From a priest:
Dear Fr. Z, I’d be interested in your thoughts on this: The new translation of the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal (Ordinary Form) becomes the official text for Mass in the United States on the first Sunday of Advent this year. However, it is now possible to find the complete text of this new Missal online. Do you think it would be wrong (disobedient, sinful) to use the new translation in Masses celebrated privately (sine populo)? My own preference would be to use the Extraordinary Form whenever possible. But next month I will be traveling with two priests who are not familiar with the TLM, and, for the sake of fraternity, thought we might concelebrate using the new translation of the Ordinary Form.
First, I am glad that you are interested in the TLM. I know that travel with brother priests isn’t always the best time for work, but if they are interested in learning… I’m just sayin’….
Second, when you are traveling with priests you don’t want to spend most of your morning serving one Mass after another (though I have also done that). Concelebration allows you to have a smaller Mass kit and save time. This is one of those situations when my adage that “Concelebration: Safe, Legal, and Rare.” is best applied.
Third, I am a Say The Black – Do The Red fellow, and I know you are too, if you are interested in the TLM. The new translation officially becomes The Black (in the USA at least, for the Ordinary and Proper) on the vigil of the 1st Sunday of Advent.
However… after deep reflection…. (tick… tick…. there, that’s enough)…. I say just use it.
If you are concelebrating privately with only priests present, I would say go ahead and use it.
“But Father! But Father!”, you Say The Blackers Do The Reders are now howling in confusion and dismay. “Haven’t you just undermined everything you have been saying all this time? Wouldn’t that be illicit?”
tick… tick… tick… tick….
Yahhhhhh, I guess so ….. I can live with that, in this instance. Illicit schmillicit.
The preparation time before the implementation of the new translation is important. I suspect a lot of priests haven’t put 10 minutes of their own time into working on the new texts. Priests quite simply must get this new text into their heads and onto their tongues before Advent. They simply have to do this. They must start practicing the saying texts aloud in a meaningful way.
A few priests concelebrating Mass privately (no lay people present) could be one way to do that, particularly because you are going to be praying with that much more attention by the fact that it is Mass and not just private session at the shaving mirror or an impromptu, or even organized, workshop.
Then you guys can discuss the text at breakfast or in the car to your next destination.
Saying this, I acknowledge and respect those priests who disagree with my answer. It is surely proper also to say, stick with the official text and then find other ways to practice the new, corrected translation. I’ll so stipulate.
But… would it be sinful? No, I doubt it.
Would it be disobedient? No, I doubt it, so long as you stick to the Black and Red in the new, corrected text.
If in doubt, ask your bishop or religious superior for an opinion.