Friday, July 25, 2008

Liturgy: Important news of the upcoming Missal translation

Here's what the USCCB is reporting today:
Vatican Approves New English Translation For The Order Of Mass

WASHINGTON— The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has received approval (recognitio) from the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the new English-language translation of the Order of Mass (Ordo Missae).

This is the first section of the translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal. It includes most of the texts used in every celebration of the Mass, including the responses that will be said by the people.

In its letter, the Congregation pointed out that while the texts are binding, the approval “does not intend that these texts are to be put into use immediately.”

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation, explained the reasons for providing the text at this time. The purpose is to provide “time for the pastoral preparation of priests, deacons and for appropriate catechesis of the lay faithful. It will likewise facilitate the devising of musical settings for parts of the Mass.”

The text is covered by copyright law and the Statutes of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

The more significant changes of the people’s parts are:

  1. et cum spiritu tuo is rendered as “And with your spirit”
  2. In the Confiteor, the text “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” has been added
  3. The Gloria has been translated differently and the structure is different from the present text
  4. In the Preface dialogue the translation of “Dignum et justum est” is “It is right and just”
  5. The first line of the Sanctus now reads “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts”
  6. The response of the people at the Ecce Agnus Dei is “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
At this time, no date is available as to when the entire translation of the Roman Missal will be released.
Here's what Catholic World News (CWN) is reporting (with some different details):
Vatican approves new English translation for Mass

Vatican, Jul. 25, 2008 (CWNews.com) - The Vatican has given formal approval to a new English translation of the central prayers of the Mass for use in the United States.

In a June 23 letter of Bishop Arthur Serratelli, the chairman of the US bishops' liturgy committee, the Congregation for Divine Worship announces its recognitio for the translation, which had already won the approval of the US bishops' conference, despite strong protests from some liberal prelates.

The new translation adheres more closely to the Latin of the Roman Missal. Since the 2001 publication of Liturgiam Authenticam, the instruction on the proper translation of liturgical texts, the Vatican has pressed for more faithful translations of the official Latin texts.

Alluding gently to the fierce debates over English-language liturgical translations in the past decade, the Congregation for Divine Worship reports "no little satisfaction in arriving at this juncture." The letter from the Vatican is signed by Cardinal Francis Arinze (bio - news) and Archbishop Albert Malcom Ranjith, the prefect and secretary, respectively, of the Congregation.

The Vatican's binding approval covers only a portion of the entire Roman Missal. The entire process of translating the Roman Missal is expected to take at least until 2010. However, the prayers given the Vatican recognitio are the most common texts for the Order of the Mass.

The Vatican approval comes just after the US bishops' conference voted against approval of another installment in the series of translations that will be required to complete the overall project.

The new translation is not to be used immediately, the Vatican letter indicates. Instead the US bishops are directed to begin "pastoral preparation" for the changes in the language of the Mass. During this same period, the Congregation for Divine Worship notes, some musical settings for the text could be prepared.

Among the noteworthy changes that Catholics will notice when the new translation goes into effect are:

  • At the Consecration, the priest will refer to Christ's blood which is "poured out for you and for many"-- an accurate translation of pro multis-- rather than "for all" in the current translation.
  • In the Nicene Creed the opening word, Credo, will be correctly translated as "I believe" rather than "we believe."
  • When the priest says, "The Lord be with you," the faithful respond, "And with your spirit," rather than simply, "And also with you."
  • In the Eucharistic prayer, references to the Church will use the pronouns "she" and "her" rather than "it."
  • In the Agnus Dei, the text cites the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world," rather than using the singular word "sin."
  • In the preferred form of the penitential rite, the faithful will acknowledge that they have sinned "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."

Throughout the translation of the Offertory and Eucharistic Prayer, the traditional phrases of supplication are restored, and the Church is identified as "holy"-- in each case, matching the Latin original of the Roman Missal.

And finally, here is what Catholic News Service (CNS) reports:
Vatican approves new English translations for constant parts of Mass

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Vatican has given its approval to a new English-language translation of the main constant parts of the Mass, but Catholics in the pew are unlikely to see any of the approved changes at Masses for awhile to allow for catechesis on the reasons for the revisions.

The approved text, sent to the Vatican for "recognitio," or confirmation, after a June 2006 vote by the U.S. bishops in Los Angeles, involves translation of the penitential rite, Gloria, creed, eucharistic prayers, eucharistic acclamations, Our Father and other prayers and responses used daily.

But it is only the first of 12 units into which the third edition of the Roman Missal has been divided for translation purposes. It includes most of the texts used in every celebration of Mass including responses to the celebrant by people participating in a liturgy.

"In terms of the people's part, it's not gong to require too much adjustment," Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, told Catholic News Service July 25. "It's a refinement of the language, a clearer theological language.

"Not much of the people's part is changed, and I think once or twice after they use it, they will hardly notice the change," he said.

While the changes have been approved, Bishop Serratelli said it will be awhile before they become part of regular worship at Mass.

"I'm hoping for two years," he said. "I'm an optimist."

The lead time is needed to allow musicians to work with the text and to prepare music for various liturgical settings and seasons and to allow for the necessary catechesis explaining the reasons for the revisions to parishioners, the bishop explained.

The most significant changes approved by Rome include:

-- Whenever the priest says, "The Lord be with you," the people will respond, "And with your spirit." The current response is "And also with you."

-- In the first form of the penitential rite, the people will confess that "I have greatly sinned ... through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault." In the current version, that part is much shorter: "I have sinned through my own fault."

-- The Gloria has been translated differently and the structure of the prayer will have changes from the current text.

-- The opening of the Nicene Creed changes from "We believe ... " to "I believe ... "; other changes in the prayer also have been made.

-- Before the preface, when the priest says, "Let us give thanks to the Lord our God," instead of saying, "It is right to give him thanks and praise," the people will respond, "It is right and just."

-- The Sanctus will start "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts." The current versions says "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might."

-- The new response at the "Ecce Agnus Dei" ("Behold the Lamb of God") is: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

In 2001 the Vatican issued new rules requiring liturgical translations to follow the original Latin more strictly and completely -- a more literal translation approach called formal equivalence. The resulting new translation adheres far more closely to the normative Latin text issued by the Vatican.

Two other sections of the Roman Missal have come before the bishops. In November 2007 they approved a revision of all the Sunday and weekday Lectionary readings for Lent, but at their June meeting in Orlando, Fla., and in subsequent mail balloting they rejected a 700-page translation of the proper prayers for Sundays and feast days during the liturgical year.

The rejected section is to come before the full body of bishops again at their November general assembly in Baltimore, along with two other sections totaling about 500 pages.

When the bishops approved the first section in June 2006, Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., called it "a truly important moment in liturgy in the United States." He then chaired the U.S. bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, now called the Committee on Divine Worship.

Bishop Trautman said at that time that he did not expect the new Order of Mass to be implemented in the United States until the entire new Roman Missal in English had been approved by the bishops and confirmed by the Vatican.

According to the current schedule, the earliest that the Vatican could receive the final sections of the translation project would be November 2010.

The actual timetable will depend on the work of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, made up of representatives of the world's 11 main English-speaking bishops' conferences and decisions of the USCCB Administrative Committee in setting the agenda for the general meetings.

A two-thirds majority of the nation's Latin-rite bishops must approve each unit of the missal translation. After each section is approved, it is sent to the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments for confirmation.

- - -

Contributing to this story was Nancy Frazier O'Brien and Dennis Sadowksi.

2 comments:

Tim A. Troutman said...

That's a positive step. I wonder how long the USCCB thinks it's gonna take for us simpletons to learn these incredibly complex English patterns.

japhy said...

Tim, did you see this post on Fr. Z's blog? It's about the use of the word "ineffable" in an English document written by... wait for it... the USCCB!