is upon us, and as many people pass their time listening to the jolly Christmas songs about Rudolph and Frosty and Santa (with an occasional tune about the soon-to-be newborn King), I must admit that I have a twinkle in my eye as well. The particular joy that I feel comes from the fact that we are now in the second week of the new translation of the , and that I will never have to offer Mass according to the old translation ever again.
From what I have seen thus far, most people are very accepting of the new changes, though it may take everyone a bit of time to get used to saying, “And with your spirit.” One reads here and there of isolated cases where people are upset by the change, or even of people petitioning the for permission to have a weekly Mass celebrated according to the older translation. (Ironically, this older translation is referred to as “the old Mass.” I love it.) But despite the successful launch, I would venture to say that most people don’t realize the magnitude of this change yet.
As a priest, I have the privilege of offering the Mass every day; and as I open the Missal on the altar and pray the beautiful, , and prayers, I am simply overwhelmed by how different they are from those of the previous translation. Words like “chalice,” “ ,” “grace,” and “soul”— words that have always been a part of our basic understanding of the sacrifice of Christ, yet missing from the older translation —come jumping off the page. (The for today’s Mass on the of the Immaculate Conception even mentions !) And this is the point: it is not just that I like the translation, or even that I feel more priestly with this translation, but rather that with this translation we have made a dramatic turn toward sanity. The meaning expressed by the words is clear… and Catholic! No more equivocation of language to accommodate ears that are too sensitive to tolerate the fullness of truth. Precisely here in the liturgy, where we encounter the living God most dramatically, the Church finds that she has her voice back.
I am aat heart, and I naturally prefer to speak about “ ” than about “ .” Even though I will undoubtedly post most often about ceremony, I thought I should mention that we are now sailing in a very different sea than we had been navigating even three weeks ago. This new translation offers more theologically precise language, more sacrificial language. It lends itself to , piety, and the practice of religion. We have turned a corner, friends. We have many tasks ahead before the silliness disappears, but we should see in this new translation a turn toward sanity.
Other articles in this series
- Altar Rails and the Holy Mass – the significance of. (December 8, 2011)
- It’s beginning to look a lot like… Sanity. (This post) (December 10, 2011)
- Rings and Wings in the Holy Mass (January 23, 2012)
- Did Vatican II Remove Latin from the Mass? (March 6, 2012)
- When The Priest Faces The Altar (March 20, 2012)
- Participation at Mass – Active, Passive, or Middle Voice (June 3, 2012)
- Behind the Altar (June 7, 2012)