Catholic Academy of Liturgy at NAAL

The Catholic Academy of Liturgy met yesterday, right before the opening of the North American Academy of Liturgy, which is meeting in Montreal, Canada.

(NAAL began in 1973 with a meeting organized by two Jesuits, Frs. Walter Burghardt and John Gallen. It was officially founded in 1975 at Notre Dame, and the first meeting was at Loyola in Louisiana. Its ecumenical membership numbers somewhere around 500 members, of which a bit less than half are Roman Catholic. Worship at the meetings is sometimes Christian, sometimes interfaith in consideration of the Jewish, and now Muslim, members.)

Scholarly topic for the morning session of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy was Anything But The Roman Missal.

More precisely, liturgical diversity in Canada. Very interesting panel with Fr. Gaetan Baillargeon (Directeur, Office national de liturgie, bishops’ conference), Simone Brosig (Director, Office of Liturgy, Diocese of Calgary), Fr. Bill Burke (Director, National Liturgy Office, bishops’ conference), Peter Galadza (professor of Eastern Catholic Liturgy, St. Paul University, Ottawa).

A few highlights:

* French-speaking and English-speaking Catholics in Canada have quite different histories and traditions. Oversimplification: the French are more traditional and less legalistic. Example: implementation of new GIRM for the French meant “let’s not worry about details of new rules, let’s focus on the spirit of the liturgy. Actually, let’s not change much of anything.”

* In some places people stand for the Eucharistic Prayer after the Sanctus, then kneel for the “consecration” (aka Institution Narrative) (aka Supper Narrative). In other places people stand for the entire EP. In other places people kneel for the entire EP. Time to unify all this, right? Bishops’ conference almost got agreement that all would kneel for all of EP – but French-speaking bishops would accept this only if the local bishop had freedom to legislate otherwise (since standing until the Supper Narrative is in fact the universal norm). Holy See would approve this only if the local-bishop-clause were removed. Bishops’ conference rejected this. Which means:  the diversity continues.

* Communion under both forms is common among English-speakers, rare among French-speakers. At joint liturgies some resist both forms because “that’s not Catholic, it’s English.”

* Marriages are increasingly not just ecumenical, but interfaith. The rite of marriage needs development to acknowledge this.

Reports were heard from the national liturgy offices of the U.S. and Canada, with ICEL update from Fr. Paul Turner.

* A Spanish-language Missal for the US is in progress. Its completion relies largely upon the process being completed in Mexico. The US bishops are considering issuing just the official Spanish-language order of Mass separately, with the remaining materials to be issued upon the completion of the work in Mexico.

* Yes, Vox Clara is really producing a Roman Pontifical. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re acting like a translation agency, taking over ICEL’s work. Their Pontifical will simply bring together the episcopal rites in their current translation, with adjustments made (e.g. “And with your spirit”) where necessary. No new translations in it. (But still…)

* The Eucharistic Prayers for Children will soon be coming out in a separate fascicle. ICEL created a quite literal translation of the Latin – but the Latin was never intended as an original to translate, the idea was that it would be a model for developing original texts in vernacular languages. The Latin missal of 2008 doesn’t include these prayers in Latin because the Latin text isn’t intended for liturgical use. (And then some people got to get worked up that the Church was doing away with these prayers. Not.) The new missal in English doesn’t include these prayers because – I’m not making this up – the English missal has to mirror the contents of the Latin missal. Even though… oh, never mind. For now, the current translation will remain in use, with necessary adjustments such as “And with your spirit.” The fascicle will provide for this, while a more extended conversation about how to draft original English EPs for children can be taken up. Interesting question: do the assembly acclamations throughout the prayer work in practice, when these liturgies are celebrated infrequently?

* A U.S. document on preaching is coming which supplements but does not replace “Fulfilled in Your Hearing.” A concern from the floor: why is the consultation by invitation only, why couldn’t there be an open consultation as worked so well for Sing to the Lord? The question was handily dodged by pointing out that it’s being produced by the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, not the liturgy office.

* Common English-language lectionary (for those not in the U.S.) continues to bounce from one translation to another, after many candidates have fallen. Now they’re looking at the ESV, the English Standard Version, which comes from Protestant evangelicals.

I had a pleasant lunch with Msgr. Rick Hilgartner, director of the US liturgy office, and his able assistant, Fr. Dan Merz. I began by promising that nothing they said would go on this blog! The conversation was free and open. And I learned two things that are so interesting I can’t resist divulging them. (Just kidding, Rick.)

Excellent afternoon panel on future publication prospects for CAL with Glenn Byer (Director of Publications, CCCB), Hans Christoffersen (Publisher for Academic and Trade Markets, Liturgical Press), Don LaSalle, S.M.M. , and Mark Wedig, O.P. Wide ranging discussion on the many rapid changes buffeting us – print journals are fading, electronic media are rapidly changing, attention spans are shortening, book lengths are getting smaller, few Catholics are now going into liturgical studies. CAL membership is aging. Where is the field going??

At the business meeting, the Catholic Academy for Liturgy elected to its three-person leadership team: Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB. This means I’ll rotate into office of president in two years.

awr, with thanks to Alan Hommerding

28 comments

  1. Terrific information that answered a lot of questions especially regarding EP for Masses with Children and the Lectionary.

    Thank you Fr. Anthony!

  2. ” In some places people stand for the Eucharistic Prayer after the Sanctus, then kneel for the “consecration” (aka Institution Narrative) (aka Supper Narrative). In other places people stand for the entire EP. In other places people kneel for the entire EP.”

    This I found interesting. There are also parishes in Florida with no kneelers at all…the congregation stands or sits.
    I never understood this until chairs were ordered for the parish chapel. Constructed of oak, they were about $285.00 each…oh, and you want a kneeler….another $210.00 each. Guess which the chapel chose.

    1. The local parish that always sings the Eucharistic Prayer has no kneelers and therefore does not kneel (except for a few unusual occasions such as on Good Friday when we kneel on the tile floor).

      The local Orthodox parish stands except during the readings and the homily (except for a few unusual occasions like the metanias during Lent, then you have to leave your pew and do them in the aisle). Standing rather than kneeling seems to be the sign of prayer. People who pray before liturgy stand; others sit and wait.

      1. And the TRUE Orthodox just stand,,,,for there are no pews at all, just a few seats along the wall for the elderly. One big, wide open sanctuary.

  3. Thank you Father.
    It is interesting that French speakers reject a practice “because that’s not Catholic, it’s English”. A few comments on this blog have suggested that the reference language of the mass be English rather than Latin.
    This example, devoid of logic as it may be, shows the strength of feeling on these things.

    1. It’s not surprising that English would be the language of reference for people who worship in English.
      awr

      1. Thank you Father.
        I may not have been clear. The impression I get is that some would use English in place of Latin as the language from which all translations would be made.
        Well Charles II ordered the Book of Common Prayer to be translated into French for us in the Channel Islands. Apparently English did not go down well here.
        Times do change.
        Charles II was received into the Catholic church when he died. Not a bad king all in all.
        Best wishes
        Peter

  4. Although my years of involved liturgical life are past, my interest remains. Last year the NAAL was in San Francisco and an old friend and fellow sexagenarian was being inducted into membership. Knowing of the reputation many younger types have about liturgy, I asked her if there was any inter-generational friction within the organization. “None”, she replied. “There’s really only one generation.” When I attended the awards dinner with her, it was confirmed. Boomer City.

    Food for thought.

  5. As regards posture at Mass, why not have it variable with the season, so as to enhance awareness? – from Easter Vigil to Pentecost, invite all to stand for the full Eucharistic Prayer to mark our rising with Christ! This could be contrasted with kneeling all during Lent (we could make an exception, of course, St Patrick’s day!).
    Perhaps, Anthony, you use the word “fascicle” to show your continuing reverence for the principles of Liturgiam Authenticam 🙂 , instead of translating it as “an extra bundle of pages”.

    1. As regards posture at Mass, why not have it variable with the season, so as to enhance awareness?

      Ah, a pre-Vatican II idea!

      In the EF. the choir (and the congregation by analogy) kneel for the collect and post-communion prayer at Sung and Solemn Masses celebrated in purple (except on Sundays) or black vestments. The amount of kneeling by the choir (since generally in the United States, the local custom is for the congregation to kneel to “Amen” year-round) during the Eucharistic prayer is also longer (the Roman custom being to stand after the consecration, but kneeling being lengthened until the end of the Euharistic prayer on those days.

      Since St. Patrick’s day (if not impeded) is a Feast, it’s not celebrated in purple and the extra kneeling isn’t done.

      There’s a note in the FSSP Ordo suggesting that pastors remind their congregations at the beginning of Septuagesima about the extra kneeling at weekday Masses.

  6. The idea of a common-language English lectionary is interesting (especially if the U.S. were to adopt it), but I’m rather surprised that the ESV translation is under consideration. I wonder if they ever considered the Revised English Bible?

  7. We learnt the commonality of communion under both kinds amongst English-speaking Canadian Catholics the hard way. When we hosted World Youth Day catechesis in 2008 a Canadian group joined us. We also offer communion under both kinds but, using our usual parish estimates, we simply didn’t prepare enough wine for the first day. Much more wine was prepared for the following days’ Masses.

    As for the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with children, we tend to use them in Australia any time our Catholic primary schools (of which there are many – Catholic schools here educate about 20% of the school age population) celebrate Mass. In my experience, primary schools and their parish priests use the second prayer almost exclusively because of the frequent acclamations.

    As for the lectionary we’re still waiting on down here, the local journal Liturgy News reported that NRSV was the original preferred translation, but the changes to the text required to gain recognitio were so many, the copyright holders would not grant permission to use it. So it’s not just a case of finding a good translation, but a translation that is close enough to what will satisfy authorities that minimal changes are needed. I wonder what this would mean for Canada if it were trying to gain approval for an NRSV lectionary today?

  8. Please excuse my being off topic but I came across a number of interesting clips on ‘you tube’ of folk mass songs from 1967-1969+ which I thought might be an opportunity for praytell blog readers to remember some liturgical history. For me it was a blast from the past remembering some of the tunes – many of which haven’t lasted the test of time and sound rather dated now but others still remain contempoary classics. I was also surprised to see how many mass settings there were in contrast to much of what is said about the folk genre generally. More examples can be found by searching ”folk mass 1967” etc or by surfing from clip to clip. It was also interesting to see that many of the songs were recorded on records highlighting how new technology contributed to the quick spread of the music. Enjoy or cry (or both)!

    eg1: i am the bread of life 1966 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI4ESwPb5D4&feature=related

    eg2 spooky emmanuel mass setting, 1970s – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHXiK-qX3As&feature=related

    eg3 beatles style ‘everyone sing allelu’ – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m7f6IFXsLU

    eg4 they’ll know we are christians by our love (classic) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQyLHi_X83s&feature=related

    eg5 funky missa bossa nova 1966 (I’ve sung worse!) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoyNk6RYTgo&feature=related

    eg6 sing praises to the living god 1967 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrpsHHDVsy0&feature=related

    I also found this website documenting some of the history of folk mass music;
    http://folkmass.weebly.com/

  9. Congratulations, Fr. Anthony! Naal is showing that it is not afraid to elect good, knowledgeable people to its leadership, who will lead with integrity and stand up for their beliefs! Bravo!!

  10. Hang in there! We can overvome this ridiculous liturgical crackdown from the Rome. Let’s just keep praying that the next pope is a Vatican 2 pope. As an English speaking Catholic, I refuse to kneel at any part of the mass. When priests are required to kneel, then I’ll kneel. I knelt enough as a youngster and refuse to go there a again. We need to assert our baptismal rights at the table and stop walking on liturgical eggshells! WE are Church, NOT Rome! WE celebrate! WE believe!

  11. A new Pontifical seems a bit premature. Many of the prayers and prefaces have changed because they are in the Missal, but that leaves many of the other major prayers still using the older translation. So in effect you will have 3 different translations in the Pontifical. The first translations of the rites done in the 1970s. The revised Ordination translation that the United States is using (is anywhere else using this version?), and the material from the Missal. What is going to happen as the rites all eventually get translated like the missal did. Looks like the Pontifical is going to have a short shelf life, kind of like the 1965 Missal.

  12. As for the lectionary we’re still waiting on down here, the local journal Liturgy News reported that NRSV was the original preferred translation, but the changes to the text required to gain recognitio were so many, the copyright holders would not grant permission to use it. So it’s not just a case of finding a good translation, but a translation that is close enough to what will satisfy authorities that minimal changes are needed. I wonder what this would mean for Canada if it were trying to gain approval for an NRSV lectionary today?

    This must be a change in policy. When I was working with the NRSV folks, they told me that they had agreed in advance to any changes Rome would ask, for the sake of making their translation officially used in the RC world.

    1. Canada does actually have a new NRSV lectionary. It received its recognitio in 2009. All the required adjustments were made to make it LA compliant.

  13. Richard& Paul, then confusion abounds.

    Archbishop Coleridge has publicly stated that the ESV will be the basis for the new lectionary outside the US.

    There have been problems with negotiations with NCC copyright holders of the NRSV, what these are we do not know.

    The reviews of the ESV I have seen are widely negative

    “Something is wrong in the state of Denmark”

    1. FYI, here is a link to a symposium in which the ESV is discussed along with other translations:

      http://slaveoftheword.blogspot.com/2011/10/lu-biblical-studies-symposium-ray.html

      This is a link to a review of the ESV that is relatively critical, but tries to evaluate the translation according to the stated aims of the translators:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20070831090952/http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/briefing/files/pdf/306-chapple-esv.pdf

      This page has a link to a Google doc that compares the ESV with other translations for specific passages (relatively more positive than the other review):

      http://slaveoftheword.blogspot.com/2011/11/new-conclusion-to-bible-translation.html

      1. Thanks so much Derrick for the links

        I listened to the biblical scholar defending the ESV against the other translations.

        I now understand why he the Vatican is so enamoured with the ESV.

        The ESV translators (amongst other things) seem to delight in having their version as non-gender inclusive as possible

  14. It seems the folks at NRSV have had enough. You make changes, and then they decide they want more. You make those, and they are still not not enough. They are now worried about the integrity of their text, it seems.

    The ESV does derive from the Evangelical Protestant end of spectrum, but that may not be the end of the story. I have not seen it, but received wisdom seems to be that it is (a) derived from the RSV, and (b) a much more accurate and literal translation than most.

  15. I have been using the ESV for Lectionary and preaching for over 3 years now and find it to be dignified and readily understood.

    Concordia Publishing House is preparing The Apocrypha as a volume of The Lutheran Study Bible, so there must be an ESV translation of the books.

Leave a Reply

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