It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Mass Translation - Why?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: This day has been a long time coming. The new English translation of the Roman Missal has been approved by the Vatican and will OFFICIALLY begin in every English-speaking Catholic parish on November 27, 2011. THANK GOD!

All across the United States, Catholics are wondering why? Why do we need yet another new mass? What was wrong with the old mass? Why do they keep changing things? I'll be happy to answer those questions.

First and foremost, the mass is NOT changing. The mass will remain the same. The missal we will be using will be the same one promulgated in 1969. So the mass isn't changing. What's changing is our ENGLISH TRANSLATION of the mass. Remember, Rome promulgated the new 1969 missal originally in Latin. That new missal was subsequently translated into English, and this is the mass we are all familiar with today. However, during the pontificate of John Paul II, the Holy Father noticed something as he made his travels to English-speaking nations. He noticed that the English translation of the new missal was different depending on what English-speaking nation he was in. In the UK they translated the new missal one way. In Canada they translated it another, and still yet in the United States a different translation, and so on. Furthermore, some of these translations were considerably bad - very poor expressions of the original Latin text. So Pope John Paul II gave the order to create a universal English translation of the Roman Missal, which would properly translate the Latin text, and do so in a way that was beautiful and dignified. This has been a monumental work in progress for nearly twenty years!

Politics entered into the scene as well, because many English-speaking bishops did not want to change the translations they were currently using. This was especially the case in the United States which became somewhat of a "squeaky wheel" that needed a considerable amount of extra oil to keep the process going. Eventually, in 2001, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) officially requested a dispensation from the Vatican to be excused from the project entirely and continue using their own American English translation indefinitely.  Of course that was particularly problematic since the United States English translation was probably one of the worst ones out there.  In many ways, it was more of a paraphrase of the original Latin text, rather than a translation of it.  The reason cited by the USCCB for requesting to be excused from the project was because it might be "too hard" for US Catholics to adjust.   Years later the Vatican responded - officially - with a forceful "NO"!  In fact, the response stated that the American English translation was "defective" and the US bishops no longer had permission to use it.  Some bishops apparently didn't get the message and tried to vote down various portions of the new translation, but in the end their efforts failed, and the new translation was eventually passed by the USCCB and approved by the Vatican.  There are of course some bishops and priests who are still uptight about it, but regardless of their inhibitions, the new translation will take effect on November 27th 2011.  If these bishops and priests haven't dealt with their issues by then, they are free to say the mass in Latin, because the old English translation will no longer be permitted.

The new English translation has been hailed by English scholars around the world as a literary masterpiece unparalleled in modern history.  It is 100% true to the original Latin text, and yet beautifully rendered in both a practical and poetic way.  A quick comparison with the old English translation will reveal just how poorly translated the previous version was.  Here in the United States, we have two generations of Catholics who have never really and truly celebrated the liturgy of the mass as Rome intended back in 1969.  Instead what we've been celebrating is a watered-down paraphrased version of the liturgy.  It's caused a few problems.  The first and most noticeable problem is boredom at mass.  The English used for the old translation was written at a fourth grade level.  It is neither challenging nor inspiring.  The second problem it's created is innovations.  To combat the boredom at mass, some parishes have initiated creative liturgical innovations that some would describe as "liturgical abuse."   The third problem it's caused is backlash.  Some Catholics, who can no longer stand the poor translation, and the liturgical innovations that often accompany it, have given up on the New Roman Missal entirely, rejecting the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, and returning to the Old Roman Missal, the Missal of St. Pius V, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass.

Now the current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, is sympathetic toward those who prefer the Old Roman Missal.  He has made full provision for them in the form of Summorum Pontificum, the papal decree that has given them total liberty to continue to celebrate according to the Old Roman Missal throughout the entire Church with virtually no limitations on them whatsoever.  Simultaneously, the current Holy Father has actively worked toward finishing the new English translation started under the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.  That work is now done, approved and ready to be implemented.

As Catholics, the best thing we can do is embrace the new English translation of the Roman Missal with a spirit of humility and gratefulness.  It is a gift of unity to the English-speaking world.  Furthermore, as Catholics we should use the implementation of this new translation as an opportunity to implement in our personal worship some of the other things the Holy Father has recommended to us.  For starters, we should begin kneeling for communion and receiving in the mouth.  Did you know the Holy Father has recommended this to all Catholics, and commanded that local priests always make accommodation for you to do this?  Nobody can be denied communion for kneeling and receiving on the tongue.  The way to do it is simple.  When you go down the line to receive, and when it's your turn, simply kneel and open you mouth.  The priest will do the rest.  Catholic women should also take this opportunity to return to the time-honored sacramental of veiling to receive the graces associated with that.  Lastly, parish liturgy coordinators and parish boards should take this opportunity to restore some time-honored traditional Catholic customs, such as using incense and bells in mass, as well as finding ways to bring back some of the beauty and majesty that was once American Catholicism.

To learn more about the new English translation - click here.


johnntb said...

Will there be girl altar BOYS with this new liturgy. Will there be hand holding and random conversing before, during and after Mass. If so the TLM will be fine thank you.

Young Canadian RC Male said...

Sir Knight

Thank you for this posting (and the suggestions for traditional practices of the Laity at Mass). As a young person I am quite excited for this change. So much that after reading this article in Canada's Catholic Register:

I immediately prepared a small little counter letter and sent it in to the letters for the editor. You won't find it online (LTTE are only in the paper) but here was the final (edited) Text that got printed in the May 23 edition under my true name:

"More Impact

Re: Not everyone’s happy with new translation (May 9)

As a male Catholic in his twenties who has recently come to participate more in his faith, I find dissent against the new Roman Missal troubling. I’m aware that changes to the liturgy in Vatican II caused division in the Church. Some critics argue the solemnity of the mass was stripped with Vatican II
It is also understood that people normally detests change. But Hopefully before Advent 2011, there will be concrete and structured plans to introduce the Missial’s changes in parishes. Parishioners should not fear these specific changes, but wholly embrace them.
If one views the sample changes on the USCCB website, the changes for the laity occue in the words at mass. They will not affect the overall order, nor will Catholics be required to learn new beliefs or concepts for our faith. (For example, the Confiteor will have us say “… through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault…” while the Gloria will be longer but have the congregation worship Christ more adding “…. We praise You, we bless You, we adore You …“ If anything, these new translations will give the modern Mass more impact. They will make the congregation more aware of their sins, engage us in spiritual self-evaluation, and encourage them to place themselves at the mercy of our Lord."

johnntb, if it affects you gravely, perhaps there is a TLM in your area offered by a Catholic, FSSP, Institute of Christ the King, or other parish in full communion with the Papacy/Church?

The Catholic Knight said...

Indeed. There are many "reforms" that are needed for the "reform of the reform". For now it would seem that most of these will rest in the hands of the parish priests. Thankfully, many of those men who gave us such things as hand holding and alter girls will be retiring soon. It will be not a moment too soon if you ask me. We can hope and pray God will send us more traditional priests with this next crop of seminariarians.

MichelleGK said...

Mr. Knight, thank you for posting this article. I now understand the need for the change. Before I was just getting angry about the new changes coming. Where I live, depending on the parish you go to...people either kneel at Communion or stand, the tabernacle is either on the altar or off to the side hidden somewhere. I was afraid of the changes, but now I welcome them. I had no idea how poorly we were celebrating the Mass. Can I ask you what is your view on girls being altar servers. I don't agree with it, but my daughter is now at that age where she can be an altar server at school. I really do not want her too, but I talked it over with my mom. she seems to think that because it is allowed right now, there would be no harm in letting her. and if I refused she might begin to resent my beliefs. what do you think?

Anonymous said...

Mr Knight, this is a small, first step in restoring liturgical sanity. Much more needs to be done, as the poster above mentioned: Kneeling for communion, no more EMEs, an end to the sappy music by Haas, Shutte and Farrell.
Other things that need bringing back are the 9 fold Kyrie, genuflecting at the Incarnatus, an end to the myriad "options" and plethora of Eucharistic Prayers, finally cultivating a spirit of reverence by outlawing the maukish hand holding, "rite of peace" and certainly applause. Pete Frey

Anonymous said...

Sir Knight, the problem i foresee is as Young Catholic stated, the resistance of the "liturgical establishment" of liberal priests, liberal parishes and those in "charge" of "the liturgy" Some priests have already said they will ignore the "changes" (hmm, weren't they the apostles of change before???) Bishop Trautperson of Erie PA has said the new translation is horrible. Well, I have news for them. Cardinal George has stated emphatically that after Advent 2011, NO OTHER MISSAL MAY BE USED. Now, my question, as usual, will this be enforced? Hmmm we just had an example in TN where a liberal priest who claimed we owe no obedience to the pope was told in no uncertain terms to apologize or get out. He chose to apologize.
Pete Frey

Anonymous said...

I don't know why they just didn't consult the Roman Missal when they instituted the new Mass. The translation from Latin into English was already accurate. As a traditional Catholic and one who loves the Tridintine Mass these changes won't be difficult for me to adjust to.

The Catholic Knight said...

Pete, in June of 2011 the liberal modernist dissenters in the US Catholic Church are planning their first general convention of the "American Catholic Council". This will rally the troops against the new translation of the missal. It will also dispel all doubt of who is with the pope and who is against him. The American Catholic Council is a self appointed "authority" on liberal Catholicism in the United States. There is no doubt that it will stand in opposition to the pope and all bishops who stand in unity with him. I suspect the first order of business for the ACC will be to draft some kind of condemnation statement against the new translation.

Anonymous said...

Unless the rubics are also changed, the only difference in the Mass will be the translation. All the innovations will continue as they are now.

Altar girls, EMHC will continue, the Peace with people running around including the priest will stay the same. These were not part of what VII endorsed, but Rome gave into these innovations and now it will be very difficult to change them.

The Holy Father is moving slowly as he must to restore reverence in the Mass and has many enemies from what I understand, even in the inner circles of the Vatican.

The Holy Spirit has sent us a very courageous and holy Pope and I pray he lives a long life

So many Catholics know nothing more than what they see today in church and must be educated as to what beauty there can be within the liturgy.

As Bishops retire, Pope Benedict is replacing them with orthodox Bishops. It is a shame they can't just tell priests and Bishops who don't follow the true teachings of the Church they have a choice to abide by the teachings or leave.

Shazamaholic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben Vallejo said...

Though much better, it still has

"Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received
the wine we offer you:
fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink."

Which hints at a denial of transubstantiation!

The Tridentine Mass in Latin has none of this and its English translation as the Missale Anglicanum does not have a language that can be misconstrued as a denial of the sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't believe things will change very much in American Catholic churches. The newly appointed bishop in the Diocese of Scranton IS NOT orthodox in anyway and I'm certain that he will reluctantly introduce the Missal but everything else will remain--the bare church, the priest facing the people the altar gone, the "table" in the middle, plenty of altar girls, lay ministers of the Eucharist, communion in the hand, hand holding, bad music, etc. No thanks. I'll stay at SSPX.

The Catholic Knight said...

In spite of the new English translation, which is a large step in the right direction, the Traditional Latin Mass and the emerging Anglican Catholic ordinariates will remain safe havens of refuge for years to come - perhaps even a decade or two. Sadly, this is entirely the fault of liberal Roman bishops allowing Roman parishes to remain under liberal control. Weak leadership is what brought about the fall of the American church and that fall will not be corrected until the weak leadership is replaced. I forsee that day coming sooner rather than later, not because the pope is suddenly going to fire all the liberal bishops, but because many of these liberal bishops will soon rebel against him.

Anonymous said...

Funny nearly ALL the changes are BACK to the same the wording in the Missal I received for my First Communion back in 1967. (St. Joseph Edition, Catholic Book Publishing NYC),
and the same as my mother's Maryknoll Missal, also published in 1966.

Severn Maryland

The Catholic Knight said...

Sandra, that's because the changes to the mass in 1969 were not nearly as dramatic as we were led to believe by our local priests and lay activists.

Rome had one idea of reform, and the United States clergy had another.

Rome's idea of reform was modest. A simple reworking of the mass to allow for more Scripture reading and a few variations of the Eucharistic rite. Rome intended for the primary language of the new mass to be Latin, and vernacular translations to be used sparingly. Rome intended the look and "feel" of the mass to remain virtually identical to what it was before the reform.

The United States Catholic clergy (and lay activists) had different ideas. As soon as the new Roman Missal was promulgated in 1969, they immediately went to work on an English translation for the United States. That translation is roughly the translation we are using today. It was watered down and paraphrased - losing a lot of it's original meaning. It was also written for a fourth grade level. Once the English translation was complete, it was used exclusively, and virtually overnight Latin became a thing of the past. Then came the guitars, drums and tambourines, along with the new hippy hymnals. The chapels were then renovated. High alters were either roped off or else completely destroyed. The table alters were situated ad populum (facing the people). Alter rails were ripped out. Pew arrangements were made in the round. AND THEN CAME THE INNOVATIONS!!! Alter girls, liturgical dancers, lifeteen mass, female lecterns, estraordinary eucharistic ministers, etc. etc. etc. In short, the U.S. Catholic Church was completely PROTESTANTIZED!!!

Other English speaking countries have similar stories. What we have here in the United States is a classic example of what happens when you give Liberals and inch. They take a mile! In 1969 Rome gave Liberal Catholics in the United States an inch with the New Roman Missal. As a result they took a mile, and another mile, and another mile, and so on. They're still taking miles today. Rome tries to make one single correction by fixing the English translation, and look at the uproar from these people! Simply astonishing!

Tabitha said...

Actually I do look forward to this change because from what I heard the American catholic church wanted to do things their own way but the Vatican said No! I was informed of this a couple months ago when I met the organist at my parish to practice cantoring. I have experienced recieving communion by mouth when I attended a pre-vatican 2 church in Ohio this year and I have started the traditional practice of veiling my head during mass.

Shazamaholic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hopefully once the Anglican Ordinariates are established, they will grow quickly. That will enable Catholics who want a reverent Mass and no innovations, but who are not comfortable with the TLM to have a parish to attend.

Since the liberal Bishops have made it near if not impossible for the Anglican Use to grow in the US, this will no longer be true.

From what I have seen at some of the AU parishes, there are many Latin Rite Catholics who belong to them.

I have noticed that the Pope seems to be selecting orthodox Bishops to replace the retiring liberal ones. Hopefully this will help, but there are still many liberal priests who will disobey the Bishops. The Church needs to clamp down on all Bishops and priests who are not in line with the teachings and traditions of the Church

Anonymous said...

I don't see how the language of the Mass can bring about "boredom at Mass". In order to get something out of the "Celebration" you have to bring something of yourself in order to give. We don't come to get, we come to give just like the Maggi came bearing gifts. So I can't accept the fact of blaming the language of the translation for boredom. As far as the "creativity" is concerned, that's only because we've got some "maverick" priests & liturgist out there that want to turn a beautiful Mass into a "Broadway" production or "dog & pony show" to exalt themselves (oh, look how creative I can be).

Anonymous said...

Mr Knight, no doubt you have heard the various objections voiced against the new translation: "a step backward" "too obtuse" etc, being led by the infamous Bishop Trautperson of PA. Ummmm (cant help but laugh), but now a Msgr Anthony Sherman has been giving nation wide workshops to priests, many of whom initially said that it would be a hard task. BUT, wonder of wonders, after going through Msgr's program, they all but unanimously came away saying "this is definitely do-able" etc. And (I hope you are sitting down for this, Sir Knight) but a NUN also said "the new translation is LONG OVERDUE" Pete Frey

Rob said...

One of those rituals invented by 'the people' and not the Church is the hand-holding during the Lord's Prayer. I hope with the new Roman Missal, this will go away. It is not a proper thing to do and it makes many of us feel uncomfortable when we choose not to do so. The other thing I hope changes is the silly musical introductions to every single, Amen. I don't see how this adds reverence to our worship. I find it distracting and out of sync with the liturgy.