An unsolicited suggestion for those charged with implementing the not-yet-even finalized new translation of the Order of the Mass:
Be honest and direct, and make these points:
1) What we pray in English is a translation of the Latin, the "official" text for the universal church. I am not quite sure everyone really understands this. I wouldn't be surprised if a great many Catholics believed that the Order of the Mass they pray in their parishes is something that the U.S. Church constructs from a general outline faxed from Rome.
It might be useful to begin the catechesis by re-introducing folks to this simple fact and to the idea that we are not on our own here. Every Latin Rite liturgy throughout the world is a translation of a text that emanates from Rome. With local adaptations, of course, but the connection between what we pray in English as a translation of a normative Latin text needs to be made.
2) The 1973 translation was made in relative haste and has been problematic because it is not an accurate translation. There are theological concepts that are clear and present in the Latin text that have been lost in the translation we have been using for the past decades. There is a richness of 2000 years of Catholic tradition embodied in these texts that the English translation has in some spots not reflected. This translation is intended to fix that.
This might be hard to admit, but you know there's no way this change is going to seem anything less than arbitrary if the conversation and catechesis doesn't start with the acknoweldgement that there is a normative text and the translation we've been using doesn't accurately reflect that text.
If it means that people get the imperession that they've been sold short, so be it. Because of course, they have.
The bishops' decision follows decades of displeasure with the current English translation. Drafted in 1970 by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy and in use ever since, the translation has been criticized as banal, uninspiring and inaccurate (one fastidious Latinist counted over 400 errors in the ordinary parts of the Mass alone). A rather straightforward response such as "and with your spirit" (et cum spiritu tuo) was rendered, "and also with you," while entire phrases were omitted or even inserted. In the Roman canon, for example, "a pure Victim . . . a spotless Victim" was ignored and "We come to you Father with praise and thanksgiving" added, the effect being that even the holiest part of the Mass seems more focused on us than on the Sacrifice.
It is difficult to believe that these errors were not intentional (no other translation--Spanish, German, Italian--has had such extensive problems), and indeed, according to some insiders, the committee's decisions were ideologically driven. The Rev. Stephen Somerville, one of the original members of ICEL's Advisory Board, apologized in 2002 for "the bold mistranslations" that "weaken[ed] the Latin Catholic liturgy."
Other former ICEL members have been less contrite. After the Vatican began to address the problem in 2001 with Liturgiam authenticam, its document on the principles of sound translation, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk direly prognosticated a "liturgical winter." John Page, a former executive secretary of ICEL, criticized the new procedures for not bringing "the wider Church into the conversation," a curious remark given ICEL's own notoriety for ignoring decades of complaints from pleb and prelate alike.