PODCAzT 103: The new translation of the 2nd Eucharistic Prayer; Fr. Z digresses and rants

Today we will compare the lame-duck ICEL version of the 2nd Eucharistic Prayer now still in use with the new, approved and improved translation which we will soon be able to hear in our Churches.

The new translation of the Roman Missal will help the whole Catholic Church, whether people want to attend the newer form of Holy Mass or not.  When the tide rises all the boats rise with it.  Therefore, the implementation of the new translation is of paramount importance for the whole Church.

We must revitalize our Catholic identity, and worship is the key.

Thus, we hear today the lame-duck version and then the new version of the 2nd Eucharist Prayer.  I think many people have read it, but… have they heard it?

In the reading of the two versions of the Eucharistic Prayer, I try to keep my personality out of the way and not impose too much on the text.  I just want you to hear the text.  Besides, far too many priests try to read with meaning… it’s like drowning in syrup.

I make lots of digressions and rant a bit about various topics, including concelebration.


Oh yes… the words to the song at the end… there is even reference to a palimpsest!

Given my digressions, I thought I’d poke a little fun in both directions!

How’s your French?

Charles Trenet

Ce sont des intellectuels
Qui vivent entre terre et ciel
Ils ont le don providentiel
De la pensée

Ils voyagent dans de vieux bouquins
Qui datent du temps de Charles Quint
Ornés des couleurs d’Arlequin
Chose insensée

Ils connaissent tout de l’Univers
De son endroit de son envers
Changeant en un grand palimpseste
La voûte céleste

Ils collectionnent les papyrus
Qu’ils lisent parfois dans l’autobus
Quand ils vont au marché aux puces
Acheter de l’emprunt russe

Ce sont des intellectuels
Qui se retrouvent dans des chapelles
Que se disent-ils que se disent-elles
Des choses profondes

En discutant ils se méfient
De toutes les grandes philosophies
Aucune vraiment ne leur suffit
Âmes vagabondes

Arrive la confusion des langues
L’évocation du big big bang
Alors tout tourne danse et tangue
En fin du monde

Le soir au fond de leur maison
Sans trop savoir en quelle saison
Tout en buvant une tisane
Ils pensent qu’ils sont des ânes

Ce sont des intellectuels
Y en a partout en ribambelles
Des vrais des faux en parallèles
Quel beau mélange

Mais dès que l’on monte dans leur barque
Ce sont les faux que l’on remarque
Déguisés parfois en énarques
Pour donner le change

Et moi souvent je les confonds
Mais que m’importent ces profonds
Trop d’intellect ça me morfond
Alors des ailes

Me soulèvent dans une chanson
Qui rêve à ma petite façon
Et plane pour vous loin des leçons
Des intellectuels
Des intellectuels
Des intellec tu tu els els oui oui

103 10-05-24 The new translation of the 2nd Eucharist Prayer; Fr. Z digresses and rants
102 10-05-21 Exploring the new English translation of the Roman Canon; voicemail

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. quovadis7 says:

    Hi Fr. Z.,

    Unfortunately, your MP3 link for this podcast is the very same one as what you had last Friday for Eucharistic Prayer I, and is not for EPII.

    Could you fix this? [FIXED! Thanks for the alert.]
    I’m VERY interested in what you have to say about this particular prayer, since the current ICEL translation of it has troubled me for quite some time now….


    Steve B
    Plano, TX

  2. B.C.M. says:

    Too magnificent, too glorious.

  3. Father,

    Thank you for these; I am looking forward to III & IV.

    I took your advice from this podcast and read the essay by Father Cassian Folsom, O.S.B.

    Between this and the story about the Octave of Pentecost, it really does make one wonder what power +Bugnini had and why Pope Paul VI allowed it.


    Regrettable… the ’65 Missal was in place and there were no complaints from the people, only the scholars and experts. In their arrogance, these liberal and modernist so-called experts, scholars and liturgists never really cared anything about the people, only their agenda.

    Thank you LORD for Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI and for Liturgiam Authenticam, Redemptionis Sacramentum and Summorum Pontificum.

  4. TNCath says:

    I enjoyed the podcast very much. While I really don’t have anything against Eucharistic Prayer II, I do think that it is used too often. I certainly think in the case of older, infirm priests (even Pope John Paul II used it in his declining years) and other special circumstances, it has its place.

    At the same time, Pope Paul’s being duped by the liturgical “experts” such as Archbishop (then Father) Bugnini et al. is something we will be recovering from for many years to come. I just hope and pray that when the new translation of this prayer and the rest of the Mass is implemented, that priests will actually implement it without their own personal additions and deletions.

  5. Magpie says:

    Thanks Father, excellent as usual. Looking forward to part 3!

  6. The Cobbler says:

    “…try to read with meaning…”

    I don’t know if this is what you’re referring to, but in my part of the world the less than stellar NO comes complete with an annunciation of the readings that puts the emphasis on words that make no sense in any way possible — grammatical, contextual, spiritual, I don’t care what. One day I got my hands on a reader’s copy of the readings and discovered where they all learned this madness: it’s in their little guide! Now if I can just trace that back to its authors and whoever learn`ed them, I can bring the evidence to some English teachers and in a very little while we’ll be rid of all such crap… Mwahahahahahah…

    Yes, I have an obsession with terminating bad English in the Liturgy for English’s sake as much as for Liturgy’s sake. Is that a problem?

  7. Tom in NY says:

    Si divertisante.
    Est-ce que l’egocentrisme la difference entre les intellectuels et les bien-instruits?
    Salutations a tous.

  8. coletmary says:

    It’s got a catchy tune, too. Here’s the link on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq-Av6pYs8c.

  9. Bornacatholic says:

    The Ratzinger Report: If it would foster devotion in many believers an encourage respect for the piety of particular Catholic groups, I would personally support a return to the ancient situation, i.e., to a certain liturgical pluralism. Provided, of course, that the legitimate character of the reformed rites was emphatically affirmed, and that there was a clear delineation of the extent and nature of such an exception permitting the celebration of the pre-conciliar liturgy.

    Dwight Yoakum was right; I said, Well baby, things change
    And let’s don’t go placing no blame
    ‘Cause you know things can change

    Of course, once The Hierarchy decided to head down the path of “reform” there was no telling where it would lead; or if it would ever end.

    It is clear that some in The Hierarchy, esp. Pope Benedict, are toiling to repair the damage and to correct the errors but after he dies, who knows?

    Because the revolution was introduced into the Church by The Hierarchy, it can only be ended by The Hierarchy because we have a Hierarchical nature and structure.

    In the meantime, ain’t we laity had fun?

  10. JulieC says:

    “We must revitalize our Catholic identity, and worship is the key.”

    I agree, Fr. Z. The new translations will help form a new generation of Catholics in a more traditional, vertically oriented cult of worship.

    I’m grateful for the new translations. They will be an enormous help for Catholics who worship in the Ordinary Form.

    That being said, I wish this excitement about the new translations was accompanied by a parallel emphasis on active participation of the laity in the Extraordinary Form.

    If everyone agrees that the new translations are so important for the identity of Catholics in the new rite since the people will be SAYING them ALOUD during their public worship of God, then it’s not unreasonable that they would also recognize that if Catholics were encouraged to SAY ALOUD the responses in the old rite, that would also be an important factor in shaping their Catholic identity and consciousness.

  11. JulieC says:

    Perhaps I should clarify my original comment.

    I, like many others, strongly favor the new translations for the Novus Ordo Missae and recognize them as being a significant potential factor in shaping a stronger, clearer identity for Catholics.

    However, it strikes me as inconsistent that some who would wholeheartedly agree that “Novus Ordo” Catholics will benefit greatly from being able to say the new translations at Mass, would at the same time strongly advocate for silent congregations at the traditional Latin Mass.

    Will we have a scenario someday where “ordinary form” Catholics will be enthusiastically participating at Mass with their much improved translations while “extraordinary form” Catholics will be at most softly whispering their responses, which, ironically enough, are in the original, most beautiful and transcendent language of all?

    Something’s not right with that picture.

  12. irishgirl says:

    Very interesting podcast, as usual, Father Z!

    The song at the end was pretty funny-who is the singer?

    I’m looking forward to the translations of the other two Eucharistic Prayers.

    I like the newer ones much better than the ‘lame duck’ versions; Catholic worship demands a ‘sacred language’….no matter what a ‘certain bishop’ says!

  13. wanda says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z. Another dandy podcast. So much to learn. Thank you for making the pathway straighter.

  14. Tom Ryan says:

    Listening to Sirius radio’s Catholic Channel 159 yesterday I encountered a lot of hand wringing over the new translation. One priest called in and said we have a mere liturgical committee here trying to undo the work of a Council.

  15. MichaelJ says:


    I cannot speak for anyone else, but having accurate and true translations will help with Catholic identity, but this is not at all dependent on the laity saying anything aloud.

    I would hope that any Catholic, whether they choose to respond audibly or not, will strive to understand and embrace what is happening at Mass and when it happens. With a false translation, the likelihood is that the understanding is false as well.

  16. Dr. Eric says:

    “Not only would the saying of the canon in the vernacular reveal its flaws, according to this school of thought, but it would also become repetitious and monotonous. This line of thought is reflected in the proposal that Cardinal Lercaro, the president of the Consilium, submitted to Pope Paul VI on June 20, 1966:

    Especially if said aloud, the Roman Canon would become burdensome due to its very changelessness and to some elements that are too narrowly local, such as the lists of the saints…. (Bugnini, p.449).”


    This argument proves too much actually, because guess what we laity say over, and over, and over, and over, and over again…

    The Kyrie (actually in our church we say “Lord have Mercy…”)

    The Creed

    The Sanctus (actually we sing an insipid “Holy, Holy, Holy” song by the “Hippie of the Day.”)

    The Pater Noster (while holding hands)

    The Mysterium Fidei (talk about boring and repetitive… have you heard the Haugen version?: bam bam bam, bam bam bam-bam, bam bam bam bam baaaaaaaaammmmmmm)

    The Agnus Dei (usually in my local church as Lamb of God… Bread of Life… Jesus Our Buddy…)

    The Domine Non Sum Dignus (Lord I am not worthy…)

    And the same 4 songs by the “Hippie of the Day” in the hymn sandwich (instead of the propers.)

    If we are to take Cardinal Lercaro’s advice we need to change up the rest of the Mass too so as to not be as repetitive.

  17. Dr. Eric says:

    I’d also like to know what defects were in the Alexandrian Anaphora of St. Basil that led the committee to reject it as it was also supposed to be chosen as EP #3 but was discarded in favor of the 2 that Vagaggini (EP #III and #IV)

  18. Dr. Eric says:

    had created.

    Oops, I clicked submit too early!

  19. catholicuspater says:


    The Vatican Council said that the faithful should say or sing together in Latin those parts of the Mass that pertain to them.

    In doing that, the Council Fathers were reiterating the wishes of Popes Pius X, XI and XII. Let’s remember that Pius XI, I believe, said that the faithful should not be attend Mass as “dumb and idle spectators.”



  20. catholicuspater says:

    Michael, you said “having accurate and true translations will help with Catholic identity, but this is not at all dependent on the laity saying anything aloud.”

    The formation of a Catholic identity is of course dependent on many factors, but after many readings of the pre-Conciliar documents of the Popes of the last century, I am convinced that they encouraged audible participation by the faithful in the Mass because they were concerned that the way Catholics prayed the Mass would be reflected in the way Catholics acted in the secular sphere.

    In other words, hope you don’t mind the colloquialism, but if Catholics act like “silent sheeple” at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, they’ll be “silent sheeple” when they go out into the world. The Popes used pretty harsh language at times to describe the faithful who had been conditioned not to participate vocally in the liturgy: “strangers,” “mute spectators,” “dumb and idle spectators,” which indicates pretty convincingly how they regarded silent congregations.

    Our Catholic identity, I believe, begins with the way we pray the Mass.

  21. catholicuspater: A thoughtful comment. I think you are on to something. But there certainly other dimensions to the discussion.

    Of the top of my head, the extent of the outward and voiced active participation needs some parameters.

    Also, the role of music is a huge factor.

    Finally, there are the different levels of solemnity of Masses in a given place.

  22. Peter from Jersey says:

    A rising tide will not lift all boats: those with a leak may simply fill with water and whatever else the tide brings in.
    I fear that some will continue to use the old translations or their own casual deviation from the standard texts.

  23. MichaelJ says:


    I agree wholeheartedly that “Our Catholic identity… begins with the way we pray the Mass”. Where I disagree is the presumption that “the way we pray the Mass” must be vocal – or even that it should be.

    I also agree Pre-Conciliar Popes were concerned with the faithful who did not participate in the liturgy, but am not convinced that the insertion of the word “vocally” is appropriate or what these Popes had in mind.

  24. JulieC says:

    Well, Michael, why did the Popes use adjectives like “mute” “dumb” and “silent” if they weren’t trying to encourage vocal participation?

    Here are a few passages from the pre-Conciliar Popes on the subject of the active participation of the faithful. Please let me know how you would interpet these if you don’t think that vocal or audible participation is what the Popes had in mind:

    Pope Pius XII (De musica sacra):

    “Care must be taken that the faithful assist at low Mass, too, ‘not as strangers or mute spectators'”

    “The participation of the congregation becomes more complete, however, when, in addition to this interior disposition, exterior participation is manifested by external acts, such as bodily position (kneeling, standing, sitting), ceremonial signs, and especially responses, prayers, and singing.”

    From Pope Pius XI in Divini cultus:

    “It is most important that when the faithful assist at the sacred ceremonies . . . they should not be merely detached and silent spectators, but, filled with a deep sense of the beauty of the Liturgy, they should sing alternately with the clergy or the choir, as it is prescribed. If this is done, then it will no longer happen that the people either make no answer at all to the public prayers — whether in the language of the Liturgy or in the vernacular — or at best utter the responses in a low and subdued manner.”

  25. MichaelJ says:


    There is a vast difference between encouraging a specific action to overcome a specific shortcoming and presuming that everyone must take that action or suffer a defective “Catholic identity and consciousness”.

    Since you asked, my interpretation of the passages you cite has always been that these Popes were concerned that the laity were or were in danger of becoming “spiritually lazy” and identified a way in which spiritual laziness could be overcome or prevented. I do not think that they were suggesting that this was the only way or that it would fit in all circumstances at all times.

    Would you suggest (in light of De musica sacra), for example, that an individual who was actually mute or who spoke a foreign language participated incompletely? I certainly do not believe that you would, but the “zero-tolerance” policy you seem to be advocating does not seem to allow for any exceptions.

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