On November 27, 2011 (the 1st Sunday of Advent), the words that we use in Mass changed. That day, the English speaking Church celebrated the Eucharistic Liturgy using a new translation of the Roman Missal (also called the 3rd Edition). Accompanying the changes were new prayers and responses which needed clarification and explanation. Here are some brief explanations of these alterations in order to improve our experience of going to Mass, and provide some background so as to gain a broader awareness of the alterations so that we embrace them.
Catechesis presented in the November 20 Sunday Bulletin
Personal Preparation for the Translation Differences
Sometimes I feel quite comfortable with life as it is. Other times I feel the need to re-energize and get out of the rut, so to speak. For the past several months, we have been discussing the New Translation to the Roman Missal. I began to think about how long I have been praying the “old way” at Mass, and to question whether my prayers had become “automatic”, maybe even “rote”. I decided the best way for me to prepare for the New Translation was to embrace an attitude of “opportunity”. The prayers are provided for us; we are invited to embrace them as ~
An opportunity to take a fresh look at our liturgical practice and to renew our celebration of the Sacred Liturgy
An opportunity to deepen our sharing in Christ’s sacrifice and offer our lives to the Father as we worship
An opportunity to make a conscious effort to participate more fully in the Mass and with greater attention and devotion
An opportunity to pray for a renewal of love for the Liturgy – in our Parish and in the Church
An opportunity to seek, with an open heart and mind, the deeper meaning these new words convey
An opportunity to realize that as we come together to worship, we give witness that we are, indeed, the Body of Christ, united in body, mind, and voice
An opportunity to be grateful for a liturgical language that reflects the dignity of the Mysteries we celebrate.
While embracing these opportunities, we enjoy not only a New Translation, but also a renewal of spirit. Our spirit. In Christ.
Catechesis presented in the November 13 Sunday Bulletin
“Getting Used to the New Translation – Liturgical Aids for the Pews”
Some of us use “cheat sheets” to help us remember important items in our lives. The “cheat sheets” of which I speak are helps for daily activities, not to obtain illicit test answers from others like I did in 3rd grade. Since August the worshiping community at St. Stanislaus has been looking at the revisions to the Roman Missal and considering how best to instruct the congregation in its understanding of them.
One of the new items you will soon find in the missalettes is a CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSES FOR MASS cheat sheet like the one you and I might have used in 3rd grade. The sheets indicate where the changes in wording are taking place. Changes are required to be implemented by the 1st Sunday of Advent, November 27th. (Only two weeks to go!) All together there are about 11 areas of the Mass where the current response is different. These are listed in bold print on the cards that we purchased. The changes are also indicated in the OCP MUSIC ISSUE. If for some reason you do not follow along using the Mass issue, the cards have only the changes easily available.
Music changes have been introduced each Sunday before the 10 am Mass since late summer. The cantors and choir will assist the congregation in learning them. The Mass we have chosen to use is called THE MASS OF CHRIST THE SAVIOR by Fr. Dan Shutte, SSJ. Its haunting melody should be easy to pick up.
Some Catholics may be unhappy with the changes in wording and will say they liked the Mass better before the changes. For some, the new phrasings may feel awkward at first. But as the responses become more familiar they will become second nature. In change there is opportunity. We must think carefully about what we are saying, and perhaps find that the prayers we almost automatically pray take on a new meaning. By keeping a positive attitude to the Mass revisions, and striving to understand their significance they can be an opportunity for renewing our communal worship and draw us closer as a parish and as individuals to Jesus Christ.
Some practical ideas about learning these texts:
pray the new versions as part of your daily prayer during the week. Why wait until Sunday? The Gloria is a fitting prayer of praise to our omnipotent God;
keep a written guide to the changes handy in the car to get used to the flow of the revised liturgy;
read and study;
check out the USCCB website on the revisions
Styles change, but the essence, the meaning remain the same. We are worshiping the same God
Catechesis presented in the November 6 Sunday Bulletin
The changes in the translation of the institution narrative and the words of consecration seek to recover the full original meaning of the words used since the earliest centuries to celebrate the Mass. The updated translations are more theologically precise and allude more clearly to the biblical texts and events in which they are rooted.
Perhaps the change in translation that people have found most confusing comes at the consecration of the chalice. The previous translation says, “This is the cup of my blood, …It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven”. The new translation says, “This is the chalice of my Blood… which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins”. This was a change that Pope Benedict asked for himself. Why this change from “for all” to “for many”? Some were concerned that this change in wording would give the impression that the Church did not believe that Jesus died for all human beings. Don’t we believe that Jesus died “for all” – for everybody’s sins? Of course. So, why the change? The original Latin text says, “pro multis”, which means, “for many”, but the change goes deeper than just providing a more faithful translation to the original Latin. If we look at the Gospels in which the institution of the Eucharist is narrated, what does Jesus say? In the institution account f the Last Supper found in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says that his blood will be shed “on behalf of many” (26:27-28) and in Mark’s Gospel, he says, “This is the blood of my covenant, which will be shed for many”” (14:24). The change to “for many” is a more faithful translation of what Jesus actually said. In the context of the Gospel, it seems that Jesus chose these words to identify himself with the Suffering Servant of the Prophet Isaiah who suffers to “take away the sins of many” and will justify “the many” by his suffering and death (Is 53:11, 12). In Isaiah “many” means an indefinitely large multitude consisting of both Israel and many other nations (52: 13, 15).
Jesus died for everyone. This is a truth of our faith. The expression “for many” is a reminder to us that while Jesus died for all of us on the Cross, our salvation is not automatic. It doesn’t happen in some mechanistic way without our will or participation. Forgiveness is offered to all. All are invited to the banquet. But it is up to us to receive this gift in faith and to accept the invitation to participate in this saving mystery.
Catechesis Presented in the October 30 Sunday Bulletin
The Sanctus and the Eucharistic Prayer
At the Mass, we sing with the angels. We join them in the worship of almighty God. The Eucharistic Prayer expresses this reality most clearly as the Preface concludes and the whole congregation sings the Sanctus. The Preface is a song of jubilation, a poem of thanksgiving to the glory of the Father which gives us a specific reason for why it is truly right and just to give God thanks on this particular occasion. The last line of the Preface asks that our voices may be joined to those of the angelic choirs. “We join the angels and the saints as they sing their unending hymn of praise…” “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest…” This hymn of adoration joins texts from both the Old and the New Testaments into one beautiful acclamation. The first part comes from the prophet Isaiah. He had a vision of heaven – God sitting on a high and lofty throne being worshipped by the Seraphim (Is 6:1). These angels, with their faces veiled, cried out to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!” (Is 6:3). Unlike the angels, in our song of praise, we address God directly. The second part of the Sanctus, taken from the Gospel of Matthew, echoes the cry of the pilgrims waving palm branches as Jesus enters Jerusalem. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mt 21:9). This “triumphal entry”, recalled every Palm Sunday, is the prelude to the Passion of our Lord that culminates with Christ’s self-offering on the Cross. The Sanctus leads us to the heart of the Eucharistic Prayer which, through the power of the Holy Spirit and by means of the words and actions of Christ, makes Christ’s saving sacrifice on the Cross present to us today.
The new translation only makes one change to the Sanctus. “Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might” is changed to “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts”. In Latin, the word for hosts appears as Sabaoth. Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Sabaoth is actually a Hebrew word that refers to God’s command over an army of angels. “Hosts” means the angelic hosts, the invisible powers that work at God’s command. The “hosts” referred to in the Sanctus is not to be confused with the Communion “host”, the proper term for the communion wafer after the consecration. In this context, “host” means “victim”. After the consecration, when Christ in his Body and Blood, is present on the altar, we pray to the Father in Eucharistic Prayer III, “Look… upon the oblation of your Church and, recognizing the sacrificial Victim (Hóstiam) by whose death you willed to reconcile us to yourself, grant that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ”.
Shortly after we sing the “Holy, Holy, Holy”, we implore the power of the Holy Spirit to change the gifts of bread and wine into Christ’s Body and Blood. The miracle of transubstantiation is something only God can do because he has all the forces of nature under his control – he is “the Lord God of hosts.” The Sanctus affirms the divinity of Christ – that the same God adored by the angels in heaven became man and offered Himself on the Cross as our “Saving Victim”. Jesus Christ is to be adored now present among us in the Holy Eucharist. The Sanctus cries out to be sung since it expresses the universal desire of all creation in Heaven and earth to praise the Lord. Even if you don’t have a good voice, don’t be afraid to sing the “Holy, Holy, Holy, because all the choirs of angels are there to help you.
Catechesis Presented in the October 23, Sunday Bulletin
Retranslation of the Nicene Creed
Last week, we learned the retranslation of the Confiteor and the Gloria, which are some of the most extensive changes to the Mass. This week, we would like to introduce the retranslation of the Nicene Creed, also known as the Profession of Faith. The Creed will have the same form and flow as before, but certain words have changed in English:
“I believe.” There’s our first change, right at the beginning of the Creed. Saying “I believe” instead of “We believe” declares that what we are about to say is our personal belief, and is more consistent with the way all other languages translate the Latin word Credo. “I believe” applies through the whole prayer, and in the two places where we used to repeat “we believe” (“in One Lord, Jesus Christ”, and “in the Holy Spirit”), we will now just say “And”.
“Of all things visible and invisible.” This replaces “seen and unseen”, and makes the statement more precise. After all, some things and people may be unseen at the moment, but are still visible. The new language specifically refers to those things and people (saints, angels) that are invisible to us at all times but we still believe in.
“Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.” Replaces “only Son” and “eternally begotten of the Father”. This wording is more precise and more closely matches how Jesus is described in the first verses of John’s Gospel.
“Consubstantial.” Replaces “one in being”, and strongly states that Jesus is of the same divine substance as His Father.
“And by the Holy Spirit was made incarnate of the Virgin Mary.” Replaces “born of”, to eliminate any doubt that Jesus existed before He was born of Mary. “Incarnate” means “took on flesh”, and the eternally existent Second Person of the Trinity did this in the womb.
“He suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” “Suffered death” more directly states what happened to Jesus, and “accordance” more closely translates the Latin word in the original Creed.
“Who.” In 2 places we will say “who with the Father and the Son is” and “who has spoken through the prophets”.
“Adored and glorified.” Replaces “worshiped and glorified”. There are several other places in the Missal where “adored” will replace “worshiped”.
“I confess”. Replaces “we acknowledge”, and more forcefully states that we are professing a belief.
“And I look forward to the resurrection of the dead”. Replaces “we look for”, and expresses our belief in this event with much more confidence.
As you can see, the retranslation of the Creed does not change it’s meaning, but rather gives it greater emphasis. We are hopeful the new translation will become second nature to you quickly, so the entire parish can pray this strong statement of belief in unison and confidence very soon. Next week, we will discuss some slight but significant changes to the Sanctus, also knows as the Holy, Holy, Holy.
Catechesis Presented in the October 16, Sunday Bulletin
Retranslation of Confiteor & Gloria
Last week, we heard about how our response to the Celebrant’s greeting is changing. This week, we would like to introduce the slight but significant addition to the Confiteor, and the extensive retranslation of the Gloria.
Confiteor – “I have greatly sinned…through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault”. Adding the word “greatly” and accepting responsibility for the fault of sin 3 times while striking our chest really points out that we recognize we are not worthy to be here in God’s presence. Acting, thinking, and speaking in ways contrary to Jesus’ commands and His Father’s will separates us from God, and the added language in the retranslation clearly points out how serious we know our faults to be and how sorry we are for them. The remainder of the prayer, starting with “therefore I ask the blessed Mary”, is the same in the new translation, and when we are using the form “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy”, our responses remain the same.
Gloria 1st Change – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.” The retranslation now describes the character of the people who receive God’s peace, and only people of good will are moved accept it. These words also better connect with the angelic proclamation of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:14.
Gloria 2nd Change – “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God almighty Father.” We effusively glorify our God with every word of praise imaginable, showing how overwhelmed we are when meeting Him in prayer.
Gloria 3rd Change – “Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer, you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us”. In this next clause, we are stating the same beliefs in Jesus’ Lordship and His power to remove sins (now changed to plural instead of singular, to show that all our individual sins are removed). The order of the words and their repetition is adjusted here to match the original Latin.
The rest of the Gloria, starting with “For you alone are the Holy One,” remains the same in the new translation.
You can tell that the music used when we sing the Gloria will significantly change to match the new translation. The revised translation gives us words that aid in our reflection on Jesus’ forgiving power.
Catechesis Presented in the October 9, Sunday Bulletin
“And With Your Spirit.” The Big Difference in a Little Phrase…
“The Lord be with you” “And with your Spirit”
“Peace be with you” “And with your Spirit”
These are very ancient liturgical greetings used by Christians. When the Roman Liturgy was translated from Latin into modern European languages in the1960’s, Italian, French, Spanish, German and Slavonic languages all retained the literal translation; only the English translation abandoned this ancient form of Christian greeting.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is known as “Sacred Liturgy”, “Sacred Mystery”. This exchange of greetings between priest and people during the Sacred Liturgy establishes us as the praying Church united in the love of Christ.
So, to which Spirit are we referring ~the Holy Spirit or the human spirit?
Responding to the priest by saying, “and with your Spirit”, acknowledges that the priest exercises the Sacred Ministry by virtue of a Divine Spiritual Gift, given to him at his ordination.
As Saint John Chrysostom states: “the right offering of the gift is not a work of human nature, but the Mystic Sacrifice is brought about by the Grace of the Holy Spirit”.
We are referring to the special grace gift of the Spirit by which men are made priests, praying that grace will continue to enable them to perform all their duties in holiness.
By the laying on of the hands at his ordination, the priest receives the power of the Holy Spirit, so that he may be able to perform the Divine Mysteries. In essence, the people’s response to the priest can be interpreted as, “to you, also, be peace with the Spirit of the priesthood which you have received”
… “And With Your Spirit.” The big difference in a little phrase…
Catechesis Presented in the Sunday, October 2, 2011 Sunday Bulletin
The new translations affect the Order of Mass, including both the presider’s and people’s parts. The Lectionary readings, including responsorial psalms, are not affected at this time.
One of the more noticeable changes in the people’s parts of the Mass is the response to the greeting, “The Lord be with you.” The Latin response, et cum spiritu tuo, is rendered literally in English, “and with your spirit.” Liturgiam Authentican (the document from the Roman Congregation of Divine Worship which authoritatively put forth the principles of translating Mass terms), calls for the faithful rendering of expressions that belong to the heritage of the ancient Church, and cites et cum spiritu tuo as an example. Most modern languages have translated this phrase literally so the English text now more closely parallels other vernacular translations.
The changes to the people’s part will be most noticeable in the Gloria, the Creed, Preface Dialogue, Sanctus and Mystery of Faith. It was decided at a Liturgy Committee meeting to learn a newly composed Mass instead of changing the words of one of the Masses we have been singing. Once we get used to the words of the new translation we can recycle some of the previous Masses by changing the words of the more familiar tunes. The Mass that will be taught is entitled, “Mass of Christ the Savior,” by Dan Schutte. When asked, the composer said he “wanted the music to be accessible to the Body of Christ gathered for worship, the beauty of the music to lift their hearts, and the melodies to quickly and easily become like an old friend. Ultimately, I wanted the wedding of text and music to help people through the process of getting used to this new translation.” The composer has succeeded in this.
Catechesis Presented in the Sunday, September 25, 2011 Sunday Bulletin
How St. Stanislaus is Preparing for the Revisions to the Roman Missal
Everyone who regularly attends St. Stanislaus Church for Sunday worship knows by now that in late 2011, newly translated prayers will be used in the English-speaking dioceses throughout the world. Over the last seven weeks you have patiently listened after communion to the rationale behind the changes, what they are and what they are not. The source of these prayers – called the Roman Missal, 3rd edition – is marked by a shift in language, method of translation, greater accuracy to the original Latin texts, and its style of English. It is NOT a “new Mass,” nor a “turning back the clock to the Latin days.” What’s next in this series of Catecheses and how is our parish poised to implement the Missal’s revisions? After today, we will have one more session on how these changes will affect the music we sing at Mass; thereafter, instead of talking about the changes, we will begin looking at them directly. These are the points in the Mass where the congregation will experience responses that are different:
The opening greeting;
The Confiteor (I confess . . .version A of the Penitential Act);
Penitential Act, version B;
The Gospel Dialogue;
Invitation to prayer at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist;
Holy, Holy, Holy;
Sign of Peace;
Invitation to Communion; and
Most of the revisions will need to be practiced privately by the priests of the parish. Practically all the prayers and Prefaces have been re-translated according to the principles of Liturgiam authenticam (the document from the Congregation of Divine Worship that directed the revisions).
The following action steps have been implemented or will be before November 27th:
The 2012 edition of Breaking Bread (the pew missalette) has all of the changes in it. These have been received by the parish. New liturgical books for use at the altar have been ordered.
We have purchased a supply of durable, easy-to-read Congregational Response Cards for Mass. This worship aid is for the people’s parts of the Mass. These will be placed in the pews and in the missalettes and used at St. Stanislaus School and PREP to educate the young people of our community about the changes.
A new musical Mass setting has been selected for the parish to learn by Advent called the Mass of Christ Our Savior. Soon it will be used in Mass, but for now the choir at the 10 am Mass has been practicing it before Mass begins so that the melodies become familiar.
In depth catechesis on the changes was presented in separate GIFT program sessions in the spring of this year.
The introduction of the revised Mass texts is an opportunity for us to evaluate our celebration of Mass. Some small changes will be implemented to ensure our celebrations are aligned with the documents on liturgy of the Church.
Catechesis Presented in the Sunday, September 18, 2011 Sunday Bulletin
Benefits of the New Translation to the Roman Missal
Human beings both like and dislike change at the same time. We are comfortable with what is familiar, but if nothing changes, we become bored or frustrated. The same holds true in our everyday lives and our spiritual lives as well.
Being open in our minds and hearts can help to draw us ever closer to God.
The style of the language used in prayer differs from street language; the new translation brings a noble, heightened style of prayer. It is an effort to cultivate a “sacred vernacular”- an elevated style of speech that illustrates the significance of the occasion, and helps us enter into a context of Divine Worship. It lifts us up and honors God.
The new words offer an opportunity for us to be more attentive to the deep meaning of the prayers, as well as a fresh appreciation of the Roman Rite.
The Sacred Liturgy is meant to transform us and allow us to enter more fully into the Church’s prayer.
We are presented with the opportunity for a renewed understanding of the Mass as well as greater participation in the Mass.
The new translation follows the style of the original Latin texts more closely, using concrete images, repetitions, comparisons and rhythm. The new text presents a richer biblical image for us to picture.
As we spend more time with the prayers, meditating on them and figuring out more deeply what they mean, while imagining some context in our own lives, we can make this prayer more authentic for us.
For most people, the unfamiliar is uncomfortable at first. The more familiar it is, the more challenging it may be to accept and embrace the new. This is normal.
After praying the same words to the Mass for so many years, we will now have the opportunity to again be more conscious of the words we pray. The more we read the prayers, and study them and pray them, the more familiar and comfortable they will become and the more we will appreciate the theological depth they convey.
Finally, we can take our concerns to God in prayer. Pray for a deeper understanding of the meaning of these texts and for an open heart to grow in communion with the Church.
Catechesis Presented in the Sunday, September 11, 2011 Sunday Bulletin
The Revised Roman Missal is not a return to the Mass in Latin
We are not returning to the days when the Mass was said in Latin. The parts of the Mass – the Introductory Rites, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Concluding Rights – will remain the same. The new translation pertains to the words sung or spoken at every Mass plus the prayers recited by the priests. The Mass will continue to be said in English. These changes are neither part of nor the beginning of any movement to return to the Latin Mass which was said prior to Vatican II. These changes are for the reasons you have already heard or will hear about in the coming weeks and are the result of the desire for us to have a more accurate translation from Latin into English. This will allow us to have a translation which is faithful to the Latin of the initial Roman Missal. We will now be able to express ourselves more clearly before God. The initial translation of the Roman Missal into English fell far short of the Latin original. The changes are faithful to the Latin texts and make the content of the Mass consistent with Scripture and enable the people to realize the origin of the language of the Mass. That is it. Only the language used in the Mass has been changed.
Catechesis Presented in the September 4, 2011 Sunday Bulletin:
Principles and Goals of the Changes to the Revised Roman Missal
Changes to the Roman Missal are nothing new. Since the original was written in Latin, the Church, through the years, has tried to use more accurate translations of the Latin of the original Roman Missal into all of the major languages of the faithful. In fact, eight prior Popes have allowed changes to be made to the Roman Missal.
The first complete English translation of the Roman Missal dates back to 1973 as part of the implementation of the decisions made during Vatican II. That translation was done very quickly, using easy-to-understand words familiar to the English-speaking peoples. The focus was on the Church community rather than the divine presence of God. Simplicity was stressed. However, after a few years of use, it was realized that the 1973 English translation was lacking and should have been and could have been more accurate. The present changes, which become effective on the First Sunday in Advent, are really the second attempt by the Church to address the concerns raised by 1973 translation. The present changes, which will take effect on November 27, 2011 are the result of the most recent effort, which began in 2002.
The principle followed in this translation is that of “formal equivalence,” which calls for a more literal translation from the Latin into the other languages of the people who use the Roman Missal. This principle urges stronger adherence to the Latin wording and structure of the original Roman Missal. It will achieve a translation which better brings out what the Latin says. Unlike earlier translations, this present translation into English is more formal, because it is directly from the original Latin, not from another language or an earlier translation. The countries using languages different from Latin have gone, or are going, through the same process as the English-speaking countries now are.
The goals which were established to implement the principle of “formal equivalence” include:
A more faithful translation from the Latin in the original Roman Missal into English giving the Church and her people a better translation to use at Mass.
A new translation which clearly links the prayers in the Revised Roman Missal to Scripture, allowing the faithful to realize and understand the relationship between them.
A revised Roman Missal whose content will be the same regardless of the language in which it is written. This will result in a greater harmony than now exists among all translations of the Roman Missal.
An effort which balances the word-for-word literal meaning of the Latin with the demands for good proclamation, style and intelligibility.
Latin, having been the original language in which the Roman Missal was written, is the language which joins all translations of the Roman Missal together. It is the core text. Its broader vocabulary is now expressed more clearly in English.
Catechesis presented in the August 28, 2011 Sunday Bulletin:
Significance of the Changes to the Revised Roman Missal
The revisions to the Roman Missal have been written in a more formal style, conveying a deeper meaning. These revisions will replace the current edition of the Roman Missal (known as the Sacramentary), which was written in a more conversational style. The language of a number of parts of the Mass will be changed. These changes will be addressed specifically for you as part of this series. However, there will not be any changes to: the Scripture which you hear proclaimed during the Liturgy of the Word; or to the Prayer of the Faithful; or to the Lord’s Prayer.
The significance of these revisions includes:
- Our biblical roots will be highlighted and emphasized, because through the language changes in the revised Roman Missal, it will be better connected to the Lectionary, which the Church presently uses, from which the readings and Psalms are proclaimed.
- The language changes are fulfilling the Church’s desire to restore a greater mystery, majesty and reverence than presently exists in the celebration of the Mass.
- It will also help us remember the majesty and immensity of God, as well as more clearly expressing why we pray, why we hope and how we present ourselves to God.
- The prayers of the Mass will be richer in content. Their Scriptural basis will be more evident. The prayers will remind us of the sacredness of the Mass and that not only are we in community with God, but also we are in His awesome presence and majesty during the Mass. The prayers express more humility on our behalf than they do now. We will also be better able to use the prayers as the basis for our own individual meditation, as well as reflect on occurrences in our lives.
- The responses during the Mass are now directed to the Spirit of God, not the priest (although it is acknowledged that there is “spirit and grace” in a priest).
- The language changes emphasize that each of us is making our own personal affirmation to God. While we celebrate the Mass as a community, each of us will act individually when we pray. Accordingly, “we” has been changed to “I” to allow each of us to make our personal affirmation to God, the Father, in the Creed and in the various responses and prayers.
- Much material has accumulated since the last revision to the Roman Missal. This material has been included in the revision and includes prayers and prefaces for the feasts for our new saints, which have been added to the to the Church’s Liturgical Calendar since the last revision to the Roman Missal to bring it up-to-date.
Catechesis presented in the August 21, 2011 Sunday Bulletin:
Who is Overseeing the New Translation?
Anyone who has ever translated something from one language to another knows that it is not an easy task. The challenge is even greater when it comes to the translation of liturgical texts including the prayers that we use in the celebration of the Mass. In 2001 the Vatican issued new and more precise directives on how to implement the Second Vatican Council’s directives for the vernacular translation of the Roman Liturgy. The instruction presented the task, in part, in these words: “So that the content of the original texts may be evident and comprehensible even to the faithful who lack any special intellectual formation, the translations should be characterized by a kind of language which is easily understandable, yet which at the same time preserves these texts’ dignity, beauty, and doctrinal precision” (Liturgiam Authenticam, no. 25).
Just looking at the size of the book that the priest reads from at the Mass gives another indication that the work of this translation project is no small undertaking. The entire process was guided by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). ICEL is made up of members from the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences from Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia. With the help of teams of experts including linguists, Biblical scholars, and theologians, ICEL prepared English translations of the Latin liturgical books in accordance with the directives of the Holy See. The ICEL bishops presented these preliminary drafts to the conferences of bishops they represent from around the world. After getting feedback and suggestions from the conferences and from the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, ICEL prepared a final draft that went back to the conferences for a vote to submit the texts to Rome for approval. In approving the final drafts, each conference also had the opportunity to make further suggestions and amendments to the texts.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments was assisted and advised in making its final review by an international committee of bishops and scholars from the English-speaking world known as the Vox Clara Committee. Cardinal Rigali is a member of this Committee. The Congregation incorporated many of the suggestions of the various conferences, along with their own adjustments, into the final draft approved for publication. More than fifteen years of study and work have gone into the translation process. The new translations are more beautiful, more memorable, and more precise in the way they express the theological truths that we believe as Catholics. The new translations will help us to understand better what we are praying and, therefore, help us to enter more fully, with our heart and mind, into the mysteries we celebrate. When we hear more clearly the “voice of the Church” which is the voice of Christ, our hearts resonate because we were created to join in the Son’s eternal praise of his heavenly Father.
Catechesis presented in the August 14, 2011 Sunday Bulletin:
St. Stanislaus Looks Ahead: What’s New?
More than likely, all of us are aware that changes are on the horizon for the Mass: we may have heard some of the reasons why the Mass texts have been translated anew. What might not be as obvious are answers to questions like: who has overseen the new translation? What principles were followed? And, is this new translation a reversal of the Vatican Council II reforms?
Beginning today we introduce some of the most significant adjustments to The Roman Mass in the new translation, especially those that will affect what the congregation says. For the rest of this talk, we will use the word “change” for convenience, but remember these are not really changes, just new English translations of words that were always there in Latin:
Greeting – “The Lord be with you.” Our response: “And with your spirit.” There is our first change, right at the beginning of Mass, and this new response is used throughout the Mass whenever the Celebrant wishes you the Lord’s presence.
Confiteor – “I have greatly sinned…through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault”. This change really points out our unworthiness to be in God’s presence, which only gives Him more glory since He welcomes us anyway! However, when we are using the form “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy”, our responses remain the same.
Gloria – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory.” Lots of new wording at the beginning of the Gloria. We recognize that only people of good will willingly accept the peace of Christ, and we effusively praise the God who gives us that peace with every word of praise imaginable. You can tell that all the musical settings for the Gloria will change significantly to fit these new words.
Nicene Creed – “I believe…visible and invisible…consubstantial…incarnate of the Virgin Mary…suffered death and was buried…in accordance with the Scriptures…And…”. The Creed has the same form and flow, but certain key words change. Notice it starts with “I believe”, replacing “we believe” and making it more personal. Each following paragraph simply starts with “And” instead of saying “we believe” again.
Eucharistic Prayer – “It is right and just”. A shorter and more direct response.
Holy, Holy, Holy – “God of hosts”. Replacing “God of power and might”, it more directly refers to God’’s army of angels.
Communion Rite – “I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”. Refers more directly to what the centurion said to Jesus in Luke 7:6, and also shows that Jesus is both physically and spiritually coming into us (“my soul” instead of just “I”).
In the coming weeks we will be presenting these changes and others in more detail and explaining more of the reasons/theology behind them. We hope you find the revised language more poetic and spiritual. Next week we will discuss the benefits of the new translation to us as Christians.