Friday, April 30, 2010

Third Post Today - Recognitio

It's everywhere, so I thought I'd place it here for posterity.

30 April 2010

The Bishops of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy [ICEL] join me in welcoming the announcement of the approval by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments of the definitive English text of the Third Edition of The Roman Missal. This news ushers in the final phase of preparation for the publication and implementation of the Missal in our eleven member Bishops’ Conferences and the many other territories where the sacred liturgy is habitually celebrated in English.

It also brings to a conclusion the long and complex process by which the translation has been prepared, a process in which the Bishops of the Commission and the Bishops of the English-speaking world, together with the members of the Roman Missal Editorial Committee, the ICEL Secretariat and the translators and consultants who are our closest collaborators have worked together with national conferences and the various organs of the Holy See to ensure that we have a text of the highest quality that can truly be called a work of the Church.

Upon receipt of the definitive text and in accordance with established procedures, the ICEL Secretariat will prepare the electronic files of the Missal, which will assist Conferences in the task of communicating the text to their publishers. ICEL has also produced an interactive DVD 'Become One Body, One Spirit, in Christ' [], which will be of great assistance in the catechetical process that will accompany the reception of the new text. The date for the publication of The Roman Missal and its implementation in our territories is a matter to be determined by Bishops’ Conferences in conjunction with the Holy See.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have put their gifts at the service of the Church in the great endeavour of producing the new translation, men and women whose faith is matched by the refinement of their scholarship.

+Arthur Roche
Bishop of Leeds

NPM Convention in Detroit

Hello again everyone; second post for today.

I had a reminder set today to begin reminding musicians and clergy members about this summer's annual convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, to be held in Detroit July 12-16.

Here's a link to more information.

NPM lists six reasons why one should attend the convention. Here they are:

  • New Music

  • Music and Other Resources for the New Roman Missal

  • A Community of People Who Share Your Passion

  • Singing and Praying

  • Inspiring Musical Events

  • Workshops, Master Classes, and More!

  • Please consider attending. If you have never been, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to sharpen your skills.

    Hope to see you there.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    What a Week!

    Happy Friday to one and all.

    Well, this has been quite a week in liturgical circles.

    I'd like to take a little breather from all the excitement around the new translation of the Missale Romanum. As you can imagine, we are in high gear here at World Library Publications. I am proud of the work that our fine staff has accomplished in the past few years as they prepare new and revised musical settings of the Mass.

    I am also proud of the work they have done in preparing Eucharistic Prayers I, II, II, IV, as recorded by Bishop J. Peter Sartain, bishop of the Diocese of Joliet. I sent the recording to all of the Ordinaries in the United States and we have had a positive response from many bishops.

    This recording is a valuable tool in preparing to pray these new texts. You can order your very own copy through our web site.

    I hope you have a wonderful celebration this weekend, as these fifty days of Easter continue to unfold.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Thursday, April 29, 2010

    New Translation Thursday: "A Springboard for Renewal"

    Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Thursday."

    I was privileged to attend the annual "Blessed Are the Peacemakers" fundraising event last night for Catholic Theological Union, my alma mater (Doctor of Ministry in 1999), pictured above. The evening honored Miguel Diaz, US ambassador to the Holy See. He gave a wonderful speech. It was a delightful evening. Perhaps the most poignant moment came when Rev. Don Senior, CTU's president, addressed the ongoing clergy sexual abuse crisis, pledging to those gathered that CTU was doing everything in its power to prepare healthy and whole seminarians studying for the priesthood. His impassioned and moving speech garnered the greatest round of applause the entire evening.

    I was gladdened to hear the pastoral tone of Pope Benedict's speech given to members of Vox Clara yesterday in Vatican City. This paragraph especially:

    A new task will then present itself, one which falls outside the direct competence of Vox Clara, but which in one way or another will involve all of you – the task of preparing for the reception of the new translation by clergy and lay faithful. Many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world.

    "Due sensitivity" is the phrase that jumps out at me. I hope that, especially for those whose excitement and enthusiasm around the new translation, we all take to heart the pope's words. I have heard more than one person say that we should just "start it" on the implementation date and the people will be "just fine." I couldn't disagree with this sentiment more.

    The pope assures us that he will be praying for English-speaking Catholics. This is a good volley toward heaven that we will have on our behalf. His prayer will be that "any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted." Good, pastoral sense here, yes?

    I also was struck by his words, that the change "will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world." I hope that we interpret this remark in a way that sees our catechesis focusing on the actual celebration of the Mass, rather than devotional practices associated with the reservation of the Eucharist in tabernacles and in monstrances.

    Pope John Paul II is quoted as saying (and I , for one, have never found the source - if you can, let me know) something like this: "If hundreds of millions of Catholics are receiving the Eucharist each and every week, why has so little about our world changed?"

    The new translation, with its (hopefully) accompanying catechesis, can lead to a renewal of Catholics, focusing on the very source and summit of our lives. I believe that this can ultimately lead to a better world, where the poor and disenfranchised are served with the strength that comes from the celebration of the Eucharist. In a world torn by war and violence, it is my hope that the Eucharistic Lord, whose first post-resurrection word to his frightened disciples was "Peace" will be placed more and more at the center of our hearts, minds, and attitudes through the celebration of the Eucharist.

    Let's join our prayers to Pope Benedict's, asking God to strengthen us in our pastoral approach and in our catechetical endeavors.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Pope Benedict Speaks to Vox Clara - The Day Is Here

    We just received this from the Bishops of the United States.

    Alle ore 13.15 di oggi, nella Casina Pio IV, il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI pranza con i Membri e i Consultori del Comitato "Vox Clara", Comitato di consulenza su questioni circa la celebrazione del Rito Romano in lingua inglese, annesso alla Congregazione per il Culto Divino e la Disciplina dei Sacramenti.
    Pubblichiamo di seguito il discorso che il Papa rivolge ai presenti alla fine del pranzo:
    Dear Cardinals,
    Dear Brother Bishops and Priests,
    Members and Consultors of the Vox Clara Committee,
    I thank you for the work that Vox Clara has done over the last eight years, assisting and advising the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in fulfilling its responsibilities with regard to the English translations of liturgical texts. This has been a truly collegial enterprise. Not only are all five continents represented in the membership of the Committee, but you have been assiduous in drawing together contributions from Bishops’ Conferences in English-speaking territories all over the world. I thank you for the great labour you have expended in your study of the translations and in processing the results of the many consultations that have been conducted. I thank the expert assistants for offering the fruits of their scholarship in order to render a service to the universal Church. And I thank the Superiors and Officials of the Congregation for their daily, painstaking work of overseeing the preparation and translation of texts that proclaim the truth of our redemption in Christ, the Incarnate Word of God.
    Saint Augustine spoke beautifully of the relation between John the Baptist, the vox clara that resounded on the banks of the Jordan, and the Word that he spoke. A voice, he said, serves to share with the listener the message that is already in the speaker’s heart. Once the word has been spoken, it is present in the hearts of both, and so the voice, its task having been completed, can fade away (cf. Sermon 293). I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will soon be ready for publication, so that the texts you have worked so hard to prepare may be proclaimed in the liturgy that is celebrated across the anglophone world. Through these sacred texts and the actions that accompany them, Christ will be made present and active in the midst of his people. The voice that helped bring these words to birth will have completed its task.
    A new task will then present itself, one which falls outside the direct competence of Vox Clara, but which in one way or another will involve all of you – the task of preparing for the reception of the new translation by clergy and lay faithful. Many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world.
    Dear Brother Bishops, Reverend Fathers, Friends, I want you to know how much I appreciate the great collaborative endeavour to which you have contributed. Soon the fruits of your labours will be made available to English-speaking congregations everywhere. As the prayers of God’s people rise before him like incense (cf. Psalm 140:2), may the Lord’s blessing come down upon all who have contributed their time and expertise to crafting the texts in which those prayers are expressed. Thank you, and may you be abundantly rewarded for your generous service to God’s people.

    Gotta sing, gotta pray a new translation!

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    New Translation Tuesday: Sad and Good News at the BCDW

    Thanks for you patience with today's "New Translation Tuesday" post. Blogging is the first thing I do in the morning, after my spinning class at the gym, but today was one of those days of travel and meetings.

    I will respond to the comments regarding the Grail Psalms at a later date.

    For today, I want to share some bitter sweetness with you. Sometimes the work that people do on our behalf at the USCCB goes unnoticed. For the past several years, Monsignor Anthony Sherman, a friend and trusted colleague, has headed the Bishops Committee on Divine Worship. It was announced yesterday that Monsignor's associate, Fr. Rick Hilgartner, has been named as Monsignor Sherman's successor. The Church owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Tony Sherman, who has brought us through these times of transition with charm, wit, and intelligence. My heart is full of gratitude for his work, and I know that he is rejoicing over the fact that he will soon return to his people in the Diocese of Brooklyn.

    We are left in very, very capable hands in the person of Rick Hilgartner. Every single conversation that I have had with him has revealed a man who is passionately concerned with the reform of the liturgy. He is a clear communicator and is a man who clearly loves the liturgy. Folks, this is a very good appointment.

    Last week, I sent a letter to all of the Ordinaries in the dioceses of the United States, and included a gift from WLP. I did this as a sign of our commitment to serve the needs of the singing and praying Church. I have received some very nice responses from several of our bishops, who have ordered the gift—Bishop J. Peter Sartain's recording of the newly translated Eucharistic Prayers I, II, III, IV—for all of the priests of their dioceses. This is where being a Catholics publisher really humbles me. While these sales will help pay the salaries of a wonderful group of dedicated employees, these sales also will help the prayer of the Church by serving bishops and priests. My heart is filled with gratitude this day.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Back Home and Grateful for a Good Weekend

    Good Monday to you all. It is bright and sunny here in Chicago. I hope it is pleasant where you are.

    I am praying today for all those affected by the severe weather this weekend. I was stuck at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport on Saturday for most of the day. I was grateful to the great United Airlines pilots who got us back to Chicago safely on Saturday evening.

    I was in Atlanta, as I mentioned in Friday's post, to attend the annual "Cardinals Dinner," a fundraiser for the Catholic University of America. It wasn't the kind of affair where it was appropriate to be snapping photos on my cell phone. I did get one photo of the room, so here you go:

    It was an interesting experience to have the time to speak with Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Chicago's own Cardinal George, Boston's Cardinal O'Malley, and Cardinal Egan, the retired archbishop of New York. Many of these conversations revolved around the new translation of the Missale Romanum. I was able to have a long conversation with Archbishop Vigneron (Detroit), who spoke about the design and building process of the cathedral in Oakland, where he had previously been the bishop. Having been there myself, I think that this is one of the most architecturally significant buildings I have ever had the chance to visit. He also praised the new translation of the Missal, saying that so much of the intricacies of the Latin have now been recaptured. He spoke highly of the new translation of the Exsultet. I, for at least one, can't wait to get my eyes and heart on these newly translation texts. Cardinal George, a member of the Vox Clara committee, told us that he will headed to Rome in the coming days for a final meeting of this group (at least with respect to the new English translation of the Missal).

    There are rumors floating around (and I have heard this now from at least two very reliable people), that the pope may issue the recognitio himself as part of this meeting of Vox Clara. Rumors have abounded for years, so I just patiently wait, as do others. So, let's keep our eyes and ears open in the coming days.

    Mass at my parish, Saint James, was inspiring yesterday. Fine homily, excellent singing and chanting, and a community filled with hospitality and love. Who could ask for more? Our pastor noted that when he was on a pilgrimage in Northern Spain, he encountered a shepherd and his little flock. My pastor had never seen a shepherd and sheep before. He said that this particular shepherd was not at the head of the flock, nor at the rear of the flock. He was right in the midst of them, nudging those ahead of him to move forward and inviting those behind him to keep up with the flock. This was a new (and helpful) image for me as I pondered Christ the Good Shepherd.

    (A bit later in the day now.) A friend just sent me this wonderful photograph, which illustrates my pastor's point so well:

    I hope your celebration this past weekend was a good one as well.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    To Atlanta: What a Week!

    Happy Friday to you all.

    I am blogging this morning from Gate C6 in terminal 1 at O'Hare here in Chicago. I'm on my way to Atlanta for the annual Cardinal's Dinner, the major scholarship fundraiser for Catholic University of America.

    Thanks for yesterday's comments on the blog. The first one I read this morning saddened me. The comment was one that I have heard before; namely, that complaining about GIA Publications holding the "worldwide rights" to the Revised Grail Psalms is nothing but sour grapes on behalf of WLP. Would WLP like to have these rights? Sure thing, but that is not the issue. The issue has to do with the fact that these rights were granted to a private company. WLP should not have been granted these rights if the tables were turned. We are the music and liturgy division of the J.S. Paluch Company, which is a Catholic family-owned private company, committed to serving the Church.

    And I want to say today how very proud I am of our company's efforts to support the Church through various fundraising initiatives. The very fact that I am attending this evening's fundraiser for Catholic University of America on behalf of that Catholic family who owns the J.S. Paluch Company and World Library Publications is but one example of the dedication of this family to serve the Church in a variety of ways.

    A good friend of mine, a "wise old priest" always urges me to ask questions, to get conversations going and keep conversations going. That was my intention this week when I raised the issue of copyrights and worldwide rights. I think it is a worthy conversation to keep alive.

    I hope that wherever you are celebrating the paschal mystery this weekend, that your Easter faith is nourished. Let's keep those Alleluias going!

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    The Revised Grail Psalms: I Am Befuddled

    Welcome to this installment of New Translation Thursday.

    Yesterday, I ended the post with what some around here called a "bomb."

    I feel compelled to comment on the new Revised Grail Psalms. As you may know, this version of the psalms has been given formal recognition by the Vatican for use as the responsorial psalm at Mass. But, until they appear in revised liturgical books, we are not obliged to use them. So, until the final revisions are made by the abbot at Conception Abbey, they are not yet available for use or to be set to music. I have been told that there are over three hundred corrections that were made by the Vatican.

    That brings me to the issue I raised yesterday. GIA Publications is "the worldwide agent for the Revised Grail Psalms." I cannot understand why a private family (the owners of GIA Publications) can be granted a position as "worldwide agent" for the official prayers of the Church. Once the Lectionary for Mass is revised and the Grail Psalms are printed in that revised Lectionary, GIA Publications will receive payment when those psalms are published in worship resources, hymnals, missals, and other resources. How that payment is distributed has not been made public. For instance, does GIA retain an administrative fee, while directing other part or parts of the fee to the Abbey or to another party? This information would be helpful to those who are directly affected by this decision.

    Right now, when a composer sets the NAB (current version) of the psalms, the USCCB (who owns the rights to the NAB) has chosen to waive the royalty fee. So, this has been wonderful for composers, who are able to be paid a higher percentage, since they do not have to share the royalty fee with the NAB rights holder. Once composers begin setting the new Grail Psalms, their royalty payments will be reduced, since GIA will take their own share of the royalty, as "the worldwide agent for the Revised Grail Psalms." This is bad news for composers, and very good news, of course, for GIA Publications. This simply does not make sense to me. In a letter received by publishers from GIA Publications, we were told this: "Please be assured that this text will be available to all legitimate publishers on an equal basis at rates consistent with those established for official liturgical texts."

    When we print the NAB Psalms in our hymnals and missals, it is the bishops conference of the United States that receives the payment of rates "established for official liturgical texts." I am at a loss as to why the bishops have chosen to have the payment of those rates now go to a private family here in Illinois (the owners of GIA Publications).

    I want to make it clear that I have been a consistent supporter of our friends at GIA Publications. They publish, and continue to publish, many excellent resources for the singing Church. My own liturgical life has been enriched by their music over the years, and for that I am grateful. I just don't understand how a private family and music publisher could be granted the status as "the worldwide agent for the Revised Grail Psalms"—which will eventually become the official version used in the Church's liturgical books. While I understand how a family business is granted worldwide rights to intellectual property—that is what all publishers strive for—what I don't understand is how the Church allows a private business to control and license what are official texts of the Church. For anyone to publish the official texts of the Church—for the first time in our corporate memory—publishers will need to go to someone who is not part of the Church. Remember that the Church has no control over private business. More importantly, the bishops, in their wisdom, granted a gift to composers of the NAB psalms and now the fact that GIA Publications is the "worldwide agent" for the Revised Grail Psalms, that gift has been taken away from composers. This is lamentable.

    Sometimes I can be a little slow in my own understanding of these things. Am I missing something here? Please feel free to comment.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    New Translation Tuesday . . . on Wednesday

    Happy Wednesday to you all. My apologies for having missed my installment of "New Translation Tuesday" yesterday. The day simply ran away from me; packed with meeting after meeting and all that happy stuff.

    So, here's a Wednesday installment of "New Translation Tuesday."

    There is a lot of buzz out in the Catholic liturgical blogosphere regarding the fact that the newly translated texts of the Mass hold a copyright from the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. As a publisher of worship resources, we pay a fee to ICEL each time we publish these texts (either in "text-only" format or in formats where the text is set to music.) This practice has been a part of the Catholic publishing world for some time. There are those who insist that official prayers of the Church should not be "owned" by anyone; that ICEL has no right to hold the copyright. To be honest with you, I am surprised that this argument is coming chiefly from those who have been saying how marvelous the new translation is; how it is a treasure; how it will improve our liturgical life; how it will finally express the truths of the faith in a clear fashion. So, my question is, how do you think these newly translated texts arrived in their current form? Do people have any idea how much time, energy, and money was needed to make all of this happen? For instance, just think of the perhaps hundreds of meetings held internationally with those entrusted with the actual translation work, as well as those entrusted with shepherding this whole process for so many years. Think of the scholars that needed to be justly remunerated for their work. Think about the staff members of ICEL itself, a group of people whose continuing responsibility it is to ensure that the texts are correct and free of error. Think of their continuing work on the English translations of other liturgical texts. This is all time-consuming, very expensive work. And how is all of this paid for? By the fees that are paid to ICEL for the publication of these texts. Do I wish that we didn't have to pay copyright fees? Sure, what publisher wouldn't? But we gladly pay these fees because we know that what we are providing to Catholics are texts that have been meticulously translated and edited. We pay ICEL for that critical work. It just seems quite fair to me.

    On the other hand, as for the rights for the new Grail psalms being controlled by a private family here in Illinois . . . that is a subject for another day.

    Thanks for listening. Comments welcome. Be kind.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Grateful for Baptism and Spring

    Happy Monday of the Third Week of Easter to you all.

    Last night many of us here at World Library Publications sang in the choir for the funeral of Judy Novak, wife of WLP's editor Mike Novak. It was a wonderful celebration of a wonderful life. Having experienced this Funeral Mass at St. John's cathedral in Milwaukee, I was asking that inevitable question: How do people without faith manage to get through these kinds of moments in life? I left the funeral with a sense of gratitude for the fact that my own parents had me baptized. Baptism is at the root of it all. I was one with Judy Novak in baptism. We will forever share a bond that will hopefully see us gathered around the banquet table in the kingdom of heaven. Judy, may the angels lead you into paradise.

    I had the chance to visit a few nurseries here in the Chicago area on Saturday. Here's a photo I took, which sort of looks like a cemetery.

    These are actually those little plastic markers you find in potted plants. There were thousands of them. Here's another photo, then a photo taken of the other side of the markers:

    And here are a few more photos. Spring is a great miracle every year. People around here, especially my carpool colleagues, poke fun at me when I say things like, "Those flowers were hand painted for you personally by God." I appreciate the simply beauty of Spring. Enjoy:

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Composing Music for the Church

    Friday has dawned cloudy, with a few sprinkles here and there here in Chicago. I hope that wherever you are, your Friday is a good one.

    Yesterday, after I wrote my blog post, I attended WLP's weekly review session. Usually on Thursday mornings, many of us gather in our music room to review music that has been submitted to us for possible publication. We want to do everything we can to encourage composers in their art. Some Thursday review sessions are better than others. It's always gratifying when we receive pieces that are well-crafted. Yesterday was one of those very good days.

    I am often asked about the best ways to submit new music for review. On WLP's web site, there is a tab you can click on, "Contact Us." Once there, you can click on "Music Submissions." Here's that link. Our mission here at WLP is to serve the needs of the singing and praying Church. One way we do that is by providing the best choral music for Churches. I am always telling the staff here that I believe that WLP is providing the very best among all the music publishers right now. I am proud of their good work: editing, engraving, marketing, and providing the best customer care.

    If you or someone you know is a composer, please urge them to submit their music to us here at World Library Publications.

    I hope your Third Sunday of Easter is a joyous one.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    New Translation Thursday: Let's Take a Deep Breath

    Another beautiful day has dawned on this "New Translation Thursday" here in Chicago. Praise God for the sunshine.

    This morning I received an email confirmation from a liturgical leader in a large archdiocese here in the United States. That person is a faithful reader of this blog and had inquired about my availability to come to her archdiocese to offer some workshops on the new translation. Here is a snippet of her email to me:

    "Our Prayer and Worship Committee met last night. When I brought up the text changes, many of those present had not heard about this even though there have been articles in the local Catholic paper. I think there are a lot of people in the pews who are going to be surprised on the First Sunday of Advent, 2011, no matter how well we prepare!"

    Those of us whose lives are saturated with what goes on in the Roman Catholic liturgical and musical world might be surprised by this. And these are not "people in the pews" who gathered last night; these were members of the Prayer and Worship Committee of the Archdiocese. We need to admit that the issues that are so close to our hearts and minds are often not even on other Catholic's radar.

    Our society has adopted what I believe to be a "I-can't-even-think-that-far-ahead" approach to most things in our lives. Our lives are, in a word, busy. Who has time to follow the reports on something that is going to happen more than a year away, or perhaps five years away? I've heard members of the clergy say that they will deal with all of this translation stuff when it gets much closer. This is an honest approach, and maybe I can learn something from this kind of sentiment. I tend to get all worked up about everything musical  and liturgical; that's just part of who I am as a liturgist, musician, faithful Catholic, and publisher.

    So, today I am taking a deep breath. There is indeed much work of preparation to be done and I will continue to focus on the new translation every Tuesday and Thursday. Everybody, take a deep breath with me, too.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    "So Off She Sails" - Saint Cecilia's Orchestra

    Wednesday has dawned with plenty of sunshine here in Chicago. It's supposed to reach 80 degrees today - just wonderful!

    Yesterday I had the chance to take some quiet time to read a new book just published here at World Library Publications. It is a collaboration between WLP's very own Alan Hommerding and one of our favorite WLP family members, Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS.

    Alan and Mickey have combined their talents of poetry and art to produce Saint Cecilia's Orchestra, a delightful new book sure to delight musicians and their families, as well as people young and old. Click here to be taken to the page on WLP's web site that will give you more information.

    For quite awhile, I have been seeing bits and pieces of the book. I have listened to Alan's sparkling poetry and seen Mickey's engaging artwork. Yesterday I took the time to read the book in the quiet of my office. I came away from that exercise with this work with one thought: reading this book is an engaging experience. The poetry and artwork drew me in to Saint Cecilia's journey. At the very beginning of the book, we are drawn into the experience:

    On her celestial podium
    Cecilia stands and listens.
    What sweet, melodic sounds she hears,
    Both near and in the distance.

    How beautiful this music is,
    Just like a symphony!
    How great this gift creation has
    To praise God's majesty.

    "I'll make an orchestra!" she cries,
    "It is my sacred duty
    To hear each prrum-pum, plink and plunk,
    The chings and root-toot-tooties!"

    So off she sails upon the wind,
    the Holy Spirit's wings,
    From star to cloud, from hill to shore,
    To hear more wondrous things.

    Come join Cecilia's holy quest,
    Take part in this, her story,
    And through the Holy Spirit hear
    The sounds that give God glory.

    When I finished my own journey with Saint Cecilia yesterday, I wanted to find the nearest organ or piano and add my own sound to Saint Cecilia's orchestra. This is a delightful book, for young and old alike. All you musicians out there, this is a "must" for your shelf. For those of you working with children in music ministry, this is a great story book. When I directed a cherub choir in the parishes in which I have worked, we always included a "snack and story" element to the rehearsals. I wish I had had Saint Cecilia's Orchestra back then.

    Is this a commercial? Absolutely. This book is a winner, hands down. You can purchase your own copy by logging on to WLP' web site: You can click on the image on our home page.

    My heart is filled with gratitude to Brother Mickey and to Alan Hommerding. Their creative collaboration has filled at least this musician with a firmer grounding in the Song of the Creator.

    Of course you know what this book really makes me realize once again . . . that . . . I . . . 

    . . . gotta sing, gotta pray!

    The text quoted above is copyright 2010, World Library Publications, Franklin Park, Illinois. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    New Translation Tuesday: Happy First Birthday!

    Hello everyone, and a very happy Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter.

    Today is a milestone of sorts. It was one year ago today that this blog  Gotta Sing Gotta Pray, began. So we are celebrating its first birthday today. Here's what I wrote on that first post:

    Easter greetings to all. Several of my colleagues here at World Library Publications have been asking me to begin a blog, so here we are. Welcome to Gotta Sing Gotta Pray. Why this title? I firmly believe that in good times and in bad (like the current economic downturn), people simply gotta sing and people simply gotta pray. Turning our hearts to the Lord in prayer and song gives us the kind of hope that only comes from God. 
    And today is one of those days—at least here in Chicago—that is a little difficult to find the energy to sing and pray. It's raining. The temperature is in the low 40's. Spring was supposed to arrive here already, but it has been very tardy. I know that the flowers are just waiting to burst forth from the ground. This is what this Easter Season is really all about. At least in the Northern Hemisphere most of us are still waiting to burst out of the doldrums of the winter months, hoping to be greeted and nourished by warm sunshine—we live in hope! 
    Please visit this blog often. I am pledging at least an entry a day on a topic that brings the world of liturgy and music into a conversation with what is happening in the world around us. Meanwhile, take a listen to this beautiful piece from John Angotti's CD "Joy Beyond Our Dreams." Happy Easter Monday!

    As I reflect on these words, penned a year ago, it seems that so much has occurred in our Church world—not to mention the world in general—in this year. I was concerned a year ago about the economic downturn. While there are signs of hope, that concern continues. The story of the year for the Roman Catholic Church has been the revelation of clergy sexual abuse cases around the globe and the silence and cover-ups by some of the world's bishops. The upcoming new English translation of the Missale Romanum prompted me to begin "New Translation Tuesday" and "New Translation Thursday" on November 10, 2009. It has been a creative year for me. Up until the moment I began to lead World Library Publications, I was a happy worship resources editor, gladly writing and editing for WLP and contributing articles to journals and magazines. When I became the associate publisher, many of my writing assignments were given to others. Frankly, I missed that creative outlet. Gotta Sing Gotta Pray has been a real gift in my own life. I hope, in some way, that it has been a gift for you as well.

    On this "New Translation Tuesday," I am thinking about a prayer I heard this past Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter. The Prayer after Communion was this:

    Almighty God,
    may the Easter sacraments we have received
    live for ever in our minds and hearts.

    It just kind of fell flat for me. I looked up the Latin and plugged the Latin into one of those free online translators. This is what came back:

    To concede quaesumus, All-powerful God, when paschalis to gain oath to join upon our mind perseveret. Very Christum.

    Yow! Obviously these online translators are super deficient.

    This points out something that I am greatly looking forward to, and that is some timely comparisons between the current texts and the newly translated texts. Some are doing this kind of thing on other blogs (some people have obviously obtained copies of the new texts). I do not as yet have a copy (obviously), but look forward to some good discussions about the differences, and I am also looking forward to your comments.

    For now, please join me in wishing Gotta Sing, Gotta Pray a happy first birthday.

    As always, gotta sing, gotta pray.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Why Do You Stay?

    Happy Monday to you all.

    Yesterday, my pastor began his homily by telling us that the Second Sunday of Easter is sometimes referred to as "Low Sunday." Then he added his own twist, saying that sometimes it is also known as "Low Attendance Sunday." He likened the fact that so many were in the hall the week before and now were no longer there, to the fact that Thomas was not there with the other disciples when Christ first appeared after the resurrection. He then went on to talk about the wounds of Christ and then talked about the current state of our wounded, sinful Church.

    I remember mentioning the phrase "sinful Church" at one point on the pages of this blog. Someone responded with words like, "You cannot use that phrase because the Church is the spotless Bride of Christ." Well, it seems these days that the spotless Bride is in quite a sad state of affairs. We could go on and on about the almost daily news reports (some horribly misleading; others right on the mark) about the ongoing sexual abuse scandal and the coverups. I want to add my own word of lament and extreme disappointment with just one small facet of this whole sad episode. And I get riled up about this probably because I am still a Bostonian at heart. This has to do with what the Vatican did with the resigned-in-disgrace Archbishop of Boston, Bernard Cardinal Law. As you know, after his resignation, and after a short period spent in prayer, he was appointed the Archpriest of Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome. I still can't even write those words or speak them without a sense of distaste. I don't want to cast the first stone here, but this appointment just seems to be a sinful act to me. Of course, it doesn't affect my day-to-day life as a Roman Catholic. There are too many mouths to feed to wallow in my own disappointment and lament. I wonder sometimes if there will come a time when I reach a tipping point with all of this.

    Father Anthony Ruff has an intriguing "Why I Stay: A Liturgical Reflection" over on PrayTell. You can find it here. I think it's a good thing to ask the question—Why do I stay?—in these troubling times. My answer came yesterday when I was welcomed back from the piano bench (after my six week stint as the interim music director) to "my" side of the parish hall (our current space for worship) at St. James. Those made in God's image and likeness embraced me once again. I tasted a little bit more of the heavenly banquet yesterday. When we lifted our voices in song at the end of the liturgy, I was given just a little more of the traveling music on the road to heaven: "I'm so glad Jesus lifted me, singing Glory Hallelujah, Jesus lifted me. Satan had me bound, Jesus lifted me, singing Glory Hallelujah, Jesus lifted me. When I was in trouble, Jesus lifted me, singing Glory Hallelujah, Jesus lifted me." Sounds like a fitting theme song these days, yes?

    Why do you stay?

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    Were You There?

    Happy Friday of the Easter Octave to you all.

    I have been mulling this post over in my mind since last Friday (Good Friday), trying to figure out the best way, first of all to explain what happened and, secondly, to offer a reflection on it. Well, here goes.

    At noon on Good Friday, a very small group of about ten of us gathered in our hall at St. James (our current place for liturgy) to pray the Stations of the Cross. Because there are no fixed stations in the hall, we erected some very contemporary stations around the walls of the room. One person carried the processional cross. We all had our programs with the responses and we all walked around from station to station. We got to the tenth station: "Jesus Us Stripped of His Garments." Here is a photo I took of that very station.

    This station was affixed to the wall right next to a window. Here is a photo I took (after we completed the stations) of that window and the view I had standing there:

    This is a view into our parking lot. Our windows have protective metal screening on them, to help prevent damage (our parish property does not sit in the safest of Chicago neighborhoods). If you look carefully, you can see the elevated train tracks on which run the Chicago Transit Authority's Green Line.

    At any rate, and you will probably find this hard to believe, but, believe me, it actually happened. While I was standing at this spot, praying the tenth station, my mind wandered a little bit and I happened to glance out the window into the parking lot. What I saw stunned me and I need to apologize in advance for the graphic nature of this. There in the lot was a red SUV, positioned with its front end toward the street and its back end toward me. When I looked again, I couldn't believe my eyes. The driver's side door was open and there was a man standing there, kind of keeping guard. There was a woman squatting down right next to him. She was completely naked from the waste down and she was urinating on the asphalt of our parking lot. You know, it's one of those things that happens that you can't quite believe is happening; right in the open, in the daylight, in a church parking lot. I quickly looked around in the hall. I didn't want anyone else to see what was happening out there.

    I am one of those people who believes that there is some meaning that needs to be interpreted for just about everything that happens around me. I guess that has a lot to do with having been a liturgist and a fully-engaged Catholic for most of my life.

    I found it stunning that, as we were contemplating the embarrassment and humiliation that the Lord Jesus must have felt when he was stripped naked before the crowds, this woman was also half naked in our parking lot. I know this is not an easy thing to talk about, but I wondered what life circumstances precipitated the event unfolding in our church parking lot. Did these people even have a home with a bathroom? Were they in the neighborhood because drugs are readily available? How did this woman feel exposing herself in broad daylight? Did she feel humiliated? I can only imagine that she must have been extremely embarrassed. Was the man she was with her husband, who was trying to shield her from the looks of passersby? Why would anyone come to such an open place, right next to the commuter rail line to urinate out in the open?

    There may be the simplest of answers for all of this, too. Our parish is very near an exit on the expressway and there are not a lot of businesses with public bathrooms nearby; and this could have been a simple bladder emergency.

    I guess the reason really doesn't matter at this point. What did matter for me was how this incident framed the rest of Good Friday for me. Too often, at least for me, when we recall the events that led to Golgotha, we might be tempted to see these more in a "that's the way it was . . . Jerusalem in the year 33 A.D." kind of way. We can let these events stand at a historical distance, keeping ourselves shielded from the reality that the suffering, humiliation, death, and resurrection of Christ still happens every single moment of every single day.

    That half-naked woman in our church parking lot was, at least for me at that moment, a contemporary image of the tenth station: "Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments." As happens so often when the stations are prayed, I was humiliated for my Lord, and I was also humiliated for this woman, who happened to be the Lord at that moment.

    This all got me thinking about the moment when I would embrace the cross at the Good Friday liturgy during the parish's veneration of the cross. What would the cross mean for me on that day? This is what happened to me as I embraced the "there" of that moment. There, in the midst of the reality of the paschal mystery was my colleague Mike and his two children, who had just lost wife and mom to cancer. There—was my sister who is living with cancer now. There—were countless numbers of people who have been sexually abused by members of the clergy. There—were clergy those who perpetrated that abuse and there—were bishops who covered it all up. There—were the people just across the street from Saint James who are abusing drugs and selling illegal drugs. There—were the families of too many young people in Chicago neighborhoods who have been victims of gang violence. There—was the woman who had urinated in our parking lot that morning. There—were people who have survived years of addiction and are now clean and sober. There—was the joy that comes only from knowing God.

    At communion at Saint James on Good Friday, we sang the hymn Were You There? Suddenly that hymn was not so much about recalling past events in the life of the historical Jesus. It became for me a reflection on the ways that Jesus lives, suffers, is humiliated, dies, and rises today. It became for me a deep reflection on the meaning of the word "there" in that hymn. This whole experience left me with the question, which I'd like to ask you as well: Were you there?

    There, when they crucified my Lord?
    There, when they nailed him to the tree?
    There, when they pierced him in the side?
    There, when the sun refused to shine?
    There, when they laid him in the tomb?
    There, when he rose out of the tomb?

    Gotta sing. gotta pray.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    New Translation Thursday: Texts in the Context of Liturgy and Life

    Welcome to today's edition of "New Translation Thursday."

    My own thinking about what I am about to share is not quite fully developed as of yet, so please bear with me.

    Obviously there has been lots of talk, banter, blogging, facebooking, tweeting, writing, commentary, composing, complaining, lauding, and lamenting about the new upcoming English translation of the Missale Romanum. Most people (me included) have taken bits and pieces of prayers and analyzed them. What most of us have yet to do is to pray these prayers in the context of the liturgy. This came to mind last week, particularly on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The eucharistic prayer, prayed on Holy Thursday, when we had just washed each others' feet, took on a different kind of significance. When the celebrant prayed the words of institution ("Take and eat . . . take and drink . . .), I was brought back to that moment of the foot washing, when the Lord commanded us to do for others what he had done for us. And, on Good Friday, when my pastor lifted the sacred host and said "Behold the Lamb of God," I could not help but think immediately of Pilate's words to the crowds as he pointed to our bruised and broken Lord, uttered only several minutes before, "Behold, your King."

    We need to remember that the words we use at liturgy are always connected to the ritual action; to what happened or was uttered just before; to what season we are in; to what feast we are celebrating; to what is going on in our hearts and minds. At least one scholar closely connected to the process of the ICEL translation has told me that, when prayed in the context of the entire liturgy, the newly translated prayers will be much more closely linked to the biblical images that have become part of our "Catholic DNA" and that are actually proclaimed at the given liturgy.

    This gets me kind of excited, folks. I look forward to entering the liturgies that will employ the new translation with my ears and heart open to new possibilities. I know that I will probably be very, very analytical at first, but I hope that I will be able to catch the scriptural nuances to which my friend alluded. Only time and a deep experience with these new texts will tell.

    I would appreciate your musings on my musings. Hit the comment tab below or email me here at WLP:

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    US Catholic Survey and the People of Los Angeles

    Happy Wednesday of the Octave of Easter to you all.

    April showers have taken hold here in the Chicago area, but there are lots of spring flowers and trees blooming. Each year I am struck by this miracle we call Spring. From the gray and seemingly lifeless comes forth new life - just wonderful.

    US Catholic has an article by Bishop Trautman on the new translation of the Missale Romanum, There is a brief survey at the end of the article. I took the survey this morning. Try your hand at it. Here's the link.

    Biggest news in the Catholic Church here in the United States was the appointment this week of Archbishop Jose Gomez as the coadjutor bishop of Los Angeles. Check out his brief remarks at his press conference here. There has been lots of buzz about the fact that Archbishop Gomez was ordained a priest in the Opus Dei prelature. I read a few articles that said that the Archbishop "resigned his membership" when he became auxiliary bishop of Denver several years ago. I am taking a cautious approach to this appointment. I spoke with some friends in Texas yesterday who spoke fondly of Archbishop Gomez. Other friends have called me with deep concerns about this man's affiliation with Opus Dei. Let's watch how this all unfolds.

    Los Angeles is perhaps the most culturally diverse diocese in the United States, with a large Hispanic population. The fact that the Archbishop is Hispanic is a huge factor in this appointment. Many argue that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is one of the most "liberal" in the United States. Frankly, I wonder what this means. Each time I have attended the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (which every Catholic should attend at least once in one's lifetime!), I have never had the sense that the Catholics in Los Angeles are any more liberal than anywhere else. As a matter of fact, there is no place that I have been, save Vatican City State, where I have seen more religious sisters and brothers in full habits than I have seen in Los Angeles. When you go there, you will find large groups of habited religious gathering in outdoor areas to pray the Divine Office. Sure, they may use glass vessels at the celebration of the Eucharist (Cardinal Mahony allows this as the chief liturgist of the Archdiocese), and some people might take offense at liturgical dancing, but the care with which the liturgies at Congress are prepared and prayed is so evident. Lectors proclaim with conviction. Celebrants preside with life and care for the liturgy. The musicians are committed to lifting the congregation's song. The Catholic faith in Los Angeles is alive and well, and Cardinal Roger Mahony is largely responsible for having nurtured that faith over the last several decades. I will be praying for the people of the Archdiocese and for Archbishop Gomez.

    Here are a few more photos from my parish, St. James, taken during the Triduum.

    I hope you have a good Easter day.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    New Translation Tuesday: Our Easter Occasional Visitors

    Welcome to this Easter Octave edition of "New Translation Tuesday."

    Last week, I asked if any of us would be paying closer attention to the texts proclaimed and prayed during the Triduum since, in a few years, we would be hearing many of these texts in new translation. To be frank, I wondered about this only a few times. I thought about it when I made my announcement before the Triduum liturgy began on Holy Thursday. I announced that, with the arrival of sundown and the beginning of the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, our Lenten sojourn in the desert had come to an end. I said that the Church's proper entrance antiphon invites us into the mystery of these three days. I then proclaimed that antiphon, "We should glory in the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ . . ." We then sang Lift High the Cross. I wondered what the new translation of this entrance antiphon would look like.

    I didn't think much more about the new translation during the Triduum, mostly because I was absorbed by the prayer, the ritual, and the music.

    I did think about it again on Easter Sunday morning though, when our church hall was filled to the brim with our regular parishioners, as well as with the great number who come only at these feast days on the calendar. I watched carefully during the dialogues and during those moments when the people sing and pray their responses. For many in the hall, there was no response at all. Many are so unfamiliar with Catholic liturgical life that they simply do not know what to sing or say. I believe that many were at Saint James simply because they were looking for a church at which to celebrate Easter with their families. I know this sounds strange, but I think some were there because Saint James has the tallest steeple in the area!

    There are others, too—more "occasional Catholics"—who do know the responses and, while their participation may not be full-throated, they do sing and pray their own parts of the liturgy.

    What will happen in a few years' time when we celebrate the first Easter with the newly translated texts? We will need to do some careful planning. As a gesture of Christian hospitality, it will be important to provide people with the texts of the Mass, so that they will be able to participate with the newly translates texts. This is probably not a bad idea to start doing with now. I know that we have Seasonal Missalettes® available in the back of our hall. Many parishioners use these weekly to read the scripture reflection before each set of Sunday readings. I know also that there are those who read the scriptures before Mass begins. Others use it to follow along in the Mass; many pick up the missalette when we proclaim the Profession of Faith. At times like Christmas, Ash Wednesday, and Easter, we will need to provide our visitors with texts and music that will help them participate at these liturgies.

    Have you thought about how you will handle those "occasional" visitors at these high feast days during the year? Please feel free to share your thoughts by hitting the "comments" tab below or sending me an email:

    Meanwhile, here are a few more photos of St. James parish hall, our church home here on the near south side of Chicago.

    Here's a photo take on Good Friday, in the late afternoon. We celebrate an evening liturgy commemorating the burial of our Lord. It's kind of a combination of tennebrae and a coptic orthodox rite of burial of the Lord, where rose petals are sprinkled on an icon of the burial. We used an icon painted by Fr. Donald Walpole, OSB, of St. Meinrad Archabbey.

    Here are a few photos, showing the location of the icon at the beginning of the service, then a close-up of the icon. The icon was actually laid on the floor of our "stage" and people processed there and dropped the rose petals on it; then it was lifted; you'll see the petals in the third photo.

    I hope you have a chance to sing a big "Alleluia" today.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Easter Octave Reflections: Welcome to the World of Saint James in Chicago!

    Happy Easter to one and all.

    I will probably be spending the entire Easter octave sharing my own experiences of the Triduum at my parish, St. James. I took lots of photos during the week and will be sharing these with you.

    As many of you know, I have been the interim music director since the beginning of Lent. Our new director began on Palm Sunday and was my able "shadow" as we moved through the week. He played several pieces during the Triduum and I am confident that the parish's music program is in very capable hands.

    Let me begin by saying that it was quite a challenge to prepare and pray these liturgies in a church hall. Here's a photo of the blessing of palms on Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion. Don't you love those beautiful fluorescent lights hanging above the celebrant?

    The balcony can be seen in this photo. It serves now as a kind of extended storage sacristy. My legs are still sore from going up and down the stairs to retrieve cloths and flowers and everything else we needed.

    At the other end of the "hall" is our wonderful stage, upon which many parish productions have been staged over the years. We decided to make use of the stage area to create the chapel of repose on Holy Thursday. We also used it for our burial service on Good Friday night. Here are a few photos.

    I think we did a pretty good job, given the spatial limitations.

    On Friday morning, I met with the new music director and the pastor. I wanted the new director to actually see the church interior, which I had not seen in almost a year. I was shocked when I entered our venerable old space. Much work has been done on the interior, but it really is quite a mess. This is the reason why we are worshipping in the parish hall:

    Notice the areas where the plaster has been removed. The wooden supports here are being reinforced with custom-designed steel supports. This church should stand for five hundred years. It looks like we might be back inside some time within the next eighteen months. This building is a jewel. You can imagine how different it is in the parish hall for those of us who had become used to praying in the church.

    One thing struck me about all of this. It mattered little where we celebrated the Triduum. All I know is that I came away from the weekend grateful to God that I have been given the gift of the Catholic faith. Folks, I needed Easter this year more than you know. Celebrating Christ's triumph over sin and death hit me squarely in the heart. I was reminded once again that in baptism, I have been grafted onto this vine. Sin and death have no more power over me. For this great miracle, I begin this Easter Octave and this great fifty days in gratitude to God and in awe of the enormity of the paschal mystery.

    More to come as the week unfolds.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    A New Translation: A Shift in the Lex Credendi?

    Welcome to this latest edition of "New Translation Thursday."

    As the Triduum unfolds at St. James, my parish, I will be listening more attentively this year to those texts that will be prayed in new translation beginning in a few years. We are entering the three days during which the adage lex orandi lex credendi (the law of prayer is the law of belief) comes into the fullest force. I have often told people something like this: "If you want to know what Catholics believe, come to a Catholic parish for the celebration of a Triduum." I imagine what a ritual anthropologist would say as s/he observes our liturgy during this time. As s/he listens to the prayers, watches the ritual movement, and notes the timbre of the music and the texts sung, how would that person answer these questions:
    Who is this God that these people sing and pray about?
    Who is this person, Jesus Christ, who seems at the center of all of this?
    Who do these people understand themselves to be as they worship?

    I am not advocating that you put on your "ritual anthropologist hat" during your celebration of the Triduum. Just be aware that what we do and what we pray express the reality of who we are as Roman Catholics in these three days most poignantly.

    This has lots to do with newly translated texts. The big question, of course, is whether or not the newly translated texts will somehow reshape the lex orandi lex credendi principle. Some have argued that the new translation will significantly alter the answers to the questions posed above.

    Take, as an example, the following.

    Here is a section from the current translation of Eucharistic Prayer III:

    And so, Father,
    we bring you these gifts.
    We ask you to make them holy
    by the power of your Spirit,
    that they may become the body and blood
    of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
    at whose command we celebrate this eucharist.

    This is my first stab at answering the questions I pose above:

    Who is this God that these people sing and pray about?
    Their God is their father.
    Their God makes things holy.
    Their God has a Son, Jesus Christ.

    Who is this person, Jesus Christ, who seems at the center of all of this?
    He commanded that these people do what they are now doing.
    Somehow, what they are doing with the gifts has something to do with this person's body and blood.

    Who do these people understand themselves to be as they worship?
    They are active; they "bring" the gifts.
    They are active; they "ask" for things from this father of theirs.

    And here is the same section in new translation:

    Therefore, O Lord, we humbly implore you:
    by the same Spirit graciously make holy
    these gifts we have brought to you for consecration,
    that they may become the Body and Blood
    of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
    at whose command we celebrate these mysteries.

    First stab at the same questions applied to this text:

    Who is this God that these people sing and pray about?
    Their God is a lord.
    This Lord makes gifts holy.
    This Lord has a Son who is another Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Who is this person, Jesus Christ, who seems at the center of all of this?
    This Jesus Christ commanded that these "mysteries" be celebrated.
    Who do these people understand themselves to be as they worship?

    Somehow, what these people are doing has something to do with the body and blood of this Jesus Christ; there must be something distinct about this body and blood, because the two words are capitalized, but I would only know that if I saw the text; no difference in the hearing.

    Who do these people understand themselves to be as they worship?
    They are subjugated to this Lord of theirs, implied by the words "humbly implore" and the descriptor "Lord" to describe their God.
    They are active; they have brought the gifts.

    Please don't see this simple exercise as any more than a simple attempt on my part to get to the heart of the theology celebrated here. We have been saying all along that "The Mass is staying the same; it is the translation that is changing." But is it really as simple as that? Within the lex orandi lex credendi way of looking at things, when the lex orandi shifts because of new rules of translation, then there will be a shift in the lex credendi; one can't escape this. And of course, there are those who will say that our current translation is not a full expression of the lex credendi of the Church because the translation is somehow faulty, with its applied translation principle of "dynamic equivalence." Since the new translation is closer to the original Latin, the argument goes, then the new translation is closer to the actual lex credendi of the Church as expressed in the Latin language, the source of all translations.

    We could spend days talking about this. Does the new translation, with its translation principle of "formal equivalence" actually better and more accurately express the law of belief, the lex credendi? Some would say, "Absolutely, simply because it adheres to the original Latin more closely." Others might say, "Sure it does, but the problem is that the average person in the pews will have difficulty actually comprehending what is looking more and more like a quite awkward translation to proclaim and to understand. What's the use of a new translation if it prevents people from getting to the lex credendi in the first place?"

    You know, folks, when I started the "New Translation Tuesday" and the "New Translation Thursday" posts several months ago, I wondered how much time it would take for me to keep this going; would I run out of steam, out of things to say. Well, it looks like that is far from happening. 

    Thanks for following this blog and thanks for reading my words today.

    Let's keep one another close in prayer as the paschal mystery unfolds in the next few days.

    Gotta sing. Gotta pray.