Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Translation Tuesday: Is Anyone Listening?

Could it be "New Translation Tuesday" already?

Happy Saint Valentine's Day to you all; or as we used to say as kids, "Valentimes Day."

At Mass on Sunday, I noticed that our congregation is still having problems with "And with your spirit," especially after the priest extends the sign of peace to us. "And also...with your spirit" seems to be what is coming out. How is this particular moment going where you are?

Also, I am still struggling with the preface for Ordinary Time I. I am riveted to the pastor's chanting of this and now know the text pretty well, but it still is making little sense to me. Maybe I should ask him to swtich things around a little. As he chanted, I wondered how many people were actually paying attention closely anyway. I am beginning to wonder if people just tune out when they can't understand what is being said or sung, or perhaps they were never really listening before the advent of the new translation. Lots of work to do, I guess, in the area of liturgical catechesis.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Jeffrey Herbert said...

Has the Priest pointed out to people that the response is "And with your Spirit"?

We pretty much solved that problem with a few words from the celebrant's chair several weeks ago. Each time he reminded them, the number of "And also" dwindled until finally it was gone.

Robert Pedesco said...

Sadly, there will always be those who tune out, rather that pay close attention. In this whole matter of the new translation, two things are absolutely necessary for a priest-celebrant to do, wheather we are talking about the preface, the orations, Eucharistic Prayer, any and all of it. And he needs to do these two things both for himself and the congregation. One is to use all commas and periods. Second is to add more pauses when necessary(and there certainly are many instances). While I am not suggesting that the priest put pencil mark commas in the Roman Missal, all of them need to decide where they will add the extra pauses that are so needed, in so many places in the text. This should certainly be done, in advanced preparation, like a homily, not five minutes before Mass, in the sacristy.

Kevin Keil said...

Jerry, you never told us if the striking of the breast is “Once or Thrice” during the confiteor. Inquiring minds want to know!

Jeff Rexhausen said...


What will your parish be doing during Lent? We have decided to use the second reconciliation EP for the first five Sundays and the first one for Palm Sunday.

I think it will be interesting to see what sort of comments come from the parishioners.

Geoff said...

It's hard for me to know what happened at this point in Mass on Sunday since I stood up and walked out when they started reading the cardinal's letter. As we fight over what words to use at Mass and the bishops continue to be completely out of touch with the people in the pews, perhaps we have lost sight of the real point of the gospel: to announce the good news that the kingdom of God has come and is right here within us! It seems we are losing the joy that this knowledge should bring.

Paul said...

We are having the same problem. Even with a custom worship aid each week, people still are responding "and also...with your spirit." Some get it right and some don't. People are definitely tuning out of the Eucharistic Prayers. A cantor leaned over to me this past weekend and said, "these prayers are just too long and wordy."

Christian Cosas said...

Yeah, the "And with your Spirit" right before the Sign of Peace is still the hardest one to get—not only at my parish, but just about everywhere I've visited.

Other rough spots: "It is right and just and thanks and praise," "...for our good and the good of all His Church" (with a smattering of people coming in late with "holy Church" and sounding wrong doing it).

Just about every single Preface I've heard, regardless of who's speaking/chanting it, I've gotten lost. My sense is that most people tune it out, which is sad.

The last couple weekends, I've made a point of just stepping back and listening to the people's responses, sung or spoken. Their responses seem to have gotten more tepid with time. My heart sinks when I scan the congregation and see several long-time parishioners just stand silently during the Creed. The novelty has worn off now, and it seems like some older people (40+) have just given up.

On the upside, our schoolchildren seem to have learned the changes very well, and those few parishioners who attend daily mass have it down pat.

jdonliturgy said...

At my parish, the native English-speaking priests are doing fairly well, but the slow, methodical proclamation of long passages lacks energy. I find my mind wanders as they seems to move so slowly, and I lose track of the sentence logic - so I find myself tuning out almost unconsciously. Our Mexican-born priest is struggling a bit with the English Masses, but that is expected. Mass seems to last about 5 minutes longer these days no matter which presider we have.

I find the disjointed ablative absolute structure, like that in the first part of the Prayer after Communion last week, very distracting, because the prayer does not begin with an address to God, but does that a couple lines in. It does not feel like a prayer.
Sadly, I really think the whole thing is too formal and forced... and that it has sapped the energy out of the Mass and is so difficult to comprehend that it merits being tuned out - and I have aa masters degree in English. Can't imagine what the less-educated folks are thinking.

Simon Ho said...

I've been to quite a few parishes for Mass, and from what I can hear, everyone has got the "And with your spirit" part all down correctly. There are still many who need the texts to pray the Gloria or the Credo.

An elderly Priest at the Cathedral has a God-given skill for reading the new orations and prefaces really, really well. I find myself actually very lifted up in the prayers as I hear the words that he prays and the interesting thing is the ideas in the orations stay with me for the rest of the day/week. I find myself coming back to the preface or the orations at Mass in the Divine Office and in devotional prayer, something that I have never experienced with the old texts.

He is a very holy and prayerful Priest - maybe that's one of the secrets.

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

It's once.

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

I am not sure which Eucharistic Prayer the pastor will be doing, but I will find out.

Anonymous said...

Our parish seems to be pretty well settled in on "And with your spirit". I haven't heard a slip into the older text in weeks.

Interestingly, at a K of C dinner Sunday evening, the Bishop gave a closing blessing. When he intoned, "The Lord be with you", the large group, over 600, responded enthusiastically, "And with your spirit". Gotta love the Knights!

At daily Mass every once in awhile I'll hear one or two respond in the Preface dialog, "it is right to give him thanks and praise".

As to the breast strike, our Bishop, and our parish priests, all do it three times, as do most of the parishioners.

One last note: Last Sunday, our transitional deacon referred to both the Collect and the Responsorial Psalm in his homily, the first time I can ever remember such a thing; clearly a fruit of the new translation and the greater richness of the prayers we now hear.

Paul said...

FJH3: The Psalm is from the Lectionary not the Roman Missal. I don't see your point.

Paul said...

Goeff: I share your pain. Our priests have done nothing but preach on the Bishop's Letter regarding HHS for three weeks now, completely disregarding the WORD. I find this all very interesting. Our Bishops are adult bullies. They forced this new transalation on us (no questions, input allowed)but when THEY are told what to do (by the Government) expect us all to jump to the cause. They don't like being told what to do. With the RM and now the HHS dispute, there is very little to look forward to when going to mass. WHERE IS THE GOOD NEWS?

Simon Ho said...


it's not that the Bishops are being told what to do that they're against, it's being told to do something they find morally objectionable.

It's unfortunate that you distorted the matter in your post; I can only hope it was not a considered conclusion.