From the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald comes this piece about the possibility of actually using the new English translation of the Roman Missal by next summer.
New Mass translation
will be introduced next summer
By Mark Greaves
7 May 2010
Catholics in England and Wales may be able to use the new translation of the Mass by the middle of next year, it has emerged.
The translation – which will vary slightly in different parts of the English-speaking world – was finally approved last week by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
A taste of the text, which took nine years to complete, will come as early as September when it is used by Pope Benedict XVI during his trip to Britain. Its first-ever musical setting is already being prepared by the Scottish composer James MacMillan in time for the Pope’s visit. [I very much look forward to hearing that setting! MacMillan is excellent.]
In America parishes are expected to adopt the new Missal at the beginning of Advent 2011, the start of the Church year, to fit in with the publication of Sunday Missals.
But Martin Foster, secretary of the bishops’ conference Department for Christian Life and Worship, said he hoped it would be introduced in England and Wales by next summer. He said the aim would be to give publishers six months’ notice and to distribute resources to help with catechesis at least three months in advance.
James MacMillan told the Scottish Catholic Observer last week that he had already started working on the first ever setting for the new translation.
"We have stolen a march on the US," he said. His focus, he said, was on trying to write "something simple" that would "make people want to sing". For several years he has written liturgical music for the Dominican parish of St Columba’s in Maryhill, Glasgow.
About 10,000 copies of the new altar Missal will be published by the Catholic Truth Society in three different sizes: large, medium and hand-sized.
Fergal Martin, the publisher, said the aim was to create a "very beautiful and dignified series of editions with hopefully the best quality of production and design we can possibly make. It’s a real labour of love for us and all those involved in the project."
In the Opinion section of this week’s Catholic Herald there is an editorial about the new translation:
The new translation is on its way. Let’s welcome it
7 May 2010
The Pope is well aware that a minority of Catholics have theological, aesthetic and (regrettably) ideological objections to the new translation, which renders the Latin text more literally than its predecessor. In the Creed, for example, Jesus is no longer "of one being" with the Father, but "consubstantial" with him. There is greater stateliness and solemnity – "cup" becomes "chalice" at the consecration – and also poetry: in the third Eucharistic Prayer, the phrase "from east to west" becomes "from the rising of the sun to its setting".
This newspaper welcomes the new translation wholeheartedly. One might quibble with one or two details, but the Church has essentially succeeded in producing a text that is both more accurate and more beautiful than its predecessor. Crucially, it has been approved, after long debate and votes, by the bishops of the English-speaking world. Now it is the responsibility of those bishops to make sure that their priests celebrate according to the new text [Indeed.] - for, whatever we might read to the contrary, a priest has no more right to refuse to use it than he has to refuse to say Mass in English according to the current approved translation. [I don't think that is quite right. A priest of the Latin Church always has the right to say Holy Mass in the Church's language Latin. A priest can opt for Latin without refusing to use English.]
But let us not pay too much attention to any controversy over the Missal, which will die down quickly if the bishops put their full weight behind it, as they intend to. Instead, let us accept the new text for what it is: a refreshing of familiar words that, precisely because it will force us to concentrate more deeply on the miracle of the Mass, offers us an opportunity to deepen our faith. [Perhaps more than a new translation will be needed for that, but it will be a good influence!]