About “jumping the gun” with the new ICEL translation – WDTPRS POLL

The other day my good friend Fr. Ray Blake of Brighton posted an entry on his blog St. Mary Magdalen about ad experimentum use of the new ICEL translation for Holy Mass.  

He has some corrections to make in an interesting blog entry with my emphases and comments:

Following my report on using the new ICEL translation I have had a number of emails from different parts of the world but mainly from the UK, from laity and priests, saying that the new ICEL translations of the Eucharistic Prayers are already being used to a greater or lesser extent in their parishes. [But… should they be?] Priests who are not normally innovators tell me they have waited too long [Do I hear an "Amen!"?] and would be doing their parishioners a serious disservice by continuing to use the old inaccurate translations. [And so I have often thought as well.] I have every sympathy with them, however our UK bishops have not yet sought Rome’s permission for them to be implemented, so technically these priests are celebrating illicit Masses[Yes, indeed they are.  As well-meaning as they are, they just don’t have permission yet to do this.]

[And now the £64 question.] How serious is this willful act of dissent?

Well, it is the intention of the lawmaker, the Holy See, that these translations should be implemented, permission has been given for their use already in other parts of the world. A great deal of liturgical innovation has already been introduced by deliberate and willful disobedience to the mind of the Church, the vernacular during the Council, communion in the hand after it, the use of lay persons to distribute Holy Communion, then later women and girls serving Mass, in the scheme of things jumping the gun with the new translation seems very small beer, especially as it is very much according to the mind of the Church that they be implemented. [Is this the argument: "Other people did wrong things – contra legem – for the wrong reason.  Why shouldn’t we do right things – contra legem – for the right reason?"]

A wise bishop would do well to try and stop other abuses in the liturgy rather than stomp on the pre-emptive use of texts, which with some minor adjustments, will become standard in the English speaking world. Indeed if I were a bishop I would welcome experimentation in preparatory catechesis for their introduction.


I wholly agree with Fr. Blake: bishops would do well to stop clear and harmful liturgical abuses.

Is using the new translation a liturgical abuse?

But I think we all know that the usual pattern is that bishops tend to let liberals do as they please while coming down hard on more traditionally-minded priests.

I suspect that the reason is that they know that the traditionally-minded priests will strive to obey without making a nasty scene, while the liberals will throw a public nutty and defy the bishop to his face.

Sound right?

I can hear it now…

"But Father! But Father!", some will be saying as they wag their finger at the screen.  "It is clear wrong when liberals depart from the approved texts.  Priests don’t have the authority on their own to change texts.  If a priest starts using the new ICEL text without permission, isn’t he doing the same thing the wackos do?  Can you justify doing something against the Church’s law for a good reason?"

I know several good priests who change words here and there "on their own authority".  And I know their reasons for doing so.

Just for jollies, anima caussa as we say in Latin, let’s have a little poll.

Please vote after pondering the situation and then share your reasons in the combox.



I closed the poll.  I think we have a good sense of the trend.

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  1. Choirmaster says:

    “Those who would defend Authority against rebellion must not themselves rebel.”

    – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

    I think it applies here

  2. Patikins says:

    As much as I want to hear/use the new translation I think it is important to take the high ground.

  3. ipadre says:

    I would love to use it now, but, I will wait for the signal from my bishop and the USCCB. All of this preparation is good and well, but they did nothing when they forced this current translation on the poor people. Everything is collaborative when they want to hold something good back, but let’s see some crap come down the road and everyone does it, even if it will harm our good people. I have already begun preparation. I will not wait for these pamphlets from the publishers. Although they seem to be well written, the pictures always show the ugly church, all altar girls, Communion in the hand, your “spirit” of Vatican II Church. Where is the picture of Benedict giving Communion and the altar with the Benedictine altar arrangement, etc… I don’t want to be a wind bag. You get the picture! Brothers, let us prepare our people before the publishers corrupt them!

  4. Magpie says:

    Disobedience is disobedience. Also, you can’t decry liturgical abuses and novelties and then take liberties yourself.

  5. Andrew says:

    “… who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones …” (Luc. 16:10)

  6. TJerome says:

    ALthough I can sympathize, we do not help the traditionalist cause by disobedience to liturgical norms. If also undercuts our position that once the new translations are authorized, a priest no longer has authority not to use them.

  7. Anonymous Seminarian says:

    My favorite Canon for many years has been 846.1, “In celebrating the sacraments the liturgical books approved by competent authority are to be observed faithfully; accordingly, no one is to add, omit, or alter anything in them on one’s own authority.”

    We cannot do evil that good may come of it.

    Everyone–or almost everyone–who “jumped the gun” on things they had been told ‘were sure to happen’ by priests and theologians–like Holy Communion in the hand, the priest with his back to the East, etc.–did so because they believed that this, in their minds, ‘minor’ transgression of the law would be redeemed by the good that would come from it. If they had simply applied the most basic principle from moral theology (which, of course, theologians of that era were busy denying) noted above, we would not be in the mess we are today.

    Patience is a virtue, and it is also a good indicator regarding the depth and reality of one’s growth in holiness. Our adversaries would be right to question our motives if we thought it wrong for them to break CIC 846, but acceptable for us to do so, simply because we ‘were sure this was going to happen’. If only more bishops and priests had told their people in the ’60s: “OK, if you are really that sure, then you can wait, peacefully resting in this knowledge of the inevitable.”

  8. torch621 says:

    That sums up my feelings on this matter exactly.

  9. PghCath says:

    I agree with the foregoing comments, though I would love to see priests refer to the new translation in their homilies. How few homilies I’ve heard that mention the prayers of the day, much less explain them. This practice could be used both to introduce the new texts and to emphasize that the day’s prayers are not a time to “zone out.”

  10. wanda says:

    Obedience brings blessing. Wait for approval.

  11. Jon says:

    I voted no, for now.

    I think, however, after the Holy Father uses the texts at Cardinal Newman’s beatification in England come September, that the floodgates should open.

    What Peter permits should be permitted.

  12. Jon says:

    I said “should be.”

    I have to do some thinking past that.

  13. CarpeNoctem says:

    The quiz question seems a little vague.

    I think that there should be some lattitude for “ad experimentum” use given by one’s local bishop before they are “approved for use” (which I am reckoning as the day that it is said that the texts, in full, may or shall be used at Mass)… These texts are now “approved” prayers which tells me without a doubt that they are valid for doing what they are supposed to do (celebrate Mass), but for good order competent authority is saying that they are not to be used until some time in the future (which is a question of liceity). So I do agree with answer #1, yes they SHOULD use the new translation before the time it is “approved for use”.

    I’m thinking things like simply saying the priests prayers (the Canon, in particular) in the new translation and not “troubling” the people which their responses or the other common prayers that we don’t have handbooks/missals/missalettes for yet would be a perfect reason for ad experimentum permission. That would be a way to allow priests to get the words under their tongues and to ease the people into wanting to “finish the job” by ‘layering’ in their part (this is, really, the only ‘sales’ job that should need to be done to close this deal, presuming naively that priests are on board or at least obedient). Absolutely, this needs to happen and I am making such a request of my bishop when the time is opportune.

    But I also need to say #2 to the quiz. Should a priest on his own volition do this? No… that’s not in his competency (unless the final decree from whomever (Rome? USCCB?) says something else). So he SHOULD NOT say the prayers before they are “approved for use” because doing so would be disobeyng competent authority on this.

    I guess it is ultimately a question of whether the sense of “approved for use” is a present perfect or a present progressive idea.

    I’m hoping for something sooner than Advent 2011 for authorization to use the new translation… a sort of transition phase of 6 months or a year.

  14. JohnE says:

    I’m wondering if St. Thomas More would say something similar as in this exchange from A Man For All Seasons (and I’m not saying that the old translation is of the Devil of course):

    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

  15. B.C.M. says:

    The Tolkien quotation is perfect; as is the reference to higher ground. Not to mention that is is still contra legem. As earnestly as we want the law changed, as smoothly as we desire the transition, we cannot begin, until we begin.

    “What Peter permits should be permitted.”
    -Girls as altar boys.
    -Communion in the hand
    -Versus populum
    -et al.

    Sometimes Peter permits things that ought not be permitted. Not saying that this is one of that set, but Im just sayin’.

  16. DavidJ says:

    Papa Tolkien said it best.

  17. As a lawyer trained in Natural Law and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition… as much as it pains me, I had to vote no.

    I don’t think that lawlessness, regardless of its well intentions is proper when at the end of the day there is a desire for lawfulness.

    If we use an ends justify the means approach, we would be no better than those that do the same in the other direction. Also, to what degree would the implementation be ok? Partial use? Full use? How would we safeguard the Mass overall with such random and varied use?

    Also, a word to continuity. Where would the continuity be in this? Isn’t the overall objective of this entire translation to strive for a more accurate translation that enables greater continuity? How can we acheive that if we have a spectrum of use that mixes the old and the new?

    There is also something to be said to those that will struggle with the change. I think it is fair to say that some will find this change difficult, when it eventually comes. It isn’t fair to them, to improperly implement the new translation prior to its approved use. Just as those who are in support don’t like things THRUST upon us contrary to the norms and rubrics, we should not do the same upon our brothers and sisters. At the end of the day we are looking to create universality within the UNIVERSAL CHURCH.

  18. Geoffrey says:

    “Say the black, do the red” has to be applied to all cases, even the “second Confiteor” in the Extraordinary Form! If we break the rules in a more “traditional” direction, how are we any better than the “progressives” who break them in the other direction?

  19. yatzer says:

    Much as I would love to say “Yes, go ahead, I’ve been cringing at the current stuff for decades!”, I have to agree with Geoffrey.

  20. QMJ says:

    I voted yes, but I must add a qualification. They should do so only with the permission of their bishop. If permission is not given by the bishop then no.

  21. mpm says:

    I voted “Yes”.

    If you keep in mind that the texts promulgated by the Holy See are the Latin texts, and the “new” texts are corrections of the poor old translations, then perhaps the following point is more comprehensible:

    If Advent 2011 is “The Date”, it should be regarded as a “old texts expire date”, rather than a “new texts embargoed ’til date”. It would certainly be helpful if someone with actual Ecclesial authority, such as the Pope or the local Bishop, made this determination for us.

    I also would limit what I am saying for now to the Priest’s parts, and not bring in the people’s or choir’s parts, until much closer to “The Date”, e.g., 3-6 months prior to It.

    When people invoke Canon 846.1 to justify that this is disobedience, I wonder about that (meaning, I recognize what the Canon says, and I appreciate the seriousness of their argument), but I wonder whether it is applicable to “correcting mistakes”? To use an everyday example, if I point out to one of my children that she is not doing her chores properly, and that she had better start getting it right by Saturday, I give her time to assimilate the “right way”, after which she is held to do it the right way. In the case of the English translations of the Ordinary of the Mass, the Latin has not changed since 1969, however little it has actually been used. But the English was wrong, and now it has been corrected.

    This is different, as I see it, from some illicit custom (such as receiving Communion in the hand), which is foisted on the congregation in order to be able to preempt the Holy See, and get some exception to be made (in law). In other words, there is no hidden agenda, it’s a completely transparent agenda (if agenda is the right word). Absolutely no new custom is being foisted on anybody; to pretend that a correction of a translation error constitutes a violation of Canon 846.1 seems to be a stretch in that the new translations are designed to bring the texts more into alignment with the words and sentiments of the original Latin. That’s why a number of people, like myself, have a sense that it is not so much a matter of disobedience to the law, as wanting to actually fulfill the law the way it was intended.

    BTW, this is just my OPINION, so if you disagree with it please tackle the message, not the messenger! I am assuming goodwill all around.

  22. Daniel says:

    Though I voted No, I’m not sure whether or not they aren’t already approved for use. Is the target date for implementation more of a date for when the older translation may no longer be used properly? It seems that the prayers are approved by both the bishops’ conference and the Holy See, did either restrict their approval to “after this date”? The bishops may have talked about preceding the use with a period of catechisis, but does that mean that the people could not be prepared by making actual use of the approved prayers? If the prayers have formally been not approved prior to some specific date, then they should not be used, but if they are approved and the implementation date is given as a use by date then I have no problem with using them now. Did the Vatican not decide recently after years had passed that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass had never been abrogated; is it necessary to wait until after an implementation date to find out that the use of the new translation already had permission?

  23. MichaelJ says:

    Clearly, I do not understand, so I did not vote as there was no “I haven’t a clue” option.

    Did the Holy See approve the new translation or not? If it did, why must the UK Bishops (or any bishops for that matter) seek Rome’s permission for them to be implemented? If it did not, what will prevent a Bishop from never seeking Rome’s permission?

  24. Servant of the Liturgy says:

    I voted no. These comments warm my heart. If we are to be “servants of the liturgy”, we must say the black and do the red, specifically the black and red that is in front of us. My preference is to start the new translation as soon as yesterday, but if those who would like to stay on the straight and narrow and maintain the “higher ground” as mentioned, we need to submit to authority.

  25. mpm,

    You’re argument, though it has a certain prima facie attractiveness has a serious issue from a moral standpoint. The real question is, can these actions be justified from a moral standpoint. In general, the laws of the church are binding because of its proper, god-given authority over the faithful — thus choosing to not follow these laws is an objective violation of the fourth commandment. I leave aside the question of whether it is a grave violation in this case (probably not) or in the other cases mentioned (likely so, for some).

    So, using the texts without approval is for this reason is an objectively disordered action regardless of the intentions involved. Granted, they are good ones — but that is not the point. The only way out would be to somehow claim that double effect applies and that this action somehow forestalls an even greater disorder that cannot be otherwise prevented. I see no way to make that case here.

    The bottom line is that trying to justify a disordered actions soley on the basis of intention while removing the object (less relevantly here) the circumstances is moral subjectivism. Note that I don’t think you are a moral subjectivist (good will firmly in place), but the argument suffers from that defect.

  26. DavidJ says:

    The key in the poll is the phrase “officially approved.” If there is no approval, it must not be used. If there is approval, it may be used. Plain and simple. This is pretty cut and dry, folks.

  27. Wait for approval. Let’s not justify disobedience based on the disobedience of dissenters. Hey, if they can sin, why can’t I? One can never commit evil for a good intention.

  28. TNCath says:

    NO! Do not use it until it is approved. Let’s not attempt to be more Catholic than the Pope.

  29. gmaskell says:

    Yes, practice makes perfect

  30. Phil says:

    I voted “yes” as I disagree with the way the question is formulated. The texts have been officially approved for use, by the Holy See. The individual Bishops’ conferences have not yet set a date for implementation. Since the texts are approved, I think the pastor–if he deems it appropriate–can use them.

  31. Daniel says:

    Objectively speaking then, are the prayers already “officially approved”? Officially speaking, is an implementation date a “do by” date or a “don’t do before” date?

  32. Mitchell NY says:

    I voted Yes, the reason, though not correct and I can not justify it, is that the people will probably not get news of this otherwise until it is implemented from many Bishops and Parishes. They will not do their job and instruct us. Way too many people are going to be shocked and liberal Priests and Bishops want this. If using some of the texts is a way for Cathechis then so be it. Liberalism has done enough damage to the Church. It is approved, and will be implemented, which was not the case with so many other abuses. This abuse is different..Not everything is black and white..This is gray..Intention has alot to do with the decision.

  33. Mike Morrow says:

    Why not skip the new English translation, now and forever, ditch the old abomination, and simply perform the novus ordo in Latin? That’s always been approved for use, and is far better than even the new translation. Plus, it doesn’t start silly, legalistic, nonsense debates about the approved use of “new” translations.

    Anything related to a “novus ordo” mass is outside the realm of concern for most advocates of the real, traditional
    Mass. I personally do not care much how this particular issue turns out.

  34. MikeM says:

    I think there are two different attitudes with which a priest might choose to implement the new translations, and while it’s illicit either way, it makes a big difference in my opinion of whether it’s good or bad. A priest could implement them as part of an attempt to be different, prove a point, upset the liberals, and challenge his bishop. That would be divisive and generally bad for the Church. Another priest, though, could be legitimately concerned that his parishioners are introduced to the new texts in a sensible manner with proper catechesis and might be starting now to facilitate that. While technically illicit, this priest would still be doing a good thing for the Church, IMO, trying to prepare people to love the new translations of the Mass.

  35. dans0622 says:

    As others have said, haven’t the texts already been “approved” by the CDWDS? If so, how much more “approved” can they be? And, if they are approved, any priest who uses the texts is not changing the Rite. Such a priest is certainly not adding, changing or removing anything “on his own authority.”

    On the other hand, uniformity in changing over to the new texts is to be desired. So, I would prefer that everyone hold off until the date agreed upon by the conference of bishops.


  36. “What Peter permits should be permitted.

    Comment by Jon — 20 May 2010 @ 11:28 am”

    What Peter does is permitted for Peter, who is not bound by a particular territorial body of bishops. It does not follow that his actions make it permissible for someone else.

    Besides, by the time of the event in question, there won’t be altar missals, worship aids, service music, etc, available to use it correctly anyway. At least not for the rest of us.

  37. As others have said, haven’t the texts already been ‘approved’ by the CDWDS? If so, how much more ‘approved’ can they be?”

    The announcement that gave approval stated the conditions under which such approval could be implemented; that is, by the competent territorial body of bishops.

  38. Servant of the Liturgy says:

    For those who mention that it has already been approved…I’m going out on a limb here, but: isn’t this also an issue of being in union with the local Church? The Holy See has left this issue to the conferences of Bishops. Therefore, yes, Peter is permitted, but why should there be one parish using new translations while the rest (correctly) wait? It has clearly been left to the individual conferences for a reason. Let’s not get into the (necessary) catechesis that is upcoming. Again, if we want to be taken seriously, let’s follow the rules.

  39. MichaelJ says:


    According to the Catholic Herald on May 07: “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”, but I could find no mention of any conditions.

    Would you mind posting a link to the actual text of the approval given by the CDWDS?

  40. This is the FIRST TIME that my reaction was similar to the “But Father! But Father!” comment. Now that the shock has worn off, I must say that I agree with Choirmaster. We should obey our Pope and bishops, not to stick our noses up at those who love the current translation but because it is right. But, I cannot look down upon the priests who have started; I, too, am chomping at the bit to participate in Mass with this new translation.

  41. saghughes says:

    While I loved hearing the correct “new” translation of the minor elevation it did strike me that even though it is desirable it is illicit. Though I don’t have in front of me the rubrics, if that’s one of those “in these or similar words” sorts of things then… all bets are off, I’ve heard all manner of things when the Church allows “similar words”.

  42. mpm says:

    From USCCB website:

    In the coming weeks, the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship will offer to Cardinal George its recommendation regarding the date of the implementation of the new translation. Once the final decision is made, Cardinal George will announce the date to the bishops. It is also expected that a suggested implementation timeline and process will be offered to the bishops for implementation within their dioceses.

    Does that sound like the Ordinary of the diocese cannot make the determination himself?

    “A great effort to produce the new Roman Missal for the United States of America is underway now among the publishers of liturgical books, along with the other necessary resources by publishers of liturgical music and catechetical resources,” he said. “Even as that work is underway a full–scale implementation of catechesis for the new Missal should be taking place in the parishes, so that when the time comes, everyone will be ready.”[Msgr. Anthony Sherman, Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship]

    Does that sound like a “new translation not to be used until date”, or an “old translation must be discontinued by date”?

  43. Theodorus says:

    The new text HAS ALREADY BEEN APPROVED by the Holy See, and now it is simply a matter for the bishops to decide when it will be used.

  44. Dave N. says:

    Why not skip the new English translation, now and forever, ditch the old abomination, and simply perform the novus ordo in Latin? That’s always been approved for use, and is far better than even the new translation. Plus, it doesn’t start silly, legalistic, nonsense debates about the approved use of “new” translations.

    If only. Sometimes all this excitement over going from worse to fair seems a little silly.

    I voted “no” simply for the sake of good order in the church.

  45. ghlad says:

    The ends do not justify the means. Without permission to celebrate with the new ICEL texts, these priests seem to be of the same spirit as the SSPX schismatic priests: doing the right thing, but without permission.

  46. AnAmericanMother says:

    Had to vote no, not happy about it, but obedience is obedience.

    . . . that’s not to say that I haven’t from time to time muttered the 1662 BCP version of the Credo under my breath – or even audibly. . .

  47. mpm says:

    Comment by Jason_schalow — 20 May 2010 @ 12:33 pm

    In general, the laws of the church are binding because of its proper, god-given authority over the faithful—thus choosing to not follow these laws is an objective violation of the fourth commandment.

    You are begging the question by assuming that the only moral issue is one of obeying Canon Law. But there is jurisprudence behind interpreting Canon Law, the highest statement of which is “the highest good is the salvation of souls” (actually on of the Canons). CL is a means, not an end.

    I would state the matter this way.

    a) Nobody can change, add, etc., the Liturgy on his own authority. The new texts have been approved by the highest authority. The only remaining matter is when the old translations cease being licit.

    b) In the meantime, in order that everyone can begin to assimilate the new texts, they may be layered in gradually (especially where implementation cannot be full for lack of books, music, choir practice, etc.) accompanied by an explanation (catechesis) until the Date established by the episcopal conference, after which the old texts may no longer be used.

    This is not denying the authority of the Bishop or Canon Law, but simply applying common sense, as I see it. If the Bishop of my diocese said, “No, you must wait to use the texts”, and I were a priest in that diocese (I am not a priest), I would obey the Bishop. But until then, I think priests must have some freedom to introduce the texts in the least shocking manner they can think of.

  48. Sliwka says:

    I voted yes, but with a qualification: not for Mass.

    If during RCIA/RCIC, marriage prep, para-liturgical services, et cetera a priest, religious, or layperon quotes from the new translation, I’d have no issue. But I agree with the majority of the respondants, obedience is obedience.

  49. MichaelJ says:

    I still do not know of the details to determine if a Priest should or should not use the new translation, but I have to ask the question:

    Where was all of this restraint when the discussion concerned the use of the 1970 Prefaces with the 1962 Missal? To the best of my knowledge, they have not been approved, only allowed to be studied for possible future approval.

  50. Bill in Texas says:

    No. For 3 reasons:

    1. If one parish does this, and the parish next to them does not, isn’t this going to confuse people? If the words in people’s missals/missalettes are different from what they hear, isn’t this going to cause some concern about whether the Mass they are at is invalid or illicit?

    2. Priests have been told to wait. And in the meantime, they are to begin preparing people for the change.

    3. Humility, and its handmaiden Obedience, are core virtues in Tradition, are they not?

  51. Latriagiver says:

    Giving relativism anything to come back and say, “see you broke the rules, there must be no rules then….” is not something we can justify. We would do better to create a glorious expectation of the approved day we can use the ICEL text by using this time to catechize the faithful of what chages are happening and why.

    Personally, in my parish, the pastor has not spoken a word about any changes up and comming. I can only conclude his position on the matter. This will do nothing but create a moment when it is thrust upon the people with no preparation.

    Let us create a expectation that is worthy of what this is, God’s Fatherly care and correction, in its self defining the Church’s purpose, to guide us all to the one God. Is this not a more pure form of worship to our Heavenly Father? Is it not really all about Him? Let us remember to give thanks for this as well.

  52. I notice some people asking questions, for which the answers have already been provided for them. This leads me to believe that thosse people are not asking the question because they want the answer; they’re asking because they want their own.

    If you look at any copy of the new translation that is available now from the USCCB website, it has big letters on every page: STUDY TEXT ONLY. This is what is called a “clue.” From this we derive that an official text is not yet ready, even though approved.

    For, you see, when Rome gave an approval, it was not just to a text, but to its publication, dissemination, and use. It also left to the competent territorial body of bishops how that was to happen, as they are in a better position to make the proper arrangements with the publishing industry in their respective nations. Once that publishing industry begins the process (and it will take over a year to design, layout, proofread, correct, proofread again, print, bind, and distribute every altar missal, hand missal, and worship aid necessary, plus allow several months lead time), there will be little choice, because the old material will no longer be available.

    In conclusion, unless your pastor has his own publishing house, and can obtain permission from ICEL on his own, to produce whatever is necessary, jumping the gun with the new translation will be unlikely. (And foolish, as you also need to know that the altar missal will include THIS.) Besides, I would hope he has better things to do with his time.

    And your money.

  53. MichaelJ says:

    If I missed your (or anybody elses) answer to my question, I promise you that it was not done because I want a different answer. All I want is some documentation to back up your assertion that: “The announcement that gave approval stated the conditions under which such approval could be implemented; that is, by the competent territorial body of bishops.”

    As it stands now, it certainly looks as if your statement is not based on any announcement or any official document from Rome, but instead is based on the words “Study Text Only” superimposed on the text you can see on the USCCB website.

    Honestly, why not just provide a link rather than making accusations of nefarious motives?

  54. I agree with Choirmaster/Tolkien.

    We need to wait until we are told to implement it. I would have loved to see the translations done this way in the first place (And less translated too – we need more Latin), but that simply isn’t the case. If we are going to try to hold liberals to the book, then we must do the same. No double standard.

    That being said, we need to kick it in the tail and get going with the [much needed] catechesis.

  55. “Comment by MichaelJ — 20 May 2010 @ 3:46 pm”

    Honestly? Because I brought it up the last time we broached this subject — five days ago. Click here. Other than that, my accusation was not so much one of nefarious motives, as it was the unwillingness to be informed, even to the extent possible.

    Now, if clicking on the link is more effort than preferred, I will provide you with what I wrote here:

    + + + + + + +

    Is the experimental use of the new texts permitted? The simple answer is…


    The new translation is more than simply a revision of the text. There will be a greater emphasis in the new translation of the Missale Romanum, on the role of plainchant, both in the Latin/Greek, and in the vernacular. A review of the chant texts themselves can be found on the ICEL website:


    Here is just a taste of what the text from the USCCB website does not have:


    Please note also the following: “It is important to note that the texts and music available on this site are for study rather than immediate liturgical use as definitive versions will not be available until the Bishops’ Conferences have determined a date for the implementation of the Missal.”

    This is accompanied elsewhere on the site by a twenty-page introduction to the English-language Missal, which I highly recommend:


    One will see that the role of music, the role of chant, as being integrated into the rite itself, has been subject to more effort during the course of this re-translation.

    Comment by manwithblackhat — 16 May 2010 @ 6:18 pm

  56. Fr Jackson says:

    I voted “yes” in the poll. My reasons have to do with one of the changes made at Vatican II in the document “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, namely, that what we now call Bishops’ Conferences were given the power to regulate numerous aspects of the Liturgy. This represented a big change from before: at least since Pius V Rome had largely reserved liturgical questions to itself. In my opinion, this empowerment of the Bishops’ Conferences has been the greatest contributing factor to the liturgical abuses that we have had to endure in the past decades since the Council. I feel that if we look at the history of the Church we will find this general pattern: reforms come from Rome or at least initiatives blessed by Rome, and opposition to reform comes from the local entrenched “rights” and “customs”. Pius V solved the problem by saying in Quo Primum that any priest could celebrate the liturgy the way he had codified, without any fear of penalty or censure. Will Rome ever have the courage to reverse this prescription of Sacrosanctum Concilium? Probably not anytime soon. But in the meantime, I think that the historical precedent of Pius V shows what the mind of the Church is. It is not true disobedience to follow reforms coming from Rome: it is an appeal to higher principles.

  57. Oops! Make that FOUR days ago.

  58. Daniel says:

    “Available now” on the USCCB website, I also see references to “once the recognitio is granted”. It seems to me there are portions of the USCCB site that are already out of date. While it seems a committee from the USCCB is trying to control who publishes what and when, I have no idea what their authority is beyond protection of copyrights. You see mixing of different approved texts constantly whenever a bilingual Mass is done. Does that require permission to mix the texts? Could a priest not begin implementation by using “Dominus Vobiscum” for a time period to get the response “Et Cum Spiritu Tuo”; and then make the change to “And with your Spirit”. Since the priest often leads the Creed, he could not begin with “I believe” rather than “we believe” prior to some implementation date? The deacon could not introduce the memorial acclamation (oops, will be called the “mystery of faith) with “The Mystery of Faith” rather than “Let us proclaim the Mystery of Faith”. Would it not be at least allowable for the deacon to say “Mysterium Fidei” for a period of time in preparation for the change in the English? Do they really expect that you must keep to one way of saying everything until such and such a date, and then overnight make the change at Mass because you have been prepared outside of Mass? I’m reminded of how when the Mass first changed to English, that it took quite some time to get the people to not say “Amen” at the end of the Our Father during Mass, and now you can’t get them to say “Amen” to the Our Father during the Rosary.

  59. Jon says:

    Okay, earlier I said I’d have to do some more thinking.

    I’ve thought, and the answer is still no – out of obedience. I do, however, wish an exception immediately be given to EWTN. I can’t imagine a better preparation than familiarizing the ear to the new translation on TV a full year before it’s introduced. It would be a great help to folks, especially the elderly, for whom I’m guessing the transition will be somewhat more problematic.

    As for myself, well, I’m blessed to belong to an FSSP parish, and see a Novus Ordo about as often as I see Hailey’s Comet, although I do have to endure an NO wedding this Saturday…

  60. Supertradmum says:

    Obedience first, but one must remember that our brothers and sisters in Christ in England had to go it alone so long in the past that the tendency is to judge what is best for the people on the spot in a missionary sort of way. And, so we really need the Bishops’Conferences? Isn’t the strength of the Church also found in the local ordinaries? However, it is was me in this position, I would be obedient….

  61. MichaelJ says:

    I read what you wrote four days ago, and re-read it just now, and it does not answer the question. I am sorry for not being clearer and am also sorry if it makes me appear unwilling to be informed. So lets try again.

    In early May, the CDWDS ( not theICEL) approved the new translation. Presumably, it did so with some kind of document or announcement. I want to see the announcement that gave approval. You apparently have seen it, because you said it “stated the conditions under which such approval could be implemented”. I want to see it too.

  62. Random Friar says:

    Brick by brick, not house by house. That may sound a little flippant, but it is not just us who will be at Mass and celebrating it. Many are those who have been poorly catechized or are poorly read. I would suggest preparing and laying the good mortar of excellent catechesis *first*, before adding bricks.

    I want to make sure the flock of Christ is not misled by any hirelings or strange voices when it finally does come.

  63. Daniel says:

    “El Senor este con ustedes”, “Y con tu espiritu”. Make your congregation use the approved Spanish text for awhile to break them of their “and also with you” response. Is this not a legitimate practice to mix the Spanish and English texts, since doing so seems rather widespread. And that would be the preferred method of implementing new texts?

  64. mpm says:

    Random Friar,

    And when the mortar solidifies without any bricks…?

  65. Random Friar says:

    mpm: I guess it would yield the same result as a house built on bricks with no mortar, that is, poorly built and easily destroyed and changed at whim. I urge balance and prudence in this case.

  66. edwardo3 says:

    This problem is that if one disobeys in this matter, does one loose his credibility when trying to correct the disobedience of his brothers? Personally, my heart says to use the new translations last week, we’ve definately waited long enough, actually too long, but experience tells me that to use the new translations before the assigned date without written permission will only lead to a lot of trouble and a lot of liberal finger wagging when the person using the new translations early tries to point out any sort of liturgical abuse on the part of others.

  67. I say no, not until explicit permission is given from those with the requisite authority and competence.

  68. >>I would love to use it now, but, I will wait for the signal from my bishop and the USCCB. All of this preparation is good and well, but they did nothing when they forced this current translation on the poor people. <<<

    Dear ipadre and choirmaster!

    how about this? let’s demand that liturgists stop using the old ICEL ASAP period. (The Vatican has declared it is worthy of the dustbin! If that judgment is warranted, then the time to stop using it has long since passed!) God’s children are hungry and the American Church just keeps feeding them stones.

    Let’s just teach the people the ordinary Latin responses as per Paul VI’s wishes. We then can wait 20 years or so until the last ‘Woodstock’ anti-new translation bishop retires and then implement the new translation!

    Each year, in only the 6 weeks of Lent, people forget the forgettable ICEL ‘Gloria’. It would be best for them to forget the entire old ICEL liturgy. As long as they keep practicing it, it will never die out.


  69. I voted yes..

    Fortunately (or not), there exist loopholes to implement the new translation. In my copy of the GIRM, there are the dredded words “or similar words” for various parts of the Missal. (So, unfortunately at some parishes the introductory speech which sometimes lasts longer than the homily is not a liturgical abuse)…The priest parts should be able to be used…of course I’d much rather have the Mass in latin, it eliminates this concern.

  70. Perhaps the good Father would re-title this post “Belling the Cat.” Many in this forum think doing something right this minute is a good idea. None of them have told us HOW that would happen — from the altar missal to the worship aid in the pew. How will a process that should take twelve to fifteen months be brought down to … oh, how about this weekend?

  71. Daniel says:


    You seem stuck on an all or nothing approach. I gave various suggestions on implementing parts here or there. Do you have a problem with the priest leading the congregation into the Creed with “I believe”, with the deacon saying “Mystery of Faith” rather than “let us proclaim the Mystery of Faith”, with working into a change to “and with your spirit”, etc.? The entire missal is not going to used at the very first Mass scheduled to implement the new translation. Until the people begin using some of the new responses, or at least stop using the old responses by changing briefly to Latin or Spanish, it will take months to break the habits. Personally as I attend an Anglican-Use parish, I have a problem in trying to remember to say “and also with you” rather than “and with thy spirit”; and after the change likely would use thy rather than your when attending a normal parish.

  72. “You seem stuck on an all or nothing approach.”

    No, I’m stuck on the facts. And fact number one is, there is a right way and a wrong way to implement liturgical texts. We have in front of us an authoritative means by which it is supposed to be done, one that has been presented over and over and over again. Those who suggesting otherwise give all manner of reasons. But none of them, including you, cite an authority for the way they want it done.

    Yours is so haphazard, so disorganized (“And today, kids, we’re going to introduce our NEXT different way of doing something …”) as to give the impression of novelty. This is not what is called for in the approval Rome has given.

  73. Daniel says:

    So the implementation process of cathechesis won’t become a process of “And today, kids, we’re going to introduce our NEXT different way of doing something sometime in the future, but we can’t do it now as we don’t have the proper permissions. Don’t forget this change between now and then”? And what is the date that we will all be most properly prepared for? Is that on the agenda to be discussed at the next bishops’ conference meeting, and will it be voted upon? Won’t there be arguments made that the faithful are not yet ready for it, that it must be put off for another year or more or more? Until that yet to be named date arrives, do not allow the priest begin the Creed “I believe”, do not allow your deacon to say “Mystery of Faith” without the “Let us proclaim…”, do not let your cantor teach the congregation a setting of “Holy, Holy, Holy” that includes “Lord God of Hosts” unless he reserves it for the future date rather than uses it at Mass. All of that would just be too novel to achieve implementing new texts. I can hardly wait to see how many months, if not years, it will take after the official implementation date before the majority of the congregation responds “and with your spirit” rather than “and also with you” that they have become accustomed to and apparently must use from now until the day prior to the date to be named later.

  74. Daniel says:

    Since I attend an Anglican Use Parish, perhaps I have been missing out on all the preparation that in an average parish “has been presented over and over and over again”. However, running a Catholic bookstore where I continue to get requests for the current missal and I have to break the news to them that there is a new translation coming out in the not terribly distant future (though I don’t believe anyone can say when for sure), I doubt that the average person even knows a new translation is already approved.

  75. amsjj1002 says:

    I came too late for the poll, but my vote would have been “no”. I don’t want to be disobedient and go off like an (unexpectedly) loaded gun.

    This also reminded of something Father Newman said:

    “I have always preached that things which are *really* useful, still are done, according to God’s will, at one time, not at another — and that, if you attempt at a wrong time, what in itself is right, you perhaps become a heretic or schismatic. What I may aim at may be real and good, but it may be God’s will it should be done a hundred years later.”

    — Venerable John Henry Newman, July 17. 1859
    (The Letters and Diaries of JHN, Vol. XIX, p. 180).


    But here’s hoping it won’t take a hundred years!

  76. “Comment by Daniel — 20 May 2010 @ 11:36 pm”

    Read my earlier statements in this thread. I was EXTREMELY clear as to what I said, and what I meant.

  77. Daniel says:


    Perhaps what you are being EXTREMELY clear about it that before any change could be made, people in the pew must have in their hands “worship aids” purchased from an authorized publishing house. Taking any practical steps to actually get people to begin changing their responses that have been programmed into them for so many years can not be allowed until these “worship aids” have been acquired.

  78. Yeah, that’s it.

  79. When you have to keep explaining a ritual, it is no longer a ritual. Your suggestion aobve is an endless array of explanations. That is how the “Novus Ordo” was introduced. The habits of a generation of priests who never met a microphone they didn’t like, can be traced to this.

  80. Daniel says:

    My approach has little to do with explaining, more to do with just do it. It becomes ritual through its use. We already know what the new translation is, begin using it. Will waiting until 2011 or later make the new translation “ritual”? No, it simply further ingrains the old translation. It seems that it is the bishops’ conference (or at least some committee of theirs) that believes an endless array of explanations will make it ritual given a long enough period of explanation. No one I know that was around when the “Novus Ordo” translation was introduced would likely recall that there was some long period of time where it was explained to them first. They learned their responses by the repetition of them, which is the only way the majority of the people in the pews will learn the new responses. Postponing the inevitable won’t help. I am advocating beginning with the “lesser extent” of using the new translation, in order to build to the full extent gradually. Expecting that the average in the person in the pews will be able to shift gears from the continuing use of the bad translation to complete use of the new translation at some yet to be determined date that still seems far, far away seems impractical. There is no way you will get the whole congregation to give a new, correct response together until after the new response has been actually used for a period of time. Will anybody that uses the incorrect text by habit after the designated date be judged as being disobedient?

  81. “My approach has little to do with explaining, more to do with just do it.”

    And that has been addressed before, why people can’t just “do it” without something to tell them WHAT to do. These kind of assumptions happen a lot, and you’re not the first (just the most resilient). So I’m probably going to have to do a piece at my own blog on why you can’t just get up there and go off half-cocked.

    In the meantime, your questions, your objections — every single one of them — have been addressed authoritatively and ad nauseum, either in this forum, or elsewhere.

  82. Daniel says:

    I believe that you believe you have addressed authoritatively and ad nauseum every single one of my questions and objections, here or elsewhere. I’ve just been unable to see what the response was to my question as to what the date of implementation is, or if this has not yet been decided when it will be decided.

  83. Daniel says:

    I tried looking on the USCCB website again, and the timeline under resources ends with “US Roman Missal Approved – 2009”.

  84. diem says:

    @ Jason_schalow: “The only way out would be to somehow claim that double effect applies and that this action somehow forestalls an even greater disorder that cannot be otherwise prevented.”

    Double effect only applies when what is done is itself licit and both good and evil consequences follow; directly breaking a law does not fit (assuming the law is morally binding in the situation being considered), because the evil is in what is being done and is not merely in a consequence. The principle emphatically has nothing to do with doing something in itself bad to forestall a greater evil.

  85. “I believe that you believe you have addressed …”

    I believe it because it happened, not because I had a dream about it and then woke up.

    The report from Rome stated that the new translation could be implemented (and I believe this was only an informed estimate) as early as the beginning of Advent 2011. It was mentioned both at WDTPRS and at New Liturgical Movement. As far as I know (and I usually do), you may just have to live with that. Late this month, or next month, a piece at MWBH will be devoted to the new translation, including why it takes so long. (I’ve been in the publishing trade for nearly thirty years. I know these things.)

  86. MichaelJ says:

    According to a press release by the Vox Clara Committee, (a copy of which can be seen here, http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:M6B0tuSOxmMJ:the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2010/04/vox-clara-press-release.html+vox+clara+press+release&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us) the CDWDS approved the translation on March 25. The press release states, in part,

    “Following careful consideration of the advice provided over the past eight years by the members of the Vox Clara Committee, a final text was arrived at by the Congregation, confirmed by a decree dated 25 March, 2010 (Prot. 269/10/L) and signed by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect, and Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P., Secretary to the Congregation.”

    I cannot seem to find an online copy of the decree (Prot. 269/10/L) but would think that its contents would definitively answer, one way or the other, whether it is licit for a Priest to begin using the new text immediately.

    I do not think it will answer whether it is practical, politically expedient or pastorally wise to do so. Nor will it answer whether additional catechis is necessary or if the required infrastructure is in place.

    It will, however, definitively answer Father Z’s (and my) question of “Is using the new translation a liturgical abuse?”

  87. Daniel says:

    My understanding then is that the implementation plan is to plan for an implementation plan, with a date of actual implementation to be determined. The bishops liturgy committee will review materials that are submitted to them by the publishing trade with their suggestions as to implementation once copyrights have been established. Some of the materials being currently offered (though perhaps not actually available as of today) state that they could be used “in YOUR parish plan for implementing the revised Roman Missal”, which could be introduced “in small segments at the pace YOU choose for YOUR parish” (though apparently only introduced and not actually used). I see these materials are suggested as being mailed to every parish household and/or handed out at parish formation sessions. This does look like a great plan for the publishing trade, but does the average new convert rehearse Mass responses during the RCIA process, or learn the responses by actually attending Mass? I believe it will take a great deal of time for the people in the pews to adjust to the new translations, so the sooner used the better. I eagerly await the next Bishops’ Conference and the debate on when and how to implement the already conditionally approved texts.

  88. Daniel says:


    Not that I think that the fact that you are in the publishing trade has anything to do with your position, any more than the fact that I sell Missals. I am of the opinion that the money spent on printing these materials up will mostly be wasted, though that has nothing to do with you being in the publishing trade.

  89. “Comment by Daniel — 21 May 2010 @ 12:57 pm”

    “Comment by Daniel — 21 May 2010 @ 4:12 pm”

    What little I can discern from what you have written, has reinforced my conclusion that 1) some of what you suggest is already being done, if not to your satisfaction, and 2) you have little genuine knowledge as a basis for your contentions, and are simply (and understandably) anxious to move forward.

  90. Daniel says:

    It takes “genuine knowledge” to contend that the printing of bulletin inserts and pamphlets mailed out to every household will seldom be read by the average person in the pew but will just wind up in the trash? It takes “genuine knowledge” to contend that people won’t be giving the proper responses until they are actually asked to begin using them? It takes “genuine knowledge” to contend that texts from two different translations (such as English/Spanish) are very often mixed within the same Mass?

  91. Daniel (who is probably enjoying this exercise by now):

    Yes, it takes “genuine knowledge” to know, that a major publication that is several hundred pages long, as well as the dozens of collateral material that much be harmonized with, or must otherwise accompany it — not just an altar missal, but hand missals, seasonal worship aids, choir editions, instrumental accompaniments, recordings and instructional commentary for all of the above — will take anywhere from twelve to fifteen months to be designed, laid out, typeset, proofread, corrected, proofed again, corrected again, printed, assembled, bound, and shipped to thousands of destinations, at least three to four months before it is to be used.

    All this, as opposed to a pastor running out several hundred copies of a PDF file to be handed out and read as if the Mass were some sort of a rehearsal, using material which still would not be complete, including the hundreds of collects, prayers over the gifts, and postcommunion prayers, that must be already in place. Such would be the case if one were so compelled to “jump the gun,” which you yourself contend most people wouldn’t read, and would be a waste.

    And THAT, like it or not, is what takes so long. In the meantime, what was quoted earlier about the status of the approval still remains.

  92. Daniel says:

    I’ll let you get to work on publishing worship aids rather than having to respond to my silly assertions.

  93. Admitting it is the first step to recovery.

  94. Daniel says:

    Father’s podcast of the new English translation of the Roman Canon was terrific! A real shame that it can’t be used in the context of Mass until the publishers have everything ready. Using it in Mass prior to that distant date on the horizon would clearly be a mistake to those that have genuine knowledge of these things.

  95. catholicmidwest says:

    “A great effort to produce the new Roman Missal for the United States of America is underway now among the publishers of liturgical books, along with the other necessary resources by publishers of liturgical music and catechetical resources,” he said. “Even as that work is underway a full–scale implementation of catechesis for the new Missal should be taking place in the parishes, so that when the time comes, everyone will be ready.”[Msgr. Anthony Sherman, Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship]

    Is a “full scale implementation of catechesis for the new missal [which] should be taking place in the parishes” happening anywhere you know?????? We haven’t heard a WORD. NOt a single word.

  96. catholicmidwest says:


    I think you have your head firmly in the clouds. The introduction of the new translation is going to be an interesting mess, all the way around.

    Over the long haul, I think it will be generally well-accepted. But it won’t be seamless, by any description.

  97. Daniel says:

    I believe the publishing trade has their money on Advent of 2012 as the implementation date, as it would be difficult for them to have all this printed material ready by then. Does anyone have an altar-ecard ready yet? It would resemble the old altar card, but would be an electronic reader. Mass texts simply downloaded into them. It would seem in the long run, would an e-technology be less expensive to even provide to the pews rather than all those subscription to throw away missalettes? Think of all the trees that could be saved over the years! E-readers for the choirs as well, no more paper hymnals! It might make those tricky page turns easier. My pastor already uses email as his primary means of communication to the parishioners between Sundays, a great way to send out any worship aids.

  98. “I believe the publishing trade has their money on Advent of 2012 as the implementation date …”

    So did I a few months ago (if you ever read some comments at NLM), but I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. And as for YOU, catholicmidwest, I believe I have described the “mess all around” in some detail, both here and in other posts on the subject. Put me next to people who think this should happen next Sunday. My head may be in the clouds, but my feet are on the ground.

  99. Hey, here’s a clever idea: let’s stick to the implementation strategy put forth in Liturgiam Authenticam!

    74. A certain stability ought to be maintained whenever possible in successive editions prepared in modern languages. The parts that are to be committed to memory by the people, especially if they are sung, are to be changed only for a just and considerable reason. Nevertheless, if more significant changes are necessary for the purpose of bringing the text into conformity with the norms contained in this Instruction, it will be preferable to make such changes at one time, rather than prolonging them over the course of several editions. In such case, a suitable period of catechesis should accompany the publication of the new text.

    (Yes, it’s speaking about publishing multiple successive editions… but isn’t that essentially what you do when you change one thing from week to week or month to month?)

    133. In addition, the norms established by this Instruction attain full force for the emendation of previous translations, and any further delay in making such emendations is to be avoided. It is to be hoped that this new effort will provide stability in the life of the Church, so as to lay a firm foundation for supporting the liturgical life of God’s people and bringing about a solid renewal of catechesis.

  100. catholicmidwest says:


    There’s some catholic snobbery gone viral. Not everyone has an handheld (iphone?). Not everyone wants a handheld device. Not everyone can afford a handheld device. And not everyone who has a handheld device wants to carry it all over all the time or oogle at it in mass. Moreover, not everyone wants to listen to everyone’s handhelds beeping, chirping and jiving in mass. You know someone will be IM-ing, texting or playing space invaders or what not. Actually it could replace cheerios in a baggie for keeping the kids quiet, no? What do you think of that?

    I have long had a problem with the attitude that all people who belong to the church or want to belong to the church can show up and go through these little middle class rituals to belong. (The handheld downloaded example is just the latest and most ridiculous of these.)

    EXAMPLE of something more typical to illustrate my point: RCIA. Suppose Mary wants to be Catholic. She has to show up weekly, during the evening, and go through this social ritual that more resembles a series of PTA meetings than anything else. Questions, even personal ones, are asked. Do you have any idea in the world how many people this excludes????? People who work the evening shift; people who are uncomfortable in social groups; people who have panic attacks; people with no babysitters for kids; people who can’t afford to get across town several times a week, but could make it to mass by carpooling; people with chronic illnesses; people who are hospitalized; old people; etc, etc, etc. IT’s almost like the church decided in the 60s to become a middle class “respectable” outfit despite itself. That’s wrong. I suspect they didn’t mean for it to turn out wrong so much as the people who designed it had their heads firmly stuck in their own habits & expectations (which is another way of saying “up their own butts”).

    No. The mass should be printed on paper or in leaflets. It should be readable and it should follow what actually happens. The priest has got to stick to the “script” too.

    The Church, even if it is not only us (in the We Are The Church sense), is public. It’s a public organization. IN fact it’s THE public organization to trump all public organizations, and its doors must be open to all who come and *are willing* to abide by her teaching. Even if they are ugly; even if they are sick; even if they are poor; even if they make us uncomfortable.

    Two things in conjunction with this:

    1) It’s amazing how the people who are always claiming the laity is too stupid to understand the new translations are exactly the same people to think they can change everything willy-nilly and be unreliable as hell and think everyone can always follow along. This is just a fake argument on their part and they don’t care if they make sense or not. Like children, they just want their own way and it’s just as simple as that. Other people be damned, and that’s their attitude.

    2) The trend toward copyrighting all the liturgical documents is another move which makes texts harder to propagate among the people. It makes it so they must be bought, which strengthens the hold of the liturgical publishing houses on the process which is a very very bad idea. The church herself owns the texts, not the publishing houses. And not even the USCCB which is not the church, but only a utility.

  101. catholicmidwest says:

    I don’t see why it should take the publishing houses so long. When Michael Jackson died, 2 weeks later there were magazines and books all over the place to “commemorate” his life, such as it was. So was that all about money, which is more important than this? Is that the reason it might take more than TWO (2!) years to print a pamphlet?????

  102. catholicmidwest says:

    Admittedly, for the altar books, it will be not a pamphlet but a book. However, that’s doable too, and in much less than one year, let alone 2 years. Recall the publication of the CCC, once the translation was finally approved. [The battle over the translation was what took so long, not the printing. This business is very similar in most ways to that.]

    And for the peoples’ parts, it will be little more than a brochure they will have to print. It can be shipped in big cardboard boxes by the thousands. I don’t understand the delay.

  103. Daniel says:


    You may have misunderstood me. I was suggesting a parish investment in some type of electronic reader for the pew, not that everybody have to get their own (not that they couldn’t). While it would be a somewhat large investment for a parish at the beginning, I would think it would be a savings for them compared to the cost of subscribing to disposable missals. I’m sure some type of anti-theft measures would have to be developed. It is hardly a long standing centuries-old tradition that the Mass should be available in leaflets. Was there a point in history when people objected to making use of those newly invented printing presses? There is already a movement towards using electronic text books in schools, which will likely be a huge savings. Surely some type of electronic missal can’t be a possibility, and since I’m talking about the parish using the money they have already been using for disposable printed materials rather than requiring people to buy their own that could hardly be Catholic snobbery. Certainly a current distraction that would be eliminated is when hundreds of people in the pews simultaneously do a page turn during the deacon’s chanting of the Gospel.

  104. Daniel says:

    Forgot to mention the money that parishes currently spend on shipping costs for those big cardboard boxes.

  105. catholicmidwest says:

    No. Now we’re installing computers in the pews? No. Tons of reasons why not.

    a) Parishes don’t need to hire a programmer or anything of the sort. MOst parishes have far too many “lay ministry” hangers-on as it is. The last thing we need is a (paid!) ministry of computer maintenance or something like that. (And given the competence of most lay ministry personnel due to the wages paid and the resulting applicant pool, the computers wouldn’t work half the time anyway.)

    b) The temptation with readily updatable media will be to have upgrades. Have you ever seen a computer without upgrades??? Do we really want to go there???? Think about the possibilities, man. Why should we consort with yet another force to change and mutate our worship? The next thing we’ll have is channels for people who want to “enrich” their experience, yada, yada, and downhill from there.

    c)Cost. Plain old cost. Why should parishes buy this? And create yet another market to support?

    d)Have you ever seen a classroom full of kids with computers in front of them?? Do you think people will be able to keep their hands off the buttons? Think about it.

  106. catholicmidwest says:

    I think that parishes, instead of buying missalettes, ought to use public domain music and a copy machine. Have a piano player play the harmony for singing and get rid of the “music minister.”

    For the text of the mass, there are cheap reprints available wholesale through book supply stores, and parishes ought to buy them by the box and keep then near the door to be picked up and used as needed, especially when the new translations come. As for the priest’s copy, buy one and keep it near the altar. Period.

    How hard (and expensive) can we make this yet???? Good grief.

  107. Daniel says:

    I don’t believe that there is any obligation on the part of the parish to provide people in the pews with the Mass texts. That seems to have begun with disposable missals around the ’70’s. Prior to that, if you wanted to read along with the Mass you brought a missal that you acquired on your own. Whether or not everybody followed along with the what was happening in the Mass or not is another issue, though I’m sure a number of people actively participated by joining their prayers to the Mass. Was it Catholic snobbery back then that some people has missals while others did not, or is it a Catholic entitlement program that some people now feel that the parish should provide them with copies of the Mass text to read along.

  108. catholicmidwest says:

    Actually, Daniel, you are correct in that. People used to enjoy toting their missal to church. That and the ubiquitous lace head covering for women were part of the Catholic experience in those days. I attended Catholic school in 1961-62. I wasn’t Catholic yet, but I did have my own missal and so did everyone else. I’m absent-minded so I’ve pinned more Kleenex on my head than most people. ;)

    [I took a long and crazy personal trip after that, but came back in the 80s, and I still have that missal, latin on one page and english on the facing page, just like I remembered.)

    It is possible that people could be sold missals again, particularly if they had prayers and pictures in them like the old ones used to. These things did triple duty: guide to mass, prayer book, pretty thing to thumb through now and then. It would also help for it to be easy to find one. They used to sell them in narthexes of churches all over, if you remember, along with little lace hats, rosaries and such. The proceeds used to benefit the parishes, the schools or some charity usually.

  109. catholicmidwest says:


    There wasn’t really much snobbery about those missals. Many of them I saw people carrying were old and some were quite ragged. Others, like mine, were mass produced little St. Joseph missals that every catholic school kid had to buy for school. You could tell how old they were by the number of holy cards and funeral cards in them. Some people carried the same one, I swear, for decades until they fell apart. Also, missals were often gifts one got for graduating, getting confirmed etc.

  110. AnAmericanMother says:


    No snobbery. We have lots of people who still carry their missals to Mass. I think about all it would tell you is that the person toting the missal goes to Mass pretty regularly . . . but then again plenty of folks who attend like clockwork don’t have a missal. Or they have the little paperback Magnificat.

    Episcopalians back in the day carried their Book of Common Prayer. Wasn’t a snobbery thing, the volumes in the pews were very small type, plus most of us got a BCP with the hymnal in the back (and 5 ribbons) so that you could mark not only the entire service but also all the hymns and never have to fumble for separate books.

  111. Daniel says:


    I think your main objections come from being technologically challenged, or you would know that I am not talking about installing computers in the pew (at least not full computers). I’m referring to something that is more likely similar to a teleprompter. I’m not a geek myself, so I can’t say what may or may not already be out. The cost of such technology has been dropping considerably in recent years, and I’m sure due to economies of scale would be even more affordable with the thousands being purchased. As this cost replaces one that would otherwise be continuing into perpetuity (disposable missals), I can’t see this as something that should be a huge financial issue. The fact that we might be putting some publishing employees and shipping employees out of jobs to be replaced by a new market being supported doesn’t seem to me to be much of a consideration. Would someone be used to put all of the readers on the proper text get called a “lay minister of electronic devices” by some? That still has nothing to do with whether or not some form of electronic missals should eventually be used or not.

  112. Daniel says:

    My point should have obviously been that it was not snobbery back in the days when some people had missals and those that did not have their missals weren’t supplied them by the parish. I was making this point as it seemed I was being accused of snobbery for suggesting that electronic missals should perhaps come into use; and getting the response from catholicmidwest: “There’s some catholic snobbery gone viral”.

  113. catholicmidwest says:

    I work in Research & Engineering at a large company. You will find my real name at the US Patent website many times. I am definitely not technologically challenged. I simply believe that computerized missals will invite many extraneous factors that have nothing to do with worship. All considered, they will not further the holiness of people and will cost much more than they are worth.

  114. catholicmidwest says:

    Having to have your own handheld is snobbery. Many people don’t have them and won’t carry them just for mass. The missal is traditional, stable, dedicated to worship & needs no update; the handheld is not traditional, not stable, has extraneous updates and apps and will require updates. The handheld is noisy to boot.

  115. catholicmidwest says:

    And the fact that a “ministry of technology” will have to be created has everything to do with whether these things should be used or not. It’s an expense. Expenses must be paid for. Bottom line.

  116. Daniel says:

    I repeat again that I was referring to the parish providing a reader, which isn’t necessarily handheld. It doesn’t require having any additional apps, once loaded with the Missal it may not require any updates whatsoever (with the exception of prayers for new saints). This suggestion was made on this thread to demonstrate a way to get the new translation out there in a more expedient manner than the publishing trade seems to be able to do. Expenses will be paid for all these paper products, they might possibly used for technology instead. I don’t see any of this as having to be any more obtrusive than some type of closed-captioning reader.

  117. “I don’t see why it should take the publishing houses so long.”

    I wouldn’t either, if I didn’t do this for a living.

    For a project of this scale, there would be at least several major rounds of proofreading and corrections. Remember, it’s not just the Order of Mass, but the orations that accompany the entire liturgical year. There were a few weeks, of not a few months, for checking each rendition of a particular prayer, used for different parts of the Missal, to make sure the translations all matched. That’s just one example.

    But whether you provide disposable pew missals, or have everyone bring hand missals, anyone who has studied the issue in any detail would know, that this is not simply a matter of dropping in new text where old text once was. Not only are the orations more elaborate, given their fidelity to the Latin text, but the organization of the text itself will vary, especially in the altar missal, where there will be a greater role for chant as an ordinary part of the Mass. This may also have to be reflected in hand missals or other worship aids (none of which are going away anytime soon).

    Again, it is hard to imagine it taking that long, but from my experience, it will. The printing and distribution alone would take, I would say, two to three months, minimum. That’s printing AND distribution.

  118. “There were a few weeks, of not a few months, for checking each rendition of a particular prayer, used for different parts of the Missal, to make sure the translations all matched. That’s just one example.”

    I meant to state that such time was spent for all such instances put together. This was before the recognitio.

  119. Daniel says:

    manwithblackhat (might I call you hat for short?):

    I for one fully appreciate what you have had to say as to why it would take a great deal of time for the print industry to have everything fully ready. In any normal year, they are likely selling very few altar missals. Suddenly every parish needs at least one. This isn’t a job you turn over to some company that can rush out a Michael Jackson bio in two weeks. Despite what some people seem to think, they have also been publishing missals for the people in the pews for years as well. I can perfectly understand that those missals as well would take quite some time; and I for one would not want to see someone like Doubleday jump in to sell a number of missals for a year or two while those that have been consistent in publishing them miss out on the opportunity.

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