecamur” I can come up with.) “Accomplished” for geritur? I think not. For “impleatur” maybe — but he’s already got “fulfilled” for that.

        And why is there no attempt to be “slavish” about rendering the rhyme scheme of this oration? It’s rather catchy, really.

        Now, I admit the rhyme scheme is nearly impossible to replicate in English. But I think this prayer can be yet more slavishly translated, without the WDTPRS interpolations, and still come out sounding like modern, idiomatic English:

        Receiving the pledge of heavenly mysteries,
        and now nourished with heavenly bread [while] placed on earth,
        humbly beseeching we beg you, Lord,
        that what the mystery has borne to us may be fulfilled in work.

  22. I hear there is a new petition out called:

    Suppose the Possibilities When Many Even Clamored to Petition God

  23. Regarding whether people are “looking forward” to the new translation, I can only speak for my parish. I’m the musician at a medium sized, middle-of-the-road parish in South Bend. I’ve kept my personal opinions on the matter to myself. We’ve begun inserting the USCCB bulletin insterts into our bulletin and there have been absolutely zero positive comments on the subject. Quite the contrary. I have been flooded with e-mails expressing their dismay, questioning the need for the change and the wisdom of the whole project altogether.

    1. Brian;

      Surely you have been around the block long enough to realize that such an observation is meaningless. If you present an idea to 100 people and 90 of them agree with it and 10 disagree, you will get one or two positive comments and 6-10 negative ones, giving the impression that there are more negative feelings about it. People in agreement (or indifference) do not reply, respond or attempt to make their voices heard. They simply agree. It’s opposition that speaks up, and that’s what you’ll hear

      1. Mr Herbert, an argument from silence is a flimsy basis for drawing conclusions. It looks more likely that you do not like the results and so you dismiss them thus. That approach persuades very few to look at it your way and convinces even fewer.

      2. Gerard;

        No, I think it’s pretty easy to tell when an idea is widely objected to, and when there is is simply a vocal minority.

        As an example… if there was a plan to remove a particularly cherished piece of artwork or some architectural feature of a church. There are 12, 000 parishioners in this particular (hypothetical) parish. If you recieve 2-3 THOUSAND negative complaints, there may be grounds to conclude that this is an unpopular idea even though this is not even close to a majority. But receiving perhaps 50 or 60 negative comments on such a plan versus perhaps a half dozen or so [positives would be a meaningless number.

        It is a well-established fact that people with negative opinions speak up far more frequently than people with positive support. That’s all I’m saying. There are also some individuals who will NEVER comment one way or another… and they are probably the vast majority.

  24. Okay Mr. Garland, you attest to zero confidence your responsive PIP’s have expressed to you directly about the implementaion of the MR3 at your South Bend parish. I believe your honesty as informed by your perspective.
    So, what are you going to choose for your Sanctus, MemAcc on Nov. 28th? A Latin setting, a Spanish setting?
    Are you going to boycott with silence the Confiteor. et cum Spiritu’s and Non dignus sum because the pedigree of MR3 is proven deficient (which I acknowlege) and you thereby will stand your ground in good conscience and publicly ratify your indignance at the “ecclesiantics” of the errant heirarchical process?
    Let me know how how that works out for you, please.

    1. I simply shared my experience. I’m well aware that there may people in the people who are very happy with the upcoming translation. None have shared that with me. We are a parish, however, that is unified with our Bishop. We must trust in God’s providence in all of this regardless of our own personal opinions on the matter. We do not intend to “boycott” anything. We do, though, intend to use this as an opportunity to renew our love and zeal for the liturgy and what the liturgy calls us to be: a people of service, sacrifice and surrender.

      To that end, for the next three months, we will be using the bulletin inserts from the USCCB as written catechesis. We will be reviving our website, providing links and articles to information regarding the new translation, as well as a place to ask questions. In the fall, we will begin showing clips from Become One Body in Christ at the beginning of each Mass, allowing for discussion at the end of each Mass. We will also hold “reading sessions” at various times to allow our presiders and assembly members opportunities to practice praying the texts. Our Fall Parish Mission will focus primarily on the Liturgy and the new translation.

      As to your direct questions, we will likely introduce the Confiteor during Lent so as not to introduce too much at once. We will take advantage of the other options in the meantime. I’m not quite set on which Mass Setting to use yet. We’ll likely use a Gloria with a Latin refrain, having the choir sing the verses for now. Since the Assembly is comfortable with the chanted Agnus Dei, we’ll continue with that. I still haven’t found the “right” Mass setting for our parish quite yet.

      While I may personally dislike certain things about the translation, I take more seriously my obligation to be an example at prayer so I will fully, consciously, and actively participate in the Liturgy. Does that answer your questions?

  25. F C Bauerschmidt :
    Chris, dude, no need to shout.

    Seeing as you’re moderating now, Fritz: what’s worse, shouting or being falsely accused? And why don’t you moderate the false accusations, princess (which is Chris-talk for ‘dude’)?

  26. This is like reading a review of a book which the reviewer hasn’t read . . . in fact, the book is still being written!

  27. Re. Xavier Rindfleisch’s comment on the Preface for the Annunciation.

    Incompetence seems to be the only explanation for this startling omission. It is surely a serious matter that those entrusted with the “final” edit did not apparently take the trouble to check what they had done to see if it conflicted with the Latin text.

    It looks as if our copies of the new Missal will be richly adorned with pencilled corrections, and that quite soon.

    Alan Griffiths.

    1. Greetings, Canon Griffiths.

      A monastic friend, taking advantage of the Lord’s Day relaxation of his Abbey’s fasting from Internet access, sends me this sample and asks: “What could be the explanation for THIS?” Close the windows and doors, and put down all hot beverages before reading: Lent IV, Saturday, Prayer Over the Offerings:

      Oblationibus nostris, quaesumus, Domine,
      placare susceptis,
      et ad te nostras etiam rebelles compelle propitius voluntates.

      Be pleased with our offerings and accept them,
      we pray, O Lord,
      and in mercy compel even our defiant wills
      to turn to you.

      Vox Clara’s 2010 “improvement”
      Be pleased, O Lord, we pray,
      with these oblations you receive from our hands,
      and even when our wills are defiant
      constrain them mercifully to turn to you.

      As my friend says, “Forget that ‘from our hands’ is not in the Latin; forget that there is no subordinate clause in the Latin, but a direct petition (both violations of Liturgiam authenticam); forget that “etiam” modifies “nostras rebelles voluntates” and not Vox Clara’s fabricated subordinate clause . . . does ANYONE care to imagine ANY priest ANYWHERE (except, perhaps, one whose first language is not English), proclaiming, ‘constrain them mercifully to turn to you’?”

      He concludes by suggesting that we might well have used this Collect throughout the English-speaking world BEFORE Vox Clara began their work: “Constrain them, mercifully . . . ”


  28. Comparing the Preface for next Sunday (2010) with the 2007 version shows forth some interesting differences:
    1) 2010 begins the “Qui” sentence with a 1998-esque strength – no “for” or “who”: “By the mystery of the Incarnation he…”
    2) 2010 translates “ambulans” as “that walked”
    3) 2007 “clear light” for “claritatem” [also in 1998] becomes “radiance” in 2010 (thus losing the darkness to light reflected in the “man born blind” episode)
    3) 2007 “waters of new birth” for “lavacrum regenerationis” becomes “waters of regeneration”, whose meaning isn’t so obviously self-explanatory in the context of those preparing for Baptism, IMHO.
    4) 2007 “acclaim without end” becomes the ungainly “without end acclaim”.

  29. Jeffrey Herbert :

    No, I think it’s pretty easy to tell when an idea is widely objected to, and when there is is simply a vocal minority.

    It is a well-established fact that people with negative opinions speak up far more frequently than people with positive support. That’s all I’m saying. There are also some individuals who will NEVER comment one way or another… and they are probably the vast majority.

    This seems to be consistently denied by RCC traditionalists and proponents of the Trent Missal and Latin in general.

    For decades they have loudly claimed that their few negative voices represent the silent majority of RCs.

    When I have raised the very point made here about negatives being more likely to speak out, it has been loudly denied relevance.

  30. Why do English translation of “per omnia secula seculorum” avoid the stronger imagery of “through all the ages of ages” in favor of the bland “for ever and ever”?

  31. At first blush after considering XR’s recounting of his friend’s ire (concern, frustration, astonishment…) over the “constrain” versus (presumably) “compel” translation, I had an inclination towards understanding Fr. Endean’s notion of how we image “God” in prayer as being, indeed, significant.
    Cut to NFL Referee and “upon further review” scene…

    A merciful parent dealing with infantile and self-consumed misbehaviors of a child that disrupts the progress of a corporate or even singular enterprise (suppose that of the child in question) has a choice to compel the child away from misbehavior or constrain, in mercy, the misbehavior so as to progress.
    I suppose one’s semantical preference depends upon how one perceives the disposition of the corporate maturity of the worshipping community.
    Based upon my experience of a deteriorating sociology, both in civic cultures in general and in the worship environment, human souls’ inclination towards debasement of values argues as much for “constraint” as it does for God’s reasonable appeal to our wills by compelling us. It’s, to me, still plausible that we require merciful constraint against our impudence. YMMV.
    P.S. (So appreciative of PT’s edit feature) I fully realize that my reflection employs a skosh of “dynamic equivilence” which could, prima facie discredit my argument fromt the get go. 😉

    1. Oh, “mercifully constrain” would be fine, if you’re comfortable with more of a paraphrase than a translation. But wasn’t paraphrasing the official text to fit the sociology of the times what got the old ICEL into trouble in the first place? Don’t you think one of the points of Liturgiam Authenticam was to rein in the “semantical preference” approach?

      But, as I say, “mercifully constrain” is at least acceptable English. It seems odd, if not mistaken, to do what Vox Clara does in several places throughout the Missal: put the adverb AFTER the verb and then sandwich the object between the verb and the adverb.

      Again invoking Liturgiam Authenticam, I don’t see what “from our hands” adds to the oration, nor why Vox Clara felt it necessary to fashion a subjunctive clause, “when our hearts are defiant.” But allowing for that clause, “even” doesn’t work there, does it? Shouldn’t it be “especially when our hearts are defiant” or “because our hearts are defiant.” They surely don’t mean, “you’re usual modus operandi when we’re behaving is to constrain our hearts mercifully, so please do so even when they’re defiant.”

      Believe me, I understand the cheerleading for 2010, especially as gaffe after embarrassing gaffe of this multi-vetted-by-highest-authorities translation comes to light: “It’s better than what we have, etc.”

      I just think that after forty years we could have expected (the official documents seemed to be demanding) something both accurate and literate. And I think we had that with 2008. And, manifestly, we haven’t got it coming with 2010.

      But the books do LOOK beautiful, and as Canon Griffiths intimated, no one will see all the pencilled corrections but the celebrant.

  32. Jack Rakosky, yes there are some good presentations in your diocese. But most places a collective yawn. Are you in Summit?

  33. Dear XR,
    I truly do appreciate both your deep analysis of the situo of all things MR3, and its ramifications. “Is this a true vine, and is THIS its finest fruit?”
    I resist typification of anyone’s disposition about this serious concern as anything between the poles labeled “dissident to cheerleader.”
    Christ compels me to experience life in its fullness, which could mean seeking that which humans regift and present to the Father our finest efforts and arts.
    I pray that God’s merciful constraints upon my ego and will keep me on the Way.

    1. You’re a good man, Charles Culbreth. In fact, the more I hear you talking about merciful constraints, the more I’m starting to like them and acknowledge my need of them! But I still like the 2008 version of that particular oration 🙂

      Now, what do you make of this? A colleague has just linked me to “that other blog” where a distraught poster references ME! There is a funny note at the beginning – and an admonition by the priest-director of the blog. Here’s the posting:

      “Father and Everyone, I’m sorry, but I can’t resist popping over to Father Ruff’s anti-corrected-translation blog just to see what ‘they’ are saying. [PRIEST RESPONDS IN BOLD RED: Don’t drag it back here.] You probably know there is a “xavier rindfleisch” who says he’s for the 2008 translation, but not the 2010.. I’ve pasted his latest ‘beef’ below, where he seems to have us in a corner because of an omission of the angel Gabriel in the corrected translation’s Annunciation Collect. [XR note: he/she meant: PREFACE] What can be said to someone like that? Anything?”

      Father Blog-Master didn’t respond, but I wish I could tell this dear soul: “He” (XR) doesn’t think of himself as “having you in a corner.” I’m not attacking anyone who wants a new translation, just pointing out that the Church deserves better than we’re getting, that indeed we HAD better than we’re getting, and that we certainly have a right to ask: how did this revision happen? Especially since – to repeat it yet again! – the multiple mistranslations and errors were pointed out respectfully to the Congregation. And their only response was to fire the people who pointed out the errors? I should think that folks like this dear soul posting over at that other blog would lift up his/her voice and say: correct the mistakes before the printing begins!

      As for the missing Archangel in that Annunciation Preface. Maybe the Vox Clara reviser was cutting and pasting too quickly before pranzo!

  34. I just came back from hearing an English language Mass here in Montreal. The priest made up the entire Liturgy of the Word/Mass of the Catechumens, turning the entire thing into a mini-pre-sermon. He did not even acknowledge that this Sunday was Laetare, or even cite the Introit, let alone say it. He also let laypersons read the Gospel in his stead, in a responsorial style with occasional interjections with the priest as the “voice of Jesus”. I cannot understand what possessed him to think of this idea (probably taken from the Passion recitation on Good Friday).

    He mangled the qui pridie and simili modo, but fortunately said the consecratory formula correctly. At the end of the Mass he made up an exorcism-cum-blessing of a big vat of water, and then paraded it around the church, plopped it in the back of the church, and told people to join in blessing themselves. Generally, the asperges is suppressed for Lent, but it would have been more honest for him to offer the asperges rite then some weird deformed exorcism of holy water for a stoup.

    What do we need to pray for? Priests that can say a honest Low Mass without resorting to gimmicks and rubrical violations! We cannot even talk of a new translation, or any translation, when the Roman Mass is violated left and right. We need to pray for a return to liturgical orthodoxy before even contemplating translation issues. We need a reformation of hearts and minds towards the joy of liturgical orthodoxy, not bizarre riffs on the liturgy of Holy Mother Church.

    The problem is not the new translation. The problem is the spiritual and sacramental wilderness that so many orthodox Catholics are forced to live in.

    1. Jordan, I hate to point this out, but I think I can do it more charitably than some of our other regular commentators: next Sunday (IV in Lent) is Laetare Sunday.

      I doubt, however, that you would get mention of it next Sunday (at least, not from the priest you describe).

      As for the gospel, turning the A-Cycle “scrutiny” gospels (III-V in Lent) into dialogical presentations was a big rage a few years back. I admit, I have had very positive experiences (while being in attendance in the assembly myself) with such proclamation — but done very well. I have also seen/heard such attempts turn to shambles that would be funny were they not so incredibly irreverent.

      The water ritual you describe baffles me. I understand the logic of the impulse — the reference to “living water” in the Gospel. But the idea seems to be more about a thirst that will be fulfilled in the Easter mysteries. . .

      I maintain that there is room for a fair amount of pastoral creativity in liturgy on the local level. I also maintain that this requires a practiced mastery of the ars celebrandi and a careful preparatory engagement. But then, the same is true for the most straightforward celebration of the Mass as well.

      I am sorry that you, and so many others, continue to have these sort of experiences with (as you say) “bizarre riffs.”

      1. Quite alright, Father. I usually attend Divine Liturgy; this was the first time I had been to Mass in quite some time. Hence the quite uneducated guess. Thanks for correcting me. Still, quite unexcusable, even though I am in a bit of calendar confusion.

        I did not know that this unique proclamation of the Gospel was done previously. I do not know if this is sanctioned or not, but perhaps it does not matter as this is the custom of that church.

        I’m tired of putting my foot-in-mouth (shoe leather isn’t nutritious), so perhaps these shoot-from-the-hip posts are unwarranted. Translation, unfamiliar rituals, and regional variations do interact, but not on this thread.

      2. I do not know if this is sanctioned or not, but perhaps it does not matter as this is the custom of that church.

        Custom that is contrary to the law in this way would require decades of constant use to establish, which almost certainly doesn’t exist.

      3. Quite true, Sam. However, sometimes it is best to just let a priest and his congregation do what they are doing even if they are abusing the Mass. A bishop is the only person who has the right to tell them to stop any behavior. Unfortunately, our Archbishop is quite permissive about innovations.

        I got the sense from attending Mass at this church that the congregation enjoys this type of Mass and will not stop their behavior short of intervention by the ordinary. Sometimes charity (and discretion) simply means finding somewhere else to worship.

      1. We never had the Asperges in the old days in our parish before the 10 AM High Mass. Didn’t see it till we went to Mass in the city one Sunday. We never did the “Propers” either at High Mass in our parish. The choir just started right in with the Kyrie. And it was one of those SATB “barber shop quartet” Masses from McLaughlin and Reilly. No Gregorian chant or polyphony round these parts!

      2. Quite true, Robert. Where I’m from, the Asperges is often not sung during penitential seasons (Septuagesimatide/Lent/Advent). The Vidi Aquam is often sung during Eastertide, though. Perhaps in other places the Asperges is sung throughout penitential seasons. The Asperges technically precedes Mass, so its use probably varies from place to place and church to church. The rite is never obligatory.

        I doubt that the new OF translation includes the chants for the Asperges and and Vidi Aquam. From what I remember, the OF rubric for the Asperges now permits almost any hymn to be sung during the rite. There must be English versions of the traditional Asperges/Vidi Aquam chants that fit reasonably well.

  35. “Pastoral creativity in liturgy” has shown itself to be a recipe for pastoral failure imho. As the 2nd Vat. Council told us in SC, no one, not even the priest……” another version of the council’s directive seems to be “say the black and do the red”. That is the best way to respect the peoples’ right to authentic & Roman liturgical celebrations.

    1. The people’s right to living and prayerful liturgies should be the foremost consideration. Our churches are dishearteningly under-attended in a time of spiritual hunger because we have failed to provide meaningful liturgy. Say the black do the red sanctifies routine and the lack of imagination that have made our liturgies anemic. The fussing about alleged “abuses” is wrong, since these alleged abuses are rare, minor, or not abuses at all, and the far worse abuse of soulless routinization goes unremarked. Clearing up all the alleged abuses will do nothing to remedy this soullessness.

      1. (Father?) Joe, where to start with all that tangled, knotted purgatory of suppositions? Your churches may (in fact?) be under-attended, but ours (we’re a clustered merge of three, soon four) are SRO. Not said in pride, just the fact. Been that way for quite a few years. Should your “our churches” mention have been served to advance what followed, may I first point out, respectfully, time on earth and “spiritual hunger” move hand in hand as I understand our cosmology. Secondly. there cannot be failure to provide meaningful liturgy, (this seems almost oxymoronic) meaningful liturgy has been provided us since the Mandatum, last supper, the sacrifice of our Lord on His cross, His resurrection and ascension, and finally our obedience and anamnesis to “do this in remembrance of me.” WE don’t provide, we re-enact.
        Sorry to harp, but it again seems oxymoronic to decry the “santification” of routine in order to demean the maxim of “STBDTR” as a cause for what you call anemic liturgies. I have been privileged, both at home and elsewhere, to be in His presence and communion via the charism of celebrants who subsume their selves in humility and reflect their role through the simple lens of an altar crucifix before them during the preface and EP in the OF. I don’t even need to cite my experiences within the EF.
        Where might their be an impoverishment of imagination elsewhere in your deserted liturgies? How about at the ambo after the proclamation of the Gospel? (Again, not much of a problem for me at our parishes.) After almost two millenia, humanity still has trouble digesting the discipline of the Way, the Truth and the Life. Well, let the elders preach on it, with freedom, imagination, authority and orthodoxy, and always in love.
        There is so much treasure in these rites I embraced four decades ago yet to be discovered, I have no time to worry about others’ boredom or attention spans, nor any hucksterisms or novelty remedies for same.

    2. Can you – can ANYONE – name just ONE PERSON who no longer goes to Mass because of “pastoral creativity” or “bad translations” (hint: no one stopped going because of a “bad translation” in the 1970s and no one will stop going this Advent when an even worse translation is imposed)?

      1. Not a big question around these parts, Chris. But when the pastor decided that you couldn’t reserve your family’s Mass intention on a “repeat every year” basis but had to go and “book your Mass” each year? All hell broke loose and the talk got real nasty around the old pickle barrel at Hanson’s General. Bad as when that organist with the bow tie moved in from up North. Didn’t stay here long, but man was that ugly. You replace “Bring Flowers of the Fairest” with something in Latin in four parts and you’re asking for trouble. Grandpa Eli used to say that when Gram was in the choir they sang the Tantum Ergo to “My Darling Clementine.” We thought he was kidding but danged if it don’t fit the words just fine!

      2. Maybe not, but plenty of us have had to “grin and bear it” with the 1973 translation, which surely is not the most conducive attitude for prayer. And what of the “opportunity cost”, as the economists might say, of the sense of wonder and mystery that we have done without all these years?

      3. Well guess we’ve been lucky with wonder and mystery here. With our poor old pastor, whose hobby was fixing up old cars, people used to WONDER what he was saying. Joke was someone comes into the church while he’s saying Mass and after watching in the back for a few minutes and trying to figure out what the poor old guy was saying says to the usher “Is this a Latin Mass?” Usher says “No Ma’am, just SOUNDS like a Latin Mass.” Great guy though. Kept Grandpa Eli’s Studebaker running way past its shelf life. Now that’s all the mystery you need round here!

      4. I, born in 1985, stopped practicing Catholicism in 2004 because I got sick of the “creative” silly liturgies, meaningless dumbed-down words, bad music, and “unorthodox” preaching. If Catholics don’t believe in Catholicism, why should I?

  36. John Drake :
    And what of the “opportunity cost”, as the economists might say, of the sense of wonder and mystery that we have done without all these years?

    If your “sense of wonder and mystery” can only be provided by the voice of the celebrant, here is some news for you: it’s not going to get any better when he starts reading from the coming Missale Moronicum.

    Perhaps better that you join Allan MacDonald and stick your nose in a nice old copy of the Maryknoll Missal.

    1. “I believe [Msgr. Moroney is] famous for starting off sentences with ‘Just between you and I’ and, unsurprisingly, the topic often turns to food, and lots of it.”
      Chris Grady, April 6, 2011, 12:53 am

      1. In relation to the grammar, Chris is making a legitimate point to illustrate an egregious incongruity.

        Secondly, there’s nothing morally objectionable to speaking about food, unless you have Manichean sympathies. A fortiori, given the central part which food and drink play in the eucharist.

        Lastly, the motif of an abundance of food has sound evangelical precedents, not to mention its Hebrew Bible resonances.

  37. Why does anybody think that a new translation is going to squelch liturgical innovation? I expect it to increase as priests try to cope with mangled syntax and tongue twister prayers. Lots of earlier accretions were added to fill the void of incomprehensible or unspoken prayer, like encouraging people to pray the rosary during the liturgy.

    Not that I am opposed to innovation. I think the whole STBDTR idea is classicism gone wild. It may appeal to some people, but there is a lot of good jazz out there that complements the classical.

    1. Creative innovation is to be welcomed — though I agree with Mr Culberth that bad preaching is a key factor. I do not know what paradise he writes from — in the USA one third of Catholics have left and Garry Wills reports that the heart of the Catholic crisis lies in what is experienced in the sunday liturgy: Ireland is in far more sudden and widespread disarray as are Belgium and Austria.

      1. “Creative innovation” has never been unwelcomed, even after the winnowing of Trent. But then, as now, there was a clear clarion that in its ars celebrandi, music being a principle example, that innovation without the disciplines cultivated organically within the ecclesial culture, would inexorably evolve towards an art for art’s sake in equal measure to its decadence and unsuitability at service as a worship art. It was true before Trent with the parody Masses and the excessive unintelligibility of works by certain composers, and after Trent when the classical Sunday Mass in Vienna was a much an entertainment as liturgy. (IMO, YMMV.) This, predictably, continued in concert with the Enlightenment through to its inevitable clash represented by Pius X’s motu proprio “Tra le sollecitudini.” We’re just in yet other cycle that we prefer to examine with contemporaneous eyes and spectacles. In whatever arena Jos. O’Leary wants to superimpose over the term “creative innovation,” it cannot adequately serve worship without an accompanying discipline to which it must, for worship’s own betterment adhere to.
        I don’t worship or write from any liturgical paradise, Mssr. O’Leary. In fact, we are a bishop-less diocese in central California; but our parish (cluster) is endowed with sensible yet idiomatically unique celebrants who understand that the liturgy is not to be a trifle, whether merely mouthed from a pulp missalette, or a platform for the exhibition of the cult of personality on display before a “captive audience.” And they understand that the humility involved in cantillating their collects and orations not only compel an active response from the faithful, but will likely be an asset come November 28th.

      2. (cont)
        As I’ve mentioned, I subscribe (uncharacteristically to my RotR colleagues) to a great deal of the critiques of Professor Wills. I can’t testify to this, but I would bet that he would concur that if Sunday Mass was truly the life-blood nexus of parish life, as advanced by Dietrich von Hildebrand, that some of that “Catholic Crisis” would have been mitigated, and perhaps some of the ancillary ecclesial crises in vocations, reproductive and gender issues, and the problem of clericalist authoritarianism would have benefited by the sheer beauty and power of a fulfilled liturgy performed universally.
        Perhaps that’s a bit pie-eyed. But I’d also bet Professor Wills would prefer to be fully engaged in FACP and sing the Credo in a well mannered TLM or “DTRSTB” OF, than to bear the distractions of giant paper maché puppets of our Savior and saints parading about in sanctuaries.

  38. STBDTR is an invitation to lifeless liturgy.

    STBDTR will not necessarily lead to such disaster, but we have too many priests already who merely read the Mass without leading the assembly in prayer.

    The translation issue is only relevant in so far as it facilitates or interferes with performing the liturgy with excellence.

    Merely reading the service is that sad reductionism that assumes that the Mass has only one mode of acting on humans, through invisible and sanctifying grace. That is another either/or instead of both/and mistake. The sanctifying and faith enriching effects of the Mass can be enhanced or reduced by how well the ministers perform their tasks and by how fully and consciously the assembly participates in what is actually presented, including by being attentive to the manner of presentation and actively listening to well presented words from the ministers and the congregation.

    An excess of pastoral creativity is abuse of the liturgy in a different direction. Pastoral presentation by the ministers does not call for them to create anything which is not in the missal with its many present options and specified places for the presiders own words.

    The liturgy does call for excellent performance, even to the level of artistry, but this is the artistry of working within the medium, not of breaking new ground.

    Most certainly, the liturgy does not call for entertaining variety. We miss the entire point of ritual if we lose the repetitiveness.

    I want to see presiders invest themselves in continually improving their presentation of the texts through rehearsal and accepting insightful feedback on their voice, body carriage, gestures, presence, prayerful attitude, and other such things. They need these skills for both their preaching and presiding.

    In passing, may I point out that we do not re-enact anything in the liturgy. We “call to mind”. We are incapable of re-enacting what Jesus did once for all people and times.

  39. John Drake :
    …what of the “opportunity cost”, as the economists might say, of the sense of wonder and mystery that we have done without all these years?

    John wants “wonder and mystery”.

    Without stating my own preferences, I do not think that wonder and mystery are particularly high on the list of what most of the people I know or on this list want from Sunday Mass.

    I invite you each to offer your own, brief as possible, list of the first few things you want to experience ordinarily at Sunday Mass.

    I suggest you not explain, just offer a list of positives without mentioning things you consider negatives.

    Please do not comment on each other’s responses but just help build a list of what we know we and others want.

    Please offer things which can be affected by how the ministers perform the service, not those things under only divine control. Let us focus on what the humans do at Mass.

    Once we have a list, then we can talk about priorities and whether some things are appropriate or not.

    I think the question of values, expectations, and priorities is a crucial issue. It contains the unmentioned assumptions behind many disagreements concerning liturgy.

    It would be interesting if each of the usual PT commenters would offer a brief response.

    1. Wonder and mystery are high on my list of what I want to experience. St Augustine, at the climax of the Confessions, cries out “Beauty so ancient and so new.” Encountering God as new, as ancient, and as new and ancient simultaneously, is mystery and the source of wonder.

      I always hope for that. Like a deer longs for living water, newly refreshed though he has tasted water before. I hope for it like I hope for my wife’s laughter, something I have heard many times and which has rarely failed to please me.

      I assure you I find that mystery and wonder in the ordinary, whether it is ordinary life or the ordinary form. It is harder for me to find it in the EF, where everything seems more theatrical and the mystery just seems like a trick of language, like a sleight of hand. I am simply less engaged when the priest speaks inaudibly or incomprehensibly. But that is more a reply to those who somehow cannot find the mystery and wonder, than to Tom’s question.

    2. Tom, put me down for humility, reverence, cantillation, and all service music that is self evident as “sacred, universal and beautiful.” Posture and articulate movement by all.
      And, uh, inspired preaching, neither bellicose nor self-aggrandizing.
      Oh, transubstantian and dignified reception of HC, whether standing or kneeling,on tongue or in hand.

    3. A sense of living tradition — not of stepping into someplace old and dusty, but of being drawn into something timeless and vibrant, with its own energy

      A sense of the heavenly liturgy

      Reverence for Christ in all His modes of presence

      Priest and people singing the prayers of the Mass with vigor

      Scripture proclaimed from the heart, and explained with heart

    4. Tom, et al.,

      If you don’t mind, I’d like to move this to a full-blown post of its own… give me a bit to pull it together, including some of the comments already posted, and we’ll see where this goes….

  40. I don’t disagree with Mr Culbreth’s liturgical vision, nor would Wills.

    Not sure what he means by a bishopless diocese.

    Vienna masses by the Haydns or Mozart or Gounod enrich the liturgical experience.

    The new translations are deleterious to the ideal we share.

  41. He passed away last December, Joe.

    I didn’t say Viennese Masses were devoid of “enrichment,” I offered the opinion that they served as “entertainment” as well as a liturgicqal experience.

    I’m not qualified to make that last judgment, Joe. Therefore, I can’t concur with your assessment.

    Perhaps you could speak to “liturgical innovation” informed by discipline?

  42. Chris Grady :
    Yes. I’ve met people like that. To name them publicly wouldn’t be appropriate, but yes. The problem is when people grow up or become Catholic in one environment and then end up somewhere else where the Catholic Church is different in practice and belief than what they grew up with.

    Can you – can ANYONE – name just ONE PERSON who no longer goes to Mass because of “pastoral creativity” or “bad translations” (hint: no one stopped going because of a “bad translation” in the 1970s and no one will stop going this Advent when an even worse translation is imposed)?

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

  43. Charles Culbreth “Oh, transubstantian and dignified reception of HC, whether standing or kneeling,on tongue or in hand.”

    Mr Culbreth, perhaps you are confusing transubstation with the presence of Jesus in the eucharist. They need to be differentiated. The former is a philosophical phenomenon, the latter a theological one.

    Transubstantiation is a philosophical explanation, satisfying intellectually to some, even to many, but by no means to all, of HOW the presence of Jesus under the sacramental forms of bread and wine, comes about during the celebration of the eucharist. The doctrine of the presence of Jesus in the eucharist, is, on the other hand, a theological statement THAT Jesus is present sacramentally.

    The theological position that Jesus is present sacramentally during the celebration of the eucharist does not depend on one’s holding the philosophical view of how it comes about, commonly called transubstantiation. In is unreal, a flight of fancy and fantasy to expect that many people present at the eucharist would hold or exhibit this philosophical explanation of the sacred mysteries.

    In support of Joe’s position about the deleterious nature of the new translation, I attended a gathering in Clonliffe College, Dublin, last night on the new missal. There were more than a hundred people present, all described by one participant as ‘church people.’ The response was overwhelmingly negative. The primary reasons for this failure of reception were: de-inclusive language – for us men and for our savlation; arcane/sacral language – chalice, and with your spirit, consubstantial; increased emphasis on the extreme sinfulnes of human beings – ‘that I have sinned greatly….through my most grievous fault etc.; Latin syntax imported into English, – passim; and the lack of consultation concerning the process whereby we have reached the place where we are now.

    There was a sense in which people were keen not to shoot the messenger, and rightly so. However, the messenger did promise to convey the views of those assembled to the archbishop – or was it to his spirit!

    1. increased emphasis on the extreme sinfulnes of human beings – ‘that I have sinned greatly….through my most grievous fault etc.;

      And this kind of objection reveals that at the root of a good part of the opposition is a theological opposition not a literary/translation opposition. It may simply be born of ignorance, but the emphasis on the extreme sinfulness of huiman beings has always been there in the Latin. To call on the Church to repudiate it as somehow incorrect is to argue that the rites of the Church are wrong, not just badly translated.

      1. Samuel J. Howard, I’m afraid the situation is more nuanced than the synthesis you provide.

        You allege that there is theological opposition to recognising the extreme sinfulness of human nature on the part of those who attended the meeting in Dublin. You have no basis for drawing such a conclusion, apart from your own inclination to direct your ire against people who do not view the world as you may do. And you are quite wrong to do so.

        Secondly you allege that people at the meeting called on the church to repudiate the articulation of the extreme sinfulness of human nature. You are equally wrong to reach such a conclusion.

        My report of the meeting referred to an overwhelming objection to an INCREASED emphasis on the extreme sinfulness of human beings. That is the nuance which you have overlooked or chosen to ignore.

        The people whose extreme sinfulness you wish to underline, is also a chosen race, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation belonging to God.

        To try to smear people who object to the language and theology of the 2010 translation with theological heterodoxy is to scrape the bottom of the barrel of arguments at your disposal and it won’t wash.

      2. My report of the meeting referred to an overwhelming objection to an INCREASED emphasis on the extreme sinfulness of human beings. That is the nuance which you have overlooked or chosen to ignore.

        My point, which you have completely ignored, is that this is incorrect. There is not an increased emphasis on the sinfulness of human beings, because the normative Latin liturgy of the Church is the final text by which the others are judged and by which its theology is judged. Since the Latin liturgy hasn’t been changed in this respect, it’s wrong to complain about something that’s been there all along.

        Complaints about this focus, therefore, reflect a theological opposition to the use of the actual meaning of the Roman Missal at this point. It’s either a non-culpable resistance born of accidental ignorance of the meaning of the liturgy on this point (and therefore a natural reluctance to change) or, if one was familiar with the underlying texts, to refuse a more accurate translation because it emphasizes sinfulness is ceteris paribus a willful resistance to the doctrine presented in the Church’s normative worship, which is very problematic.

        Please note the ways in which the statement in both this comment and my previous ones were qualified before accusing me of “smear[ing]” anyone.

    2. I share Samuel’s concern regarding the objection to emphasizing our sinfulness. Have we really benefited from under-emphasizing it? Or are we only interested in emphasizing other people’s (read: priestly sexual abusers) sinfulness?

      I have no qualms about admitting my sins to be committed through my own most grievous fault.

      1. S.J. Howard “There is not an increased emphasis on the sinfulness of human beings,”

        Tradere traducere. The axiom could have been coined for the 2010 translation. In the 2010 English translation of the missal there is an increased emphasis on the extreme sinfulness of human beings. The increase in question refers to the contrast between the 1973 translation and the new one.

        The meeting in Dublin where the response to the new translation was overwhelmingly negative was convened to elicit the views of those present on the new English translation. The comments refer to the new English translation. The refusal of the vast majority of those present to grant a positive reception to the new English translation was the main point of interest.

        Your tiresome tendency to shift the goal posts from posting to posting makes for an incoherent, inchoate and desultory amalgam of loosely connected impulses, with which it is difficult to engage in any systematic manner.

  44. Jordan Zarembo :

    Quite true, Robert. Where I’m from, the Asperges is often not sung during penitential seasons (Septuagesimatide/Lent/Advent). The Vidi Aquam is often sung during Eastertide, though. Perhaps in other places the Asperges is sung throughout penitential seasons. The Asperges technically precedes Mass, so its use probably varies from place to place and church to church. The rite is never obligatory.
    I doubt that the new OF translation includes the chants for the Asperges and and Vidi Aquam. From what I remember, the OF rubric for the Asperges now permits almost any hymn to be sung during the rite. There must be English versions of the traditional Asperges/Vidi Aquam chants that fit reasonably well.

    In fact I believe that the texts are provided in both Latin and the vernacular in the new Missal.

  45. It is indeed a common mistake to sum up the doctrine of the Real Presence in the word transubstantiation. Trent teaches that transubstantiation is a fitting word to describe the eucharistic change, but Trent leaves the word undefined. Thomas Aquinas has a highly paradoxical metaphysical account of what transubstantiation might be. This is forcefully criticized in P. J. Fitzpatrick, “In Breaking of Bread” (Cambridge UP).

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