Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Translation Thursday: More on the Survey

Welcome to this edition of "New Translation Thursday." I am back here in a very rainy city of Chicago.

Here are a few more of the comments that have been entered into our survey about the new translation. If you haven't yet taken the survey, click here to access the survey.

Here are two comments from the survey:

1. I am ambivalent. My initial reaction to the revised, formally equivalent texts was anger and depression. It's taken me about two solid years to get over it and get behind it. I can appreciate some improvements, including the restoration of the litanic forms in the Gloria; at the same time, I'm livid about much of the awful and awkward English we will be speaking and singing. My greatest fear is that the new translation will not be implemented evenly from parish to parish. I also fear that, in this very uncertain time for the Church (especially with the rape scandals), many people find that this is the straw that breaks the camel's back and leave the Church.

2. I think there is a growing realization that how the changes to the Liturgy following the Second Vatican Council was done poorly and in the process hurt and alienated a lot of people. In response there is the a systematic and comprehensive approach that will be taken to implementing the new texts. I am excited for the next text because their literary quality is significantly higher that out current translation. It proves that English is a suitable vehicle for our worship and can rise to the level of the Latin. The biblical images where are woven throughout the texts, emerge all the more strongly. I find it difficult to wait for the implementation.

Well, it is amazing how divergent the thoughts and feelings are! I am finding that the responses are just about evenly split between the positive and the negative. About half of those taking the survey identify themselves as a "music director." I will be happy to share more of the responses over the next few weeks.

Please allow me to send along a little personal note. I want to send special birthday wishes to my sister Janet, who celebrates her fiftieth birthday today. Please take a moment today to tell a family member or friend that you love them. Life is good.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Chironomo said...

While the 50/50 division among respondents may be true for those responding to the survey, it's important to keep in mind that this is the reaction among those who are following the issue and who have a particular interest in it.

I'm still going to maintain that the reaction among the Catholic faithful in general will be more likely one of ambivalence or perhaps curiosity, but very unlikely to be the kind of anger and resentment at the hierarchy and theological opposition that have become the norm on blog discussions.

At the beginning of April we (Diocesan Liturgical Commission) held our first training session for the new translation with the Priests of the Northern Deanery. The great majority of Priests were unaware of the coming changes, or else unconcerned. There were questions about when it would be in effect, would the new books be here by then, will the assembly's parts be published in the Missalettes...really basic and general practical considerations.

We read through some of the texts...a comment was made about the "tongue-twister" quality of one of the Eucharistic Prayers, but he then followed up by saying it would just require hinm to pay closer attention to the book. One Priest commented that the Gloria could probably be more easily sung in Latin than English now...((I don't know if that was a positive comment or not!).

What I didn't hear were concerns about people understanding the texts, being confused or storming out of church in a huff because they are being forced to accept a Latinate-based translation of the liturgy. Such concerns are not on the radar of at least most of our Priests here.

Just some observations.