Surprise encounter with the new translation

At a 9.15am memorial mass yesterday in the Broken Bay diocese (neighbouring diocese to Sydney, Australia), I was surprised to find that the new translation of Eucharistic Prayer III was prayed (without prior announcement that this would be the case). The celebrants’ parts of the prayer were prayed in full according to the new translation, while the assembly responded using the MR2 responses (including the memorial acclamation: Christ has died – one of the last times this will be heard). The ritual discord caused by this mixture of prayer translations was distracting and was noticed by more people than just the liturgist in the pews.

In Australia, the bishops made the decision at the national level not to begin using the new translation until Pentecost 2011, at which point the assembly’s responses would be introduced, and later in the year when the published MR3 book is available, the celebrants’ sections of the liturgy will begin being introduced. While Pentecost is only a few weeks off, the fact that this priest appeared to have jumped the gun by praying the new translation of EPIII was disconcerting.

Perhaps he imagined his choice would pass unnoticed? Perhaps he thought that a small Saturday-morning Mass would offer a good opportunity to get in some ‘in-ritual’ practice? Perhaps he uses the new translation all the time in his parish now that it has been distributed to all priests in the Broken Bay diocese (presumably for practice purposes rather than ‘in-ritual’ use yet)?

Of course, given that the final full version of the new translation is still to be published officially, the question of ‘which’ version is being used must be asked. As a visitor to this parish and diocese I am uncertain of the answers to these questions. What was certain was that while the principal celebrant prayed the new translation of EPIII quite well, the visiting concelebrant stumbled several times and was clearly uncertain of his sections of the prayer. One wonders whether he had been given any notice of its intended use (or time to prepare to proclaim it) prior to the liturgy.

There were a few lessons to be learned from this experience.

  • It is important to remember that the Eucharistic Prayer is not the province of the celebrant alone: it is the prayer of the entire assembly. Choosing to utilise the new translation without announcing to the assembly that this was going to happen, is disrespectful of the assembly.
  • Approaching this central prayer of the Eucharist with a mix-and-match mentality in terms of translation/edition (i.e., celebrant prays his parts of the prayer according to the MR3 while the assembly prays its parts utilising the MR2) feels inherently disjointed and somewhat alienating from the perspective of the assembly (when the decision to pray this way goes unannounced). It would have felt more logical to have prayed the MR3 assembly’s parts in response to the celebrant’s MR3 parts.As there will be various approaches taken to introducing the MR3 in different parishes (some will use the entire new translation all at once while others will implement in stages for purposes of simultaneous catechesis), a feeling of disjunction needs to be anticipated (and prepared for) when choosing to introduce sections of the MR3 while continuing to pray sections of the MR2. This feeling of disjunction can be lived with, so long as what is going to happen is announced ahead of time rather than imposed without notice. Also, if a parish decides to use a staged-implementation approach, it may be better to do this in whole sections of the Mass (e.g., the entire new Eucharistic Prayer translation, celebrants’ parts and assemblies’ responses) rather than a hybrid of the two translations in the one section of the Mass. There was clear hesitation on the part of the assembly regarding when to start the Lord’s Prayer, as the MR3 invitation is different from that of the MR2. MR3: “At the Saviour’s command, and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say: Our Father…”
  • While regular parishioners may have been used to using the new translation of the Eucharistic Prayer, as this was a gathering of folk from many different places, some sort of announcement that the new translation would be used should have occurred, out of courtesy and as a sign of hospitality to the visitors, if nothing else.
  • While most assemblies likely will grant latitude to presiders who are still learning how to proclaim the new translation, attempts to lead the assembly’s prayer which are under-rehearsed and stumbling will distract the assembly from its prayer, as occurred in this case.
  • When proclaimed well, as were the principal celebrant’s sections of the new translation of EPIII at this Mass, the new translation of this prayer flows quite easily, and beyond the repetition of ‘chalice,’ three times within the space of two sentences, (which is probably always going to be a source of distraction to me: ‘he took the chalice…,’ ‘he gave the chalice…,’ ‘for this is the chalice…’), the prayer overall did not cause undue concern, though it did feel slightly ‘stuffy’. What did strike me on hearing this prayer prayed in context (without having the prayer text in front of me) was that in terms of its ‘aural sense,’ the prayer is still recognisably EPIII, just slightly re-worded. It will be interesting to hear reactions from the pews come Pentecost, as the new translations of the people’s parts are introduced.


  1. Clare, I appreciate your insights about your experience of hearing EP3 of the new translation in its context. Given that EP3 is one of the most commonly heard EP on Sundays (in my experience) it can point to the possibility that the introduction of the new translation may not be as arduous as we worry it might be.

    In my mind, it is interesting to note that EP3 is a much more recent composition, albeit in a very traditional structure, and so might lend itself to a more smooth translation than say EP1.

    After EP3, EP2 is the most commonly heard (again in my experience), and I wonder would the experience hold. Perusing the text of the EP2, I suspect it would.

    It would be interesting to see what EP1 would be like in the same circumstances. Would it flow as well? The revised translation of EP1 is radically different than the other reflecting the ancient Roman rhetoric as well as reflecting the “organic” development of the prayer over the centuries. At the same time, the Roman Canon is used a lot less and so is less ingrained into the consciousness of people who attend the Eucharist, so the point might be moot.

  2. Is it the word “chalice” which grates on your ears when repeated, or a triple-repetition in close proximity?

    I ask because at least one EP (is it #3?) has “When supper was ended, he took the cup. Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples and said, ‘Take this, all of you, and drink from it. This is the cup of my blood…'”

    And I ask because triple-repetition is common in the liturgy, and not just the Roman liturgy.

    1. It is the word ‘chalice’ that bothered me – cup was not a problem. Understanding that the new translation was done according to the neo-Vulgate rather than the original Greek New Testament, this word-choice seems ideologically motivated.

  3. “Disrespectful of the assembly,” “alienating,” “under-rehearsed and stumbling,” “stuffy.” Sounds like your typical hierarch to me. Can somebody explain why we are still doing church this way?

  4. Unfortunately Clare, this confusing has been going on in some parts of the country (and even our own diocese) for some time, as priests here and there have decided to “jump the gun”. I was caught by surprise when I took Years 3-6 from my school down to the parish Mass on a significant feast day last term – I hadn’t even anticipated I’d have to start teaching the children new responses so soon in the year. Fortunately, most of the assembly were caught off guard too, and stuck to what they knew.

    I’ve already heard stories from multiple parishes, with people coming to me surprised the new texts had been introduced so soon.

    As an aside, I had a chance to have a quick look over one of the Eucharistic prayers the other night, and I think “chalice” will be the part I that struggle with too, especially when the priest will say “The mystery of faith”, and we’ll respond (on occasion) with “When we eat this bread and drink this cup…”

  5. No, Robert. That’s the old translation. The new one is “When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup…” – apparently, these things matter!

  6. It is not just the Eucharistic Prayers that sound ‘funny’.

    Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle 14 May

    Prayer after Communion

    Never cease, O Lord, we pray,
    to fill your family with divine gifts,
    and, through blessed Matthias’ intercession for us,
    graciously admit us to a share in the lot of the Saints in light.
    Through Christ our Lord.

    1. So far, most of those enthusiastically promoting the new translation are focused on the “people’s texts.” As you point out, George, wait till the priests encounter some of what Vox Clara’s 7,000 “scholars of the English language” have come up with!

      As you can see from a check of the Latin, there is no “we pray” in the Latin. Contrary to LA and RT, and exempt from following its rules, apparently, Vox Clara just decided to add that:

      Famíliam tuam, Dómine, divínis ne cesses replére munéribus,
      ut, beáto Matthía pro nobis intercedénte,
      in partem sortis sanctórum in lúmine nos dignéris accípere.

      Here’s the same prayer in the 2008 version:

      Never cease, O Lord, to fill your family with the divine gifts,
      so that, with blessed Matthias interceding on our behalf,
      graciously admit us to share the lot of the Saints in light.
      Through Christ our Lord.

      At least we’re being spared the “unfaithful” 1998:

      Do not cease, Lord God, to nourish your family
      with these gifts from heaven,
      so that through the intercession of Saint Matthias
      you may make us worthy
      to share the lot of the saints in light.

  7. Thank goodness some priests are obedient. I have been begging my parish priests to start using the new corrected translation early, even if it’s just the daily masses in the week leading up to First Sunday in Advent, and they are strictly adhering to the official launch date.

  8. “Perhaps he imagined his choice would pass unnoticed?”

    “The ritual discord caused by this mixture of prayer translations was distracting and was noticed by more people than just the liturgist in the pews.”

    While Big Brother may not be watching, Bloggers around the world are watching and commenting!

    The Internet appears to offer new forms of both freedom and accountability.

    Members of a parish or diocese in virtually any combinations can meet virtually and discuss virtually anything.

    How long will it take for clerics to recognize that it is more than their own decision?

    About as long is it takes for internet savvy people to organize their parishes and dioceses.

    1. Jack, that can certainly cut both ways and it is. Taking liberties with the Mass, whether following through on some creative ideas (like mine to have the OF Missal celebrated in an EF way although in the vernacular) are fine in the realm of ideas, but when illicitly implemented by clerics, is a form of clericalism. The same would be true of many of the post-Vatican II examples of creativity foisted upon congregations, such as ad libbing, using other unapproved translations like the 1998 one or priest and communion ministers receiving Holy Communion after the congregation already has and a whole host of other neat ideas.
      Now, if the bishop had given this priest permission to experiment with an eye to preparing his parish for the new translation, that would be different and certainly the priest should indicate before hand what he is doing and ask for feedback or at least have a follow up in some later mystogogical catechetical session.

      1. Rubbish.

        The texts are not to be used until the date of approvel. The bishop does not have the power to alter these things.

      2. Fr. Allan says: “(like mine to have the OF Missal celebrated in an EF way although in the vernacular) are fine in the realm of ideas, but when illicitly implemented by clerics, is a form of clericalism.”

        Feel sorry for folks that are subjected to this type of liturgical abuse (in your words, clericalism). (yeah, you are back to the “mystogogical catechetical session – catechesis will solve everything approach even though liturgy is really not about catechesis) You continue to take advantage of B16’s “concession” and advancing your “alternative catholic universe” – the dream that the OF and EF can somehow enlighten each other and develop into a new blended rite all the while justifying your EF bias. And when you leave that parish, what do you leave behind beyond confusion.

        As Chris says – “Rubbish”

        Fr. Komonchak, on another blog, talks about UE and its impact in France where the reformed/unreformed battles are very intense. Per Fr. K – roughly 15,000 masses every week-end in France; less than 200 are EF, LTM, or some other unreformed version – barely 1%. His conclusion is that all of this is a lot of nothing. B16 continues to ignore the reservations and objections of his bishops.

        Sorry, you can try to play the game…but, deep down, my gut tells me that the TLM/EF folks do not accept much of the theology or ecclesiology of Vatican II, despite their objections to this statement.

      3. So in other words, Bill, you would suggest, and of course I’m only asking, that all that you feel I represent in the post above should be declared “anathema” although you use the word, rubbish? Is that now to be considered by you a post Vatican II understanding of ecclesiology and way in which we should dialogue about our differences? Is shutting down the conversation through these dismissive anathemas the way to be faithful to Vatican II? I think clarifying that would be very pertinent to the dialogue between the members of the Church who respond here hoping for respectful dialogue that eschews clericalism and its lay form, congregationalism.

      4. Fr. Allan,

        Not being a church employee, what the bureaucrats in Rome or the CEO downtown thinks does not matter to me.

        However the right of the people of the parish to not be surprised or confused is fundamental, whether that surprise or confusion is caused by changes that are classified as legitimate or illegitimate, good or bad.

        Surprise and confusion is about more than catechesis. It has to be more than giving reasons for the change. Slow, “organic” change is essential. This priest might have been trying to do that; he seems to have failed because he did not understand the people.

        All change has to begin by understanding where the people are. That presently is not being done well either by the bureacrats in Rome, the CEO downtown, or the CEO in the parish house.

      5. Jack, I appreciate your comment and my first comment to your post was basically an agreement with what you have written in terms of not surprising people, but also and more importantly offering the liturgy of the Church as it is to be offered with the flexibility that is indeed built into the OF.
        We all know of parishes where creativity is so pronounced and usually led by a charismatic priest or even lay leadership and when a new priest is assigned, everyone is surprised that he does things by the book. It isn’t the new priest’s clericalism that is the problem here, but the congregation’s congregationalism. But I recognize that it works both ways.
        Also keep in mind that the changes after Vatican II especially with the Mass created much confusion for many people, not all, but for many. How would you have seen that monumental overnight event done in a more organic way?

      6. Fr. Allan,

        Having had the planning responsibility for mental health organizations, my model for change is about a decade!

        Since it is hard to get people to think that far ahead, I have usually asked people to do 5 year plans. That gets them thinking far enough out of the day to day.

        It takes from a year to three years to put a plan together. The planning period is the key period: taking time to have every one listen to each other, getting everyone on the same page, trusting each other, and willing to work together.

        Once a 5 year plan is in place it takes about three years to accomplish most of it.’

        So the whole ten year model is: 1 to 3 years of planning, 3 to 5 years of change, and then 6 to 2 years of coasting along letting people rest on their laurels before you notice that the environment has changed enough that it time to do another 5 year plan!

        This really means that if a priest who does it by what he considers to be the book lands in a parish that does things differently, it should take 1 to 3 three years of talking about changing things, and another 3 to 5 years of actually making those changes.

        I would give pastors and bishops a ten year term limit. I think a CEO can only do one ten year planning cycle for an organization then its time to move on to another parish or diocese.

        Since my responsibities were at the country level, I only give advice to parishes and dioceses. I let it to others to generalize to nations and the universal church.

        An example on my slow way of doing things, e.g. music is given in the Organic Abuse Post #43 by Jack Rakosky on May 9, 2011 – 3:26 pm

    2. Placing 1998 and 2010 next to each other, I suspect that most in the assembly won’t notice that much of a difference. With respect to the EP being the prayer of the entire assembly and presider together – that’s absolutely correct. However that does NOT necessary equate to the assembly having their collective noses stuffed into their missallettes vetting every word and punctuation mark. The presider does indeed have a role of “leader” in the prayer. Do we have a congregational vote every Sunday to determine which EP we will use? Of course not, and I doubt that anyone would suggest such.

      So far I’m playing with a plan to memorize the 1998 prayers and use them . . . I am still guessing that they will be close enough that there won’t be any ruckus.

      1. Can’t get reply box to work:

        To #18 – Fr. Allan, my point is that two forms of one rite creates confusion. You fall back on one of your favorite “memes” again in justirfying this – to quote: “Also keep in mind that the changes after Vatican II especially with the Mass created much confusion for many people, not all, but for many. How would you have seen that monumental overnight event done in a more organic way?”

        Rubbish – when bishops were asked about the vernacular lituries and requests for the “old” liturgy, an overwhelming majority (98.5%) indicated that no one was asking for the unreformed liturgy. These stats remained relatively the same until the 1990’s. (quote – “many” people” – please)

        We have gone over the same period over and over – your meme doesn’t change it. Experts and bishops agree that, in retrospect, liturgical change could have been done better in many ways. But, if you drill down very few of these people would knee jerk to the unreformed liturgy to fix things; very few would have gone back to latin; very few would have advocated for ad orientem, EF, etc.

        What did happen (until 1997) were conferences that took note of the original 1973 liturgy, reflected, studied, gathered input and began a long process to improve the reformed liturgy. Would suggest that this in fact would have set up a continual process of liturgical renewal that took from the best; built on good “organic development”, and allowed for both expert and PIP input. It also would have reinforced the VII idea of conferences being responsible for their own liturgy; it would have preserved ecumenical partnerships including outreach to the Jewish faith; and it would have begun the process of collegiality/subsidiarity that was a vision/goal of VII.

        Instead, the whole process was hijacked by a centralized bueracracy that came with their own bias; lack of liturgical expertise, and a de-valuing of Vatican II. The translation project is a perfect…

    3. Yes, memorizing is an option, a rather good option.

      One priest not only memorizes the prayers, he also memorizes and proclaims the Gospel in the way I suspect that he thinks the Gospel was orally proclaimed in the beginning. All very effective. When you are doing it from memory, you do have to do it well, especially when there are so many texts. Certainly you can not do it mindlessly which tends to be the norm.

      I have always wondered if the text of the prayers is the official text, and will he have to memorize a whole new set for the coming year. No being a member of the unofficial liturgical police, I have never checked. I suspect there are enough self appointed liturgical police that watch him so that he probably follows the approved text closely but not slavishly.

      I am not concerned about liturgical police nor Big Brothers in chancery offices or in Rome. They will become obsolete whenever the people begin to have substantial discussions about what goes on at Mass.

      1. Yes, the memorization of the gospel is wonderful. I admire those who are able to do so (J.F.). Fortunately not many self-proclaimed liturgical police here, with the exception of one or two fans of the faux-Catholic cable channel.

      2. Cont….from #18:

        Can’t get reply box to work:
        To #18 – example of this.
        You contrast two extremes – clericalism and congregationalism. Sorry – my opinion is different and has little fear of congregationalism.
        Some say that the reformed liturgy has failed – they quote folks such as Fr. Reese’s summation of the latest Pew Research. IMHO, it is not that VII and SC failed but that it was never really tried. In this UE, B16 speaks about the core which is that eucharist and its meaning/understanding must increase rather than dwell on liturgical changes. A number of things happened from 1970 onwards:
        – we focused on liturgy vs. community
        – we expected the “new” liturgy to automatically build eucharistic communities;
        – we, at times, focused more on liturgical change than on the core eucharistic meaning
        Reality – communities build on eucharist. A perfect liturgy or eucharist is a dream. Expecting a eucharistic liturgy to build/make community is backwards. What resulted along with numerous other societal changes is that we coasted – we thought a new reformed liturgy would be the answer. But, liturgy is hard and difficult work. You can’t just plug a liturgy in (say the black, do the red) and expect things will be fine. Coupled with declining vocations; the discipline of celibacy for ordination; and, in many areas, significant catholic population expansion, communities had to rely on fewer priests; foreign priests; a lowering of priestly liturgical preparation and academic qualifications. These began to reveal the fact that, without effort, liturgy lost its meaning; it grew stale; it became mediocre. (examples abound – automatic four hymn sandwich; rote liturgies week after week; continued significant issue concerning poor preaching; poor ars celebrandi; resources taken away from music, liturgy, even scripture study for adults; bishops who ignored liturgy; think about RCIA and how well it has impacted our liturgy; challenges with bi-lingual communities or tri-lingual communities.
        The new translation “addresses” a symptom; it does not address the core issue or illness. There are no studies that prove that “elevated” or more “literal” translations lead to better participation, eucharistic understanding, etc. As much as B16 may want to revisit eucharist understanding and meaning, a new translation is only a band-aid. It will do nothing to address ars celebrandi; preaching; lack of resources for liturgy/music/RCIA; inculturations; 2/3rd’s of the catholic world.
        That is why I comment that two forms only prolongs the issue and problem. Going back to a latin or some future blended OF/EF form will not fix the fact that folks no longer feel “at home” with catholic eucharistic communities. The fathers of Vatican II reformed the liturgy because they had experienced folks who had lost all understanding/meaning of the TLM eucharist. So, guess you can say that this is my “anathema”.
        In terms of my comments directed at individual priests or even parishes who introduce/experiment with OF/EF – IMHO, you create confusion because you are “tinkering” with the liturgy – at least the reformed liturgy was a product of years of study/research and approved by more than 2200 bishops. Really don’t see that with today’s centralized bureacracy trumping bishops’ confrences and any idea of collegiality. If anything, your meme cites experimentation and then you justify those who “experiment” with two forms blending as the mood strikes them.
        See some documents in the next comments….

  9. Clare

    In the current ecclesiastical climate in Australia, with the Temple and Thought Police reporting every suspicious activity to the Vatican, I would have thought a phone call to David Walker might be in order.

    1. Cont….from #24:

      “Inter Oecumenici”, First Instruction For the Right Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, dated September 26, 1964, states in relevant part: “22. The bishop has the authority to regulate the liturgy within his own diocese, in keeping with
      the norms *and spirit* of the Constitution on the Liturgy, the decrees of the Holy See, and competent territorial authority”

      Paul VI’s Apostolic Constitution “Missale Romanum” of April 3, 1969, which states in relevant part, “After what we have presented concerning the new Roman Missal, we wish in conclusion to insist on one point in particular and to make it have its effect. When he promulgated the ‘editio princeps’
      of the Roman Missal, our predecessor St. Pius V offered it to the people of Christ as the instrument of liturgical unity…[O]ur own expectation in no way differs from that of our predecessor. It is that the faithful will receive the new Missal,…that through the new Missal one and the same prayer in a great diversity of languages will ascend

      Paul VI’s Address to a general audience on November 19, 1969: The pope states that the “new rite for the Mass…is to be celebrated in a form somewhat different from the one customary for the past four centuries, since the time of St. Pius V after the Council of Trent…How could such a change take place? The answer is that it is due to the express will of the recent ecumenical Council…Thus the reform about to take place everywhere is the response to an authoritative mandate of the Church. It is an act of obedience…It is not a fad, a fleeting or optional experiment, the invention of some dilettante. The reform is a law thought out by authorities in the field of liturgy, debated and studied at length…This
      reform puts an end to uncertainty, arguments, and misguided experiments.
      It summons us back to that uniformity of rites and of attitudes that is proper to the Catholic…

      1. cont….

        Decree “Celebrationes Eucharisticae”, promulgating the first ‘editio typica’ of the ‘Missale Romanum’, dated March 26, 1970: “Continued use, in whole or in part, of the ‘Missale Romanum’ in the 1962 ‘editio typica’, as emended by the 1965 and 1967 decrees and of the ‘Brevarium Romanum’ formerly in use is allowed, with the consent of the Ordinary *and only in celebrations without a congregation*, for all those who because of their advanced years or illness find serious difficulties in using the new Order of Mass in the Roman Missal, the Lectionary for Mass, or the book of the liturgy of the hours.”

        Notification “Conferentiarum Episcopalium”, on the obligatory nature of the Roman Missal of Paul VI, October 28, 1974, states in relevant part, “When a conference of bishops decrees that the translation of the Roman Missal, or any part of it, for example, the Order of Mass, is obligatory in a region,
        Mass, whether in Latin or the vernacular, *may be celebrated lawfully only according to the rite of the Roman Missal promulgated 3 April 1969 by authority of Pope Paul VI”

        Reactionary Catholic lawyer Christopher Ferrara argues in his “Sacrosanctum Concilium: A Lawyer Examines the Loopholes” that “conservative” Catholics are essentially fooling themselves if they believe the Novus Ordo liturgy is not what the Vatican II bishops wanted (see

        It would seem that the law for B16 is whatever he wants it to be, regardless of the intent of a conciliar pope and fellow bishops at Vatican II.

  10. Cup/Chalice: We have been told the new translation is to connect us even closer to scripture verses….how then is Chalice a valid choice? It may be what the Latin says, but SCRIPTURE (in the source language) uses cup.

    1. Just a speculation here, my own unsupported opinion, but – I would guess that a lot of (most?) English speaking Catholics take their understanding of the Cup/Chalice from Steven Speilberg rather any formal catchesis. I’m referring to the scene in Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail when Harrison Ford looks over a selection of ornate bejeweled gold chalices to select a clay goblet and proclaim ” This is the Cup of a carpenter’s Son. ” The scene has resonance because it expresses something people already believe.

    2. The Latin of EP II says “to stand before you (in your presence)”
      – adstare coram te.

      But multiple sources say Cardinal Pell was afraid people would use the literal translation to justify not kneeling. So it was not translated literally for the new version.

      The whole project is riddled with clerical powerplays, careerism – and outright lies. See the thread “Msgr Moroney, I Don’t Think So.”

    3. Actually, I think the Latin says “calyx”, for which the translation “cup” is perfectly adequate.

  11. The discussion between Bill and Allan makes me wonder, how many people are clear as to what options are currently and will be available soon in the MR?

    I wonder if it would be worth making up a spread sheet of every prayer of the Order of Mass and what things are listed as options and what are specifically prohibited and what past practices are not mentioned and therefore allowed anyway?

    Not adding or omitting any prayer leaves a lot of leeway for for how one offers the prayer and what things may be used when offering it.

    It is my impression that the use of bells and incense; the option to stand ad orientem or ad populo;
    the styles of vestments and music; and many other things which are not legislated.

    How many of you think there would be a lot of priests and parishes interested in seeing such a listing?

  12. Preparation is very important. After a parish meeting at the end of March, we celebrated a mass (EP11) on a Wednesday evening towards the end of Lent-with prior advice to the parish as to what was planned.
    We now have dates arranged for Sunday mornings this Summer-again prior warned- for the other Eucharistic prayers. All with the necessary printing for parishoners.
    What more can you do? It changes little. There will still be problems, but as Fr Michael Ryan said in his Seattle sermon in late February, it is coming soon to a church near you. So, we will wait and see what happens come Advent. Maybe the biggest problem will be the general apathy of so many. Words matter, translation matters. but the way it all happens can greatly add to or detract from the success of outcomes.
    Chris McDonnell UK

  13. Bill de Haas,
    Would you please check and re-post the link below?

    Reactionary Catholic lawyer Christopher Ferrara argues in his “Sacrosanctum Concilium: A Lawyer Examines the Loopholes” that “conservative” Catholics are essentially fooling themselves if they believe the Novus Ordo liturgy is not what the Vatican II bishops wanted (see

    1. Joe – it gives an interesting legal interpretation but his knowledge about liturgical history and change is very deficient. He operates from a belief that there has been a constant and almost unchanging roman rite liturgy since the 6th century. His liturgical exegesis ignores “ressourcement” and the early centuries of the church’s experience.

      His meme also repeats the old picture of Bugnini as the “devil” and the fathers of VII as mindless about the impact of what they voted on.

      1. Of course I realize that. But it is wonderful that out of an extreme traditionalist’s mouth comes the confession that SC was a revolutionary document. This is the truth that the current mendacious regime is doing everything to suppress.

  14. Thanks, Tom, for this interesting “legal” case.

    What impressed me most about O’Malley’s recent history of Vatican II was the reminder that SC was placed at the top of the agenda because there was a great deal of agreement about it. It was one of the few draft documents that was not rejected. In large part this was because liturgical reform had been underway for sometime, .e.g. the Holy Week revisions.

    The real arguments at Vatican II were about the relationship of Scripture to Tradition, Religious Liberty, Ecumenism and our relationship to the Jews, and of course LG and G&S as the framework for sorting all these issues out.

    This “legal” case underlines that the OF is the direct result of SC, and its implementation by Popes and Bishops. There is, of course, a lot of mediocrity in the OF just as there was a lot of mediocrity in the pre-Vatican II liturgy. Human nature, not liturgical forms, is responsible for mediocrity.

    I agree with Bill, however, that the author does not have much of sense of liturgical history, or even the history of the Council. The only real debate on SC was about Latin. In the end, many bishops were probably satisfied with SC because they knew they would have control of what happened, e.g. they would be the primary deciders of how much Latin would occur, etc. They were also probably happy to concede a large role to experts since that is what happened at the Council. However they knew they would still have the final say.

    Of course “final say” is what the bishops currently are in the process of giving up.

  15. In England and Wales, the revised translation of the Order of Mass begins on the first weekend of September (except in the archdiocese of Liverpool, which has decided to go independent and start the revised Order of Mass on the first weekend of October instead), ahead of the full Missal on the 1st Sunday of Advent (if the stream of errata to and from publishers ceases to flow and allows time for that to happen).

    One English seminary had already started to use the new translation of the Order of Mass at the beginning of Lent. This produces the somewhat bizarre phenomenon of this summer’s ordinands being ordained using the present Order of Mass texts, even though their spirituality will have been fed for the previous 4-5 months by daily use of the new texts. More confusingly still, upon ordination they will then have to return to using the present translation for only 2-3 months before they have to change back again to the new one.

    Ho hum.

Leave a Reply

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