Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The New Roman Missal - Part 2

Father Pat Beidelman (Director of Liturgy, Archdiocese of Indianapolis) and I continue our discussion on the upcoming revised Mass texts. In this podcast, I ask a fundamental question that I believe many of the faithful have on their mind: “Why are the words changing?” From a historical perspective, our conversation deals with concerns first raised by Pope Paul VI regarding the quality of the translations that appeared in the early 1970's: while there was a general consensus that the translations were good, they could be even better with additional time and work.  The translation we will begin using in November is the product of that time and work and expresses a more 'lofty' language befitting the liturgy, capable of use among all English-speakers throughout the world.

Podcast has been approved for iTunes.

1 comment:

  1. Your excellency,

    While I understand your point that the sentences appear a little wooden on the page, the prayers are meant for the ear not the eye, and when they are read out loud, they work well. The language is certainly more "high," more sacral, further removed from "marketplace language" as Fr. Pat put it—perhaps even appearing a little wooden. But it's the punctuation that starches the sentences, and reading them aloud washes out the starch. Take the new translation of today's collect: "O God, hope and light of the sincere, we humbly entreat you to dispose our hearts to offer you worthy prayer and ever to extol you by dutiful proclamation of your praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever." Whatever else it is, that isn't bland! Nor, I'll admit that despite its virtues, it looks forbidding on the page. But read it aloud! The necessity of breathing tends to liquidate the sentence structure, adding appropriate pauses. I have found very little in the new translation that is bad or doesn't work, and an awful lot that is good and that works much better.

    I would also submit that the new translation has a beneficial side effect: it creates the opportunity for a new Cecelian movement to renew and improve the liturgical music in our parishes, for which "bland" is too often too generous a word. Because we have to obtain new music for the new texts, there is not only an opportunity to get better music for the ordinary of the Mass, but also an opportunity for a broader review of what music is inflicted on parishioners in terms of hymnody and the like.


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