Thursday, September 1, 2011

Missal Myths

There are two things I'd like to address that people who are whining about the Roman Missal translation coming in Advent love to harp on.

1) "There are too many run-on sentences in the new translation!!!"

Here are a couple of sentences from our CURRENT translation

a) "Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salvation, his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven, and ready to greet him when he comes again, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice." Total:38 words

When I pray this at Mass, I wonder how many people really follow that whole sentence. It is a great sentence, obviously, but I wonder if people follow it.

b) "We, your people and your ministers, recall his passion, his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into glory; and from the many gifts you have given us we offer to you, God of glory and majesty, this holy and perfect sacrifice: the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation."
Total: 52 words

2) "People don't use language like the language of the translation we're getting - for example, who says CONSUBSTANTIAL?"

Response: But all the phrases in our current Mass translation ARE colloquial? How often have you heard "one in being" in a sentence in the last 30 years outside of Mass? If colloquialism were the gold standard, there would have to be a new Missal for high school Masses with lots of LOL's, OMG's, and "likes" (Jesus like took the bread and like looking up to heaven said OMG...) Of course the new Mass isn't colloquial, but neither is the one we use now.

I really am amazed at how much people whine over the new translation. The Eeyores are everywhere with the new translation, and it is getting a little ridiculous. I talked with a priest recently who proudly informed me that he's been meticulously combing through the new Missal with post it notes, deciding which words he will use, and which words he won't. Besides the enormous arrogance of such a move (I know better than the Church) isn't that just time consuming? I couldn't imagine having to make a decision for myself on every word of the Mass, and with all the work that is needed today from priests, I'm baffled that someone has the time to do such editing.

I personally am excited about the transition - not because I didn't like the old words, not because I'm in love with the new words - I'm just glad that it will provide an opportunity to dive back into the words of the Mass and will provide an opportunity to think about what we say and do at Mass.

Attitude determines altitude.