The New Mass Translation - Lift Up Your Hearts
The mainstream media loves controversy, even if they have to embellish it
The new translation of the Missal is a gift to the Church, bringing English-speaking Catholics back to a liturgy that is more unified linguistically with the rest of the Church while sharpening our theological language. Whatever the doomsayers are trying as insinuate, this is not "changing" the Mass but, rather, fixing it - getting it more in sync with the rest of the Catholic world.
Many mainstream religion writers have tried to make the introduction of the new text a watershed moment in the Church where parishioners are going to walk out the doors over the drastic changes being made. Whether intentional or simply sensation-driven, such observations are far from accurate and completely miss the reason for the changes.
Camping at the doorstep of a few bishops who are critical of the new translation, they try to paint a horrific picture of what is going to take place. Beyond the standard attack on phrases like "And with your spirit," the finger is pointed at words like "consubstantial," "ineffable," "incarnate," "oblation," "ignominy" and "unvanquished."
"This is not the way we talk every day," they cry out.
This is true and much to the point. The new Mass text is not trying to take the liturgy to the picnic table in the backyard but to the Upper Room for the Last Supper.
As a Catholic, I take such criticism as an insult. In a sense the critics are saying, "We need to keep the liturgy dumbed down. Today the church is filled with ignorant people."
To the critics we should cry out, "I've got a dictionary!" If we need to find out what a words means we can look it up. We will be able, with an informed mind then, to encounter a liturgy that intends to more accurately take us into the presence of our Lord.
Throughout history the Church has always reminded us "lex orandi, lex credendi est," which means "the way we worship is the way we believe." Liturgy is not about talking with your neighbor over the fence but talking to and about God. This demands theological language that accurately expresses the fullness of the Christian faith.
The phrase "lex vivendi" is sometimes added to this, which implies that the end result will see seen in the way we live.
If we wanted to perpetuate the idea of a vernacular liturgy, in a next edition, when the priest says, "The Lord be with you," we could respond, "Back at ya!" or "Way!!" Much more up-to-date than "and also with you." Not only would we be contemporary but we would have drifted even farther from the true meaning of this liturgical exchange.
The new Missal is a gift to the Church, bringing English-speaking Catholics back to a liturgy that is more unified linguistically with the rest of the Church while sharpening our theological language.
Whatever the doomsayers are trying as insinuate, this is not "changing" the Mass but, rather, fixing it - getting it more in sync with the rest of the Catholic world.
For example, this will be the first time in 40 years, the Church will be in greater unity for worship.
The English Mass, as with Spanish, French, Italian or any other language, is a translation of the Latin Mass, the Missale Romanum. The previous English translation used a technique called "dynamic equivalence," which captures the overall meaning of a phrase in modern usage rather than translating the actual words. The problem with this is that the essential meaning of the text can be lost.
Let me give you an example of how dynamic equivalence can work using a Biblical text of the Annunciation - "Hail Mary Full of Grace, the Lord is with you." Translators, using this technique, could come back with "Hello lucky lady! God likes you."
In the Mass, the response in Latin, as well as other languages has always been "And with your spirit." Numerous articles have been written recently explaining why those words are important.
Now, the English-speaking world will be able to join with everyone else in saying the exact same thing. For the first-time in decades the Church will be in step with each other; there will be greater unity in our worship, not just with "And with your spirit," but in so many other places.
The same will be true with the creed. From its very origin, the creed has always begun, "I believe." The English-speaking Church, however, has said, "We believe." Beginning on the First Sunday of Advent we will join with everyone else and proclaim, "I believe." The "we" of the creed is still present because we are saying it together but the "I" indicates a personal ownership and embrace of the faith. I believe!
There are many other areas we could cover in terms of Biblical accuracy, etc. These points have been so well covered in other stories that there is no necessity to repeat them here.
The most important thing for Catholics this weekend is how we enter into the Mass not how much more do we need to know about it. All the catechesis in the world is not going to make a difference if the heart is not prepared to embrace it.
The mainstream media is hoping we will enter the Mass with anger and ...
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- In the Wake of the Moore Tornado: What Can we Learn from the Disaster?
- US Supreme Court Accepts Religion Case: Will Legislative Prayer Survive Religious Censorship?
- Largest Burmese Python caught in Miami-Dade County
- Court sides with Obama, Osama death photos can remain secret - for your own good
- Two Oklahoma men killed in tornadoes; Kansas, Iowa batten down for severe weather
- Supreme Court to decide if prayer before town meeting is permissible
- All survive terrifying plane 'belly landing' in Newark
- Nebraska Bishop: Gosnell clinic was 'reminiscent of Auschwitz'
- Why even if you lose, playing Powerball isn't such a bad bet after all
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?