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new English Mass translation begins

Tonight at the Saturday evening Vigil Masses for Advent 1, 2010, the people’s parts of the new English translation of the Roman Catholic Mass are instigated in New Zealand. So Catholics at Saturday and Sunday Masses are the first in the world to be using them. Some of the altered priest’s parts will also be used, but most will come into use at a later date.

The comments section is open for you to write your experience and reflections about actually using these newly translated texts in Masses. What is the experience like for you?…

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17 Responses to new English Mass translation begins

  1. As a matter of conscience will not attend this weekend.

    This would have been, a contemporary option for the Opening Prayer (Roman Rite) for the 1st SUNDAY OF ADVENT (ICEL: 1998), if the 1998 translation have been gone ahead with.

    In NZ’s dark hour this would have had so much meaning . . .and yet the prophecy of Ezekiel 34 is being fulfilled in our time.

    God of majesty and power,
    amid the clamour of our violence
    Your word of truth resounds;
    upon a world made dark by sin
    the Sun of Justice cast his dawning rays.

    Keep your household watchful
    and aware of the hour in which we live.
    Hasten the advent of the day
    when the sounds of war will be for ever stilled,
    the darkness of evil scattered,
    and all the Children gathered into one.

    We ask this through whose coming is certain,
    whose day is drawing near:
    your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
    who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    God for ever and ever.

    • Thanks, Phillip. I have been preparing to make this an independent blog post. It came to me with the rider, “It is not official yet and it is still being changed.” I’m hoping that people will be putting their experiences in comments here of actually using the people’s parts in Mass.

  2. I sang in the choir last night for the RSCM Advent mass at st Mary’s Manchester St.

    We used the new chants baised on plainsong whch are avalible from the ICL website. In the regards to the people’s the responses were obiously different, we had them up on a screen it was quite hard to read all the way from the gallery; but at one point the priest didn’t know we had the new creed in our service books so we used the old one which evryone including the anglican members of the RSCM choir knew.

    • Thanks, Richard. The loss of ecumenically agreed texts is a dimension I have written about. It will interest me whether there will be a move away from the Nicene Creed, which has changed, to the Apostles’ Creed, which has remained the same, an option now – whereas it wasn’t previously.

  3. I’m surprised they’re being implemented there, Bosco. They seem to still be a matter of some controversy and on-going change here in the U.S. I’m not a fan, for the record. The very base reason for the whole change, to me, is just, well I could use a lot of words, but not worthy of the whole mess – let’s say that. “To get back to a more accurate translation of the original Latin” – whaaat? Anyway, we likely won’t see anything here till next year or the year after I’d think.

    • Is the change happening in the US or in the Vatican, Alan? My impression is it’s the latter. I’m a bit disappointed not many people are putting a comment about their actual experience. A couple of thousand have seen the request – but not many are putting their opinion out there 🙁

  4. Here in the US we will not implement the new missal until Advent 2011! A great deal of catechesis and prayerful movement must take place between now and then. I would say, and I do not mean this in any demeaning way, that the average US Catholic knows little about these impending changes.

    As a side note and about to veer a bit (but not really) off topic, I am reading a book called “What Then Is Liturgy” by Anscar J. Chupungco and I do recommend it. It is about Roman Catholic liturgy but I would say that I think it has something for us all to consider.

    Blessings of Advent. It really is a time when we await in darkness for Light. Such is the nature of liturgical change as well -no?

  5. Everything went rather smoothly. The priest told us at the outset to just take it slowly and read the printed text provided. No problems that I noticed.

  6. I was at Mass on Sunday, although I had almost organised a stay away by women in protest at the use of exclusive language in the new translation. The bishops say that was a battle they did not win – surely it was won a generation ago in this country! More than half of the People of God are women, and we are hurt and demeaned by being referred to as ‘men’. What world does the Vatican inhabit? The collegiality of Vatican II has gone out the window, the ‘literal’ translations from the latin are in no way our vernacular, some of the words used are difficult to understand, much less pray. In our congregation, there was a burst of laughter at the word ‘consubstantial’ in the Creed. With any luck, commonsense will prevail and the changes will be ignored. The new translation is an object lesson in how to retreat into an esoteric ghetto and lose any young people. I cannot believe that the Holy Spirit is involved. What could the Vatican do if we said ‘Enough of this nonsense – let us try the 1998 translation’.

    • Thanks for your comment, Patricia. I have been surprised at how few have added a comment here from their experience. This post has been read by more than a couple of thousand people – surely many of them Kiwi Roman Catholics. I’m interested in your thought that “the changes will be ignored” – and hope you might expand on how you think that would happen. I do not know if you have read my previous posts on this topic – I purposely did not include a list of links to them, as I did not want to influence people’s responses. I will in the near future blog about some serious translation issues, but you have highlighted (more than) one. The same Latin root word is translated as “people” in the Gloria but becomes “men” in the creed. This is even contrary to the Vatican’s own Liturgicum Authenticum document.

  7. This response comes late in the day so I realise it might get overlooked. However, you say that the translation of “hominibus/ homines” as “people” in the Gloria but as “men” in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed is “contrary” to the Instruction “Liturgiam authenticam”.

    As I recall (and I have not studied it in depth for some time) sex-neutral language is dealt with at, e.g., LA 30, 31 where a mechanical substitution of words is reprobated, as is the splitting of a unitary collective term into masculine and feminine parts. Nothing prevents the use of a unitary collective term such as “people” for “homines” and, so far as I can see on a brief review, nothing in LA demands that “homines” always be translated in the same way at every occurrence – which may or may not be your point.

    I note that stability of translation is required for “fundamental words of the theological and spiritual tradition of the Roman Church” (LA 50), and similar care and the same applies to translations of Sacred Scripture incorporated into liturgical texts (LA 49). Although it is true that the precise phrase “et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis” is scriptural (Lk.2:14, Vulgate), the Gloria itself is a hymn of ecclesiastical composition.

    The words of the Creed (for reasons which it ought to be unnecessary to elaborate) are a special case. We find at LA 65 that the creed is to be translated according to the precise wording of the Latin tradition (with particular reference to “credo”). As for “propter nos homines”, there is no option available here for carrying over the use of “people” from the Gloria since “for us people” is not English usage; nor is it permissible to translate “nos” while ignoring “homines”.

    Elsewhere (the “confiteor” and the “orate fratres” are examples) there is clear evidence that the translators did not gratuitously apply a literal translation. The Roman Canon itself was not totally averse to spelling out the sex difference either (“famulorum famularumque tuarum”, for example).

  8. For the record you are all vary negative, i for the record love the new translation and cant comprehend comparing this much fuller and richer text with the first translation. Everyone i know at my parish and comtemporaries also find it easier to connect wiht the mass. Mission success. and as for inclusive language, I’m a women and find inclusive language erroneous and backward. Your a dying breed Bain.

    • With respect, Fiona, your short comment does not show great agility in contemporary English (“…vary…i…cant…wiht…I’m a women…Your a dying breed…” Contemporary English is generally moving forward into what is termed “inclusive language”. Try it: walk into your congregation or your group of contemporaries and ask the men to stand up. And observe what happens. Your opinion, nonetheless, is welcome here.

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