Card. Arinze’s letter to Card. George with approval of the Ordo Missae translation

As you know, the Holy See granted approval (recognitio) to the translation of significant parts of the 2002 Missale Romanum‘s Ordo Missae, the parts that remain the same nearly every day.

Here is the letter from the Prefect of the CDWDS, His Eminence Francis Card. Arinze, to the President of the US Conference, His Eminence Francis Card. George.  You might say the letter is very "frank".

So, we have taken a big step in the right direction.

Here is my transcription of the text with my emphases and comments:

Prot. n. 1464/06/L

23 June 2008

Your Eminence,

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is pleased to enclose the decree by which it has granted recognitio for the territory of your Conference of Bishops for the new English-language translation of significant parts of the Ordo Missae as found in the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, including most of those texts used in the every celebration of Holy Mass.  [As we will see later on, there are still some things to be done.]

The Dicastery has no little satisfaction in arriving at this juncture.  [Considering how long they had to wait to get the texts from the Conference...] Nevertheless, the Congregation does not intend that these texts should be put into liturgical use immediately.   [In other words: THEY CANNOT BE USED until WE say they can be used!] Instead, the granting now of the recognitio to this crucial segment of the Roman Missal will provide time for the pastoral preparation of priests, deacons and for appropriate catechesis of the lay faithful. [Notice the difference: preparation and catechesis.  I wonder if that shouldn't be the other way around, in a sense.]  It will likewise facilitate the divising of musical settings for the parts of the Mass, bearing in mind the criteria set forth in the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, n. 60, which requires that the musical settings of liturgical texts use only the actual approved texts and never be paraphrased.  [Write new music settings, but the words better adhere to what we have sent.]

As regards the text enclosed, this Dicastery wishes to draw attention to the following points:

1. The attached text is to be considered binding. [Roma locuta est.  You cannot now push for changes.  It's over.] For its part, this Congregation is confident that the universal use of these texts will greatly contribute to the building up of the Faith throughout the broad and diverse English-speaking world.  [This sentence is an answer to an implict objection, one raised explicitly for a long time before this recognitio came.]

2. It is to be borne in mind that use of this text is restricted by copyright.  Therefore, all pertinent copyright legislation in civil law is to be observed in accordance with the statutes which this Congregation approved for the Mixed Commission known as the [ICEL] International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  [Pretty hard to grasp this.  I have a hard time understanding how the texts of Mass or of Sacred Scripture (Lectionary) can be copyrighted.  Rather, why would they want to?  I suspect it has to do with money.  The production of liturgical books is a source of income for a Conference now gutted by cuts in giving by lay people - for obvious reasons.  Also, the copyright can insure that the texts are reproduced properly, accurately.  Once upon a time there was a license from the Holy See and, way back, an excommunication for those who made illicit changes to texts, again for obvious reasons.]

3. Although the Mixed Commission [ICEL] took the initiative of distributing, along with these Parts of the Order of Mass, an adapted text of Eucharistic Prayer IV, Higher Authority [!] has determined that as regards to either modification of the typical edition of the manner of translating it: non expedire[What does this mean?  Briefly, "no".  Latin expedio means a whole raft of things, but eventually in the phrase res expedit, or impersonally expedit, constructed with the dative (e.g., alicui - literally "it helps out, furthers, promotes) it thus means "it is serviceable, profitable, advantageous, useful, expedient".    Note also the word "although".  You know there is a "no" on the way.  So, read this as "It's not useful to adapt texts of EP IV."  What isn't clear is precisely who the "Higher Authority" is here.  It is either the Congregation itself or the Holy Father himself: those are the only two options.  But this will be clearer in a moment.]<

4. Likewise, the Holy Father ["Likewise" and "the Holy Father", following the above "Higher Authority" means that the "Higher Authority" was Pope Benedict himself.] has decided that, in response to a recommendation of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 2-23, 2005), a selection of additional formulae of dismissal for the faithful should be introduced in n. 144 of the Missale Romanum and consequently these materials are included in the attached text.  [I suspect that this will include phrases commonly in use, such as "Go in the peace and love of the Lord!", and will not  include "Have a nice day!  See you 'round", which would be more in keeping with the older ICEL versions.]

With every prayerful good wish, I remain

Devotedly yours in Christ

+Francis Card. Arinze
Prefect

+A. Malcolm Ranjith
Secret.

Soon, I’ll start looking at some of these texts which were approved.

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72 Responses to Card. Arinze’s letter to Card. George with approval of the Ordo Missae translation

  1. Cory says:

    I’ve checked out most of the text, since it’s available in PDF form on the USCCB website. Seems pretty faithful to the Latin original. I still can’t get over how the ICEL managed to take “and taking into his venerable hands this goodly chalice” and make it into “he took the cup.” Also, significantly, the “pro multis” is translated properly, per the wishes of the CDWDS and Pope Benedict himself. I’m quite pleased with this move.

  2. Kate says:

    I would like to know which parts of the new translation did NOT receive the recognitio…does Rome ever offer an explanation for the parts not accepted?

    Kate

  3. sacredosinaeternum says:

    The new translation looks great and sounds beautiful! I eagerly wait to put it into use! I wish that the Holy See would now speak with the same clarity and authority in regard to the propers. Deo Gratias!

  4. Aaron says:

    I noticed on the copy of the letter at the USCCb website, there’s something written below Cardinal Arinze’s name. It almost looks like a scrawled bit of Latin. Can anyone make it out?

  5. M. Parrot says:

    I do not see “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” Did this not make it into the new order?

  6. Matthew M. says:

    One of my peeves when we go to a NO mass is, in the canon: “Happy are we who are called to this supper”. I just want to paint a yellow smiley face on my shirt and mince off to dinner.

    The new translation has it as “Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” Wow, what a difference.

    Indeed, a search of the PDF doesn’t show the word ‘Happy’ at all.. Though a Latin-English dictionary will say beatus can be translated as either ‘blessed’ or ‘happy’, the modern meaning of ‘happy’ is too empty and frivolous for the liturgy. Thank God for the new translation.

  7. God bless Pope Benedict! He is doing wonderful things for the Church.

  8. Sacramento Mom says:

    Aaron:
    It is the signature of Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, with secret under his name for Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments?

  9. Frcd says:

    Thanks for posting this, Father.

    I am curious: why would the Priest say only: “The Mystery of Faith” rather than “Let us proclaim the Mystery of Faith?”

  10. I’ve spent about half an hour comparing the new translation to the current Sacramentary. I’ve only gotten through the Roman Canon, but the new translation is absolutely beautiful! It’s hard to compare the two however, as the flaws in the original translation really show up. The Sacramentary translation sounds like it demands God’s action, while the new translation pleads for God’s mercy. It’s much more supplicant.

    For M. Parrot, it’s there, but is completely different. The new version is “We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.” Instead of a statement of fact, it’s a prayer.

  11. Brian Day says:

    2. It is to be borne in mind that use of this text is restricted by copyright.

    The good people over at NLM have a couple of posts on the use of copyright and the liturgy.

    i. http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/2008/08/icel-copyright-and-creative-commons.html
    ii. http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/2008/08/icel-vs-book-of-common-prayer.html

    You have to separate the wheat from the chaff, but there is a lot of good commentary.

  12. LCB says:

    “Let us proclaim the mystery of faith” implies that the mystery of faith is “Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again” as opposed to the Eucharist.

    By saying merely “The mystery of faith” it points properly to the Eucharist. As for the meaning of the new wording itself, Fr. Cory nails it.

  13. LCB says:

    ICEL holding the copyright is certainly an interesting development.

    As for Prayer #4, if it is consigned to the ash heap of history I would not object.

  14. Matthew says:

    Does this at all apply to the use of English in the N.O. in Canada?

  15. vox borealis says:

    Frcd,

    My answer would be more simple: because that’s all the Latin says. The Missale Romanum simply says Mysterium Fidei (“Mystery of Faith)–there is no “Let us proclaim” (adnuntiemus or the like).

  16. vox borealis says:

    Matthew,

    The following document from the CCCB website might help you:

    http://www.cccb.ca/site/images/stories/pdf/newsletter_fall_2007.pdf

    The short answer, if I read the document correctly, is “it doesn’t.”

  17. Cyrus says:

    I like this translation a lot, the only part that has me scratching my head is the reference to a cup in one of the mysterium fidei responses, since it is referred to as a chalice everywhere else throughout the Ordinary.

    A few responses to questions asked above:

    M Parrot:

    The response is not there in the Latin N.O., so that response has been omitted this time around in English.

    Kate:

    The other portions have not been submitted to Rome as yet for final approval. I saw reference somewhere to the translation being broken into 12 separate portions, of which this is only the first, though most important.

  18. Geoffrey says:

    “ICEL holding the copyright is certainly an interesting development.”

    ICEL holds the copyright to all of their English translations, and they always have. Publishers have to enter into a signed contract with them and pay royalties, just like they would to any author. The Holy See does this as well, through Libreria Editrice Vaticana. LEV holds the legal copyright to all papal writings, and I believe original Latin liturgical texts.

  19. Matt Q says:

    Ssacredosinaeternum wrote:

    “The new translation looks great and sounds beautiful! I eagerly wait to put it into use! I wish that the Holy See would now speak with the same clarity and authority in regard to the propers. Deo Gratias!”

    )(

    Yes, it is wonderful. Looks and sounds like recapturing the wording used in earlier Missals. In the real world, however, with the phrasing of “the Congregation does not intend that these texts should be put into liturgical use immediately,” you had better prepare to wait the rest of your life. There was nothing to indicate this will ever be put into use. What happened to the supposed Clarifications to Summorum Pontificum? The Motu Proprio is out there. If someone wants to embrace it, fine. If not, oh well. Does PCED really have any power? Evidently not. No changes at all in any of the locales which are clammoring for the Mass, appealing to the PCED. If it does have any power it seems to dissipate into thin air by the time it reaches the local churches.

    …No, don’t expect these changes any time soon.

    Also, I tire of this catch-phrase, “The Holy Father wishes…” “The Holy Father envisions…” Well, then get a move on it! Summorum Pontificum has been out for a year now. The Pope’s been doing the pretty-altar thing for almost a year now. Aint no trickle-down theory at my parish or at any of the surrounding ones.

    ======

    paramedicgirl wrote:

    “God bless Pope Benedict! He is doing wonderful things for the Church.”

    )(

    Yes, he is doing wonderful things, but QUI BONO if they are never implemented. In a reverse manner, the Pope is creating a cafeteria Church. He puts things out. If you want to do it, okay. If not, okay… Summourm Pontificum… the English-language changes… Remember, Jesus is Love. La-dee-da as we skip along.

    In my opinion, this Church has done nothing but spent the last forty years wasting time and wasting people’s lives. Nothing concrete or definitive regarding Liturgy or Teaching has come down which was so significant in the life of the average Catholic except suffer horrid Liturgies and bogus teachings, so earnestly trying to cram a square peg ( V2 ) in a round hole. The way I see it, this is the most ignorant, unchurched generation of Catholics, and these so-called glorious changes of Vatican II have done just that. Rather than urge the strict regard of people’s spiritual life as in the past, V2–or its results–catered to the sloven nature of people. The present state of the Church ( along with Her art, literature an architecture ) is proof.

  20. Michael says:

    “ Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” – Did this not make it into the new order? – Asks M. Parrot.

    Answer: hopefully not, because it was an ICEL creative product (not in Latin text), suggesting that He is elsewhere, and not on the altar.

    I am curious: why would the Priest say only: “The Mystery of Faith” rather than “Let us proclaim the Mystery of Faith?”- asks Frcd.

    Answer: (1) The: “Let us proclaim” suggests that the Mystery is in the words of acclamation, and not on the altar, (2) it was particularly awkward when coupled with the ICEL product, which has been, hopefully, scrapped,(3) It not in the Latin text.

    LCB would like to see EP4 “consigned to the ash heap of history”.

    Answer: I see nothing wrong in it, but what should be consigned to history wherefrom it has been dug out is the EP2 – a typical example of archaeologism, which can be used with a peace of mind by anyone who doesn’t believe that the Mass, better: the Eucharist is first all Christ’s self-sacrifice.

  21. Jeff says:

    I am downloading the text now. I am interested in comparing it to the draft editions that I have seen. In regards to amendments, the USCCB published them in their Liturgy newsletter some time back.

  22. danh says:

    Michael said:
    Answer: (1) The: “Let us proclaim” suggests that the Mystery is in the words of acclamation, and not on the altar,…

    Also, the saying “The Mystery of Faith” used to be part of the words of consecration of the chalice. Up until only a few months ago, I thought that the mystery of faith was the proclamation “Christ has died, etc.” not the Body and Blood on the altar. I would dearly love to see this phrase return to the consecration.

    I have just completed a side-by-side comparison of the Eucharistic Prayers, new and old, with the intent to comment extensively here, but I confess that I am stunned into silence.

    I would greatly encourage anyone with spare time to do the same. There is great teaching value and graces to be had just seeing how the Truth of our Faith has been made much more explicit and clear. The whole import and intent of the liturgical action stands out better.

    I still prefer the EF, for a great many reasons, but this translation brings some of that sense of mystery back into the OF.

    Thank you Holy Father.

  23. puella says:

    Up until only a few months ago, I thought that the mystery of faith was the proclamation “Christ has died, etc.” not the Body and Blood on the altar.

    …hang on. I thought that until I read this comment. It was the whole “ok we’re done with the Consecration, priest comes out of his trance and talks to us again” thing. I’ve seen the wording in the EF missal and thought it was just something else that got shifted around.

    Dude. Thank you for teaching me something today!!

  24. Bob says:

    It seems I also had always misunderstood what “Mystery of Faith” means. What a great example of “Lex orandi, lex credendi” at work. I wonder what else in the Mass I think I understand but don’t? I really hope our bishops and priests make a serious effort to teach the reasons for the changes. Unfortunately, I expect that the average parish will do little more than hand out copies of the text and have people repeat it until they have it memorized. And of course, I’m sure some priests will refuse to adopt the new text, and most priests will probably mangle it by mixing in some older wording and their own personal changes, just like they do now. (I’ve never heard a priest follow the book word-for-word in real life; I’ve only seen it on EWTN.)

  25. BobP says:

    And English is only one of the translations that the Vatican has to deal with. Whatever happened to the canons of Trent dealing with liturgy in the vernacular, beautiful or otherwise? Where is the emphasis on maintaining Latin in the liturgy, per Vatican II documents?

  26. Al says:

    Wow, the difference is like night & day. Sadly, even with this excellent text, unless the chanceries enforce the “red” you will still get the PC rewrite as we go at Mass abuses as in the past.

  27. Chris says:

    Their might need to be a little charity here. As a priest of over 20 years I know all the eucharistic prayers by heart. So when I come to pray the new versions, although I will be aiming to stick to the text, it will hardly be surprising if the odd phrase slips out from the current version. So please don’t assume all such slips are deliberate and disobedient!
    And, of course, the liturgy continues to develop and this latest text will pass away too. It is good to remind ourselves that even the finest words are hopelessly inadequate before the mystery of God. Our hearts belong to God, not to texts and translations.

  28. PMcGrath says:

    Mea culpa. Let’s try that link to Amy Welborn here.

  29. sacredosinaeternum says:

    Matt Q and other naysayers, you can complain all you want. The fact is that the new and beautiful translation that we have been waiting for, for a long time, is now complete (at least the Ordo Missae). We will indeed receive it with joy and pray it was soon as we can. As with all things Pope Benedict, it will get done, in his good time, and it will bear fruit for years to come.

  30. TNCath says:

    I love the translation. It’s going to be fun to watch the priests who have been ad libbing their Masses all these years having to actually say the black and do the red. Or will they? The question is whether diocesan bishops will insist that parish priests not deviate from the texts. Unfortunately, I see several places in the Mass where I can envision priests finding ways to “do their own thing” i.e. at the beginning of Mass after the greeting where it says in “the red” that “The Priest, or a deacon, or another minister, may very briefly introduce the faithful to the Mass of the day.” Unfortunately, there is still room for Father to say, “Good morning!” the faithful to respond “Good morning, Father!” and for Father give the weather report or the score of the Notre Dame game that he checked before going to the altar.

  31. Ed says:

    Hurray! “For us men and for our salvation…” The imagery of all of us as one corporate body saved by Christ remains!

    TNCath: Despite my excitement, I hear you. Even good, orthodox priests do this. Reminds me of Fr. Z’s earlier post about how “pastoral” somehow has come to mean “ignoring rubrics/doctrine/etc.”

  32. Londiniensis says:

    O God that madest this beautiful earth, when will the English bishops be ready to accept this translation? How long, O Lord, how long?

  33. Fr. BJ says:

    Does anyone know what the proposed changes to EP IV (which were rejected) were? I do not recall having read about this.

    The translation is wonderful. It will take a lot of getting used to, especially the sotto voce prayers of the priest, some of which I have committed to memory.

    I also think of those old priests, especially the ones who led the fight for the rejection of anything preconciliar — this new Missal will be yet another “challenge to their existence”, so to speak (just as the Motu Proprio of last year called into question everything they ever fought for). It will be very difficult for many of them to accept this new translation. I have already heard priests complaining about it. Pray for priests.

    I do wonder if there is going to be a period when the old ‘Sacramentary’ can be used in certain pastoral situations. For example, I think of the Masses I have in nursing homes each month. It is going to be well nigh impossible, I think, to do a catechesis on the new Missal translation and expect them to use the new texts. These poor people are burdened with enough troubles — some of them at least — never mind having to re-learn how to pray the Mass.

    Lots of exciting times ahead!

  34. vox borealis says:

    TNCath

    ” It’s going to be fun to watch the priests who have been ad libbing their Masses all these years having to actually say the black and do the red. Or will they?”

    If they have been ad-libbing so far–ignoring the current red and saying things different from the current black–why would a new translation change that behavior? It’s futile to think about those priests. Far more important are the generally obedient priests who more or less STBDTR: if they embrace the new translation, the laity in their parishes will be in for an eye-opener. If they resist, then…

  35. Fr. BJ says:

    It’s futile to think about those priests.

    Not it is not. Pray for them.

  36. vox borealis says:

    Fr. BJ,

    You are entirely correct. Sloppy language on my part. Of course what I meant is that folks like TNCath are setting themselves up for great disappointment if they expect that a new translation–in more “high church” language–will suddenly get Monsignor Ad Lib to start following the rules. Moreover, the “success” or “failure” of the new translation should not be measured by how many of such priests do or don’t play ball. Their disobedience, well-intentioned or not, is a separate issue from the new translation (though to *some* degree these issues are intertwined).

  37. Matt says:

    Father, if the prayers really say what they are supposed to then will you have to change the name of your blog and column? Perhaps something like “The Prayers are Real” or “The Prayer Really Does Say”.

    In jest of course…

  38. QC says:

    Sounds great! Almost like a different rite–the previous translations were so off.

    As a side note in regards to “…Christ will come again” implying he is eomewhere else and not at the altar: Transubstantiation is not the same as the First or Second Advent of Christ–St. Thomas breaks down the different presences well. In the Eucharist, Christ is not locally present as He is at the right hand of the Father and as He will be when He comes again.

  39. Brian C. says:

    Ed writes:

    Hurray! “For us men and for our salvation…” The imagery of all of us as one corporate body saved by Christ remains!

    WAA-HOOOOOO! ! ! ! :) :)

    Okay… I can die, now. No, wait… I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the new translation while on earth, then! Okay, God, my death’s timing is in Your Hands, but THANK YOU for preserving this, and for protecting us against a particularly insidious in-road of radical secular feminism!

    This also means that I’ll (God willing) never again have to whine about this issue on-forum, again! (You may insert celebratory noises, here.)

    In Christ,
    Brian

  40. TNCath says:

    I have no delusions about what will likely happen when the new translation is implemented. This is why I said, “Or will they?” “Monsignor Ad Lib” will continue as usual, albeit with different words to get around. Again, until and unless diocesan bishops (who have been referred to as the weakest links in the Church) insist that their priests “say the black and do the red” (and nothing more or less), nothing will fundamentally change. I pray I’m wrong, but, historically, this seems to be the way it goes.

  41. Michael says:

    Come on, Father Chris, we know that “even the finest words are hopelessly inadequate before the mystery of God” and that “Our hearts belong to God, not to texts and translations”, but the texts are not yours alone but ours too, they are entrusted to you by the Church and you are not entitled to make a mess of them; nor are the translators – that is the point.

    We also know that “the liturgy continues to develop”, but also that the development follows the Church’s reflection on what the liturgy signifies, so that the changes of the text articulate more clearly the mystery it expresses. That is what the SC 50 asks for. That is the reason why Pius XII deplored liturgical archaeologism (of which, buy the way, the EP2 is a living example, because it articulates the early stage of doctrinal development: there is no mention of Sacrifice in it, for example; and, how on earth, the people for whom the liturgy is the only source of knowledge of Faith, and who hear this prayer day after day, can figure out that the Eucharist is Christ’s self-sacrifice ?).

    Nobody will blame you for occasional slips: it is natural, and many of you have been expected to put up with all sorts of changes for 40 years. But we are entitled to expect from those priests, who suffer from an unresistable DIY drive to be “meaningful”, “relevant”, “interesting”, “entertaining”, or even trying to establish and “eye contact” with us … to stop that nonsense. Let them turn, toward East, leading us to Christ, and not to watch their silly show.

  42. pelerin says:

    Am surprised to learn about the scriptures and prayers being copyrighted. I would have thought the copyright belonged to God!

    This reminded me of the comment which was made I think by Archbishop Fulton Sheen when he accepted an award. He said:’I would like to pay tribute to my four writers – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John!’

  43. annabenedetti says:

    “Higher Authority”…

    Kaboom!!

  44. perelin, that’d be a big change from a nieghboring parish around me. That pastor’s writers are primarily John, Paul, George and Ringo.

  45. RBrown says:

    I like this translation a lot, the only part that has me scratching my head is the reference to a cup in one of the mysterium fidei responses, since it is referred to as a chalice everywhere else throughout the Ordinary.
    Comment by Cyrus

    The use of the word “cup” is underwhelming. Ask American Catholics what they think of when they hear “cup”, and most will not reply with a reference to the Eucharist.

    Chalice is a good word.

  46. TerryC says:

    My take on : “the congregation does not intend that these texts should be put into liturgical use immediately.” is that Father Z is right:[In other words: THEY CANNOT BE USED until WE say they can be used!] But such a statement also has a corollary which is: THEY WILL BE USED when we say THEY WILL BE USED, letting the congregation set the timetable rather than the bishop’s conference, some of who would see the new translation implemented the day after never.
    I can also see Rome preferring that the whole translation be completed before it is used, or at least those parts which pertain directly to the Mass as said on Sundays and for Saint days, leaving children’s Masses, ritual Masses, etc. to worked out later. This would allow those materials most commonly used at the parish level to be completed.
    I would not expect to see this translation in use before 2010 or 2011.

  47. Larry says:

    On the copy right issue; while it is true that this is usually a matter of protecting the money aspect of texts I think in this case it also is used to protect these documents from unauthorized use and tampering. All you need to do is look at the various books and documents of many types that are produced telling people of what the Church teaches or what some “Seer” is saying. The copy right protects earnings but it also protects the text and gives the Church the civil ability to protect itself in the courts of the various nations from persons who have their own agenda and I can think of several right off the bat.

  48. I confess when I am offering Mass, because I try to look heavenward in praying the Eucharistic Prayer, I will sometimes slip and recite a phrase from a Eucharistic Prayer other than the one I am using. That will likely happen, as Fr. Chris says, with the new translations until we get used to them.

    Yes, some priests (and some laity) are going to resist this, and they will convey to their congregations some of their negativity, which is ill-advised and really unhelpful to their own situation–but it will happen.

    It will take time until it all settles down, please pray for patience and fortitude, because it will not be a pleasant experience in all cases, but in the end, the benefit will be great.

  49. Rob F. says:

    Copyright it and keep it copyrighted! If only the copyright of the old mass had not expired, then the church could take legal action against the posting of the so-called black mass on the internet. I stumbled across this abomination when I was googling up a Latin prayer.

    I won’t post a link to it, because you don’t want to see it. If you have to, you can find it easily by googling “missa niger” (sic). The Latin is laughable, but it is not a humor site.
    It is horrifying and sad.

  50. Michael says:

    QC demonstrates clearly how misleading is the first English acclamation (of the four, there are only three in Latin text, and Fr. Cory Sticha’s “We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again” is his rendering of the first Latin acclamation, to which the second English acclamation: “Dying your destroyed our death…” is meant to be a “translation”. The first English acclamation has no Latin counterpart). It is completely irrelevant to the Transubstantiation on the altar, because it refers to Him in the third person singular, who “will come again” as if He were not on the altar.

    Christ is in the consecrated elements “locally” in the sense that He is present substantially, “whole and entire, bodily…, in his physical ‘reality’” (Mysterium Fidei, No. 46), although “not in the manner in which bodies are present in place” (ibid.). Neither is he present locally, as the bodies are in space, “at the right hand of the Father”, as QC would seem to have it, nor will He relocate, as QC seems to think, “when He comes again.” The Eucharist “contains: ‘truly, really and substantially the body and blood of our Lord… together with His soul and divinity’” (Mediator Dei 137, CTS Do 270; the inner quotation is from Trent, sess. XIII, can.1).

    In trying to explain this Mystery St.Thomas says that He is present in the consecrated species by way of substance. All the other “real” presences, referred to in Mediator Dei (19), in SC (7) and in Mysterium Fidei (39), differ from the presence in the Eucharist where it is “’real’, but by reason of its excellence. It is the substantial presence, by which Christ is made present without doubt, whole and entire, God and man” (ibid.).

    Tt is evident that this acclamation is seriously misleading. (The same applies to Masses with the priest facing people, and turning his back to Christ in the tabernacle.)

  51. Fr Z, I thought the old text was “Keep on truckin’! Far out! Groovy!” This was followed by guitar strumming and the slap of hierosandals on the indoor/outdoor carpeting….

    “Go in the peace and love of the Lord!” is a great improvement.

  52. Austin says:

    One can regret “peace to people of goodwill” in the Gloria. It has an ugly jingle
    to it, too many “p”s, and misses another opportunity to reassert that “man” is the
    unitary term for human beings in general. But mostly a great improvement.

  53. Rob F. says:

    Re “Christ has died, Christ is risen…”

    It’s not that this is a bad translation; it’s no translation at all. There is nothing in the Latin text corresponding to it. And it’s not that it is a bad acclamation. It’s no acclamation at all. It does not address Jesus on the altar, but talks about him in the third person. This is not what the memorial acclamation is for. It’s almost like the congregation is addressing itself, reminding itself about something that is happening elsewhere.

  54. Humilitas says:

    Could someone please help me with the translation of the Gloria?

    Latin Text: Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis

    English Translation St. Joseph Daily Missal 1950: And on earth peace to men of good will.

    ICEL New English Translation: And on earth peace to people of good will.

    Are we getting a politically correct translation by ICEL? If so, how can Rome approve if the correct context is: And on earth peace to men (mankind) of good will?

    It has been many years since I studied Latin, but am I correct that the translation should be the same as in the St. Joseph Daily Missal 1950?

    Thanks for any clarification on this subject.

  55. Chris says:

    Come on, Father Chris, we know that “even the finest words are hopelessly inadequate before the mystery of God” and that “Our hearts belong to God, not to texts and translations”, but the texts are not yours alone but ours too, they are entrusted to you by the Church and you are not entitled to make a mess of them; nor are the translators – that is the point.

    This is exactly the kind of lack of charity I had in mind. Where did ‘you are not entitled to make a mess of them’ come from. I have no intention of doing so. Errare humanum est!

  56. CPKS says:

    Humilitas: Stylistically it is bumpy, but what is distorted by translating “hominibus” as “to people” rather than “to men”? What is the point at issue?

  57. Jordanes says:

    Humilitas asked: Are we getting a politically correct translation by ICEL? If so, how can Rome approve if the correct context is: And on earth peace to men (mankind) of good will?

    Undoubtedly “men” is a preferable translation. “People” was chosen instead of “men” as a nod to feminist “inclusive” redefinition of English words. In recent times there was controversy among Catholic translators about the use of “gender neutral” or “inclusive” language to “correct” the “sexist” language found in the Latin liturgy and in Holy Scripture. The inclusivists pretty much ruled the roost until the 1990s, when the Holy See put the kibosh on things. Consequently, gender neutral language is forbidden in the liturgy and in Scripture translation when the nouns and pronouns refer to the Deity, but apparently as a compromise, it is permitted when the pronouns and nouns refer to Man. Therefore, even though “hominus” means “man” or “mankind” or even “humankind,” the common English usage of “people” as a “non-sexist” substitute was permitted in this place. It is unfortunate, but considering just how incredibly bad things had gotten, I suspect that Rome thought it was all they could do to just eliminate the heretical feminist departure from Christian Theology that is perhaps the inevitable result, and usually the goal, of gender neutral language.

    Still, despite the fact that this new translation is not perfect, but has spots here and there that must be criticised (e.g., the Creed’s “et homo factus est” is mistranslated “and became man” instead of “and WAS MADE man,” or the invitation in the Rite of Peace, “Offerte vobis pacem,” is not translated correctly — should be “Let us offer (one another) the Peace,” not “the sign of peace”), it is a gigantic improvement over what the old, unreformed ICEL had foisted on us. Little by little, liturgical sanity is being restored to the Church.

  58. Deusdonat says:

    Offerte vobis pacem,” is not translated correctly—should be “Let us offer (one another) the Peace,” not “the sign of peace”)

    Wrong on both accounts.

    Offerte = Offer (subjunctive, you plural)
    Vobis = you plural
    pacem = the peace

    Offerte Vobis pacem = May you offer yourselves (the) peace/ May you offer (the) peace amongst yourselves.

  59. vox borealis says:

    Deusdonat,

    Offerte is actually imperative, not subjunctive second plural (‘[you all] offer’, not ‘may you all offer’). Otherwise, you are correct that the translation here is rather loose and tends to blur the lines between priest/deacon and laity. On the other hand, this is a case where choosing English idiom/usage (we tend not to use imperatives) and familiarity over strict literalism doesn’t bother me all that much.

    In actuality, I find the [sign of] peace pretty distracting no matter how it is phrased, especially in its current location in the liturgy.

  60. Deusdonat says:

    Vox – you are correct. I get my irregular verbs in Latin mixed up as they don’t correspond to Italian at times.

  61. Doug says:

    i’m interested in everyone’s thoughts on an excerpt from the canon as per the traditional anglican missal. i’m a recent convert from traditional anglicanism to rome and have often felt that there was a certain lack of historical continuity in the language of even the most “traditional” approaches to the mass. the recent translations are no exception in my really humble opinion. what does everyone here think? i’m really curious and am not looking to start an acrimonious debate. i’d like to know your thoughts.

    is the anglican approach one to be emulated or not? (apologies if i’ve made any mistakes in copying the text.)

    to put it mildly, wouldn’t it be nice if this were the new american canon?

    *********************************************

    ALL glory be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou, of thy tender mercy, didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice, until his coming again: For in the night in which he was betrayed, he took Bread; and when he had given thanks, withhe brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you; Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise, after supper, he took the Cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.

    WHEREFORE O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same.

    AND we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us; and, of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine; that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.

    AND we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant that, by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we, and all thy whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee, that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and we in him. And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice; yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.

    And now, as our Saviour Christ hath taught us, we are bold to say,

    OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth, As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

    ¶ Then shall the Priest, kneeling down at the Lord’s Table, say, in the name of all those who shall receive the Communion, this Prayer following.

    WE do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

  62. Doug says:

    i truly apologize for repeating myself; but, i have to point out the last part of my previous comment…

    ¶ Then shall the Priest, kneeling down at the Lord’s Table, say, in the name of all those who shall receive the Communion, this Prayer following.

    WE do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

    imagine hearing this just before approaching the alter rail and, further, imagine receiving in any other fashion than upon the tongue.

  63. Jordanes says:

    Wrong on both accounts.

    I keep getting vobis and nobis mixed up. But that’s irrelevant to my point, which is that the Latin in the command says nothing about any “sign” of peace — that’s in the rubrics. It obscures the Rite of Peace to have the priest or deacon tell us to offer “the sign” or “a sign” of peace, because it tends to take the focus off the Peace and onto our own gestures that signify the Peace. The Latin tells us to offer the Peace, not merely a sign of peace, so we should be thinking here of the end, not the means.

  64. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Re: Offerte vobis pacem.
    In classical Latin, this would mean, “Offer peace to yourselves.” “Offerte inter vos pacem,” would mean, “Offer peace to one another.” How long has this prayer been in the mass? If it is since Vatican II, my hunch is that the writer forgot how to express a reciprocal rather than a reflexive relationship in Latin.

    Re: factus est
    Remember that the perfect passive system of facio also supplies the perfect active system of fio (become/happen), whose principal parts are (for convenience’ sake) fio, fieri, factus sum. The form in the Greek version of the creed is active, not passive, nor does it use the verb “to make.” “Became man,” is the way to go.

    Re: hominibus
    I think it’s important when translating a source text not to introduce ambiguity into the target language without good reason. Men in English can be used to describe human beings (e.g. Declaration of Independence) in general as well as adult male humans specificically. Homines/anthropoi in Latin/Greek only translates the former class, viri/andres translating the latter. In dictionaries through much of the 20th century, the first definition of man used to be a human being or person regardless of gender. Even the conservative American Heritage Dictionary now puts “adult male human” as its first definition. As the Credo is a philosophical and theological text in which the specificity of every word is extremely important, I would have preferred the translation there to be “for us people” or “for us human beings.” The Gloria, being a poetic text, seems to be a more preferable place to translate hominibus as “to men,” both as “men” strikes my ears as less prosaic and as to avoid the introduction if the consonance noted above.

  65. Jordanes says:

    The form in the Greek version of the creed is active, not passive, nor does it use the verb “to make.”

    Regarding “homo factus est,” having only the barest knowledge of Latin, I’ll have to take your word for it. As for what the Greek text of the Creed says, that is interesting, but still, well, the only Greek words in the Latin Missal are Kyrie eleison and Christe eleison.

    However, if we want to give weight to original languages as guidance for translation, then there can be no argument that “hominus” should always be translated “man,” not “person.” In both Hebrew and Greek, it’s just like correct English: “man” means “human” of either sex. Anyway, “people” just wrecks the meter — “among men of good will” just flows off the lips, but “among people of good will” is awkward.

  66. Claud says:

    Doug–

    I’m not an ex-Anglican but I sympathize. We have a bunch of old missals and prayerbooks from the 1950s and before. Pretty much all of them have the traditional language: thee and thou and all that. So I think that really is the *common* Catholic and Anglican tradition of prayer in English.

    Unfortunately, that continuity was broken by the original ICEL abomination. So yes, while it would be preferable IMHO to have a traditional language Canon, it’s a tough sell to the bishops at this point because we’re already used to what ICEL gave us. That genie may be out of the bottle. But my hope is that a number of trad Anglicans coming into the Church make it easier to restore liturgical English.

    I don’t think the actual text of the Anglican Missal itself would be considered because of its origins–except of course for some limited circumstances like the TAC and other Anglican converts. Most Catholics in this country came from places where the pure Roman rite was used, so it’d be a little awkward to impose Anglican texts on them. On the other hand, it probably would have been better than the ICEL Novus Ordo! ;)

  67. Michael says:

    Doug
    I wouldn’t like to appear overcritical, but my concern – I believe of the authorities in Rome too – is not so much the language itself, but doctrinal implications.

    The Eucharist is first of all Our Lord’s self-sacrifice, offered through the hands of a priest, and this is obscure in the phrase “a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice”. As I understand it, the Eucharist is a perpetual memory of his precious death, but not merely the memory of His Sacrifice. His Sacrifice, acceptance of death for our salvation, is eternal, and because it is eternal, it can be, and is made present (Trent), perpetuated (SC), without being repeated. The death itself is a consequence of what was done to Him by others, the past event which is neither made present not perpetuated. If one identifies the two, the death of the man who abused Him would be that man\’s self-sacrifice too.

    Then the phrase “thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine” – after Consecration… Admittedly, the Body and Blood are mentioned too, but, nevertheless, it leaves the matter ambiguous.

    Lex orandi – lex credendi.

    I think, with minor, but importmant, amendments, this prayer would certainly surpass the present EP2 which is an example of archaeologism.

  68. Michael says:

    Father Chris, I sincerely apologize – it was not my intention to criticize you for the unintentional slips: they are so natural that they need no defence; and in point of fact, I was grateful that you brought the problem to my attention in your first comment. One frequently forgets what the holy priests have to go through…

    I was carried by your other, unnecessary, attempts to justify the slips which were not all that convincing; and my reference to the creative priests were in no way intended to imply you.

    Danh, I think that it is better to have the Mysterium Fidei separately, because it refers to both Consecrations.

  69. Being one who celebrates Mass from the 1958 English Missal, in a more Elizabethan form, I must admit that, by and large, I like the new translation. Much improved over the current use.

  70. Bob K. says:

    The Prayer to Saint Michael should be added to the end. One other thing that concerns me will be the laities role in the rubrics. Knowing the liberal Bishops and theologians that are probably working on this. Will we still have more extra ordinary eucharistic ministers that you can shake a stick at, tons of altar girls, and guitar bands. Will all this be addressed as well?