Welcome to this week's edition of "New Translation Tuesday."
I have been fascinated with the responses to WLP's short survey about the new translation, which you can find here.
Here is one response, referring to the implementation of the new translation:
"If we have to do it, we might as well do it as well as we can."
This quite made me think about a possible parallel: "Well, I really have never liked great-uncle Mortimer but, after all, he is turning 100 in September and he has no one else who will plan a celebration for him. So, I guess I will, and since I have to do it, I might as well do it as well as I can."
Are you approaching the upcoming new translation with this kind of a begrudging attitude? There seem to be a fair number of people with this kind of approach.
I have to admit that this has been a large part of the way I have been approaching this for years. Very recently, though, something has occurred that has moved me away from the attitude.
Please, please don't see this as a commercial, but I have been bursting at the seams for the past week or so about a new resource that we will be publishing here at WLP. It will be called Pastoral Companion to the Roman Missal, written by our good friend Father Paul Turner. Paul takes the reader through each Sunday and Solemnity, giving background as to the history of each of the official texts (Entrance Song, Collect, Prayer over the Offerings, Communion Song, and Postcommunion Prayer). I am editing the manuscript and, to be honest, I found the book to be completely fascinating. I know you will think that I am an over-the-top liturgical "geek" when I say this, but there were moments while I was reading this book that I was moved to tears. An example: at one point, Paul is commenting on a particular text and he painstakingly takes the reader through the historical road upon which this particular text has traveled throughout liturgical and Church history. It's as if the text is a living thing, moving through a process of evolution; buried here, uncovered here, retranslated there, brought back to life here. Then he says something like, "And now, for the first time in Church history, this text will be proclaimed in English." This is the kind of "wow" that tickles a liturgist and historian. As you may know, Paul Turner served as secretary for the various meetings of the ICEL bishops as the process of translation moved along. That reality, coupled with the fact that he is both pastor and scholar, makes this manuscript helpful in so many ways. Folks, it got me excited about texts that I have not even seen!
The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding—the actual praying of these texts. But this scholarly and pastoral work has pulled me out of my begrudging attitude toward one that is more than fascinated by what is to come; moved to hoping even?
I am looking forward to sharing actual tidbits of this book with you. We cannot yet do that, because we have not received the actual text of the Roman Missal. It will be a pleasure to share some of Paul's fine work with you—then, of course, I will be doing a commercial :-). Seriously, though, this is one of those things that makes publishing so rewarding: providing helpful resources for the singing, praying, and initiating Church.
Hope your week is going along well.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.