Friday, June 24, 2011

The Frustrating World of Implementing a New Translation

Friday greetings to all.

I concluded yesterday's post (about beginning to sing the parts of the Mass in September) with a question:
And, frankly, when you realize that the official date of implementation is exactly five months from this coming Sunday, is a few months really such a big deal?

Well, apparently for some it is a big deal, particularly those who have carefully laid out a plan for implementation over the next several months. The bishops' announcement last week came as quite a surprise to all of us, and I am sure it was quite disconcerting to those who have a plan carefully laid out.  As much as I can sympathize with you, here's my response, "Welcome to the unpredictable world that is this whole Roman Missal process!"

When I was in New York on Wednesday, a parish music director came up to me and said, "We sing and pray from WLP's Seasonal Missalette with the Spanish insert in our parish of 2300 families. Now that the bishops are allowing us to sing the new texts in September, I am assuming that the new musical settings will be in the books that we receive in August?" Most people don't understand the publishing process. I told her that these books are either already printed or are in the process of being printed. She looked at my with eyes searching for a solution to her problem. To be frank, I stood there wondering why the bishops decided to take this long to make this kind of decision. For goodness sake, other English-speaking conferences around the world had decided on just such a plan. But they let people know about this decision more than a year before the actual missal's implementation date. Don't get me wrong; I actually think this is a good idea. It's just that we could have been so much better prepared as a Catholic publisher had we known further in advance that this decision was on the horizon. As I said before, we will do everything we can, most especially for our worship resource subscribers, to provide everything they need to begin singing the texts in September. It just gets frustrating sometimes.

And it is on a note of frustration, mixed with growing anticipation that I finish out this week.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that Sunday's feast draws you into a deeper love for the Eucharist.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Anonymous said...

I think that it is actually best that your seasonal missalettes that are coming out in August will still have the music settings for the current translation for a couple of reasons:

1. Just because the mass settings for the new translation are allowed to be used does not mean that they are required to be used. This provides the parishes that use these books a final few months to enjoy the current mass settings.

2. My understanding is that it is up to the individual bishop for whether to approve the use of new mass settings in September. As far as I know, the seasonal missalettes are used all over the country (I have enjoyed traveling and visiting chapels that are very different from each other and of different local cultures where I would find the seasonal missalettes with your note in the front of the missalette). If the new settings were included in these missalettes, it would be problematic for the parishes in dioceses where the new translation is not permitted to be used until November 27.

My thought is that this summer and fall are the periods to enjoy the great mass settings that have been composed of the old translation. Parishes can enjoy the introduction of new mass settings in late November.

One way that parishes could introduce the new mass settings, is to introduce the chant first, and to use the chant during advent. Then, a joyful new setting could be introduced on Christmas.

Fr John Farley 81506 said...


Perhaps WLP could make (at least some of) the ICEL chants available in a downloadable PDF for those of us who want to produce worship aids?

Fr John Farley.

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Hello Father Farley,
Unfortunately because neither the text nor the music holds a WLP copyright, we are not able to do this; but we will inquire.