View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mass movement

Here we go again.

The bishops are messing with the Mass.

The bishops voted June 15 to approve a new English translation of the Order of the Mass, along with some U.S. adaptations.

According to a cns article, the changes are intended to bring the wording in line with the original Latin Roman Missal, in accordance with a rules issued by the Vatican in 2001.

The U.S. had been using a looser translation permitted in the wake of Vatican II.

So now we have to get used to the new version (or the old version, depending on your point of view) after we had gotten used to the Mass we’d been using for the last 30 years.

Unless, of course, you’re a Tridentine sort, in which case no matter how close it is to the Novus Ordo, it would still be wrong.

A couple of the changes strike me as strange.

The current response to “The Lord be with you" is “And also with you.” Makes sense. Now it will be "And with your spirit."

And with your spirit??

Groovy, man.

During the offertory prayers, instead of the priest praying that “our sacrifice will be acceptable,” he will pray that "the sacrifice which is mine and yours will be acceptable."

The sacrifice which is mine and yours? Isn’t that an awkward way to say “our sacrifice”?

And now the Nicene Creed will begin "I believe" instead of "We believe."

So much for community.

There’s more. But I wonder why we have to mess with it now. Why throw new things at the people in the pews (and the choir) that are not absolutely necessary? Don't the bishops remember what happened when they made wholesale changes too abruptly and without enough preparation after Vatican II?

I suppose it’s better to putter around with stuff like this than to address the sex scandals and the priestly vocations crisis.

And who knows, maybe this translation that is mine and yours will be acceptable.

That’s the spirit.

At least that’s what I believe.


Blogger Julie D. said...

It might help why they're changing it if you read over the address made to the bishops on the subject. It gave several good examples of how the return to some of the older forms tie in a closer relationship to Scripture as well as making it a richer and fuller linguistic experience (but then I'm all about those linguistic experiences! :-D).

11:03 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

I did read their reasons. From a purely intellectual point of view, I agree with them.

And as a poet/writer, I'm all for linguistic experiences in their proper place.

My point, though, is that we are dealing with human beings, not intellectual abstractions.

I think this is a mistake at this time from a human and pastoral perspective.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So much for community?" That is exactly what happened after Vatican II. "And with your spirit" is the literal translation of the original Mass text.
All I can say is about time!

11:30 PM  
Blogger Laura H. said...

I am back and forth with how I feel. The routine-bound side of me says "why!?" but the deeper, spiritual side of me says "finally!"

12:19 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Anon and Laura - I agree, it is the literal traslation, and from a strictly "spiritual" point of view, it's correct.

But it should have been done 30 years ago.

It just seems like every few years, just as we get used to the newest changes, they tweak it again. It keeps peope unsettled.

And after they get these changes in, you know they will adjust it yet again. And again.

Boy, you'd almost think we were Protestants!

I'm coming at this from a teacher's perspective. My experience is that students don't react well if you keep adjusting and changing things without givign them a good reason that makes sense to them.

For us as intellectuals and observers of the Catholic scene, these changes make sense. But for the 99 percent of other Catholics, this will just mean more head scratching and grumbling

7:33 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Then again, given the way many people "pay attention" at Mass, there's a lot of folks who may not even notice or care!

11:35 AM  
Blogger The Ironic Catholic said...

I want to see all the changes...
but I'm with you, Lee. I'm not keen on this. As you can probably discern from my blog, the "not worthy to have you under my roof" line grates me. That line makes sense in a culture that does hospitality as part of life. Americans DON'T. It takes a straightforward, lovely line and makes it a meaningless metaphor for our culture.

On the other hand, I think the Church has much bigger fish to fry, so I think we'll live and move on.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous A Catholic Lay Woman said...

I will leave aside the question of whether these new translations (or old depending on when you grew up in the Church) were really meant to satisfy Latin purists in the Church. Rather, I want to know when the Holy See will allow Bishops to discuss real reforms that are essential in keeping our parishes vibrant, faith filled communities in light of a growing priest shortage.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Catholic Lay Woman - Depends on what reforms you mean. Women's ordination? (Something I'd like to see, but probably won't live to see.) Married male priests? (Possible.) American style democracy? (Probably never.) Intercommunion? Lay preaching? Others?

7:49 AM  
Anonymous A Catholic Lay Woman said...

Hi Lee!

You can view my reasons on my website. Just click on the link from my name in your comment section.

7:34 PM  

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