Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: You've Got Thirty Seconds

Welcome to another installment of "New Translation Tuesday."

Adam Wood, the blogger, musician, and composer, recently reviewed the newly composed settings of the Mass as published by OCP and GIA. This past weekend, Adam completed and posted his review of the new settings offered here at WLP. Please take a look and be sure to read the comments section; some interesting back story there offered by our own Alan Hommerding.

On Sunday, one of the older couples with whom I go to Mass at Saint James, asked me about the new translation about thirty seconds before Mass was to start. They were concerned and wondered "just what is going on." I had thirty seconds.

I told them that the English translation of the Latin Mass texts, the text the entire Catholic world prays, each in the translated language, was in need of improvement to bring it closer to the original. I said that Pope John Paul II felt strongly that this needed to be done, so that the texts that all Catholics prayed would be closer to the Latin, closer to expressing what we all believe. I said that this would mean changes for us and for Father. I assured them that they were really going to love the new music.

Then the opening hymn was announced and I sat down. I think these are the kinds of very brief opportunities many of us are facing and will face in the coming months. Given thirty seconds, what would you say?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Liam said...

I would say that, in terms of changes that will affect what the faithful in the pews will say or sing, the wordings are fairly close to what the faithful did when English was first permitted at Mass from 1965 to 1970.

Then I might add that, the changes for what the priests say or sing are more extensive.

Start with what affects the PIPs the most. Don't start in the forest.

David Bonofiglio said...


I agree that it helps to mention the similarity of the translations to the first one many of our PIPs used. However, I've run up against the argument that "oh, so we're going backwards." It takes a little forethought to frame that similarity in a way that still moves us forward.

I'm also quick to remind people that in the modern world, language changes rapidly so our translation will always be changing. What we were using isn't "wrong" and the new translation isn't necessarily "better", it just reflects different linguistic priorities.

Denise Anderson said...

Good job Jerry~ Especially connecting it to a world of Catholics at prayer and unity... And not dismissing the tree asking the question in front of you, despite the forest of facts from which to choose to talk about~

Blessings, D.

Anonymous said...

Great question...last week, I was in the doctor's office with one of my older brothers and mother anxiously waiting for test results that my mom recently had done. The doctor would walk in any second and I brought up the topic of the new translation. They had already heard snippets about the changes. I used the rational with regard to being closely translated from the original Latin, but that the changes for the congregation are more scriptural based. I pulled out to use in my talking points a great resource that some of you may have discovered. It is titled The New Missal: Explaining the Changes from the National Centre for Liturgy in Ireland. Cheap book and was quickly shipped from overseas. www.veritas.ie It was difficult though to explain, because even they, both church go'ers seemed to look at me and though not said, it showed, why are we changing this when the new language sounds "awkward". I struggle with this new translation being "welcoming" to all, educated or not, special needs, dual language learners and so forth. And how can we forget our other non-Catholic friends who live in Christ?