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.


Fr. Edgar Borchardt said...


I am at a national priest's meeting this week. In talking to some of my brother priests, I am surprized at how many are unaware of the scope of the changes in the new Sacramentary. Some one said they had heard that it was just the matter of a few changes in vocabulary and in the responses.
There is possibly more work to be done than we realize!

Anonymous said...

In addition to our excessive focus on this issue, I think it is also more likely than not that we "project" our obsession on those folks in the pews. I will maintain my previous statements that a great many of them (I would say a majority) will not even really notice the changes...if they do notice they will be intrigued but not bothered by them. There will be a few that will be ruffled...but I would say very few...perhaps 100 -200 or so out of a parish of 7-8K. The rest will just read the new words out of the missalette in the same way that they read the words out of the current missalettes.

This issue is only a battle for those who were on the field engaged in other battles already...