Leeds: Priests stop saying “good morning” at Mass

In The Telegraph we find this piece with some good news… and some errors.

My emphases and comments.

Priests stop [is that a use of the imperative?] saying ‘good morning’ to their congregations
Catholic priests have stopped [apparently not…] saying "good morning" to their congregations over concerns that their services had become too informal.

By Julie Henry
Last Updated: 4:31PM BST 04 Apr 2009

Clergy attended a meeting last month to hear about the work of The International Commission of English in the Liturgy, which is producing a new English translation of the Latin mass which will be used in churches next year.

Priests at the meeting, held in the Diocese of Leeds, [where Archbp. Roche is – long a member of the ICEL leadership] were told to question whether it was appropriate to say "good morning" once the priest was on the altar and had made the sign of the cross.

Following the meeting, some priests in the diocese told their congregations that they would no longer greet them in an informal manner at the start of services. [God bless them.]

A spokesman for the diocese said: "The review of the liturgy is looking at whether there are elements of the service that have become a bit too distracting.  [Distracting from … what?  From the real purpose of liturgy?]

"People might argue that if you go in to a house, you say ‘hi’, but the priest is not going in to a house. He is going in to a sacred service. We need to emphasise that the priest is president of the community and is presiding at the service[ARGH!  NO! GRRRR…. even as they do something good, they seem to miss the stable basis for their choice.]

"It is a debate that has been going on in the Church for a long time – are we doing a cabaret or are we actually celebrating the Eucharist?

"The fear is that if some guidance is not given and general decisions are not put down, the interpretation of the liturgy leads to unsuitable things, like strobe lights and girls in hotpants. [Hmmm…. sounds like Austria…] The aim of the new translation is to bring more dignity to the service."  [Well… okay… but… well no… that is not quite it.  The aim of a new translation is to convey what the prayers really say.  In doing that, yes, "more dignity" will follow.  But it not merely a matter of style (which is probably what they mean by "translation" here).]

Arguments have long raged within the Catholic church about the current translation of the Roman Missal. Some believe the translations that came out of the Second Vatican Council, in the 1960s, were too quickly done and failed to capture important nuances[Nooooo not at all!  Those translations failed to capture the entire point of most of the Latin originals.]

The Vatican has approved a new English translation for the most commonly used text of the mass but its full contents have yet to be revealed.

Changes that have emerged so far include; when the priest says "The Lord be with you", the faithful will now respond "And with our [sic] spirit", rather than "And also with you", as they do now. 


The writer was confused, I think, and perhaps didn’t speak with very many people before dashing this off.

Still, the news is good.

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