Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: Corn!!!

Welcome to this installment of "New Tranlsation Tuesday."

I know that over the past several weeks, there are many newcomers to Gotta Sing Gotta Pray. I want to say a special welcome to all of you, especially the newbies. (Pardon the following; it's my French-Canadian roots leaking out!):

On most mornings, after my "spin" class at the gym, I head to a little coffee shop called "Sip." They have a whiteboard there, which always has two names on it; if your name happens to match one of the two, you get a free cup of coffee that day. Well, today, here's what the board said:

It just so happens that two of my siblings are named "Janet" and "Jimmy." Too bad they were in Massachusetts this morning, and not in Chicago!

I wanted to comment on one of yesterday's comments on this blog:

Yes, the liturgical context will make a difference, for better and possibly for worse. I heard this prayed in a dry run Mass last year and even in that situation, it felt different. The presider prayed it well -- and that will be critical. But precisely because of the unfamiliar structures, we may find our ears more attuned to it vs. what has become familiar. I am not a fan of how this all unfolded with the Roman curia, but I'm confident that the Spirit is somewhere at work in the prayer and in the hearts of those who will pray it in earnest.

I found this comment to be a very honest reflection and assessment, especially the part about us being more attuned to the new prayers simply because they sound different.

It reminds me of what one of the deacons said about all of this at the formation day in Iowa a few days ago. I started my presentation that day telling them that for a guy from the city, all this corn was just amazing to me; I had never been anywhere where, for as far as the eye could see was corn, corn, and more corn. I told them I thought it was amazing.

When our conversations turned to how the new translation might possibly shake people out of their ritual stupor, out of a sense of "rote" at Mass, this deacon said, "Look at what happened today. All of us see corn all the time, but Jerry came in here and said, 'Look at all this amazing corn!' This is so great.' Maybe the new words of the Mass will be like seeing corn for someone who never sees it as regularly as we do. Perhaps something that is so different for people who have been coming to Mass week after week will really wake them up and they will be in awe."

Corn, who knew? I thought this was a wise statement.

What do you think?

Feel free to comment.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Anonymous said...

In my weekly prayer group at church, the topic of the new missal has been coming up a lot. I find the new translation to be angelic poetry. I have been playing with great joy on the keyboard the missal texts available on NPM and CMAA. But everyone in my prayer group - including the director of adult faith formation! - is critical and even negative about it. This leaves me perplexed. How I wish others in my parish were as deeply moved by the new translation as I am. Perhaps with our pastor's weekly pre-liturgy talks about it from the ambo and with the upcoming parish educational sessions people will change their minds. I pray for all of us Catholics: that we will hear the Holy Spirit speaking through this new translation.

Geoff said...

Jerry, the other evening I was praying the prayers in compline and a question occurred: the translation of the Confiteor is changing in the Mass...will it also change for the liturgy of the hours?

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Hi Geoff, We will experience a period (which may end up being quite long) during which these kinds of texts will not match from ritual book to ritual book. Think, for instance, of the RCIA texts for the initiation sacraments at the Easter Vigil. I will be talking about this on Thursday.

Chironomo said...


I look forward to your analysis of this. But not only are texts different from book-to-book, but there is also the issue of different from "Priest to Priest" as a result of improvisation, and then the issue of having several different Eucharistic Prayers such that the texts are frequently different from Mass-to-Mass, even if legitimately so. The point is that "uniform texts", while a concept often sought in Catholic liturgy, is not a reality in practice.