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June 28, 2006

Comments

Karl

You should know that the liturgy wars aren't over. In the Byzantine Catholic Church, we are getting a new liturgy soon, and it's a complete reversal of what the Roman church is doing. You folks are going to a more literal and fuller translation, whereas we are moving to an abbreviated, non-literal, and inclusive language version of our liturgy.

It's enough to make me cry. Byzantine Catholics always make the same mistakes as the Romans, just forty years later.

The liturgy, which none of the faithful had seen, was going to be promulgated without any input from us. Fortunately, an Irish Greek Catholic priest published a book taking issue with the translation, and the spit hit the fan.

I wish someone would write a news article about this. If you are interested, you can browse the debate raging at http://www.byzcath.org/bboard/ultimatebb.php?ubb=forum;f=15

Pray for us!

Janice

I loved this remark especially: "Life goes on and so will the community, even if we have to wrap our tongues around awkward constructions that treat Latin as if it were the language Jesus himself spoke and even if we have to wait longer for our own official language to acknowledge that more than half the human race is female."

Here, the NCR, in one sentence, denies Tradition (Latin), endorses sola scriptura (as if it were the language Jesus himself spoke), and continues to support the nonsense that is feminist theology. Inclusive language is ignorance on parade. It ignores the fact that the word "man" or "mankind" (Latin: homo; Greek: anthropos) encompasses both male and female.

Congratulations to those nefarious 11 men in the Vatican who wrested control of the English liturgy away from these idiots and set it in the direction it should go, i.e., reverence and awe. God is the focus. We are not.

Brandon

I couldn't agree more with you, Amy, especially your last paragraph.
There has been, particularly in these last weeks, such a glaring contrast to me in the statements I'm hearing from so many bishops and liturgist -- people who have said over and over again how important and empowered the laity are now say that, when it comes to liturgy, the laity are so backward as to not understand basic English, poetic phrases and scriptural/theological references. Or that somehow after what must have been a heck of a shock in the post-Vatican II era that we now cannot handle even the slightest changes in the liturgy.
The ultimate example of this, to me, came from a priest (in charge of liturgy at the time for a diocese) that, very well-meaning, told me that after 30 years Roman Catholics did not know how to receive Communion in the hand because "it's very difficult for us to do things together ritually."
What a sad, impoverished view of the laity coming from those who set the direction of how we worship!

CV

What Janice said.

"Ignorance on parade" is a perfect description of "inclusive language!"

Tim F.

"Finally, we suspect that the way forward will also include accommodating those who simply refuse to go along and will stand in place and continue to use the same language they’ve been using for decades. Our suspicion is that God will not be terribly upset by a little show of resistance."

Imagine that. The dissenters have declared a revolution, again.

The NCR talking about correct translations of the New Mass "reversing" the reforms of Vatican II reminds me of liberals constantly talking about smaller increases in spending as spending cuts. Calling a horse a cow does not make it a cow.

Rich Leonardi

From the tantrum/editorial:

Finally, we suspect that the way forward will also include accommodating those who simply refuse to go along and will stand in place and continue to use the same language they’ve been using for decades. Our suspicion is that God will not be terribly upset by a little show of resistance.

Does anyone doubt that nose-thumbing will be the dominant reaction until, oh, about 2010 in most parishes? Moreover, I wonder whether NCR would have blessed "standing in place" thirty to thirty-five years ago.

Tony

Thank you Amy. Other than for John Allen, the NCR(reporter) is hardly worth reading precisely because of its shoddy journalism, of which this piece is just another textbook example.
Cheers from Canada. Tony.

Tim Ferguson

Perhaps in twenty-some years an indult will be granted to those who show the "resistance" the NCR editorial calls for in the penultimate paragraph so that they, who are attached to the 1973 translation, can celebrate Mass in one or two out-of-the-way chapels on occasional Sundays if it's not too inconvenient and if the local bishop is accomodating

Maureen O'Brien

"In doing so, however, we think it important not to lose sight of how we arrived at this final stage. It is an essential part of the post-Vatican II record."

Oh, I agree. So please, NCR people, do come and sit next to my mother as she explains to you how the old Mass was ripped away from her, and how she went through buying three sets of soon-unusable Missals, and how glad she is to see the translation come back to something that makes sense. I advise you to wear padding, as she likes to emphasize these points with her elbow.

Nor is she the only one who has kept this history in mind, all these years. Indeed, I would say that the vox populi is extremely clear upon this point.

"...the tactics used to reverse the reforms that had resulted from the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s and more than three decades of subsequent work were secretive and engineered by people incompetent in the discipline and accountable only to a small group who had achieved power. That power was used to accomplish what they could not by persuasion or through the mainstream of liturgical scholarship."

Yes! That's exactly how Vatican II was subverted by the crazy revolutionaries who caused all the damage after Vatican II! But finally, we've broken the heavy hand of the secretive folks who pulled changes out of their butts, and we're obeying Rome and the Council Fathers as we were meant to do!

Oh, wait, NCR didn't mean it that way....

"...(no women were included)..."

Apparently I missed the part of language class where the boys got one dictionary and the girls another. Y'all been reading that novel _Dictionary of the Khazars_ again, haven't you?

"....to wrap our tongues around awkward constructions that treat Latin as if it were the language Jesus himself spoke...."

So NCR is advocating a return to the Aramaic liturgy? Funny how I'm not seeing them doing much about that. And IIRC, they didn't like all that incomprehensible Aramaic in The Passion. So why is the language Jesus spoke suddenly so important to them?

"We can do all of that and, given that the community has persisted through far worse, there is a certain confidence one can have in saying that we will do all of that."

You do want a talk with my mother, don't you? 'Cause she can tell you all about altars and communion rails and incredibly stupid homilies. But then again, a lot of people could tell you about watching their families slaughtered for Christ's sake. So... saying stuff like this in a Christian magazine... is sorta like complaining about bugs and humidity in front of Vietnam vets.

"....at the highest levels of the community there were those who had little regard for precedent, competence, the work of others and established process. It is an attitude that has seeped down into lower levels of church governance, where too often power is the only credential necessary for mandating jarring and extreme changes to the life and practice of the community."

Once again, NCR shows a stunning ability to put into words the feelings of the Church about the counter-Council 'implementation' of Vatican II! Are you sure you didn't cut and paste this from a 1970 issue?

"Most of all, we hope professional liturgists and practitioners are brought in as full partners in the preparation of teaching materials and in the implementation of the new translations."

Clearly, this is some meaning of "hope" with which I am not familiar. Probably it means "we will fight to the death to prevent professional liturgists from getting their clammy hands on our Spirit-fired translation."

"Finally, we suspect that the way forward will also include accommodating those who simply refuse to go along and will stand in place and continue to use the same language they’ve been using for decades. Our suspicion is that God will not be terribly upset by a little show of resistance."

NCR supports the SSPX! Wow, this is getting more interesting all the time....

Romulus

"the American laity are pretty, pretty dumb and probably can't understand three-syllable words and Scriptural allusions."

This is rich. The same sorry frauds who cooked up the 1973, um, "translation" that accompanied this catechetical train wreck now have the shameless effrontery to blame their victims.

Jay Anderson

The radicals have become reactionaries.

Carson

Amy,

Thank you for this information. We rejoice that a proper translation has finally been made for your liturgy. Sadly, as Karl has pointed out, our translation commission is trying to foist a 2006 version of what was done to you in 1973 upon us in the Byzantine Catholic Church.

Let us pray for one another.

Carson

Simon

Amy, An absolutely brilliant post. Thank you!

From the NCR tantrum:

Finally, we suspect that the way forward will also include accommodating those who simply refuse to go along and will stand in place and continue to use the same language they’ve been using for decades. Our suspicion is that God will not be terribly upset by a little show of resistance.

In my experience, the handful of aging buffoons who likely share NCR's whining call for resistance against truth and beauty have no problem with the recent decree from the whacked out Santa Monica priest that parishioners who insist on kneeling commit mortal sin.

Michael Tinkler

Perhaps in twenty-some years an indult will be granted to those who show the "resistance" the NCR editorial calls for in the penultimate paragraph so that they, who are attached to the 1973 translation, can celebrate Mass in one or two out-of-the-way chapels on occasional Sundays if it's not too inconvenient and if the local bishop is accomodating

Brilliant!

Tony A

Amy,

I think what you write is basically accurate, and that the NCR editorial is sorely lacking. But there are a few more twists that can be brought out. What irks me about the attitude of the US bishops is the attitude of "liturgical American exceptionalism". As Bishop Roche so eloquently pointed out, we all speak English, and we should all be united by a single liturgy. The NCR editorial itself says "liturgy is supposed to serve as a point of union, not division" and then goes on to denounce foreigners (let's be honest-- that's what they mean here) who want to foist their translation on Americans. I winced when I read the following: "this group decided how the Bible will sound in the American church." There is no American Church! There is only the Catholic church in America. And how about: "another was from the United Kingdom and had spent no significant time in the United States". Well, that rules him out, doesn't it? Forget the beauty of the liturgy, the soaring poetci language, all we need is a dumbed-down version for middle America and no interference by foreigners!!

Caroline Gissler

"....to wrap our tongues around awkward constructions that treat Latin as if it were the language Jesus himself spoke...."

"So NCR is advocating a return to the Aramaic liturgy? Funny how I'm not seeing them doing much about that. And IIRC, they didn't like all that incomprehensible Aramaic in The Passion. So why is the language Jesus spoke suddenly so important to them?"

Hardly. All they mean here is that Latin doesn't have to be treated like a sacred language. It became traditional when Greek died out in most of the west. How close the Latin is to the Greek should be the question before the English has to be bent to the Latin.

Somewhere above in one of the comments the use of Latin was referred to as Tradition with a capital T. I don't like that. Tradition with a capital T is something I am required to believe as a Catholic. Treating as capitalized the T of tradition when we mean only human custom or folkways drives people to sola scriptura. While we are into accuracy of language, lets be more accurate in our usage of terminology too.

Tom

Sorry Caroline - the question is - the basic text is in Latin. Period. That's the deal now. The issue is translation from that Latin.

Maureen O'Brien

Well, I don't see NCR doing much advocating of a return to the Greek liturgy, either, or supporting the Eastern rites that use Greek. They just want to complain, not follow their arguments to any logical conclusion. It would be nice if, just once, that logical conclusion were "We reap what we sow."

I honestly can't see how anyone could avoid seeing the parallels, but it appears that this editorial is entirely unconscious of any irony. That is why it is comedy gold.

Personally, I do see the irony in my own enjoyment of liturgical reform. Partially it gives the situation added gusto; but it is also a warning not to be too arrogant. I have no desire to become a mirror image of the seventies lameness I had to sit through.

Rich Leonardi

Hardly. All they mean here is that Latin doesn't have to be treated like a sacred language. It became traditional when Greek died out in most of the west. How close the Latin is to the Greek should be the question before the English has to be bent to the Latin.

As long as we're being accurate, Latin is the official language of the Roman Rite (and the language of definitions of doctrine, legal documents, and canon law.) How Greek relates to it isn't really relevant to the current conversation.

Todd

Amy, I think your take is overly tainted by the mainstream of Catholic blogging.

First, I've never thought NCR ever grasped the nuances of post-conciliar liturgy developments. They lens their take through a different set of glasses than either the internet conservatives or progressive liturgists.

Everyone acknowledges the 1973 translation was a rush job and a weak one at that. The 80's line-up of ICEL spent a good number of years applying itself to a better translation, one eventually deep-sixed by Rome in part for political reasons.

Liam often cautions me about harping too much on the dead Roman Missal II, and I think the same caveat might apply to you and others who fret over the English incarnation of Roman Missal I.

The desire of many liturgists has been for a Missal of higher quality. I think we will soon have something more faithful to the Latin, but until we see the final result, none of us can really address the issue of quality, aside from the fact that the more glaring errors of 1973 have been addressed.

I think you're flat-out wrong in this:

" ... we would do well to admit what that theological paradigm was: anti-supernatural, deeply skeptical of what some call Revelation."

We would do better to acknowledge that Catholicism is more than just an individual priest or two who have hurt us by this particular view. In the US alone there are nearly 20,000 parishes, and more likely there were 20,000 takes on Vatican II: conservative and liberal, faithful and heretical, focused on the essentials and/or peripherals.

For the record, I don't think the laity are stupid at all. But our commentariats are not representative of the many laity who have wisely assessed their bishops might need to be on other tracks than fine-tuning language. If they and their priests can put more of the spirit of the liturgy into their preaching, presiding, and personnel management of the parish Sunday Mass, it will do more than getting a better cookbook from which to work.

I think a better tack would have been to apply Liturgiam Authenticam to tackle the presider prayers first. Give it several years to get a sense of the lay reaction to the changes for the clergy. Then see if alteration to the Ordo Missae was indicated, and if so, how much and in what direction.

At any rate, we'll see within a few years how it will all shake out. I still think sex abuser mismanagement will play into lay resentment about this, especially if allegations continue to surface of bishops shipping predators to prey again. And bishops will need to do a substantial sell-job to priests to make sure parish implementation is smooth. Parish priests have been on autopilot for up to forty years on the current wording; it will take attention and concentration for them to be "authentic" in their liturgical approach. Those who can manage will find an easier task with their laity.

Patrick Rothwell

"From the tantrum/editorial:

Finally, we suspect that the way forward will also include accommodating those who simply refuse to go along and will stand in place and continue to use the same language they’ve been using for decades. Our suspicion is that God will not be terribly upset by a little show of resistance.
Does anyone doubt that nose-thumbing will be the dominant reaction until, oh, about 2010 in most parishes? Moreover, I wonder whether NCR would have blessed "standing in place" thirty to thirty-five years ago."

I suppose, then, that the NCR will now endorse one of those showy public apologies, this time to the SSPX and all of those cranky obnoxious conservatives who just wanted the Latin Mass as they had it all their lives.

And another thing about this bizarro NCR piece: who, in their heart of hearts, really and truly LOVES and is attached to the 1973 translation? I suspect almost no one, not even the NCR editorial board. Just who are they kidding?

Rich Leonardi

At any rate, we'll see within a few years how it will all shake out. I still think sex abuser mismanagement will play into lay resentment about this, especially if allegations continue to surface of bishops shipping predators to prey again.

As soon as Amy posted her reflection, I recall thinking, "Some liturgical 'progressive' will introduce the sideshow of the sex scandals into this thread within ten comments."

I was off by nine.

lourdes

Upon watching the re-broadcast of the most recent bishops' meeting, it became obvious that a core of the bishops truly believe the laity to be simpletons. Cardinal McCarrick spent an inordinate amount of time arguing that the word "anxiety" should not be replaced by the word "distress" because in all his years of hearing confessions, nobody ever came to him complaining of "distress", but many complained of "anxiety". The answer to all of the bellyaching over new "big" words is CATECHESIS, CATECHESIS, CATECHESIS. The priests and bishops will have to spend some time explaining and teaching. Oh, well.

Mark Adams

Perhaps . . . an indult will be granted to those who show the "resistance" . . . so that they, who are attached to the 1973 translation, can celebrate Mass in one or two out-of-the-way chapels . . . if it's not too inconvenient and if the local bishop is accommodating. -- Tim Ferguson

That is why it is comedy gold. -- Maureen O'Brien

My two favorite lines of the day thus far. Thanks guys for the chuckle.

Tim Ferguson

Todd, why do you insist on calling the Missal a "cookbook"? It's a poor analogy and open to the worst of the abuses lamented in Redemptionis sacramentum.

Altering the words of the translation in force will cause those priests who have been on "autopilot" since 1973 some amount of jarring - and, frankly, that's a good thing. Even if they resist the pending changes (and I'm certain many will), it will cause them to put some thought into what they are doing. That alone might lead to some measure of the "putting the spirit of the liturgy (hopefully that's the Holy Spirit you're referring to) into their preaching, presiding and personnel management of the parish Sunday Mass," for which you so strongly, and rightly, call.

Old Zhou

Every serious, committed Catholic needs to:

(1) Learn Latin
(2) Buy some set of books containing some subset of the Liturgy, Chant, Scripture, prayers, the Catechism, etc.
(3) Get over the "English only" mentality.

Then, to a large extent, this "liturgy war" and much related silliness from the English speaking Catholic world just becomes irrelevant.

Latin is the language of the Catholic Church.

Study, learn, pray your liturgy, your spiritual heritage, in Latin.

Then just peacefully, non-controntationally go along with whatever happens in your parish--whether Latin or chant or free adaptation or Missa Bossa Nova.

Hold the treasures of our Catholic heritage, including the liturgy, in your heart, in Latin.
Hold out your hands to your borthers and sister, neighbors, and bishps in whatever messy situation might be in the parish.

If on some days, the two move closer together, fine.
If on other days, they seem to me moving apart, trust in God.

But if you don't have the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church in your heart and mind, in Latin, you are at the mercy of all this translation nonsense, like a little boat in a hurricane. Having the heritage, in Latin, in your heart and mind is your anchor. Don't let anyone take it away. And don't forget to bring it with you.

s.d.

Zhou,

If I may add, "Have your children learn Latin." I wasn't able to get the hang of Latin myself (though I got all the way up to deponent verbs before losing it entirely), but my young daughter is becoming quite adept. Some sources for children: http://www.love2learn.net/languages/latin.htm

mio

Todd writes,

I still think sex abuser mismanagement will play into lay resentment about this ...

I don't know. I'm a layman (and no rocket scientist, as laymen go), but I can tell the difference between two unrelated concepts. I do "resent" (or, more precisely, "abhor") "sex abuser mismanagement," yet I rejoice and celebrate in a better translation of the Roman Missal. Two ideas, one inadequate brain, yet no fatal explosion of grey matter.

Todd

Tim, for too many priests, their approach to liturgy is indeed too much like doing a task. For these guys, 1973 or 2006, they indeed treat the Missal like a cookbook. It was a fault of clergy before Vatican II as well, given the teaching of the council:

"Pastors of souls must therefore realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration; it is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects."

The implementation will be the next step in a very long journey. I'm doubtful many of the complainers realize that.

Seamus

It became traditional when Greek died out in most of the west. How close the Latin is to the Greek should be the question before the English has to be bent to the Latin.

Except that the normative text is Latin, not Greek. If there are substantive changes between the Latin and the Greek, they were *meant* to be substantive changes, not simply a translation.

But while we're talking about faithfulness to the Greek, isn't it ironic that after Vatican II, the American bishops junked their project to update the Douay-Rheims version, on the grounds that the English Bible should be translated directly from the original languages, and what we got (the New American Bible) corresponds much less to the Greek and Hebrew than either the Douay-Rheims translation-of-a-translation, or the Confraternity revision-of-a-translation-of-a-translation?

Jeff

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Amy.

(NB: Sharp irony and sarcasm follow. They are directed at some very fine Catholics, who are not shy about using these tools of rhetoric against others. I think they are sadly mistaken on this issue, though, which is a vital one.)

No one can accuse you, Amy, of being a RadTrad or anything other than both loyal and moderate, so it's so refreshing to see this compared to the tittering that went on over this issue at the usually top-notch Disputations and Mark Shea blogs.

These two fellows ended up congratulating each other on their complete indifference to what translation was used. "Just give me my lines and my blocking," they said and grinned at each other virtually.

Apparently, loyalty to bishops (a good principle, too often ignored) must be pushed so far that one shouldn't even complain about the quality of a translation or its theological implications. After all, the bishops gave it to us! We should just be happy with whatever we get. Any dissatisfaction, you see, interferes with one's "happiness" as a Catholic and it's one's duty to be a Happy Catholic. Got that?

"Sacred Complacency" is what I call it. It's the watchword of the Happy Catholics' Club, which puts a very high premium on Enjoying It!

I'm awfully glad that laypeople and priests cared enough about the liturgy to whine and b**ch and complain to the proper authorities incessantly until Rome woke up and decided that things needed fixing. Even if it meant risking a bit of irritability and dissatisfaction. Even if it meant occasionally getting angry with one's bishop or--Heaven Forfend!--His Excellency, the Ordinary of Erie.

And, hey!, all that complaining and fury has resulted in a much better crop of bishops, too; a great improvement over the "hapless bunch" (Bishop Bruskewitz' disloyal and anti-Catholic statement) of just a few years ago. And I'm a Happier Catholic for it, too!

Ed the Roman

Jeff,

In Mark's defense, while he has (I am sure) been to a variety of masses, including reverent 1970 masses as well as 1962, he simply had no chance to internalize the old Missal either in Latin or English and has not experienced the loss that you and I did. It's like baseball before the jack-rabbit ball: we know it was different, but we cannot understand why anybody would have been worked up about it.

Fortiterinre

Todd,

I think Amy is FAR from "flat-out wrong" that the "theological paradigm was: anti-supernatural, deeply skeptical of what some call Revelation." She is far more polite than I would be on this topic. Well into the 1980's, "reformed" liturgy often sought to inculcate pure naturalism and an almost materialistic misreading of the historical-critical method. The miracles of Christ were all hyperbole, the healings were really psychological healings of "social inequities," etc, and as bright modern people we needed to recognise this and realize that the Eucharist was just a table fellowship.

Your use of the term "presider" rather than "celebrant" is in itself a sign of a new and different liturgical paradigm--not that you are anti-supernatural or denying Revelation, but simply that the term "presider" is a shift in focus away from "mystical celebration" to human organization, from supernatural sacrament to natural relationship.

I do agree with you (and disagree with Rich's rather snide comment) that some are going to see the liturgical restoration as a diversion from the sex abuse scandal. But I notice many angry people who reference the sex abuse scandal at every turn--this year's CCD books cost more, it's because of the sex abuse scandal. You may well be right, but I don't see how this is a reason to delay much needed liturgical restoration and reform.

Since no one has mentioned this, I will conclude by noting that I suspect NCR's real customer here is the Liturgy Industrial Complex, the many "professional liturgists" who may well face a wave of unemployment as bishop after bishop questions why he signs paychecks for people who not only have made many mistakes in recent years, but who come from a theoretical orientation that pretty much predicts more liturgical mistakes rather than less.

MacBeth

So many changes! Goodness, 26 years of John Paul II, and suddenly we hade to learn a new papal name? It has been over a year, and I am still having a hard time getting my tongue around the name Benedict. It took our pastor about two months to stop pausing at the name of the pope during Mass.

And speaking of inclusive language, shouldn't we start to have popes choose female names, just as we added men's names to the hurricane roster?

Maureen O'Brien

Re: "presider"
To be fair, St. Justin Martyr apparently called the Mass celebrant its "president". (First Apologia, IIRC.) Though he was writing for pagans when he did it.

Re: Byzantine Rite new translation
Bettnet.com posted some stuff about it.

stunted

Todd,

"We would do better to acknowledge that Catholicism is more than just an individual priest or two who have hurt us by this particular view."

You're kidding, right? It was NOT just an individual priest or two who wreaked spiritual devestation on my generation (I was born in '69).

"But our commentariats are not representative of the many laity who have wisely assessed their bishops might need to be on other tracks than fine-tuning language. If they and their priests can put more of the spirit of the liturgy into their preaching, presiding, and personnel management of the parish Sunday Mass, it will do more than getting a better cookbook from which to work."

I disagree; I think Amy gets it just right. For almost all of the Catholic laity I know, the liturgy is the heart, core, the foundation of their religious life. There is nothing I would rather see my bishop spending his time on. The 'spirit' of the Novus Ordo in its current incarnation is short by half, as is the catechesis it spawns. A simple infusion of more of this same spirit isn't going to fix anything. My friends and I got plenty of it (not just from one or two individual priests), and it was the equivalent of sending us out into the world standing on one leg. Lo and behold, ashes, ashes, almost all of us fell down.

Old Zhou, thank you so much for saying that so well.

Eric the Read

Patrick,

I love and am reasonably attached to the 1973 translation. It's the only one I've ever known-- I'm comfortable with it, I like the way it mixes both biblical allusions and sound theology (frex, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you" is clearly an allusion to the Roman soldier, but also, to me, reminds me that we are never worthy of the Eucharist, but are allowed it nonetheless by the Grace of God). I think the language serves well the dual purposes of being easy to understand and enabling authentic worship.

Clearly, you disagree, and that is fine. Also clearly, the bishops disagreed, and that too, is fine. I'll have another translation to get comfortable with, and I suspect I'll be right up there with Maureen's mother in my feelings about the '73 translation when it's gone. Such is life-- I'll try not to mourn it overly.

Tim Ferguson

Todd,

I think just about every commenter I've seen recognizes that this is one step in a very long process. It's called the march of history or the journey of redemption. THe implementation will be another step - and will be slow and arduous in some places, joyous and well-received in others. It may take a full generation for all the complainers to fade away, but the point of my original comment on this thread was to point out that few of the laity are "attached" to the 1973 translation, and none that I've come across are attached in the way some are attached to the Mass of the 1962 Missal. The 1973 translation is closer and closer every day to become merely fodder for some postgraduate student's research. And that's a step in a positive direction.

Rich Leonardi

I do agree with you (and disagree with Rich's rather snide comment) that some are going to see the liturgical restoration as a diversion from the sex abuse scandal.

The point of the "snide comment" is that Todd and a handful of others have introduced that unrelated subject into every thread where they are on shaky ground. Todd mentioned it repeatedly in during the runup to the 2004 election whenever someone suggested that the bishops catechize their flocks on the Gospel of Life. Subsequent events proved him wrong then, and they likely will prove him wrong now.

Jeff

"If they and their priests can put more of the spirit of the liturgy into their preaching, presiding, and personnel management of the parish Sunday Mass, it will do more than getting a better cookbook from which to work."

I love it when Todd the dissenter gives his hand away...

A better "cookbook"? From which to "work"?

Todd, the "liturgist" speaking.

Ah, the words and rubrics of the Sacred Liturgy are just a set of suggestions from which we "work" to provide the real thing!

This "cookbook" is the words we say in our highest form of prayer.

mio

I don't mind if someone calls the Missal a "cookbook," as long as they don't start substituting "fat-free" X, "lite" Y and "reconstituted" Z for the rich ingredients that are called for in the recipes!

Julia

"professional liturgists"
We had a temporary pastor for a few months who attended a parish liturgy committee meeting where he had to explain to them that we were supposed to be following the GIRM - and they had never heard of it.

The woman who used to head the liturgy office in my diocese was also the one who was pushing liturgical dancing. I would be very afraid of anybody who is a "professionsal liturgist".

I may sound that like that crabby old man that Johnny Carson used to do, but I don't recall any "liturgists" when I was growing up in the 50s and early 60s. The priest just said Mass and the choir sang the prescribed stuff for the day and once in a while threw in a hymn or two that was appropriate. What the heck is a "professional liturgist" anyway? What do they do?

By the way, the 1964 English missal was essentially the English translation that had always been in our missals alongside the Latin. So it wasn't a shock to us what all that Latin meant - we already knew what was going on. Why was the 1973 translation needed?

Jeff

Ed the Roman:

Sorry, but you lose me on three counts.

First, I'm a convert and I didn't lose the old missal. Lots of young Catholics who've never been to an old mass can see that the 73 translations are wretched.

Second, Mark is an intelligent and sensitive man. Anyone can penetrate these issues if they try, though some can do it better than others. It matters if translations are accurate, anyone can see that the 73 ones aren't and that that matters in a whole host of important ways.

Third, Mark didn't just say, "Here's a shortcoming of mine. Try as I may, I have not been able to appreciate the issues surrounding language and liturgy." He said, "Oh, well! What's all the fuss! Hee, hee! Yay, Tom, who cares about all this, just tell me what to do and I'll do it whatever it is!"

Read some church documents; read Liturgiam Authenticam and other letters on the Liturgy. Read Ratzinger on the liturgy. It should be a cinch for a writer and talented amateur theologian like Mark--or Tom--to see that the "lines" matter a great deal and so does the "blocking". It's not a matter of indifference what's in the liturgy. You can't just say, "Well, who cares; it came from my bishop!"

And complacency is not a virtue.
"I can't bother myself worrying about it; it's my job to be 'Happy' and undisturbed," does sound like the kind of foolishness that could come from a well-meaning convert from Evangelical Protestantism. But it's not Catholicism.

Clare Krishan

RE: "...and will stand in place and continue to use the same language they’ve been using for decades" is a bit like "If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it did it really happen?" . Look around at mass and you'll see many mature mouths politely shut. I don't anticipate any such kind of 'rebellion' the NCR forbodes. Praying out loud still seems not to have caught on however VII fans might think otherwise!

chris K

so that they, who are attached to the 1973 translation, can celebrate Mass in one or two out-of-the-way chapels . .

I had to laugh at that little tantrum tactic. In most of the parishes that I've experienced where these guys would feel quite comfortable, when the priest/celebrant happens to goof or miss a word, get confused or just stops, so do all those "attached" folks in the pew. They have no real attachment to all of the awkward wording foisted upon them in the past. If they did, they would know it much better than they do after all this time. My goodness, most of them can't even follow the ever new offerings in responsorial psalm awkward "chantings" as it is. It would do well to streamline that too. But the real silliness of all this is how people get their undies in knots over a couple of word changes. It's like plugging teeny tiny holes in the dam while the whole thing has been overdue for a complete crumbling. In that knowledge I sense is the reason for the hysterics over this nothing by the NCR types. They can see the flood (as we are awaiting the cresting of another flood of the century of the Delaware river) coming down. Heck, they can get retribution for these little word changes by just simply adding another clown or foisting another dissident homily on the captive audience in the pew! But that's not their worry here.

Actually, having to say "I believe" rather than hiding behind the skirts in the communal sharing of guilt (as Mother A. used to say ... in the end everyone has to cart his/her own carcass to market), or bring in the fact of the eternal reality of the "soul" ... over and above the current focus on the bodily healing alone ... or, horror of horrors, admit with a bit more emphasis that sin is done by one's own fault, is certainly expected to cause a case of the vapors within the church-in-denial folks. Wonder why!! They have no credibility and their very foundation is crumbling by the power of the Holy Spirit ... can't fool all of the people all of the time!

Eric the Read

Clare,

Maybe that's so where you are, but please remember even the American Church (much less the worldwide Church) is huge, and practises can and do vary considerably. For instance, in my local parish, you will more often see 'mature mouths', as you so delicately put it, open in prayer with the middle-aged and young. Praying out loud does seem to have caught on, at least here.

wolftracker

The NCR editorial was written in Kansas City, MO and, interestingly enough, a local group that is fighting the orthodox changes has been formed. One could say it is loosely affiliated with NCR since that magazine and this group hosted Bishop Gumbleton here the other day for a talk. The new group put out a leaflet seeking like minded people to join the group. They, and others like them, will surely fight the implementation of the new translations.


http://kansascitycatholic.blogspot.com/2006/06/time-to-track-wolves-people-of-god.html

emily

For anyone interested in some background reading, here is a link to an article published in Communio in 2003. It sheds some light on the mentality and procedures behind the changes in the Missal following 1966. It includes a translation of an article by Antoine Dumas, one of the original revisers, who is quite clear about their methodology:

http://communio-icr.com/articles/PDF/pristas30-4.pdf

Mike Petrik

I disagree with much of what Todd says on this, which is not a surprise given that I usually disagree with Todd. But I do not think Todd is a "dissenter," at least not in the sense of dissenting from the Magisterium Unless I have missed something (which is quite possible, of course), I think labeling Todd a "dissenter" is unfair.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf - o{]:¬)

"...if those who are sighing and acceding to the new translation with such great pain would take a minute and confront the '73 translations along with the Latin original and attempt to explain how much of it is "dynamic equivalence" and not "theological strip-mining."

WOW... what a novel idea!

o{]:¬)

Radactrice

Nothing like mucking around with the words of the liturgy to get everyone up in arms. Might I suggest that we simply pray the Mass, whatever the words? Somehow I just can't imagine that God will hear the prayers "And with your spirit" more clearly than "And with you." If your heart and mind is united with God during the Mass, the exact words aren't really all that essential, now are they?

Tim Ferguson

Actually, Radactrice, since we are beings composed of both body and soul, words actually do mean something, not just the interior disposition. The Quaker tradition has followed the principle of the primacy of interior disposition to it's logical conclusion, to the point that communal prayer is not essentially vocal. And yet, Jesus gave us words to pray - not just concepts and ideas.

The notion of praying the Mass using the accurate words - the words which come from the heart of the Church, not from some liturgist with an agenda - is not merely a superfluous aspect of our worship, it is essential for a community which, in fact, worships the Word Himself.

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

Amy and all,
the article says:
=What will be most important is the manner and degree of educating -- catechesis -- that is done regarding the new translations and why things are changing.
We hope that the educating is user-friendly, pragmatic as well as theoretical and theological. Most of all, we hope professional liturgists and practitioners are brought in as full partners in the preparation of teaching materials and in the implementation of the new translations.=

Note. The phrase "professional liturgists and practitioners" REALLY and THEOLOGICALLY and SACRAMENTALLY means:
ALL who are ordained priests and bishops-- and Trautman is only one of so many.

Snobs--clerical or lay-- trumpeting their Master's Degrees in Liturgy from Notre Dame do not have a right-- REALLY, THEOLOGICALLY AND SACRAMENTALLy-- to look down their noses at the good bishops who voted by majority for the improved translation work.

The same snobbery exists among those who trumpet the title "theologian" as an alternative to bishops for doctrinal authority.

Too bad for them! The present Bishop of Rome is a pre-eminent theologian and liturgist both by virtue of academic accomplishment and apostolic succession.

The NCReporter really has a condescending, elitist, bigoted, "White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant-Congregationalist-Gnostic" mindset-- not a Catholic one.

JP

"Actually, Radactrice, since we are beings composed of both body and soul, words actually do mean something, not just the interior disposition"

And to continue that thought, one of the bones many Protestants have to pick with Catholics, is that we use so many "canned prayers". They beleive it is best for the one praying to use their own words. Of course, this doesn't keep them from using the Book of Psalms to "enhance" thier own prayer life.

There is nothing wrong with praying in one's own voice. Just the same, there are many "canned prayers" that express a mood, sentiment, or praise much better than I can. Some of these prayers are written in Latin, BTW.

The Liturgy is a series of prayers, and it is imperative that we get the language right. Anyone who has read any of Shakespeare's works in a foreign language can see how much of the meaning is lost in translation. It is no different with our own Liturgy. I think Zhou's earlier advise should be taken very seriously.

Mark P. Shea

Jeff:

I've tried (and believe me I get lots of help from comboxers) to internalize the message "Being in a perpetual sweat of anger, irritation and frustration about the liturgy is more important than faith, hope, charity, joy, peace, patience kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control." I've tried very hard to make bitterness and aggravation about liturgical matters the highest duty of the Christian soul. But I've failed. I've fallen from this high and lofty goal and committed the sin of happiness, a sin so grave that defects in the liturgy don't perturb it even though I am as aware of them as the next person. Hope you can forgive me. Pray for me lest I progress from the venial sin of happiness to the grave sin of hope.

ignorant redneck

With trepidation--
I think that the folks who try sooo hard to make the Church ibto a social organization with a politicized agenda at the expense of mystery and the supernatural element are actually ubder the influance of Satan and other evil spirits. This is why they are intrinsically dishonest and try, try, try to relegate Scripture and Tradition to an academic dust box that we are taught is really much to nuanced for us who are ignorant pew sitters.

Perhaps I've heard one too many dominicans preach about the excellent christian example set by move-on.org.

Jeff

Mark P. Shea:


Ha, ha, ha! :-D :-D :-D

Actually, not so very clever.

I am not in any perpetual lather of etc., etc.

I know a few people who get upset from time to time--when there are things to get upset about.

But none of that was the point, was it?

The point was whether the question of the liturgy and its translations was trivial--as you presented it--or momentous, as Pope Ratzinger and others have it.

When things are really important and bad folks--like the 73 ICEL translators and their followers--get their hands on them for decades, then sometimes people will get upset.

Don't you ever get upset, Mark? I mean you get seem upset when you get teased in comboxes. You get upset when commenters "change the subject" on an issue you really want to understand. I admit that these things are far more important than details like the words we use in the Holy Liturgy. I mean, who cares if we say, "Our Father, Who art in Heaven," or "Hey there, Big Guy in the Sky." No sweat, right? Just a word or two here and there, it's essentially the same, for Heaven's--I mean for Sky's--sake!

There are lots of things you get upset about, as a matter of fact.

I take that as a sign that you are concerned about those things and therefore you don't always keep a perfect balance. I don't take it as a sign that you are preoccupied with trivialities.

By all means strive for balance and serenity--but not at any price. If we love our kids, we sometimes get more upset than we should when something bad happens to them?

Why? Because they are important, that's why. We care about them.

When terrible things happen in the Church--alas!--that sometimes upsets the balance of those who care about Her. They don't conclude that they should therefore be satisfied with whatever comes down the pike or risk, renouncing "the grave sin of hope."

The liturgy is important, Mark. It's not trivial.

That's all! Now you can go back to being Happy again. The rest of us will worry about any important problems that come up! And you'll help us out by telling us how trivial we are.

Michael

Simon, I think you are refering to Bishop Tod Brown of the Orange,Calif. Diocese and Fr. Martin Tran of St. Marys By the Sea Catholic Church in Huntington Beach,Calif saying to kneel is mortal sin. Maybe there is a priest in Santa Monica saying the same thing. You know California is known for the Land of the Fruits and Nuts! LOL

Old Zhou

I have a question about the liturgy:

How many Octaves were there in the 1930-1960's?

Only two survive today:
- The Octave of Christmas
- The Octave of Easter

But in my reading of liturgical books from the 1930's, 1950's and 1960's, I found a number of other Octaves:

- The much missed Octave of Pentecost, which ends with Trinity Sunday, and consists of meditations on many Gifts of the Spirit

But also:

- The Octave of Corpus Christi, which ends with the Sacred Heart of Jesus
- The Octave of the Nativity of John the Baptist, which we would still be in now.

How many Octaves were there?
Were they seriously celebrated in some communities?

What happend to them?

Thanks!

Tom

Mark:

What kind of a Catholic are you?

How can you be happy while it remains up in the air whether the final lines of the Proper forms of the Communicantes for the Nativity of the Lord and throughout the Octave; the Epiphany of the Lord; the Mass of the Paschal Vigil until the Second Sunday of Easter; the Ascension of the Lord; and Pentecost will be, "Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ," or, "Mother of God and our Lord, Jesus Christ"?

Mark P. Shea

Jeff:

I didn't say the liturgy is trivial.

Rich Leonardi

I've tried very hard to make bitterness and aggravation about liturgical matters the highest duty of the Christian soul.

It seems to me that what you've really tried to do is slay yet another one of St. Blog's straw men.

Rich Leonardi

How can you be happy while it remains up in the air ...

Right, Tom. Because that's what this is all about: the trivial wording of mere prayers.

Randy

Liturgy isn't trivial but there are a great many details to worry about. Many people choose not to worry about them. If you are not charged with overseeing any liturgies you have that choice. Just like you might choose not to dig into the creation/evolution debate. People are allowed to pick and choose.


Ed the Roman

Jeff,

Sorry to have mistook you.

I, like you, think that the translation matters. The stunting of non sum dignus has bugged the CRAP out of me for YEARS.

But I am not going to expend energy on Mark and Tom's indifference, since in their cases it's a foregone conclusion that when the better translation comes they will use it without kvetching.

I may expend some energy on kvetchers.

Ed the Roman

And stunted, I wasn't referring to you.

Mark P. Shea

No, Rich. It's about happiness. Jeff is welcome to spend all the time he wants fruitlessly fretting about something over which he has absolutely no authority, input or control. If that's how he wants to spend his time it's up to him. He can even spend his time, if he wants, passing judgment on me as a Pollyanna with a slap-happy expression who just doesn't give a sh*t if the Church goes to hell in a handbasket (which is pretty much the thrust of his argument). However, I am not obliged to give up my happiness for either the fine points of liturgy (about which I have no competence) or about the strongly implied calumny (about which Jeff is simply wrong). Jeff strongly suggests I'm a Bad Catholic[TM] who regards the Sacrifice of the Mass as trivial. He's entitled to his opinion. I'm entitled to ignore his opinion and go on being happy at Mass worshipping my Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist. Since the goal of the Christian life is to love God and enjoy him forever, I think this is perfectly in line with orthodox Christian belief. If Jeff wishes to believe that being fruitlessly angry about things over which we have no authority, input or control is the point of eternal life, he is welcome to pursue that goal. I will await God's verdict about which of us (if either) is nearer the mark.

Caroline Gissler

So what's the difference between "anxiety" and "distress?"

I get the difference between presider and celebrant.

I've read about how "with your spirit" is supposed to be better than "also with you." But I don't know what spirit. Is it the priest's soul? Is it the Holy Spirit? Some other spirit? If man is a creature composed of body and soul, then isn't "with you" more to the point than with your disembodied spirit if that is what "with your spirit means"?

"We believe" or "I believe", six of one or half a dozen of another to me. All my life I have been belabored by religious folk for my individualistic bent so for me to say "We believe" is a useful reminder of community. Now I am told it is an avoidance of individual responsibility which I have been preaching and teaching all my life and for which I've been muchly criticized.

And the fidelity of Latin to Greek matters mightily when it comes to the meaning of Scripture.

And "under my roof". The centurion was literally talking about his roof. My roof when receiving Communion is the roof of my mouth. "I am not worthy to receive you" makes far more sense.

I can just imagine my little nephew who asks about everything making First Communion mouthing "only enter under my roof" and saying HUH? I couldn't explain it to him with a straight face.

Jeff

I not only didn't suggest that Mark Shea is a bad Catholic, I specifically called him a wonderful one in my first post. And I meant it.

But, he has, of course, completely failed to engage with anything I have said.

Mark hasn't noticed, maybe, that Catholics have banded together over the last decades precisely to work together to do things like get a better translation of the liturgy. Adoremus is a good example. And part of the reason that we have the new translation is that we did so. We worked hard and now we are really quite happy with the fruits of our labor over many years.

Who said we have no effect or no responsibility in the matter? Only Mark Shea as far as I can tell.

I didn't defend anger. I merely said that it is understandable and practically unavoidable when great issues are at stake. Avoiding it at all costs isn't holiness. Now, can anybody reading this understand it? Is it really so hard to get?

Mark is very, very good at explaining things, but sometimes very poor at listening and responding. Read my comments carefully and then read his responses? Do you see any comprehension or engagement?

Did I say or imply that he didn't believe in the Sacrifice of the Mass? Or did I object that he belittled the importance of the substance of the liturgy? If you can't remember, go back and read it for yourself.

I only see hurt feelings and rhetoric and an insistence on distortion from Mark. He sneered at and dismissed as trivial some very good people with an excellent cause. So, I'm defending them and pointing out the carelessness and uncharitableness of his own position.

Does that mean that I think Mark is a bad guy? According to him it must. But that's really a very clumsy way to try to defend a weak position, isn't it? Mark Shea is one of the finest defenders of the Catholic faith around. He has helped countless people. He is a fine fellow. Okay?

But he's made--and keeps insisting on making--an a** of himself about the liturgy. He should reconsider. But--sigh!--once he commits himself, he almost never does reconsider. A sad weakness in a wonderful man.

Mary Kay

Zhou, let's see. You want people who can't get holy days of obligation on the right day, to think about octaves. Okaaay. ;)

Caroline, when the bishops' conference aired, one bishop commented that anxiety is not always negative, but distress is. But the counterpoint prevailed which was that the he (one of the bishops) heard people say they were anxious, but don't use the word distressed. I wish they had kept distress.


Jeff

Catherine:

I think the point is: these are ancient and permanent prayers. When we meditate on the words and live with them, we discover more and more.

"Lead us not into temptation." People have argued and meditated and prayed over what that meant for two milennia. We still haven't exhausted it.

"Hosanna in the Highest!" What exactly does that mean? How should we understand it as we say it in this place or that?

The point is: it SAYS 'spirit.' Let's pray what it says and HAS said for thousands of years and as we do, the words will form us as they formed generations of our Fathers and we will understand better as we pray it more and more.

If you want to know why particular formulations are important, try reading Fr. Zuhlsdorf.

Zuhlsdorf Blog

Scroll down and read his piece on the Roman Canon--Part One. And then scroll down some more and read the piece on Pro Multis, "For Many" and quotes Cardinal Ratzinger on the question.

It's all a matter of attitude. But according to Cardinal Ratzinger, the liturgy, at least in its traditional form (of which we have many, many parts still) was inspired by the Holy Spirit, just as Scripture is. Surprising? Read The Spirit of the Liturgy.

The words and phrases matter. We are incarnate creatures who love, pray, and understand through language.

Mark P. Shea

Jeff:

I'm sure that when you called me a "Happy Catholic" you meant it without a trace of ridicule. And no doubt when you suggested I thought the liturgy trivial, what you meant was that I thought it important. Sorry for misreading.

I don't know how many more ways I can make this plain, but I'll try one more way

THE FACT THAT I'M CONTENT WITH WHATEVER THE CHURCH DOES WITH THE LITURGY DOES NOT MEAN THAT I THINK THE LITURGY IS UNIMPORTANT.

Are we clear yet? You're the one who dragged my name into this, Jeff. You're the one who went out of his way to suggest that I'm a Pollyanna imbecile because I pretty much leave the liturgy up to the bishops. If you want to retract all that crap about "sacred complacency" you wrote above, you are welcome to. If not, get used to having me point out that your failure to distinguish between "what matters a lot to you" and "what is important to all" is your problem, not mine.

To quote Jerome, "What sin have I committed if I rely on the judgment of the Churches?" I will take a wild risk and trust that the Magisterium is more competent in promulgating the English liturgy than I am.

Liam

Old Zhou

There were, at other times, many other octaves.* Octaves themselves were divided into different ranks. The Church's practice with regard to octaves has been rather accordian-like over the centuries. There have been several cycles of calendrical reform, which are generally marked by reduction of accretions.

The Octave of Pentecost was supressed precisely to recover the primacy of the original Great Octave of Eastertide Sundays (the first two of which bracketed the Octave of Easter).

The Octave of Christmas customarily ranked after that of Epiphany and Easter/Pentecost to allow for the various feasts that happen to fall in that odd octave. It has been retained.

* E.g.: Ss Stephen, John, Holy Innocents, Peter & Paul, Lawrence; Assumption; Nativity of the BVM; All Saints.

tom fairfax

Hi - first time poster here.

I'm a convert myself, and haven't taken that much notice of liturgy over the years, except for one line of the mass. Part of the time I was thinking of converting I was studying in Heidelberg, and used to go to mass in the Jesuitenkirche there. One Sunday, I had what almost seemed like a revelation as the priest said 'Herr, ich bin nicht wuredig, dass du eingehest under mein Dach, aber sprich nur ein Wort, so wird meine Seele gesund'. Somehow, whenever I hear the words 'I shall be healed', I'm still really thinking of the words in German. In our society, what can be more shocking than the idea that, however healthy our bodies might seen, we might still be desperately sick?

So roll on the new translation. By the way, I've never heard of parish 'liturgy committees' in England. Thank goodness, by the sound of things

Hugh

Dear members of the unia,

What is being done to your liturgy is quite telling. Please stop this unfortunate infatuation with Rome, which is unrequited, and come back to the Church.

Hugh

Mark Adams

I'm sure that when you called me a "Happy Catholic" you meant it without a trace of ridicule.

Did you read this?
Sharp irony and sarcasm follow.

Given the kind of hyperbolic one-word titles you love to give out one would think you could take a little ribbing [TM] and sarcasm [TM].

Bender

I pretty much leave the liturgy up to the bishops

Oh, come on, Mr. Shea! Don't you know that We Are Church? The bishops are irrelevent, and this profession about being an "apostolic church" is nonsense. The bishops are only a bunch of self-interested do-nothings. They certainly did not act in good faith in promulgating the English translation (which the Pope approved, either implicitly or explicitly, as shown by its usage for over 30 years). And, most importantly, they are definitely NOT guided by the Holy Spirit.

On the other hand, it is WE THE PEOPLE who know best, we are all experts in all things liturgical, not to mention theological. Don't you know that we have read all sorts of books, and we can cite you any authority we wish to support our views? Don't you know that we are more knowledgeable, nay, we are BETTER than the bishops? Just look around. You can read the proofs of our expertise everyday here on the blogosphere. Who needs bishops in this new age? Certainly we, who have complained about practically each and every bishop, do not. And don't you dare call us Protestants, and don't you dare call us Pharisees, we are more Catholic than anyone! We are Church!

I am, Happily Yours.

Another Michael

I do agree with you (and disagree with Rich's rather snide comment) that some are going to see the liturgical restoration as a diversion from the sex abuse scandal.

Actually, I think what Todd was getting at was the profound lack of trust many of the laity feel towards the bishops because of the scandal. Many people I know (yes, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data," but still) distrust the bishops entirely now, in everything they do. It's not a straw man, and if you think it is, you really don't know what you're talking about. Yes, Rich, that means you.

Jeff

Mark:

Reread your first sentences. Are they without scorn and irony? Reread your own post on Tom's "Who cares?" post. Is it without teasing ridicule for all those people so absurdly wrapped up in the datail of the liturgy?

Listen, mind the beam in your own eye first before you go pretending you've been swatted without excuse.

The quality and adequacy of liturgical translations is far from guaranteed by the Holy Spirit. Cardinal Ratzinger wrote books and papers criticizing it and bringing that criticism to public attention? Was he encouraging laypeople not to rely on "the judgment of the Churches"? Was Adoremus, a lay organization critical of the approved translations of the liturgy othe organization that he and other Cardinals and Bishops praised and spoke to, served on the board of, undermining the principle of relying on the judgment of the Churches?

And what are we to make of Liturgiam Authenticam? Any honest reading of that document leads one to the conclusion that the present liturgical translations were seriously defective. Judgment of the Churches went awry? And then got fixed?

How about Adoremus? Fr. Zuhlsdorf? Amy Welborn? And countless other laypeople, priests, bishops, cardinals? All at fault for their public criticisms? All not "relying on the judgment of the Churches"?

Not every practical decision of the Church is protected from error. There can be some real stinkers. If Cardinal Ratzinger, that traitorous Catholic, is to be believed, it has made some REAL STINKERS in liturgical matters lately. And he hasn't been at all shy telling laypeople about it. A real bad egg that fellow. He should have been encouraging us to be quiet and rely on whatever practical decision came from above, eh?

You didn't just quietly keep out of the controversy. You derided it as exaggerated and trivial. You laughed at people who were caught up in silly details. You freely draw "implications" from what I write. There are also implications of wrongdoing on the part of others in what you wrote and continue to write in addition to the overt ones.

You engage in sarcasm and mockery and derision all the time toward those you disagree with. If you can't take it, don't dish it out. I suggested there was something wrong with your attitude toward those who DO take issue with the translations, not with a hypothetical attitude of quiet submission on your part.

I hardly "dragged your name" into the controversy. You put up a public post on the issue. It's recent. It's relevant to Amy's post.

I'm sorry that public controversy upsets you. You could always find a quieter more private line of work if you don't like it.

Now: I'll drop it if you'll drop it. I've given you generous praise as well as criticism, which in the usual surly way you have when losing an argument, you simply ignored.

Shall we call it Pax? I think its clear to anybody reading what our respective positions are.

In spite of this strong disagreement, I DO, in general admire you. And I wish you great good fortune and blessing with your book publication effort. I look forward to reading it. May the Mother of God look down on you and bless your efforts.

Mark P. Shea

Jeff:

Here is what I actually wrote:

Tom at Disputations takes his pulse after the news of the Big Liturgical Changes breaks. He finds it to be normal. I'm with him. As he puts it, "just give me my lines and my blocking."

Much like the apologetics subculture, there is a liturgy subculture in the Church that is mightily excited about such matters. And like the apologetics subculture, it is a subculture and would do well to call that fact to mind from time to time, lest it lose touch with the overwhelming majority of people in the Church who are not part of that subculture. Is liturgy important? Of course! So is apologetics. But faith, hope and charity are way more important.


There is no ridicule in that, nor any complacency, nor any belittlement of the importance of the liturgy. No suggestion that we should all be praying to the Big Guy. Just a couple statements of fact. A small subculture gets excited about liturgical stuff (as a small subculture gets excited about apologetics stuff). Both subcultures would do well to remember they are a subculture and not pass judgement on those outside the subculture.

Mark A.: I have no problem ridiculing the ridiculous. I don't even have a problem with people making fun of me and insulting me as a general rule. Janice was on my blog just the other day calling me an idiot, making snap judgements, and trying to persuade me to believe something I already believe. I get called names every other day.

I simply like to get facts straight. I appreciate Jeff's nice words, but the reality is that those who are content with whatever the Church does about the liturgy are not "complacent" or "Happy Catholics" or all the rest of it. They are not even making fun of those who do care. They are simply people outside the subculture that cares about liturgical matters. Most people are outside my subculture too (the one that cares about apologetics). That doesn't mean they are complacent about evangelication or making fun of those of us who do. It means they have other gifts and callings. One body, many parts.

Mark P. Shea

Beyond that point of clarification, I'm quite willing to call things pax. I have no problem with people who are mightily excited about the liturgical changes. Just don't expect me to be excited.

Peace.

Simon

"Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ," or, "Mother of God and our Lord, Jesus Christ"?

Well, it may sound extremely pedantic, but isn't the former more accurate? The latter (proposed by the US Bishops) would seem to suggest the possibility that "God" and "our Lord, Jesus Christ" are separate.

More to the point, what on earth were the concerns that prompted the bishops to propose the latter phrase?

Simon

By the way, why can't we just abolish all English translations of "Kyrie Eleison" and "Christe Eleison"?

Since we're trying to be more faithful to the Latin text, hasn't it occurred to the anyone that the Latin text here uses untranslated Greek? Why shouldn't we also use the untranslated Greek for the Kyrie?

Aimee Milburn

In the debate on this thread between Mark and Jeff, Mark quoted St. Jerome, which reminded me of another very public quarrel in history: that between Jerome and Rufinus.

It is true that we lay people have no actual authority to change anything. But we are nevertheless members of the Body, share in some way in Christ’s priestly, kingly, and prophetic offices, and we have the gift of the sensus fidei, the sense of the faith.

We also have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors our opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and we have a right to make our opinion known to the other Christian faithful, so long as it is done with integrity, reverence, respect, and consideration. One would assume this would include when our sensus fidei is telling us there is something wrong.

Don’t take my word for it. Go check your catechism, especially nos. 904 and 907.

So there’s nothing wrong with us speaking up about the liturgy. And it paid off, didn’t it?

As a former music director who struggled for years trying to construct beautiful liturgies with a translation that reminded me of verbal Legos, I am very happy to be getting a new translation.

I only hope that along with being more accurate, it is also more beautiful. Beauty is important to God. So are words. His Son is the most important, and beautiful, Word of all, the sum and source of all words and all beauty.

But then, I'm a writer and a musician, so I'm sensitive to such things.

Jeff

Excellent, Mark.

I won't add any commentary of my own, but I will post without gloss of my own, two follow-up comments, one by you to your original post; one by Tom from this thread. They round out the picture you present with your quotation of your original post. It would be interesting to see if you can find anyone who DOES know a bit about the liturgy and DOES care about the translation who interprets all this as merely a neutral "statement of facts". (You will recall that my initial post addressed its criticisms to both of you and your post was a commentary on his.)

Yours:

" All serious Catholics are in the Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi camp. It is, however, in the nature of sectarianism to suggest, "If you don't share my obsession with some particular aspect of the Faith (such as my confidence that I know more about liturgy than the people entrusted with promulgating it), then you are not a Good Catholic."

I cheerfully reject the implication that I am a bad Catholic because I don't obsess over the liturgy. I cheerfully reject the implication that if my knickers are not in a twist over the liturgy, I don't believe lex orandi, lex credendi."

(My emphases).

Tom's (from above):

" Mark:

What kind of a Catholic are you?

How can you be happy while it remains up in the air whether the final lines of the Proper forms of the Communicantes for the Nativity of the Lord and throughout the Octave; the Epiphany of the Lord; the Mass of the Paschal Vigil until the Second Sunday of Easter; the Ascension of the Lord; and Pentecost will be, "Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ," or, "Mother of God and our Lord, Jesus Christ"? "

And now I sign off on this topic!

Matt

Well, it seems there are more comments on this post than on many others. All I can add is to say, that when I first saw the "translation" of the psalms by the ICEL, I couldn't accept it as a translation but rather as a really, really bad paraphrase -- sort of like the "living Bible." Honestly, most of the ICEL stuff is so bad (how bad is it? :) that it's enough to make one run away -- far, far, away. It's beyond "jarring" -- it's unfaithful to the original text.

The translation of the Psalter into Greek, and then (later) other languages ancient and modern, was until very recently done in a very literal way -- the assumption being, I must believe, that the author knew better than the translator. (There is also the issue of allowing the genius of the original language and mode of expresssion to shine through the translation.)

I think the key issue with modern translations is that this understanding has been reversed, and the modern translators think they're ever so more clever than those "premodern" authors.

Too, there's the nonsensical idea that scripture must be put into the language of the street, or of television, etc. -- that we must avoid "hieratic" language. St Nicholas of Japan (EO), explaining his translation of scripture and service material into classical Japanese, said essentially -- don't dumb down the scripture, raise up the people.

Peggy

I'm with Julia:

What the heck is a professional liturgist and why do we need them?

Also, I've noticed from my mom's old Latin missal that the English is right along-side the Latin. Why was any other translation needed?

Julia

Thanks to Emily for her link to the really informative 1970s article in Communio (co-founded by Ratzinger) about the rationales behind the huge changes to the Mass in 1973.

http://communio-icr.com/articles/PDF/pristas30-4.pdf

The article is 33 pages long and if you haven't got the time to read it all - skip to pages 9 to 19 wherein the essay being critiqed is set forth. It's by one of the Consilium experts and he is explaining what and why they did what they did. He actually talks about injecting more horizontal references since the work of the modern church is more concerned about humans here and now. He actually pooh poohs prayers involving angels because we need to be more focussed on earth.

Another focus was simplifying the language. The expert admits that they dropped lots of excess adverbs & emotional language about silly saints, and moved lots of prayers from one place in the calendar to another, in addition to changing where they were placed in the Mass. He emphasized the need to "update" the language for the modern mindview which is given as the reason for inventing a lot of new prayers for today's needs.

Seems to me that ICEL in 1973 was taking the mindset of the guys who put together the new Mass as their guide in translating that new Mass.

The article explains that the "Secret" became the "Prayer over the gifts", but there is no explanation of what happened to the "Collect". I couldn't find it in the 1964 Missal in English, either.

Julia

This is probably the last comment in this thread, but I had to opine that what is meant by "professional liturgists" are probably folks who buy into the rationales outlined in that Communio article as guiding the making of the new Mass. Non-experts (AKA non-professionals) have not bought into that viewpoint and thus are not legitimate.

Donald R. McClarey

The NCR piece is one of the most unintentionally hilaruous pieces I have read in a very long time! No NCR, the summit of human civilization was not reached in 1973, the craziness of "Spirt of Vatican II" types is not going to become the dogma of the Church and, yes, you are all growing older and the times continue to change. Few things are sadder than young revolutionaries who end up as old reactionaries. Leisure suits, pet rocks and NCR, all long ago had their day and are all just about as relevant.

Jeremy Rich

What will be the label of those who stand faithful to the 1973 translation?

Here's mine (and it is copyrighted, so please pay royalties) -

Old Folk Catholics. Let them not change the Folk Mass!

Maybe Angelus Press could start printing 1973 missals with glossaries of 1970s terms for younger people unfamiliar with the vocabulary and practice of the 1973 liturgy. This would create a huge new market...

Seamus

I've tried (and believe me I get lots of help from comboxers) to internalize the message "Being in a perpetual sweat of anger, irritation and frustration about the liturgy is more important than faith, hope, charity, joy, peace, patience kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control." I've tried very hard to make bitterness and aggravation about liturgical matters the highest duty of the Christian soul.

Talk about straw men. Sheesh.

Mary Kay

The link Emily provided sounds like a good one for background reading...and a future thread. :)

Julia

One last thing about the Communio article linked by Emily above.

The article says that the ad hoc Consilium appointed to re-do the Mass contributed the great majority of the personnel for what became the new Office of Divine Worship. This was in the early 1970s. So, I'm guessing, the appointment of a different head as time went on would be highly contentious to the former Consilium folks and the Communio folks. All behind the scenes of course. All this skullduggery is more interesting to me than the fake stuff in DVC.

Before St Blog's appeared and John Allen started writing, only people really on the inside knew about this stuff. I might not have left the church for 10 years or so if I had realized the fat lady had not sung yet.
(no insult intended, I'm a fat singer myself)

emily

Here is another article by the same author (appeared in The Thomist), which looks at the changes *in the Latin* of 10 prayers after 1966.

http://www.thomist.org/journal/2003/April%20WEB/2003%20Apr%20A%20Pristas.pdf

Seamus

How can you be happy while it remains up in the air whether the final lines of the Proper forms of the Communicantes for the Nativity of the Lord and throughout the Octave; the Epiphany of the Lord; the Mass of the Paschal Vigil until the Second Sunday of Easter; the Ascension of the Lord; and Pentecost will be, "Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ," or, "Mother of God and our Lord, Jesus Christ"?

Yeah, I've seen a lot of critics of the 1973 translation getting het up over that point.

Michael

How close the Latin is to the Greek should be the question before the English has to be bent to the Latin.

On the question of how close the consecration in Latin is to the consecration in Greek, please read this article:
http://www.latin-mass-society.org/promult.htm. (I realize you were talking about the whole Mass and not just the consecration).

περί πολλων in Greek and pro multis in Latin both mean "for many", not "for all", as the current English translation has it. Since the Greek omits a definite article, even the compromise translation of "for the many" is not justified. Jesus said what He said, and the translators showed a lack of judgment in trying to improve on His words.

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