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Fr. Barron comments on the new translation of the Roman Missal
I am very excited about the new translation. I wish the powers that be in my parish were. Our 20 something music minister has been "introducing" us to some of his musical responses designed to be as absolutely close to the old as humanly possible. Nary a word about any of the changes vis responses and Creed.
11/9/2011 5:57:50 PM
I was sitting in morning mass recently, and one of the "regulars" was voicing her concerns and apparent dislike of the change. (she is in her late 70's, perhaps early 80's). She made a comment about how our Pope had nothing better to do than to change the mass again! What a shame. Our church has begun to use the new language. I have found it refreshing. As with all of us, we must take care not to let our prayers become too familiar. The new mass language has brought a new color and freshness. What a difference these beautiful and descriptive prayers have made. I feel almost awakened by it! Thank you Fr. Barron for a wonderful education. I am going to recommend my pastor listen to this and then pray he will relate what you have told us. God Bless you!!
11/9/2011 8:39:25 PM
Well... for those of us old enough to remember, this isn't so much a change as much as reverting to a form that raises the person up to God instead of lowering God to the person, i.e., a time of WORSHIP. All I needed to read in the new form were the words: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grevious fault (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa), to be convinced that this change was guided by the Holy Spirit... I not only have no problem with this change, but very thankful to the Holy Spirit. To me, the Mass also completes the sacrament of Confession, and when we say the words: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grevious fault, we accept TOTAL responsiblity for our actions/sins and publicly state our sorrow for having offended God, i.e., a sincere and most complete communal apology offered up to God prior to receiving Holy Communion. That to me is beautiful, the words and action of which reflect a greater Love directed to Whom is ALL Good and deserving of ALL our Love.
11/10/2011 9:34:09 AM
This is a big step in the right direction. Thank you for the excellent summary. I did have to smile a bit when Father waved off concerns that we're going back to the Traditional Latin Mass. That might be a negative for some Catholics, but it's coming, and thank God. This new translation of the Novus Ordo Missae prepares the way. Give the Church another 10 years to fully repair the damage of the last 40.
11/10/2011 1:14:48 PM
I can vouch for Fr Barron's commentary on this.
In England we have been using the New translation for about two months, now, and it is so much better.
11/10/2011 2:19:36 PM
@ Nancy: You might let your friend know that these changes were started by JPII in the 80's. And what a GREAT present JPII gave to us! The more I hear the new mass the more excited I am about it. Before you know it maybe the majority of Americans might receive the Host on the tongue! :) I pray this is the beginning of a period of renewal for the church paid for by the blood of the Martyrs.
11/10/2011 8:04:52 PM
Actually, Father Barron - regarding "et cum spiritu tuo", the present Vietnamese translation of the Roman Missal is similar to the present English translation in that it says merely: "And also with you" - "Và ở cùng Cha".
11/10/2011 9:25:35 PM
Now, I know that Latin text better with the new translation. And I think we are getting closer to the Traditional Latin Mass. I hope one day it will come back fully. I have been in Traditional Latin Mass for months and I just love it.
11/11/2011 12:24:38 AM
Years back perhaps we were people pleasers. And then we lost so many members of our community for various reasons, and stayed put, in fear of loosing more. Let's go forward in faith that God inspires,God is THE WORD, and worship the WORD MADE FLESH. God Speed!
11/11/2011 3:56:49 PM
Actually Evan it says "and with you Father" which is just a little better because our pronouns are more specific in general. I wonder if there is a group closely aligning the Vietnamese translation to the Latin too. That would be a blessing and not a problem at all.
11/12/2011 10:59:39 AM
John, I feel convinced that the Traditional Latin Mass will indeed return in all its glory. I'd like to see Fr. Barron comment on some of the core objections against the New Mass raised by traditional Catholics. These issues must inevitably be confronted the further we push the "reform of the reform" of the post-Vatican II liturgy.
11/12/2011 1:25:16 PM
Very good comment, mostly. Of course, you omitted mentioning the perhaps most sensitive of the changes, which is the translation of "pro multis" as “for many.”
The narrative of the Last Supper, which currently reads, “which will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven,” will be changed to “which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
This is, I'm sorry to say, theologically questionable at best, and I'm asking myself already what sort of sermons could spring up as a result of this. Otherwise, I totally agree with what you say.
11/13/2011 7:58:54 AM
I too would like to have Fr. Barron address the pre/post Vatican 2 church. As an outsider looking in, attending both the new and the traditional, Latin Mass, I can't shake the impression that I'm participating in the services of two distinct religions.
I understand that V2 didn't change or alter the deposit of faith in any way, but in the 'spirit of V2' the church has split in two. Trying to make sense of it all is incredibly difficult for a would-be convert.
God Bless y'all!
11/13/2011 10:51:39 AM
The phrase "pro multis", which appears in the original Latin text, is directly translated as "for many". The new translation is faithful to the original text and theologically valid (Christ died for all, but His precious Blood is poured out only on those who are open to receive it). The current translation is a theologically dubious paraphrase, the jettisoning of which is long overdue.
11/13/2011 12:36:44 PM
Carlos, your perception is a case in point of why the core issues surrounding the New Mass itself (which cannot be reduced to a problem of translation into the vernacular) must inevitably be addressed by the Church as a whole. These issues can no longer be seen as the concern of a small faction of "traditionalist" Catholics. The issues affect all of us.
11/13/2011 12:40:51 PM
My apologies for hogging the comments, but I cannot stop thinking about Carlos' observation. The fact that a would-be convert is so confused by the apparent split of Catholicism into two separate religions should cut our Church leaders to the heart. As you can see, it's not just the schismatic Society of St. Pius X that says that the New Mass represents a different religion. People on the outside of the Church who want to come in, they see it, too! Of course, the truth is that there is only ONE Church, the Church that Fr. Barron celebrates in his wonderful new book on the Catholic Faith, and that one Church consists of Catholics who celebrate the same Mass according to different rites. The plurality of liturgical rites is not new. However, never before in the history of the Church (and herein lies the great tragedy of the Council) has the plurality of rites given the impression of a plurality of religions! This is truly a scandal, which in the final analysis we must all confront. God bless!
11/13/2011 1:48:10 PM
I am looking forward to the new translation. I have already seen most of it, and we sang the new translation of the Gloria last week and said the new translation of the Nicene Creed this week. In addition to attending liturgy classes at my parish so as to prepare myself for the new translation, curiosity got the better of me, and I started attending the Extraordinary Form as well. While a part of me confesses a slight preference for the EF, I try to take what I've learned about how to pray with the Mass at the EF to whenever I attend the Ordinary Form.
11/13/2011 3:07:25 PM
Sounds more beautiful and feels more sincere and meaningful.
11/14/2011 7:04:23 PM
Thank you Fr. Barron for your enlightenment on the new translation. I am preparing a presentation on the new translation for my Catholic high school colleagues this week. Your words will go a long way in helping answer any questions that will come up.
11/15/2011 11:35:18 AM
DAVID WELCH, don't apologize for the multiple comments, as your input has helped me, and I'm sure others on this blog. This is not going to be an easy transition, and we need to be there for eachother as a community to face the multiple issues that come from the lack of trust in The Church itself. God Speed!
11/15/2011 4:29:44 PM
+ I for one would love to see the Church go back to the Traditional Latin Mass. We can hear the beauty in the improved "new" translation. Just imagine what the inclusion of ALL of the beautiful prayers of the Traditional Latin Mass would bring - a taste of heaven!
11/17/2011 12:34:57 AM
I'm not among them, but some Catholics are just fit to be tied about the new English translation of the missal, and I wonder if talking about language borrowed from ways of speaking to kings and queens, without more explanation, is going to change these people's minds. . .
11/20/2011 1:56:14 PM
Unpaarlleeld accuracy, unequivocal clarity, and undeniable importance!
11/22/2011 9:30:19 AM
Thanks so much, Father Barron, for your explanation of the changes in the liturgy. I appreciate the new translation of the Mass, but I'm wondering why the Tantum Ergo hasn't returned to a truer version of the Latin. I'm not a student of Latin, but I know enough to realize that "Down in adoration falling, Lo! the sacred Host we hail" is closer to the original "Tantum ergo Sacramentum Veneremur cernui" than "Come adore this wondrous presence, bow to Christ the source of grace."
I realize that Tantum Ergo is not part of the Mass, but I would love to hear it translated closer to the Latin of Saint Thomas.
11/28/2011 2:50:19 PM
My wife and I converted from the Anglican faith 20 years ago based on our personal belief in the True Presence in Holy Communion. To Carlos who is hesitant, looking on from the outside: take that leap of faith, just as Moses had to put his foot into the water before God parted the sea. There is much revealed through the process of the R.C.I.A. Faith is an ongoing experience of learning, trusting, worshiping and serving. The new translation of our Mass is a gift to be enjoyed by all participants. This video is an excellent explanation of the attitudes and words we now use as a community in prayer.
11/29/2011 12:13:51 PM
Gary D. Knight
I am troubled by the overwhelming adulations for what may well be a more slavish translation of traditional Latin texts, but in some places lacks the freedom of the sons of God, which may have been better sensed in the one now dispensed-with. For instance, 'through my fault, through my fault ..' is too much a triune formula and is thus depersonalized. Another: 'pro multis' is best translated as 'the multitude' - which is well signified by 'for all human beings', or simply 'for all souls'; which accords with the sense of our Nov. 2 feast. As well, overly stately language is not something that St. Francis de Sales would sanction in the interior relationship of the lambs with their shepherd, any more than the attempt of the prodigal son to use deferment phraseology to his stately father. Finally, I was edified to learn that the VietNamese had used 'and with you, Father' to signify the distinction between ministerial and 'royal' priesthood; I don't think 'and with your spirit' captures this as well as Father Barron likes to say. After all, if 'the Lord is with [us]' then we don't need to say He is also with the Holy Spirit. Better would be to say 'as He is with your soul [Father]' (for it is the 'soul' that is also healed as we now say in the preparatory prayer for holy communion). Anyway, let's not forget that this is one issue on the argument of which Augustine ceded to Jerome: it is not 'traditional' texts that nucleate the divine deposit, but the spirit in them as well as in the suitable vernacular. To my mind, it is unfortunate that the present changes give occasion to commentators such as Mr. Welch to imply that there is something theologically or religiously wrong with the novus ordo. What's wrong is the spirit of failing to see the absolute sacredness of Mass in either 'old' or 'new' form. "O beauty ever ancient and ever new .. "
11/30/2011 12:04:09 PM
Regardless of the agreement or lack thereof in the appropriateness of more majestic language in terms of this helping us be closer to our Lord, there is still agreeably no more intimate exchange possible than when when we receive Him, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, into our mouths. Really - can you imagine a God so great as has created you and me and the entire Universe and beyond humbling Himself in this way? Lord, I am not worthy...
12/1/2011 1:15:17 AM
A nice and simple introduction, Fr Barron. I agree with the premise, but draw a contradictory conclusion. First: The Latin of the Tridentine tradition was intended to be "flowery" because that was the custom of the times and they were familiar with Rulers having absolute power over them. Surely I do not need to point out that the original language used to pass on the Faith (from Jesus to Disciples to converts) was Aramaic and was used in a very conversational way. Jesus himself recoiled from being "treated as Royalty" and often criticised the Pharisees for obeying the “letter of the Law” rather than its “Spirit of the Law”. Jesus himself taught us to pray "Abba Father...", NOT "Almighty King and God, I beseach thee..." Second: The Anglican community has had a split over the King James translation of the Bible for decades and yes, the KJ version is extremely scholarly and flowery in a poetic sense (and speaks to some people for this alone) but is it going to inspire and inflame the hearts of the majority of people? No, not in my experience! Most people are uneducated in the English language used four to five hundred years ago (I include myself) and many of these people will automatically file anything written in this style to the folder labelled "outdated cr*p that has no relevance to me or my life today". Thirdly: I have attended Mass in several countries (UK, France, Greece and Australia) and apart from the Universality of the Mass (regardless of language / words spoken) there is another universal truth that cannot be denied - the almost total absence of youngsters attending on their own (i.e. without parents taking them). Reverting to an outmoded language of a bygone era will NOT revitalise the Faith in a youth who are more familiar with Hip-Hop and Gangsta than they are with Latin and are more likely to resent authority than kneel down to it. By all means, let’s have a Mass in “High” English for the intelligentsia who want everyone to know how clever they are because they appreciate this "flowery language" but let’s also keep a version for those of us who like that personal relationship with God and who like to know what we are saying as well as to really mean it. In all seriousness, this change will do nothing to halt the decline in Mass attendance and may even accelerate it.
12/1/2011 8:06:08 PM
Though our young people may be more familiar with hip-hop and gangsta, their souls, like yours and mine, are made for union with Our Father God who created and creates EVERYTHING! (isn't it amazing to contemplate that?) and who is also our Most Benevolent King. Increased respect and love for God are the likely outcomes of the return to more sacredness in our worship. You may be pleasantly surprised to know that at the Traditional Latin Mass Church I attend the majority of our parishioners are young, vibrant families with many beautiful children and young people. Perhaps the changes in the Holy Mass will be more beneficial than either you or I realize at this point. Let us pray for this!
12/3/2011 6:12:45 PM
I'm sorry Father, but the old translation wasn't hasty. They translated it exactly as they wanted to, ie, to rob the people of God of the richness of the Missal of Paul VI
12/6/2011 9:13:24 AM
Gary D. Knight
re: Jan England .. a "return to more sacredness" supposes that the priestly and congregational words for holy Mass are now more sacred than those used since the earliest rites. A prior remark: "no more intimate exchange [is] possible than when when we receive Him, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity" has always been more true to the mind of the Church. Martin rightly observes a drop in youthful attendance (except those compelled in some large families attending 'traditional' rites), which won't be helped with our more archaic lingo. Thus "and with your spirit" is best meant (pace Father Barron) as a term of friendly encouragement: "and in the spirit of your words and actions Father" -- in other words, may you too be 'on fire'.
12/6/2011 10:47:58 AM
@Jeff - Probably the people who redid the translation of the Mass after Vatican II thought they were doing something good. I think they were in error though. @Gary - truly, I don't believe young people will be turned away by the "newer" language in the Novus Ordo Mass. My point is, like our souls, young people also have souls that hunger for a deeper sense of the sacred and divine. That is what we are ALL made for - regardless of our age. Young people are not drawn to Church because the Church is offering gangsta and hip hop music and pop language - they are drawn by the beauty and mystery of the Catholic Faith - when it is presented, made available, in all of its beauty and majesty. I would maintain that the years post Vatican II, most (not all, but most) liturgy has not been presented in an atmosphere of deep respect for the Sacredness of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Our churches have turned into places where people gather and gab - not places where people enter with awe and silence in anticipation of an encounter with the Living God who loves us. Many people no longer genuflect in acknowledgement of Christ's presence in the Tabernacle - if one can even find the Tabernacle. The availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is notably absent prior to most Masses. Rock and roll bands have replaced beautiful music, of primacy Gregorian Chant, that truly help lift our hearts and minds to God. Young people respond to beauty and mystery in just the same way that adults and even young children do. Let's give this a chance and not assume that the very few changes in the Novus Ordo Mass will send anyone in the wrong direction. Let's pray this new translation has the very opposite effect.
12/6/2011 2:45:22 PM
I have been comparing the newest new mass against the ST. Joseph & the 1962 missals and find it harder & harder to understand why the Latin mass is dismissed so. The language is too flowery & too high-minded? Shakespeare is flowery and high-minded. Should we dismiss him as well and settle for the vapid vernacular of soap operas and gangsta rap? Does not worship deserve lofty language as much as literature? Does it not deserve it more? Or should we join the world in dumming down everything? No thank you. I'm going to convert to Catholicism because I know it is the one & only true religion and I will be attending churches that celebrate the Latin mass, the mass, that once upon a time was the same the world over, from Toronto to Timbuktu! The use of Latin is a reflection of the universality, the catholic nature of The Church which the insistence on using vernaculars erodes. btw: the above missals include vernacular translations of the Latin on facing pages which makes me wonder why we needed the new & newer mass in the first place.
12/8/2011 7:26:41 PM
@ Carlos - the first time I read the prayers of the Traditional Latin Mass in English I was astounded by their beauty and wondered why we couldn't have this Mass in English - similar to your question I think - though not exactly the same. I believe Fr. Barron points out that there was an impetus to "simplify" the Holy Mass - probably - I hope - with good intentions - but not (in my opinion anyway) with such good results. Also, as you pointed out, there is an important universal dimension to the Traditional Latin Mass that changing it to the vernacular would of course erode. The Latin is actually quite beautiful in itself and as one repeatedly prays the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Latin (following the Mass in a Missal that provides the English opposite the Latin) one starts to actually learn the Latin and appreciate its beauty even more. You might find this article written by a priest who worked on the ICEL "translation" of the TLM to the Novus Ordo Mass interesting: (follow link) http://www.fisheaters.com/frsomerville.html
12/10/2011 12:34:14 AM
Hello Father Barron,
I came to your video to check what your thoughts were on the new mass translations. I attend mass regularly in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. I realize the mention of this locale has probably made you cringe with anticipation of what I might be asking. Well, yes, indeed it is a cringe-worthy trend occurring here. We have attended semi-regulalry two separate churches in San Francisco proper since the institution of the new translation, and have found that in both parishes, during the consecration all the priests always say:"... the Blood of the new and eternal covenant which will be poured out for you and for THE MANY for the forgiveness of sins." THE many. We have found this to be disturbing knowing the great care and theological effort and attention that was put into correcting these translations. It feels a bit heretical and pompous, knowing the political nature of these parishes and their priests, and has caused us to now attend Mass at a parish in the diocese of Santa Rosa instead. Can you comment on the appropriateness of this? Why would a diocese think that it is okay to re-translate, that which has been painstakingly and officially done, correctly, and given to the faithful. Moreover, is it OK with the Church and its authority that they do this? We all know why they make this adjustment, no discussion of their motives seems necessary, it's obvious, but do they have the right to do this, impose it on the rest of us? Should we be as disturbed as we are? Thank you, Father Barron, we appreciate your response to this. I purposely left out the names of the two parishes, but suspect it is a diocese wide practice and objective.
10/25/2012 1:03:29 PM
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