Every Tuesday is "New Translation Tuesday" here on Gotta Sing Gotta Pray. Welcome to this installment.
Here in the Diocese of Davenport, the clergy convocation began yesterday. I facilitated the afternoon sessions. There is a great spirit among the priests and deacons gathered here. Bishop Amos, their shepherd, is a warm and friendly man with a great laugh and an approachable style. I thought the afternoon went well. The highlight for me was the time the participants spent examining samples of the newly translated texts. The room was divinded into small groups and each group focused on the collect, prayer over the offerings, and pray after communion for a given Sunday. Other groups focused on some samples of the prefaces.
Each participant first spent time alone, quietly reading through the texts and jotting down notes. Then the small group discussions began. There was robust engagament in the discussions. Then I asked for feedback from each of the groups. I found the responses to be straightforward and honest. Many of the comments focused on the challenges that will be faced in praying this new style of English. Some participants worried aloud about how the average parishioner would or would not be able to grasp the meaning of some of the texts, especially those whose sentence structure seemed so awkward. Several times during the discussion, I asked one of the priests in the small group to pray one of the prayers out loud for all to hear. What became apparent, and what the priests began to name, was a difference in analysis and proclamation. After having examined the prayer, after having voiced concerns or praises about the text, actual proclamation of the prayer often eased those concerns.
At the conclusion of the discussion, I asked the participants to name any insights they gleaned. There was mutual agreement that priests and bishops would need to spend much more time preparing to proclaim these texts. Several said that it was important to pray the prayer aloud as part of this preparation. One priest commented about a rediscovery that what we are celebrating in the liturgy is mystery.
It was a good day; an honest day; hopefully a helpful day for these men.
Today, Fr. Paul Colloton is the presenter. The focus is on the ars celebrandi, music, and chant. The afternoon sessions will be hands on sessions. We will focus on chanting the orations, the dialogues, the prefaces, the eucharistic prayers. I am looking forward to the day.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.