Thursday, 22 September 2011

Celebrating Mass with the new translation; the positive and the negative

After the pilgrimage to Rome I was able to stay with a friend for a few days rest and celebrated Mass in the house, using the new texts. Twice I found myself saying something I did not understand. This is partly because, here and there, there are some strange sentences which seem to have no full stop. On the positive side, I really like the new Words of Institution (the Consecration) which seems much more reverent. There are clearly pluses and minuses with this new translation and I don't think everything is going to be answered by saying that we will get used to it. The dismissals are particularly disappointing, and some of the prefaces look unsingable (if that is a real word). I look, now and again, in the direction of the Latin, whether Extraordinary or Ordinary Rite. Maybe I'll drift more in that direction as time goes on. If my health holds up, I will have another 12 years of active ministry. if I live into retirement I shall probably try to celebrate the Latin Mass every day. Sorry to be a bit negative. I was enthusuastic about the New Translation before it got here - now, I am not so sure.


  1. Thanks, Father John, for these non-polemical comments. English is widely used here in the Philippines in the liturgy, far too widely in my opinion since very few use English as their mother-tongue, the criterion of Vatican II for the introduction of the vernacular. But while the bishops approved the new translation last January they haven't indicated when it will come into effect, though one archbishop has introduced parts of the ordinary already.

    I can't wait to say goodbye to such banalities as 'from east to west', to which some priests add 'and from north to south'. I sometimes hear priests, not only here but elsewhere, say 'The Lord is with you'. When I hear that I'm tempted to respond with 'The sun is shining' or 'It's raining'.

  2. Thanks Fr. Sean - hilarious comments! I sometimes wonder what was the worst that some of our brethren in different countries got up to - I hope nobody ever said "Hi y'all" or "Gidday mates"
    I'm VERY glad that the new translation discourages priests from saying "The Lord be with you" and then saying, "Good morning everybody" ("Good morning Father" - yuk!)