New translation of the NO Missal
This was in the bulletin of the NO Church where we have our Latin Masses at...It doesn't sound like Fr. Lou as as negative as he could have been...although I get the impression he isn't too enthusiastic about it...Also, to answer Fr. Lou's question about when the last time I used the world "thee," That would be the last time I said the Hail Mary...

The New Roman Missal

“My country „tis of thee; Sweet land of liberty; of thee I sing…” When was the last time you used the word „tis or
thee? When was the last time you referred to the United States as a “sweet” land? Yet, although one might suggest that the
language contained in this revered patriotic song is archaic and dated, few of us would be in favor of scrapping the lyrics of
My Country „Tis of Thee. Actually, the very fact that we don’t use this kind of language in everyday speech, lends a certain
formal and almost spiritual quality to this song and to the occasions on which it is sung. Patriotic language serves a purpose,
sets a mood, and helps to define us as an American people. Liturgical language also has a place, a purpose, a mood,
and helps define us as the Church, the people of God.

Changes in the Mass are always challenging and sometimes vexing. I’ve spent 30 years developing and hopefully
“perfecting” my style as a liturgical minister using the same familiar Mass texts, so I know that I’ll certainly be challenged
as a priest come next Advent when the Church introduces some new prayers into the liturgy when the new Roman Missal is
implemented in the dioceses throughout the United States. And so will you. But every generation of Catholics have faced
its share of liturgical adjustments due to changing times and evolving cultures. Here’s what Father Paul Boudreau, a priest
of the Diocese of Norwich has said this about our habitual way of participating in the Mass:
“The trouble is we fall into comfortable rhythms of celebrating the liturgy. The old joke—Priest: “Is this microphone
working?” People: “And also with you.”—has its roots in reality. Once the Mass beings, it’s almost
like a runaway bus; things just keep on going all by themselves. It requires little from either the presider
or the people. Priest and congregation have their parts tucked away in the same section of the brain as the alphabet
and the Pledge of Allegiance.” (Today‟s Parish, April/May 2011, p. 24)

There’s a lot of truth, I think, to Fr. Boudreau’s comments. When we have to consciously think about what we are
saying, the prayers take on new meaning and, hopefully, our worship becomes less habitual and more purposeful, and in the
process, a richer experience for all of us. The reason behind the changes in liturgical language is an attempt to align the
English used in the celebration of the Mass with the original Latin on which it, like all of the international translations, is
supposed to be based. Here’s an example. The Latin text for the exchange of greeting between the presider and the assembly
is: Dominus (“the Lord”) vobiscum (“be with you.”) And that works just fine in English, so it won’t be changed. However,
the people’s response, Et (“and”) cum (with) spiritu (spirit) tuo (your) obviously doesn’t translate “and also with you.”
It works in Spanish, however: Y (“and”) con (“with”) tu (“your”) espiritu (“spirit.”). So with the new English translation of
the Missal, when English-speaking people respond “and with your spirit,” we’ll be on the same track with the rest of the
Catholic world.

“And with your spirit.” Some will object: “but who talks that way?” And that is just the point. Some of the language
introduced in the new translation of the Missal doesn’t reflect everyday, casual, informal speech. It will replace what
many have observed has been missing in the current translation of the Mass: a sense of the mystical and a higher order of
expression that was and is a component of the Latin Mass. Since the Mass is the source and summit of our Christian life,
the style of our liturgical language should reflect that.

One thing is for sure. Come next Advent, we will all be challenged—priests and people alike. We all have to learn
“new parts.” And that means we can’t take things for granted—we can‟t take the Mass for granted. We’re going to have to
pause, take a deep breath, and really think about what we are saying. And, admittedly, that will lead to a certain amount of
frustration. Some Sundays, we may go home scratching our head and wondering why we are going through changes. But,
I think that will pass. And in the process, thinking about what we are saying may be a really good thing because we all will
be less prone to take the Mass for granted. We just might find ourselves renewed and refreshed if we just give it a try. But
that takes an openness to wonder and surprise, which, I think is also the requirement for experiencing any kind of spiritual

Please know that the changes will be introduced gradually over the course of several months to give us all some
time and some room to adjust. There will be printed aids and explanations and guidance from the pulpit. We’ll work together
on this. And in the end, I think we’ll be a stronger, more cohesive community of faith. So, for now, relax. Enjoy
the summer because there won’t be any changes introduced until Advent. And come next winter, let us work together on
this; let us pray and worship together using new and more creative, poetic and spiritual expressions of our faith; and let us
be open to new promise and possibility. ~Fr. Lou

Messages In This Thread
New translation of the NO Missal - by Petertherock - 04-04-2011, 10:30 PM

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