Missal stories: any surprises?

People are posting accounts of their first encounter with the Missal translation on various threads, but I thought it might be useful to have a single thread that could collect the reactions in one place.

I am not particularly interested in rehashing complaints about either the old translation or the new, and not even complaints about the process. What I am interested is how it felt in actual practice. Was anything better than you expected? Was anything worse?

Better: People seemed in good spirits about the whole thing, willing to give it a go and laughing at their own stumbling. Having responded loudly and clearly with “and with your spirit” at the opening, only about half the congregation got it right at the Gospel, so I said, “let’s try that again.” They got it the second time.

The orations sounded better than I had feared, in part because the pastor had been practicing them all week.

And in EPIII there was one paragraph, which I had not particularly noticed when reading through the prayer, that struck me as quite nice when I heared it proclaimed: “Listen graciously to the prayers of this family, whom you have summoned before you: in your compassion, O merciful Father, gather to yourself all your children scattered throughout the world.” I liked the concreteness of “this family” as well as the language of God’s “compassion” (rather than simply God’s “love”).

Worse: Apart from this, EPIII sounded clunkier than I expected, as did the preface. Maybe with time the priest will get a bit better with his pauses, but I couldn’t help but agree with the parishioner who said to me afterward that it sounded as if it had been written by a lawyer.

Since the point of this post is to report impressions and not to debate them, how about if folks limit themselves to one post.

So, what was better? What was worse?

P.S.

Any personal attacks, particularly suggestions that people leave the Church if they are unhappy, as tempting as they may be, will be deleted.

105 comments

  1. It all went quite well at the abbey, and I was struck by the beauty of the liturgy. This Sunday we began using incense at every Sunday Mass, and now that we just got six altar candlesticks made (this was the original plan, now finally realized in Kacmarcik candlesticks), with 4 for the Sunday offices and Mass, the setting was beautiful. The schola sounded great, and we did a fair amount of unaccompanied chant. Overall, I liked it much more than I expected.

    The sung orations worked better than the recited Eucharistic prayer. When sung, it’s sort of just a wash of pious stuff, and somehow it works, or you don’t notice what isn’t working. But a recited Eucharistic prayer makes clear that some of the language is overblown and pompous.

    I think the contrast of two markedly different translations – 1974 at daily Mass Saturday, 2011 at Sunday Mass today – points up the problems in each. Next to the elevated seriousness of the new text, 1974 sounds pretty flat and drab. But next to the simplicity and sincerity of 1974, the new text sounds fussy and pretentious.

    Classic human behavior: pendelum swing, over-reaction.

    Let’s hope the next translation finds a happy medium which is high ground. Let’s hope for a better process with better consultation. Let’s hope we can learn from our mistakes of 1974 and of 2011.

    And let’s hope our ecumenical consciences stay pricked!

    Anthony Ruff, OSB

    1. Someday, I hope we will have translation principles that value idiomatic euphony, as a vital sign of the beauty of the Truth, instead fetishizing, one the one hand, immediate comprehension like a banal Strunk & White or, on the other hand, Latinate syntax, cognates and word-for-word correspondence.

      1. At last, a voice of linguistic sanity! Karl, I don’t know you but I think you’re my new liturgical best friend.

    2. “When sung, it’s sort of just a wash of pious stuff, and somehow it works, or you don’t notice what isn’t working.”

      This is one of the more depressing and/or cynical things I’ve heard in a long time. If I wanted a “wash of pious stuff” I would, as a competent Latinist, seek out the Tridentine rite.

      I’m delighted to hear that things went well at St John’s, where you have a more-than-usually-well-catechized and musical congregation and schola.

    3. Next to the elevated seriousness of the new text, 1974 sounds pretty flat and drab. But next to the simplicity and sincerity of 1974, the new text sounds fussy and pretentious.

      An excellent summing-up.

    4. I am watching the video from the Abbey’s Mass yesterday. Very beautiful music and atmosphere. I am glad to hear it was a reasonably good experience for you.

  2. I appreciated a presider who slowed the recitation of the Creed down. We began at the usual pace, but he firmly and gently took it down a notch. It meant that we could pray the new words without stumbling. And I do mean pray.

    Oddest moment (and a local thing) – during the Prayers of the Faithful, one for the bishops and translators of the new Missal. Their work is done, ours is beginning. It would have felt less awkward to be praying for the priests, deacons, musicians and assemblies who must now make this translation incarnate.

  3. “And also with your Spirit.” is what most of the assembly wound up saying by the end of both the masses I attended at different parishes in Manhattan. The priest at the first mass had such a heavy accent that the effect of his slow, careful enunciation was to make EP I sound as if it was being prayed in another language altogether. But his homily about the language we use for God was erudite and relevant. And his joke that “I guess now we pray ‘… with your spirit, but not your body” unified all of us in laughter. At the other mass, the priest, who is an excellent presider, prayed EP I also. Clearly he had rehearsed carefully, but the result was that the flaws in the prayer really hit a sour note. “lifted up the CHALICE”… and all the legal style language – was rather alienating. The mood in both parishes was subdued, a bit confused, and I heard no positive comments as I listened after mass. The Vermulst Mass setting was sung, and went off just fine.

  4. I broke my word to myself! I thought it would be a bad idea to spend over an hour at Mass feeling nothing but anger. But I was awake in plenty of time to get there, so I went. I never thought that missing Mass was a sin but I may have actually committed some kind of a sin by GOING today.

    I kept seeing visions of the Pope and our new Archbishop Chaput. It seemed like my friends were vying for the position of “teacher’s pet” to see who could get the responses right. I kept asking myself ” don’t these people know how this translation came about”? “Why didn’t the pastor tell them what was really going on”? Wasn’t there a children’s story like this – the Emperor’s New Clothes or something? Wasn’t this like a Star Trek episode where the crew’s minds were taken over by aliens? Had my fellow parishioners turned into lemmings?

    Finally, when the priest said “many” instead of “all” I unintentionally vocalized “that’s it”. I got up and left. I figured if the priest was contradicting the message of Jesus and even the teaching of the Church during the very words of consecration there was no way that there could be any real presence of Jesus on the altar.

    What a mess! On the one hand I have my country making war on just about everyone and now my church is led by a guy who is known to have harbored criminals and worked to undo V-II. Maybe it’s time to move to Ireland and become a Druid 🙂

    1. Maybe you can find a place that has Vespers, and go to the liturgy of the hours instead of Mass if you can’t bear the new missal for now.

      Or you could start a pilgrimage, visiting all the parishes in your area, a different one each Sunday, until you find one that does not upset you so much.

    2. Marci Blue

      Your post reads as if a person of a different religion, certainly not a Catholic in communion with the Magisterium, were writing it. You say, “when the priest said many instead all I emotionally vocalized: that is it….and left.” This sounds as if your decision was made before Mass but you craved a prompt so you might blame someone else for your schismatic exit.

  5. Things went fairly well at our Cathedral liturgies. #5 Cherie is spot on with the “and also with your spirit.” Our priest sang most of the texts and I had our cantors be a bit more present at the microphone to help out with the spoken responses.
    The Saturday night congregation was a little worried about messing things up to the point they didn’t respond “amen” to the opening greeting. Father made a joke about it and the tension in the air was lifted. Most of the confusion is more about posture than texts right now…perhaps this will change as people become more familiar with the new texts.

  6. From my scattered comments across posts:

    This is a parish that does liturgy extremely well: a sung EP at every Sunday Mass. A very consistent and predictable liturgy, almost as predictable as the EF from season to season, e.g. what will be sung on Palm Sunday. Because of its predictability, I was concerned about how it would handle change, and it did very well with great continuity and very gradually from September on, with no homily time, with a pastor’s column in the bulletin, and five minutes or so before Mass. No hype; no criticism; considerable humor (we are all making this change together and will get through it OK). The pastor is a scripture scholar and excellent homilist who proclaims the Gospel from memory; he emphasized the scripture based rationale for the changes.

    The new EP works well when sung: the Advent Preface worked well when sung even though it was obvious the priest was struggling to phrase it correctly. Just consider singing all this stuff; it will sound good even if people don’t understand it and if you don’t understand what you are saying, just like the Latin sounded well.

    The Mass of Creation was retained as the basic Mass. So the music was unaltered except for the Christ has died (The similar option C was the replacement). Again the emphasis upon continuity of something that is working

    The “And with you spirit” is still taking time to gel. The priests consciously look at the people and do their part carefully as a reminder of the change. It is annoying to have to pick up the book to recite the Creed, and other prayers, and sing the Memorial Acclamation. The priest says “hymnal” to remind us.

    The net result is that the parish seems to have added a sung Preface to its standard; now if I can just convince the pastor to have a sung Lord’s Prayer. The New Missal will not damage and might even help a parish with a strong liturgical tradition. What happens in other parishes? I will take a look in coming weeks. Their preparations seemed longer on talk than action.

  7. I ministered at 3 masses this week-end and I felt (as did our pastor) that we were going through the motions of prayer rather than praying. The folks were very good about trying to keep up with their cards, and we giggled through our errors. I was stuck (negatively) by repetition of the phrases “Graciously grant” and “we pray” The language, proclaimed, sounded stilted and pompous even though our pastor took great pains to prepare the texts. He did NOT like being tied to the book.
    On a positive note, the singing was very strong because we had begun the changed sung parts in September and the people knew them and I kept the Advent music very familiar!

  8. Mass in my parish was a rich experience this morning, as we began a new church year, and welcomed three young adults who will journey through RCIA in this community. Oh, and we also began to use the new English translation — without that becoming the center of our attention at this Mass. It was what I had hoped for, namely that we could continue to find God in our Sunday liturgy, without getting lost in translation.

  9. The biggest surprise was finding out that one of our college-student parishioners, home for the holidays, is now a Latin major. He just sat back and chuckled (“We never use formal equivalence; it doesn’t make any sense!”)

    1. Hi, Roger. I’m a latin student too; your parishioner is wrong. “We” do use formal equivalence (his class may not) and “we” do think it makes sense (his class may not). So this anecdote doesn’t amount to anything more than “some people like so-called dynamic equivalence,” and honestly, did we not already know that?

  10. Parish 1 Vigil Mass: Little practice as congregation. The normally passive congregation remained the same, albeit a little louder. Almost a completely new Ordinary, same results as always. Priest super encouraged, people as well. New translation very positively received, but pastor-induced stagnation remains. Overall, greater solemnity and more unity as everyone learns together. I stumbled 2 x, but with 2 kids (4 months + 2 years), it was better than I expected!

    Parish 2 Sunday Noon: New parish for us, but pastor leadership evident. excellent preparation=more unified results. Pew cards constantly referenced. Many stumbles, but very very positive experience. This being my second time, I was able to listen more carefully to the priest’s changes. Calling the chalice a ‘chalice’ was an elevating change. The “awkward” phrasings didn’t seem to ‘faze’ anyone, instead the stumbles were with “And with your spirit”, one of the simpler changes.

    Thank you Rome & ICEL & Bishops for correcting the translation! =)

    1. Interesting commenting on “chalice”. That was one of the things I found particularly jarring. I doubt that Jesus actually used a “precious chalice.” So this strikes me as bogus piousness. (To your point, “this is the chalice of my blood” seems to get at the true meaning better than “this is the cup of my blood.”)

      Stumbling over the responses was sort of fun. We were pretty well prepared, but the first time you do it “for real” it turns out to be not feel like you expected. I was taken aback not by the new “Lord I am not worthy” words, but by the priest’s words leading up to that — I wasn’t ready to respond! And most of the assembly wasn’t either. I’m sure we’ll have this together by Christmas.

      The new words of the preface and EP don’t come across at all with a thick Vietnamese accent. (I’m sure the priest had worked hard to be prepared, because he’s that kind of guy.) It might as well have been Latin (or Martian).

      1. “Precious” is certainly not the best translation of “praeclarus”. THe allusion is to Psalm 22:5 in the Vulgate, to “my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly (praeclarus) is it.” (Douay-Rheims)

        Perhaps “goodly” is too precious a word as well. Perhaps “noble” would have been better.

        But more to the point, the Roman Canon says “hunc praeclarum calicem”, “this noble chalice”. Surely, Jesus didn’t take the same vessel used by the priest, so there’s something else going on in here.

  11. I attended the 4:30 Mass yesterday in our parish. A couple of hymns, sung Gospel Acclamation, everything else recited. Practically nothing in the way of preparation. A brief homily on the Archbishop’s letter on the GIRM.
    The congregation had the prayer cards handy so they recited the Confiteor, Gloria and Creed without much problem. Hardly anybody got “And with your spirit” right though.
    I listened without a missalette and to me the proper prayers are incomprehensible if you don’t read them. I had no idea what Eucharistic Prayer was used.
    The pastor said “We’ll get used to it.” I suspect he’s right.
    I have concluded that the best thing I can do is be silent and listen. It’ll be a long time (if ever) that I’ll want to respond out loud. Not my way to pray, unfortunately.

  12. The bishops tell the priests to pull the strings a certain way, they obey, and the pewsitter puppets jump accordingly.

    Just as Jesus wants.

  13. I felt like I was somewhere else, not a Catholic Church. It was a painful experience, as if a part of me is gone. While there is a phrase or sentence here or there that are nice, most of it is not and the entire experience is damaged by knowing how this entire Missal came about. What should be a rich and rewarding experience has become a test of faith – to remain or to stay. Consubstantial, chalice, for many… just a few words/phrases that will sound like nails on chalkboard each time I hear them. Time will tell, but this was certainly the worst First Sunday of Advent I’ve ever experienced.

  14. I was at an early Mass this morning. We have been using the new translation of the people’s part since September. Today the responses were mostly suppressed or altogether silent. The volume returned for the Lord’s Prayer but died off again.

    Those who don’t want lay people to find a voice in our church literally, have won the day today.

  15. Sean Whelan and Mary Burke – Your comments and my experience help explain why I’m in tears right now – it’s like I’ve lost a good friend and can’t find a replacement 🙁

    1. Marci – This may sound silly, but pray, try praying hard. This morning, I was so angry at church I literally swore at our priest on my way out the door, and I NEVER swear, but I did because I felt God had been ripped from me.

      This afternoon, while reading and discussing here with the people, I had such a moment of discovery I can’t describe it. It was as if God spoke to me and said that it’s OK to be upset, but He reminded me that He’s still there where He’s always been, He wasn’t taken from me and he’s still as close to me as ever.

      It was neither a disapproval of the prior missal nor an approval of the current one. It was simply as if He was asking me to give it a try for Him, and as soon as that happened, the anger disappeared, and an indescribable feeling of peace was there.

      If God said, “Please try it, for me.”, how can I turn that down? He didn’t order me to “use it”, He just asked me to “try it”. So, I will try it, for a while. No guarantees, but if He asked, the least I can do is try. He’s done so much for me.

      I’ve been meditating and praying most of the day since that happened, because I’ve never had an experience like that before.

      So, I’ll pass the word forward. God is still there, and it’s OK to be upset. But just give it a try, for Him.

      It doesn’t mean that this is the end of what is happening, and there are going to be people who post things on this site that don’t help the situation, like implying that the problem is not so big, or to get over it, or it shouldn’t bother you, etc. Forget them. You, I, and others are going through grief, just like what happens when a loved one dies.

      But, why don’t you pray, try, and listen, and I’ll figuratively extend my hand across the net for you to hold onto if you need it. Sometimes a friend, even one you’ve never met, can help a lot. In fact, I extend it to everyone, especially those grieving for the loss of something we dearly loved.

      Sean Parker

      1. Sean, you wrote: “there are going to be people who post things on this site that don’t help the situation, like implying that the problem is not so big, or to get over it, or it shouldn’t bother you, ….
        But, why don’t you pray, try, and listen, and I’ll figuratively extend my hand across the net for you to hold onto if you need it. Sometimes a friend, even one you’ve never met, can help a lot…”

        Sean, had it ever occured to you that some “people” here were actually conduits inviting you, not correcting you, to the disposition God brought you? Yes, I asked you to consider your own words (Mt.25/”Rat b…”), but only for reconciliation, not remonstration. Strident voices hold sway, yes. But eventually Karl Liam Saur’s wisdom proves absolutely right: a sure, soft voice will prevail over the shouts of individuals and the mob. That’s why I still come here- I have much to learn in order to be disciplined, tho’ I fail so often.
        Let us continue to approach the altar as brothers, Sean, rather than unrepentant advisaries, yes?

      2. Charles,

        I’ve been quietly following this site since yesterday. Check out Mr. Parker’s posting in Marketing or Mystagogy, second from the bottom. It would appear that he has had some sort of enlightenment

        .

      3. Charles – I see your posting as well as the response from
        Stephen on my behalf. He’s right that I believe I may have had some type of inspriation (divine or otherwise) and I am going to give the mass next Sunday a view with an open mind.

        But, at this point, I still do not regret or take back how I referred to the Pope. I won’t post it on this site again, but my opinions of what he did and the way he did it have not changed. He gets no automatic reespect from me simply due to being Pope. Respect is earned, and lost. Right now, the pain the’s caused to so many people has caused him to lose all my respect. If he wants it back, he’ll have to earn it from me.

      4. “He gets no automatic reespect from me simply due to being Pope. Respect is earned, and lost.”

        I was quite leery when Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope. Then I started reading his books, beginning with Milestones, the small memoir of his first fifty years. Started to quite like him after that and to look forward to reading his stuff. The interview books with Peter Seewald are also very good. You might give some of that a whirl.

      5. Jeffrey,

        I’ve been offnet all day long.

        I don’t know what James Barrett or whoever he is, thinks he’s doing by emulating my story. Maybe he’s trying to dissuade people by making them think that people are posing under multiple names or posting fake stories. Maybe he’s making fun of me because I think that I might have received a message from God, I don’t know.

        But my name IS Sean Parker and I AM the person who wrote what I wrote on Sunday, plus unlike whatever “James Barrett” chose to write, I apologized for the reference I made to the Pope and I truly meant it. If the the people who run this site want to trace my IP address they can feel free to do so. As I said in an earlier posting, I never swear so to call him what I called him was completely out of character for me.

        You know, it was a combination of that experience plus something that you and some of the others said on this site on Sunday afternoon that really made me feel the fellowship that I know I’d miss if I were not part of the church.

        So, I’ll ask you to believe me, and if Mr. Barrett is reading this, I’ll ask him to please stop emulating my messages.

        Sean

      6. Sean, I apologize for the accusatory tone of my reaction. We’ve had instances (few and far between, as best I can tell) of people using multiple names on PTB before. There have also been allegations made to that effect in the past. The result is that I can be quick to be suspicious.

        I am glad that you will consider continuing to attend Mass, despite the pain and grief and anger it causes you. Perhaps the best thing I can say right now is “offer it up” — not to be spiteful, but to hope that good can come from it, and that you might be able to hear again the calming voice of God in the midst of the fire, wind, and earthquake.

  16. Dispiriting reports here. I said Mass in Japanese on Saturday evening; this evening I’ll be using the new preces but probably the old EP as it is for a group of elderly sisters who have pleaded off on using the new responses.

    1. The massbook for December provided the new EPs and preces but I stuck to the old EP III — oh the charm of the illicit! Some evidence of dislike for the new missal despite the effort of another celebrant to plug it over recent weeks.

  17. It went just fine—I would say that the doomsayers have been conclusively repudiated. There’s a British WW2 sign that’s become trendy: “Keep calm and carry on”; that has very much been the attitude of everyone except those who are supremely committed to their rejection of the corrections. Everyone has kept calm and carried on. With maybe two exceptions that are indifferent, the changes are all significant improvements, and even those who were initially skeptical have largely concurred having actually heard the texts rather than read them; if anything, the doomsayers actually shot themselves in the foot by setting the bar so long. Once ordinary Catholics heard this translation about which they’d heard such awful things, they predictably saw nothing so bad as the critics had supposed.

    Mary Burke wrote above that “[t]hose who don’t want lay people to find a voice in our church literally, have won the day today,” and while I don’t want to pick on her personally, the sentiment she voices seems prevalent among critics and must be responded to: The notion that this is something imposed by “the hierarchy.” Well, Mary, I am not a citizen of Vatican City. I am not a cardinal, bishop, monsignor, priest, or deacon. I am a layman. And I love the corrected translation. I’ve barely been able to wait. This silly and facile attempt by some to play the the laity off against the clergy is wrong in both senses: It is erroneous and it is immoral.

    What you fail to account for, Mary, is the possibility that those who kept their mouths shut are simply die-hard critics of the change, and in all candor, it is hard to dredge up much sympathy for those who are now suffering the kind of feelings to which they subjected many of us for decades. Our Lord, who set the planets in graceful motion orbiting our sun, is aware of what has just been taught to those who tried to wreck the Mass: What goes around comes around.

    1. Wish you would dispense with the unction. Continued use do the word “corrected” is predicated on the notion that there was truly something tainted in the sacramentary. Rank and file Catholics–ordained or not–care not a wit about the “accuracy” of the translation. They want and need words that make it possible for them to pray the Mass with sincerity of heart. The sacramentary made possible a remarkable transition from an a-cognitive Latin mass that seemed to have little or nothing to do with the day to day living do the faith to a mass in which understanding facilitated the worship of God in spirit and in truth.

      I have devoted myself over nearly forty years to praying that mass in a way that draws people to the true holiness which it effects. I am tired of the exaggerations and outright calumnies that are indulged in by those who see in this translation a victory for those who have long resisted the legitimate reforms of the second Vatican council. I know I speak for the countless people whose lives and faith have been shaped and formed by those reforms. We certainly haven’t attained a state of perfection, but we continue to say yes to the call to holiness.

      1. George Pell still speaks of the new translations as a necessary correction of the texts that have served for 40 years.

        You rightly point out that those texts brought the Roman Catholic English speaking millions to intelligible worship for the first time. It is far from clear that Pell’s porridge will continue to do this. Fussy corrections of imagined inaccuracies will not make up for the basic failure of communication and connection. The new translation is a lurch into real error, at a far deeper level than its inaccuracies.

    2. “Conclusively repudiated” — but the backlash has not even begun yet… It’s a bit like people judging the success of the Iraq invasion of 2003 after the first few weeks. Come back in a year.

  18. “And with your spirit” is bound to be difficult. Listen to the rhythm of “The Lord be with you,” balanced by “And also with you.” And then hear the bitty fidgets of “And with your spirit.”

    Simple euphony. And that does not yet begin to say anything about the theology adumbrated in these phrases.

    In my parish we have been using this new version with loyal goodwill for 13 weeks now, and we still mess this up, especially at the end of Mass – and at Requiems.

  19. Responses were a mixed bag. At some places in the Mass, people are unaccustomed to watching the pew card, so those times were the most mixed.

    Our pastor gave himself a “D” but except for a clunky EP3, I thought he did okay for a guy who pretty much had MR1 memorized.

    While the seasonal missal producers had their best roll-out date, I think the Brits made a better choice spiritually to roll this out in ordinary time. As it is, my parish made no more or less of it than we needed to. Advent was still more important, and the homily was quite appropriate and mentioned none of the liturgical changes. Glad for that.

    Now that we’ve got MR3 roll-out out of the way, it’s time to start agitating for a better Roman Missal, one that communicates artistry and beauty. Still got a long way to go.

  20. I couldn’t help feeling like it was all a sham of sorts. If the goal is be more equivalent to the Latin, and not merely as a cover for the change from “all” to “many” then I don’t see why we keep saying “Lord.” Isn’t that a concept born of feudalism in the 16th century in England, certainly not something the Romans had a Latin word for. Dominus ought to be God, or Master, or something… but certainly not Lord or Czar or some other political/economic moniker that came into being a thousand years later.

  21. Everyone here really, *really* should get to know the traditional Book of Common Prayer texts, many of which are translations of the Roman originals.

    If you’re fortunate enough to have the opportunity, find a traditional Anglican parish (some are Episcopalian, some independent, still others about to be RCs), and attend. Or, go to justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/, and look at the various American and British BCP editions. If you’re multilingual, look at other languages’ translations. (Unfortunately, web resources for those are hard to find.)

    It would actually be great if there were a wiki project to compare various versions of the same texts: Latin, 1973, 1998, 2011, and some other languages. It would add some “teeth” to many of these discussions, at least in the academic sense. (Obviously, it probably wouldn’t assuage the misgivings of folks who simply don’t like the new texts aesthetically…)

    Mary Wood: “And with thy Spirit” is pretty old—it dates from the 1549 BCP. Saying that that line doesn’t work seems a little like saying Shakespeare is bad English; phrases like that are part of the English language’s literary canon. (The 1662 BCP, some would say, has the distinction of being the only ritual book also considered a major literary work.)

    My parish is an Anglican Use parish that uses Rite One, so we had relatively few changes. We did use a new Memorial Acclamation, which will take a bit of time for the congregation to learn but went well otherwise.

    1. Felipe,

      It would actually be great if there were a wiki project to compare various versions of the same texts: Latin, 1973, 1998, 2011, and some other languages. It would add some “teeth” to many of these discussions, at least in the academic sense.

      You posted this in another forum, too, and the response is the same. If you had been tuning in here over the past year and more, you would have seen over time a pretty comprehensive comparison of the sort you are looking for. But because you have only very recently rejoined the loop, you are not aware of all the work that has already been done.

      1. FYI, in case it’s not clear: Crystal’s link posted above is only of the Order of Mass, and does not include any of the presidential prayers.

        The only online resource I know that has them is OCP’s Liturgy.com website, and it requires a $99 annual subscription.

    2. Saying that that [and with thy spirit] doesn’t work seems a little like saying Shakespeare is bad English. No. I think that this comment misses the point somewhat. The point of a vernacular translation is to translate into the vernacular. If we still spoke Shakespearean English, it would be right and just. We do not. Shakespearean English is no more vernacular than Chaucerian English was in Shakespeare’s time.

  22. I attended a Brooklyn parish here in New York City. There were too many [unnecessary] interruptions from the presider, though, doubtless, he thought it pastoral to make and which broke the rhythm of the Mass.

    The response, “And with your spirit,” [a response I believe is tainted with Docetism] was awkward. Even at the Pax, ( the Kiss of Peace) we all responded to each other,”And with you too.”

    My general sense was that some of the assembly went along to get along. There was no homily, but a lame explanation for these changes. Only toward the end did the “homilist” make an attempt to connection with Mark 13: 33-37. The only thing I culled from it indeed was to watch and be vigilant. Vigilant for whom?

    We usually have fellowship in the coffee hour after Mass, but this did happen today? Why, I wonder? Is it another attempt to scatter “the flock.” Don’t give them an opportunity, given these changes to speak among each other and then we (priests and pastoral staff) will have to meet their doubts , fears and whatever else?

    I feel disconsolate from what is happening in our world, our country, and in our Church

  23. Because this area is also about wit, a friend of mine said recently, “Bryon, I hear tell that your Missal is a weapon of Mass destruction.”

    I beg you brothers and sisters, this did happen.

  24. Paul: Any idea how I might find it? Surely if it’s what I imagine, someone would have saved a local copy? Put it prominently on a web site somewhere? A link, or some search terms, would be great.

  25. I prayed the Roman Canon on Sunday and it has the feel of the same prayer in Latin. I celebrate the EF Mass weekly and today while praying the Roman Canon in English I almost had to keep my hand from blessing the offerings with the triple blessing prior to the Hanc Igitur. But in terms of that, in the now defunct translation of it, the priest had to bless the offering rather quickly so many words had been eliminated from the Latin. Now the priest can take his time with this single blessing to cover the three fold acknowledgment. That’s cool. In the three months of praying the corrected translation, I can sense from the sacred assembly a renewed reverence for what is occurring at Mass. I haven’t been noticing adults or children getting up during the Eucharistic prayer to answer their phone or go to the restroom. That’s very refreshing. For myself I feel the joy and excitement of that first English translation of the Mass in 1965 that was so faithful to the Latin. I also remember the disillusionment with the 1970 missal’s English and I am grateful that it is now “defunct” which is a glorious Latinate English word!

      1. JP – those aren’t “incorrect” – they are differences in how you choose to translate. But, we have been over that freshly plowed ground over and over.

    1. Not that it is in any way insensitive to the mourners to dance on the grave while we’re still standing there with tears in our eyes…

      Maybe it’s possible that what you’ve been noticing is the glaze of total disengagement as the once-accessible sentences are replaced by a jumbled mash of clauses, leaving the brain no option but to switch off the language centres in a vain attempt at self-preservation.

  26. If some of these accounts are honest and accurate, and I am assuming that they are, then it is really true that there are now (at least) two very different “Catholic Churches”, not even counting the EF. At the two parishes I attended Mass at yesterday (one where I work, the other where I attend Mass with my family) there was no opposition, no negative comments, the assembly gave an unusual amount of attention to the texts and sounded more as though they were praying the Mass than they had sounded in a long time. At our “Welcome the New Missal” reception in the parish hall after all of the Masses, one parishioner was mystified and still didn’t quite know what was different other than the new musical settings, others commented that it was not anything like the “big change” after Vatican II (our parish is primarily retirees over the age of 70) and thought that the pew cards would be a great idea even after we’ve learned the texts! We used the Missal Chants accompanied with the organ, admittedly a concession but one which ended up working quite well as it allowed me to keep the tempo rather brisk and not allow them to get bogged down.

    Yes, there were the less graceful moments; the “and with your spirit” at the sign of peace was missed by nearly everyone and the priest, while maintaining the decorum of the liturgy, simply smiled and said “let’s try that one more time…”. We all chuckled, did it again, this time with the new text, and went about giving the sign of peace. Next week it will be a little more polished, and the week after that a little more so again.

    The high point of my day was at dinner, when we were discussing the changes. I was explaining how the actual Mass texts are in Latin and always have to be translated into other languages, and my sixth grade daughter chimed in “well if the old translation had problems, and the new translation has problems, why don’t we just say it in Latin?”

    We are indeed at the dawn of a very new age…

    1. “well if the old translation had problems, and the new translation has problems, why don’t we just say it in Latin?”

      A nice sound bite, but the problem is, it’s not about saying it, it’s about praying it.

      PS: Did you also tell your daughter that some of the Latin texts were originally written in other languages, and were then translated into Latin, and then translated back into other languages (including the ones they had originally been written in), and that the translations back did not always bear much resemblance to the pre-Latin originals? No, I thought not.

      1. Don’t be silly Paul. The Latin texts are the typical texts, the non-Latin base wasn’t.

        To the little girl (and most people as well), saying prayers is praying. Only in a distracted and angry soul does it become noisy vocalisations.

      2. Simon,

        To give just two examples:

        You clearly are not aware that at least one Eucharistic Prayer in regular use exists which has never been translated into a Latin editio typica.

        Nor that when the EPs for Masses with Children, originally written in French and German and then translated into Latin, were translated in English the ICEL translators made reference to the French and German originals to guide their work. The Latin was not up to snuff.

        (An unofficial English translation had already appeared, translated direct from the French and German. This was apparently not consulted by ICEL.)

  27. We attended Mass at the local Newman Center, where they project songs on the wall for the assembly. Whenever a new response was coming they flashed the words on the wall, which allowed the Mass to proceed *with* reminders, *without* disturbances. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked very well. I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly everything went, and I thought by and large the new wording was actually very nice. Though I admit I was distracted by my children and late pregnancy during much of the EP.

  28. Not much to add here. Things went well at my local parish. The priest seemed very prepared – I didn’t hear him stumble once. The congregation’s response were a bit tentative. The weakest response was the memorial acclamation. They are all too long in my opinion, and the musical setting we use for option C is difficult. I checked in with friends from other parishes/dioceses and their experiences were similar, with priests demonstrating various levels of preparedness. All in all, a “non-event.” It would be great if we could give an update via this blog in 3 months or so.

  29. I started with two vigil celebrations in senior homes. As, in South Africa, the responses have been in use for some time there were few problems (though some prepositions shifted between the recognitio and publication, so new responses had to be newly encountered again).

    Having practised, especially phrasing the unfortunate dangling pronoun agreement in the postcommunion, it felt smooth enough. Hopefully the familiarity which gives rise to more profound engagement with what I am doing instead of what I am saying will come.

    The most surprising comment came from a feisty 70+ psychologist. She was grateful that I had toned down the sexist language. I had used EP3, without any change or alteration at all – I swear!

  30. At the parish where I work full time, the roughest spots for us were with deprogramming “And also with you.” When the priest sang “The Lord be with you,” the congregation responded with a tepid “And with your spirit”; when it was spoken, we either went to the old response or a garbled mishmash of both. At the early Sunday morning Mass which has little or no music, the congregation really struggled with this one. At the Masses with music, we made a point to rehearse the response, sung and spoken.

    I was pleasantly surprised with how well the Confiteor and Creed went. No trouble at all with “consubstantial,” but a lot of tripping over “by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary”—people want to insert “by the POWER of the Holy Spirit” in there, and it falls apart.

    Since I’m more aware of all the grammatical hijinks in the presidential prayers from the First Sunday of Advent, it was hard for me to objectively gauge how well they went over. My pastor complained about the chant for the preface being difficult.

    I also play at a Sunday evening youth Mass. The presider there did a lot of hand-holding and hitting the brakes (“Okay, here comes another change”), which increased the overall batting average for just about everything. I’m not sure it’s great ritual practice, but I guess it worked pastorally. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the training wheels come off.

    Reception at both parishes? As far as I could tell, nobody was really too upset by it. There seemed to be a sense of, “Oh, we know this. It’s just got a few tweaks to it.” I’m not sure how many people are praying this yet; there’s a lot of hesitation, like being on an awkward first date.

  31. Too many words!! I agree with AWR’s estimation of the comparison between 1974 and 2011.

    I subbed “these sacred mysteries” for “them” in the Prayer after Communion. I pray that no one will hold me unworthy, and I beseech that those who do may bestow forgiveness on my spirit.

    Today’s early AM Mass was worse for the people’s responses than the weekend, even though I besought them to partake of the benefit of the cheat sheets.

  32. I know this is breaking Fritz’s suggestion that each person only post once in this thread, but I think it’s worth mentioning for the sanity and spiritual health of everyone who comes to this site, especially in these early days:

    For those out there who are happy with the missal change, please:

    Whether you understand it or not, to some people this change is as emotionally significant as a close friend dying. Please try and treat it that way. If someone’s friend died, I hope you would never tell that person “”Get over it”, “You’re overreacting.”, “You should be happy”, “Things are so much improved, now that your friend is dead.”, or “I’m overjoyed that your friend has died.” Even if you felt it, I hope you’d say nothing. There will be a time and place for that “celebration”, if that’s the best way to refer to it. But,at least for the time being, please minimize the statements here about how happy you are that the mass has been corrected, fixed, improved. Or the “You’ll get used to it.” If you just lost a parent, you don’t want someone to tell you’ll get used to it.

    For those out there who are unhappy with the missal change, please:

    Your pain is valid. There’s nothing that says this is going to be forever. I think it’s a work in progress. But the same God you’ve always known is still there. Make a promise to go to mass once, just once, and say the new words, even if you hate them. After that, if you need to reflect on things, or if you want to say the old words quietly, then say them. Try to forgive the people who are saying things that are hurting you. They can’t feel your pain and hopefully they’re not purposely hurting you.

    I think if we follow these suggestions going forward, it may help to bring back some sanity, some compassion, some actual communication, and some peace to something that has been significantly churned up after 40 relative years of stability.

    Have a great day, everyone. 🙂

    1. After reading comments pro and con it appears that those who do not like the Mass prayer alterations went to Mass not liking them already (the text was available for a while already); similarly, those who like the new translation anticipated liking it. Both got what they expected.

      Wait for a while before finally making up your mind. The words of the priestly prayers can be overwhelmed by the beautiful or dissonant music as the case may be. After all, your dislike may be due to a personality which abhors change of any kind.

      It reminds me that changing to English from Latin was much more traumatic. There were no forums to voice frustrations. Nobody cared what one though about the destruction of Roman liturgy. The damage done in the name of the Spirit of Vatican 2 is longstanding, many never got over it. The losses to the Church in priests, religious, and lay Catholics is literally incalculable.

      Compared to that the present liturgical reform is a non-event. By Jan 1, 2012 when you go to Mass you will wonder why you were so upset just a month ago.

      1. Nope. December marks the fourth month of the new words here in England, and I still hate it.

        But thanks for your optimism.

  33. There was more than a little stumbling at my home parish–and more than a little of it came from me. “And with your Spirit” is surprisingly hard to reprogram! (Over the five masses for which I played there this weekend–which means 25 uses–I think I got 12 right.)

    At the first mass, the presider led us into the Gloria–spoken, not sung–and about half reflexively used the old text, some the new; then, like a wave rolling back to sea, the volume dropped considerably, and the new-text folks came on strong and got everyone back on track. Which was nice, but the real question is, “Don’t we omit the Gloria during Advent?”

    The new setting of Holy stalled a bit–we’re doing Janco’s “Angels and Saints”–but when we hit the first “Hosanna,” it was as if everyone remembered the rehearsals we’d done, and sang with gusto from there on, and the great Amen even better. The Mystery of Faith acclamation, not so much. Those who were following the EP in the missalette didn’t seem able to find the right page; others who were listening prayerfully to the presider remembered it was “their turn” and grabbed their pew-cards; either way, the acclamation is so short that it’s over before you know it.

    The presider who seemed to have the least challenging time with finding his right page at the right time was our non-native English-speaking Associate–but his accent is often hard to understand, so that’s a wash.

    This was the first time I’ve heard the new texts prayed aloud in mass, and–even when we were on the right page, and accents and sound systems were favorable–I kept thinking, “This is just plain hard to understand.”

    All in all, on a scale where 1 is a train wreck and 10 leaves the angels themselves rejoicing, I’d say we were a good solid 4.5. Which, considering how little prep has been done in this parish (outside Bible study groups and music rehearsals), is probably not bad.

    * * *

    The morning masses over, I stopped into the parish office to drop off some paperwork and saw our copies of the retired Sacramentary on the counter with a note reading, “To be burned by diocese.”

    Honestly, I was heartsick.

    Is this the best we can do? Is this what we *must* do? (There wasn’t anyone else in the office, so I had no one to ask.)

    * * *

    I had some lunch that, I admit, I barely tasted and did a couple of errands–because however much we prefer to focus on the mysteries of heaven rather than the “passing things,” sometimes you just have to buy cat-box filler–and headed south for my once-a-month fill-in gig as organist at a 6 PM mass.

    There, I was met by the youthful, intelligent, charming associate pastor. We get along well; he’s a musician, too. But in the course of briefing me on procedures there, he let it be known that “This translation finally gets it right.” When I said I hadn’t realized it was a question of “right” and “wrong” but of translation principles, he made sure I knew that it wasn’t just a question of dynamic vs. formal equivalence, but that the previous translation was just theologically WRONG.

    Feeling the sort of intestinal gurgle that doesn’t bode well for the cleanliness of a sacristy floor, I took a breath and said, “Okay, rather than spend the remaining 14 minutes before mass in a discussion of theology, why don’t we just make sure I know which Memorial Acclamation to play?” He laughed a little, and I smiled, and he told me what I needed to know, and I headed up to the loft, where I got my musical ducks in a row and tried not to think about how the Mass I’ve known and prayed all my conscious life was “doing it wrong.”

    Obviously, I failed.

  34. Our liturgy was graced by the pastor’s sharing of a brief passage from T S Eliot in which Eliot remarked that words always fail us when it comes to worship and the divine.

    Because of those words, rather than focusing on the new translation, I found myself keenly aware of everything else that was going on. Let us indeed thank God for Advent blue and purple, green boughs, white birch, hymns and melodies we associate with the season, the familiarity and comfort of our advent wreath, a singing congregation, people in the gathering space and pews, bread and wine, gospel and communion processions, and the human experience of laughing at our response stumbles. (I like to think of it as a liturgical version of Simon Says – was anyone left standing at the end of the liturgy!) As much as we want to say words matter, it’s good to remember some things matter more. Let’s be grateful that we are a sacramental and liturgical people.

  35. Yay, Michael. Thanks for sharing that. Good news is always good, and I’m quite sure that the less-good caused me not the best parts of our weekend liturgies. The Big Choir sang their absolute fool heads off on their anthem, for instance. The rafters, they did ring.

    In another good-news area: might it be possible for someone to share the text of the Abbot’s homily?

  36. Is there a master PrayTell calendar so we can have this same discussion one year from now? Many folks seem to be thinking that the experience we had with the new translation on its first day is the experience we’ll have with it in perpetuity. This is like thinking your marriage is going to be like your first date.

  37. Thanks to a well-prepared pastor, it went pretty well. Our pastor’s diction, inflection and pacing are always first-rate and he had clearly practiced the prayers. He did an especially fine job with all those clauses in the Preface!!
    The “not so good” were the FREE laminated cards prepared by someone in the diocese (I’m guessing a priest or seminarian) that were sent to all the parishes. They put the PRIEST’s parts in bold type (I’m not kidding) so people were immediately confused since the cards are presumably to teach the assembly IT’s part! In the Creed the card included the direction to bow — not in parentheses but in the text — so people recited the phrase “and became man” twice! And it omitted the “And with your spirit” response to the priest’s offering of the sign of peace.
    Sunday afternoon we had the Rite of Baptism for 9 children in our parish. When the priest said “The Lord be with you” I blanked out — is “And with your spirit” now the default response whenever we hear this? Or — are all the Rites in English the next thing to be retranslated??

    1. I rently saw some official statement (perhaps from Fr. Hilgartner?) saying that those elements of other rites that are in the newly translated Missal should be used. that would mean things like the blessing of the water at Baptism (if one uses the first form), the response to “the Lord be with you,” the nuptial blessing, etc.

      1. FWIW:

        “Regarding changes to my Rite of Confirmation material: the text card for the Rite of Confirmation refers to the candidate’s response at the anointing, “And also with you.” Shouldn’t I change that to “And with your spirit.”?

        Answer: A member of our CGS Roman Missal Committee spoke to Fr. Richard Hilgartner, who is the associate director for the Secretariat for the Liturgy at USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship about this very issue. Fr. Hilgartner explained that the Rite of Confirmation has NOT changed. Since our Confirmation material is in WRITTEN form, we do not have the authority to change it on our cards.
        At the time of the publishing of our CGS Roman Missal Kit, the USCCB is waiting for a response from the Holy See about how soon the USCCB may begin to make changes to other rites (Rite of Confirmation, Rite of Baptism, etc.) When the Holy See has responded, we will inform our membership via the website and materials manual when applicable.
        It is important to note that while the Rite of Confirmation has not changed, a local Bishop may in practice decide that his diocese will begin using the response, “And with your spirit,” but we still do not have the authority to change the rite or make the change on our text card, even if our local Bishop makes the change in practice. We need to wait until the Rite of Confirmation has been changed by the Holy See.”

        http://www.cgsusa.org/cgs_roman_missal_faq.aspx

      2. Fr. Hilgartner is correct, those other rites (including their “and also with you”) have not been changed.

        But Bishop Aymond, head of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, said at the recent conference meeting that common sense should prevail and of course people can say “and with your spirit” in all the rites now.

        awr

      3. Hmmmm, does it say something about the times in which we’re living that we need the head of the BCL (or whatever it’s called these days) to tell us that common sense is allowed to prevail?

      4. In England and Wales, the expectation is that wherever a phrase in the revised translation appears in a sacramental or other rite (for example, celebration in the absence of a priest), the phraseology there will be adapted to conform to the Missal.

  38. Our parish did pretty well over four masses. Like others, I heard a lot of “And also with your Spirit”, and at one mass, a real mash-up responding to the invitation to Communion, even though it was in the aid. We chose the Apostles’ Creed, and since everyone had to read it from the aid, I think it was actually louder than last week’s final proclamation of the Nicene.

    Comments after masses ranged from “I think you prepared us well” to “And also with you will be a hard habit to break” to my favorite, which came from my wife: “What Eucharistic Prayer did Father do? I didn’t recognize it” (all our priests used EP3)

    However, “Chalice” (three times!) is still so jarring to my mindset (left brain trying to process those words while right brain is thinking that Jesus would have taken a cup) that I actually missed whether any of the priests changed the words “for many” back to “for all”.

    But I noticed two things that no one has brought up yet:

    1) Our presiders are not giving up on the idea of “in these or similar words”. Over the course of four masses, I heard “similar words” to introduce the Penitential Act and the Lord’s Prayer. Also one Deacon used “similar words” for the Dismissal. Perhaps in our the focus on the words of the prayers, we neglected the specifics in the rubrics.

    2) For two of our three priests, their Suscipiat (“pray brethren…. my sacrifice and yours”) reverted to the old translation, but only because they both got lost in the missal trying to find that prayer. They kept turning back and forth in the missal and finally gave up. We looked after this happened a second time and discovered the line is hard to find amidst the chant lines and rubrics printed and in the (Catholic Book Publishing) missal, even though it falls smack in the middle of the page.

    Lighthearted moment for me: One priest invited us to join with all the “Thrones and Dominations” in the Preface. No one else noticed.

  39. My parish jumped the gun and has started the new translation in mid-November. No dissent that I can see; Mass attendance is the same. For the “people’s parts”, my parish invariably uses the Confiteor and Nicene Creed (when called for). Much of the ordinary, even at daily Mass, is in Latin and requires no change. Also, our pastor always uses the Roman Canon (in English or Latin). Parishes which use a wide variety of liturgical options and EPs will have to more practicing to do and adjustments to make than a parish which always uses the same options.

    Given that our parish is bi-form, OF and EF, it probably would be easier for the priest to say “Dominus vobiscum”, as more people have the Latin dialogue pre-programmed.

    Re: Sean Parker on November 28, 2011 – 8:19 am

    I will easily confess that I’ve experienced a good amount of schadenfreude over the way in which some of the moderate to very progressive parishes in our diocese will have a difficult time with the new translation. I’ve also thought things like “the liturgical Age of Aquarius is over — ite missa est” and “well, maybe this’ll stop the guitar Masses at my geographical parish”.

    I haven’t said anything, though. I remember the anger of “indult days”. Those who have suffered during a period of liturgical deprivation should be the first to recognize similar suffering in others.

  40. Something which did not cross my mind the past several months, but rather was a very painful realization during the liturgy this weekend, was how difficult the new translation would be for my grandmother.

    Prior to this weekend much of my critique of the language focused on all of the usual suspects which have been so well addressed on this site. At the heart of many criticisms of the liturgy was the argument would inhibit, rather than facilitate, active participation by the assembly. This weekend, while I was visiting my parents, I went to Mass with them at the parish where I grew up. The assembly did their best to keep up with the changes by following cues projected on the walls and reading along in new missalets. But there was one glaring exception in my sight line: my grandmother.

    In the beginning stages of dementia, my 83 year old grandmother could not find a way to participate in the liturgy that she has participated in daily for most of the last two decades. The ritual language of the now former translation had become such a part of my grandmother’s life that as her memory and awareness began to fade, it remained as a glimmer of normalcy for her–something in which she could participate actively, consciously, and fully with a community despite her struggles will other cognitive exercises. Such participation has been rare for her the past several months. But the liturgy had become such a part of who she is, and she part of what it is as a member of her community, that it remained for her an action in which she was fully aware of what she was she doing and what was happening. It was with great sorrow that I saw her frustration during and the liturgy and listened to her afterwards. Effects like this were not intended and probably could not have been avoided in any translation but they certainly call us to respond to a new pastoral need arising from this translation as a population finds itself unable to participate in the liturgy any longer.

  41. Mass at 10 AM at the Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul, Minnesota was incredibly moving. Father Johnson and Deacon Shupe did a great job with the chants (including almost every part of the Mass, with exception of Confiteor, Creed, Universal Prayer and Eucharistic Prayer III), the congregational responses were strong and the choir, under the leadership of Rob Ridgell and Lawrence Lawyer was outstanding. I teared up when I talked to Father Johnson after the Mass, because of its beauty, which I do attribute to the new translation. I’ve looked forward to it for a long time.

    To compare, I went to the first daily Mass at the Cathedral this morning. We used liturgy guides from Magnificat and they were definitely referred to. I did notice a few variations using the old language, including the initial “and with your spirit”, a little awkward “Holy, Holy” and a missed “May the Peace of the Lord”, but the Mass went well.

    For the benefit of PrayTell readers, here is a story about the new Mass translation from one of our local television stations.
    http://kstp.com/news/stories/S2388598.shtml?cat=1

  42. What was out of the ordinary at our parish, famous in our diocese among visitors and priests as a place where the people sing out loud, is that it was so quiet during the Mass. The much practiced, sing-song “Mass of Renewal” was at about half the volume of previous weeks; and the louder the choir director sang out the less responsive the congregation was. It was as if we were tiptoeing around the new texts, or like an EWTN Mass where the priests and others seem to fear that the altar is booby-trapped. In the mean time, our celebrant occasionally and noticeably stumbled around the prayers a little, but that is not what stuck in my memory.

    Anyway, if they want Latin disguised as English, the old altar boy here will give them Latin unadorned: “Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum …” figure of speech and all!

  43. ANNOUNCEMENT

    Thanks, all. for a good discussion.
    Note that I’m moderating, not Fritz. I’m trying to be fair about deleting comments, especially long ones, that are arguing about translation rather than sharing first experiences with this translation.

    Carry on.

    awr

  44. Our first mass, was slow going. Many remained silent or very quiet, but I don’t think it was due to protest. It was more due to people not wanting to be the ones to make a mistake in front of others. I think that by the last “And with your spirit”, most people were getting the hang of that. Our parish has an older population, and the biggest complaint seemed to be that the type on the prompt cards was too small to read without people using their glasses – or the pastor turning up the lights.

    Overall, not bad.

  45. We had a rather balky Mass as it seemed we had to repeatedly stop praying and read something from the little card. I had to smile – we all missed the third “and with your spirit” because we were looking at the altar, not the card!

    The priest made a very gallant effort to make the transition smooth for everyone, but was so distracted that he didn’t realize why the choir had omitted the Gloria and had us all recite it at the homily!

    So, things may improve, but I’d have to say that this week the new translation interfered with rather than enhanced our worship!

  46. Things went rather smoothly here at my parish on Sunday. There was some stumbling about with the responses. I heard a mash between “seen and unseen” together with “visible and invisible”. Some puzzled looks on “consubstantial”. Nonetheless, I found some of the prayers hard to follow (not due to how the priest prayed them–rather due to the extremely complex structure).

    Along with others, I found the word “chalice” to be jarring. I think there is some connotation in “cup” that gets lost with the word change (as in “Let this cup pass me by”).

    All in all, I suspect that 10% didn’t care for it; 10% loved it; 80% didn’t seem to care.

  47. First go was better than I thought it would be. The priest at the Mass I attended is from Ghana (wonderful man!), so I thought it might be “interesting”. Brilliantly, he used Penitential Act “B”, which avoided the confetior and breast beating, though was confusing to the congregation because another priest had gone over the pew cards before Mass started and highlighted the changes to the confetior. He also used EP II, somewhat less wordy than the other options.

    Even though I’ve read through the Prayer after Communion many times, upon hearing it I still wasn’t sure if “by them” in the prayer referred to “these mysteries” or “passing things”. I also found strange the reference in the Opening Prayer to God’s faithful as “them”, when I was expecting “us” :-). I guess that’s presumptuous?

  48. We now have FOUR distinct ways of worshiping in the English speaking world: those who follow the EF, those who celebrate the OF in Latin (as is done beautifully in Farm St, London), those who embrace the new translations, those who stick with the 1973 translations (despite the effort of dioceses to burn the books — never a good sign! They are written on our minds.)

  49. Of course we should have many, many more ways than these four — at least as many as there are English speaking nations — with much room for creative development everywhere.

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