Friday, 9 December 2011

The New English Translation - Will it continued to be Abused?

I've been following with interest the use of and reaction to the new English translation of the Mass. I've also tried to put aside some time to read the then Cardinal Ratzinger on the liturgy. My belief is that the Mass should be approached as a spiritual action that is both cognitive and physical - as we are beings that are a composite of soul and body. Neither being angels nor brute animals, our spiritual life is conducted through and in (though not exclusively) a physical world via cognitive activity. Mass, contains spiritual realities which are mediated through physical action: be they movement or words spoken, guided by the human mind, inspired by God.

Mass is word and action. Abuse one and you corrupt the other, you corrupt the Mass. Examples that stand out are the televised Masses that present a mixed bag: those that follow the rubrics and those that even end up with the words of Consecration being changed.

The question remains: though the liturgy has certainly been clarified in its texts, will the text be followed? Will actions be in accord with the mind of the Church? I believe it was Pope Paul who referred to the renewal of the liturgy being "futile"if it was abused.

In conclusion I fear that the hoped for improvement will be missed. For those who were already following the Church, these texts will certainly improve the celebration of Mass. For those who abused and continue to abuse the liturgy nothing will be gained. It is time for bishops to enforce the law of the Church as keepers of the liturgy in their respective dioceses, in union with Pope and his decrees. 

Pope Benedict to the Australian Bishops, October 20, 2011: 

"You are conscious of your special duty to care for the celebration of the liturgy. The new translation of the Roman Missal, which is the fruit of a remarkable cooperation of the Holy See, the bishops and experts from all over the world, is intended to enrich and deepen the sacrifice of praise offered to God by His people. Help your clergy to welcome and to appreciate what has been achieved, so that they in turn may assist the faithful as everyone adjusts to the new translation. As we know, the sacred liturgy and its forms are written deeply in the heart of every Catholic. Make every effort to help catechists and musicians in their respective preparations to render the celebration of the Roman Rite in your dioceses a moment of greater grace and beauty, worthy of the Lord and spiritually enriching for everyone".


Freyr said...

When changing the words is an expression of dissent, then it needs to be dealt with accordingly. Dropping "for many" from the words of consecration is a serious matter. However, there is much going on that is accidental and relatively innocent and I would not deal with that in the same way.

Barona said...

I concur with your analysis. It is incumbent on all to engage in serious catechesis to learn how to pray and participate at Mass. We should then strive to go out and live the Mass.