Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Translation Thursday: One Year Later

Hello and welcome to this installment of "New Tranlsation Thursday."

One year ago yesterday, my blog entry was entitled "New Translation Tuesday: What Will It Be Like One Year from Today?" Here is a portion of that entry:

Last week at the Southwest Liturgical Conference in Salt Lake City, while giving a presentation on Mystagogical Catechesis and the Roman Missal implementation, I asked those in attendance to think about what we might be experiencing one year from now. I offered a few hyopthetical scenarios and I have expanded those here.

So, a year from now, we will be about nine weeks into the implementation of the new translation. Might we be saying things such as:

1. Things have gone so smoothly in my parish; I can't believe that we spent so much time and energy worrying about this; the people seem just fine. Sure, there are still those times when people catch themselves saying "And also with you," and they stumble here and there, especially when reciting the creed, but, all in all, this has been a piece of cake.
2. There are several people in our parish who are very upset by the changes. There are at least three people who have decided to leave the parish.
3. Despite all our efforts at catechesis over the past several months, there are a few angry parishioners who are refusing to say the new texts. When everyone else says "And with your spirit," they are very loudly saying "And also with you." The pastor and the parish staff are at their wit's end. We have tried to talk with these people, but they are quite obstinate. Not sure what to do next.
4. The musical settings we have chosen for the peoples' parts of the Mass have been received with much enthusiasm. On day one, we began to chant all of the dialogues at Mass; the liturgy just seems so much more prayerful; there is a new sense of simplicity and holiness.
5. While the transition has been fairly smooth for those in the pews, our pastor is really struggling with the new texts. I know that he has spent a lot of time preparing the orations and the eucharistic prayer, but it just seems that he is very frustrated as he tries to convey these texts in a meaningful way. My heart is breaking for him, especially considering the fact that he is pastoring three pastoral sites.
6. The new translation has really shaken people up. And this has ended up being a good thing for our parish. We have begun an adult education course on the liturgy and have more people attending than anything else we have ever offered in our parish. People are beginning to get an appreciation for what it is that we do at Sunday Mass; and an appreciation for what God is doing!
7. In hindsight, it has become apparent to us that this transition needed much more of our attention as a pastoral staff. We did little to prepare ourselves and our folks. Because of this, our people are confused and angry. If we had to do it all over again, we know now that we should have spent much more time preparing the parish for these changes.

Folks, I am not a seer in any sense of the term. No one can predict the future. I am sure that these few hypothetical comments must have you thinking. Why not add your own hypothetical scenario and share it with the other followers of Gotta Sing Gotta Pray? I am setting a calendar reminder for one year from today. At that time, let's revisit our hyopthetical scenarios and see if any of us were on target.

So, folks here we are a year and a day later. As I look at these scenarios, three resound the most: numbers 1, 4, and a little bit of 5.

Why not share which ones reflect your experience and why.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Jeffrey Herbert said...

Hi Jerry;

Yes, I think you have about summed it up here. At my parish, and those with which I have close contact as a diocesan personnel, the transition has been smooth. The settings are working well, and if the worst that happens is "And also with your Spirit", then I think we're in the clear.

My (and many other's) initial impression that the objections were more political than liturgical seem to have turned out to be at least mostly correct. I hope that we can now get around to the hard work of improving the music in parishes across the board...a task that needs attention quite badly!

Frank Klose said...

Dr. Jerry - I agree with the comments that do not think it is a big deal. In both a parish and a college campus ministry, we did little to no preparation.

A simple, "yes, some responses will be changing" did just. The response was mostly, "yeah, okay, sure - whatever."

The sung responses? After a week or two, the people were just fine.