UK: Bishop with priests using new translation – wordy but a huge improvement

Fr Michael Brown of Forest Murmurs:

I`m on the diocesan clergy retreat at Ushaw this week so this is just a quick post. Some priest bloggers have discussed recently using the new translation of the OF Mass before the official launch date. I thought readers might be interested to know that Mass at the retreat today was celebrated by our bishop and priests using the new texts. Everyone dutifully replied `And with your spirit`. No-one died and no horses appeared to be frightened. My impression was that it seemed a bit more wordy but it was a huge improvement on what we have had. I expect we`ll be using the new translation the rest of the week.

"wordy but a huge improvement"

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  1. AnAmericanMother says:


    What’s the big hurry? So we can get out of Mass 5 minutes sooner and beat the Baptists to the Waffle House?

  2. revs96 says:

    So modernist fears that the new translation will bring on the end of the world are false…what a surprise…

  3. MargaretC says:

    It sounds as though his bishop is setting a good example of leadership. I hope our US bishops do the same.

  4. gmaskell says:


  5. nzcatholic says:

    If an english bishop can do it

  6. Hans says:

    So we can get out of Mass 5 minutes sooner and beat the Baptists to the Waffle House?

    Or the Methodists, whatever. I’ve been in some parishes where that’s the case.

    I have waited forty one years (or thereabouts, my childhood parish went to English before the official change) for Advent 2011.

  7. Maltese says:

    As the need arises, more new translations will be needed, “ever more,” in the words of Poe!

    Why not stick to the Traditional Latin Mass? It’s a beautiful and venerable rite; why all the new translations? Again, and again, and again… It’s a never ending cycle.

    My seven year old literally takes more seriously the SSPX Mass I sometimes take her to than the clownesque local novus ordo.

    People GET spirituality; you don’t have to shove it in their faces, or, worse, water it down with the Vernacular. My little baby gets the Extraordinary Form; either you get it or you don’t, but if you don’t get an EF mass, you certainly won’t get a NO mass either; or, you might think you get it, thinking it protestant, but that’s a different story….

  8. J Kusske says:

    I have a question that probably has no clear-cut answer, but as I am living overseas in a non-English-speaking country (China) I don’t believe I fall under the jurisdiction of any of the English-speaking countries’ bishops’ conferences. I attend and help out an English mass in my city. How soon should I consider asking our priest and the other people involved to implement the new translation, do people think? I am champing at the bit as it will help eliminate bad practices like replacing mass parts (the Sanctus most often, the Gloria on occasion, and the “Mysterium Fidei” quite often) with songs with non-canonical text. So do we have to wait for official approval from any body, or can I look to try doing this quite soon?

  9. C. says:

    The problem is, once you admit the first translation was “bad”, the second translation becomes open for criticism.

    Of course, all translations are open for respectful, pious criticism–especially of their accuracy–and the Church isn’t saying the first English text was defective or evil (they can’t in fact say this, as it would violate the law of indefectability), but this message may well be lost in the process of implementation.

    I think the solution is a louder catechesis.

  10. Kate says:

    At our parish, during the Polish Masses, we say “I z duchem twoim” (And with your spirit). As far as I know, it’s been like that since the Mass was first transltaed. When the Poles translated the Mass, they must’ve kept the translation more accurate? Are other countries/languages similar; is it only English that’s had an inaccurate translation all these years?

    To the surprise of no one, I’m sure, the Polish-language Masses are packed, and the English-language Masses are not. Hopefully, the new translation will help.

    What is meant by “louder catechesis”? During his homilies, our pastor keeps talking about “change” and how “change is good” and “change is necessary”. I can only imagine these cryptic messages are his way of preparing us for the new translations, but I wish he’d get to the heart of the matter. A clear, concise explanation is what’s needed. The newer translation is a more accurate translation. (Enough said?)

  11. Joan M says:

    Kate said: During his homilies, our pastor keeps talking about “change” and how “change is good” and “change is necessary”.

    I would say that Change is inevitable; change may be necessary; not all change is either good or necessary. Far too many people laud change for the sake of change.

    I say, if it needs to be changed, then change it, but if it’s not broke, don’t even try to fix it!

  12. JonM says:

    C and Maltese share my perspectives.

    The new translation is an improvement, there is no question about that. As Father discusses in his most recent podcast, critical nuances of language appear.

    As C points out, if a rite requires reworkings esp. of the most essential parts, like the Eucharist, there will be a tendency to lose respect for it.

    With this in mind, the Novus Ordo lacks over arching sacral language. By this, I mean that the new text still doesn’t transcend like Anglican Use begins to.

    All of this is dancing around the real issue: the Bugnini ‘reworking’ is critically distinct from the traditional mass, which naturally came about slowly over centuries.

    A number of innovations that scramble minds will remain: receiving in the hand, the idea that the penitential rite is a replacement for Confession, facing the people/tables, altar girls, and Marty Haugen. Just to name what immediately comes to mind. [In fairness, those are not technically part of the Roman Rite as described in the Missale Romanum.]

    I think the best scenario is that the new text will expose dissenters very plainly (I think many will refuse the new texts.). Also, it could increase demand for traditional Latin Masses; admittedly, the critics are partly right in that the new texts are a bit cumbersome. But that’s the English language. Even Pope Paul VI said that Latin became a sacral language.

    So, a good small first step.

  13. Incaelo says:

    J Kusske: Good question. I’m in a similar situation, being peropherally involved with an English Mass in the Netherlands. We use misallettes published by the Archdiocese of Dublin, so I think we’ll implement the change once they do. Do you use something similar?

  14. cblanch says:

    Wow! These priests must be card carrying Mensa members to have pulled this off without a hitch on the first try…right? lol

  15. pfreddys says:

    I dont think an individual priest on his own should use the new order of Mass before the official date. But doesnt a bishop have the power within his own diocese to allow (or implicitly allow by his own use) the use of the new order whenever he wants?

  16. “Comment by pfreddys — 26 May 2010 @ 8:15 am”

    As I remember from the reading of the decree, that power was given to competent territorial bodies of bishops, not individual bishops. So, in a word, no.

    <“Why not stick to the Traditional Latin Mass? It’s a beautiful and venerable rite …”

    You prefer it. I prefer it. Some don’t. That’s why.

  17. J Kusske says:

    Incaelo, where I am we fend for ourselves, with a couple of missals and mass parts printed out on looseleaf bound in folders. Making the change would require just printing out new sets of looseleaf, and catechesis. I’m eagerly awaiting missal publishers to get the new version out, but that won’t be happening any time soon if I know the ways of publishing. But the ordinary of the mass doesn’t change from one Sunday to the next, and we could do that nearly at once.

  18. Sedgwick says:

    wordy but a huge improvement

    …and still Protestantized. Or was that Freemasonized?

  19. Maltese says:

    there will soon be available a new translation of the various texts, certainly improved regarding some verses, but I will not marvel at all if for other passages there will be more problems than in the first edition resulting from certain exegetical historical-theological eccentricities which I myself have already pointed out…From this [the anthropocentric nature of the Novus Ordo] comes the constant need of revisions, adaptations, and new translations. And this is exactly what has happened and continues to take place today. The loss of Latin was colossal…Bugnini again legitimized his position by declaring that “no part of the sacred action is justifiable in a language which the people cannot understand”…If ever there was anyone who not comprehend the almost infinite spiritual capacity of man, and especially that of a popular religious character, it was him. Even if the people were not to make out the sound or the sense of the words, they would, however contemplate and adore in the presence of the sacred action and be spiritually involved…It must also be duly noted that at that time there was the wide use of bilingual Missals which put the people in a position to follow the literary unfolding of the sacred action in addition to the spiritual. Therefore the vague “yes” which Paul VI gave for the suppression of Latin is almost incomprehensible.

    Msgr. Brunero Gherardini, “The Ecumenical Vatican Council II, A Much Needed Discussion.

  20. Hans says:

    As the need arises, more new translations will be needed, “ever more,” in the words of Poe!
    Why not stick to the Traditional Latin Mass?

    There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a translation of the Mass into the vernacular. Even the Traditional Latin Mass is, if you go back far enough, a translation out of the Greek into the language of the people. I’m a bit rusty on that history, but as I recall, it was controversial at the time in some quarters, and it took some time to get the translation right and there were those who abused the transition to their own ends.

    That being said, I thought at the time as a child and think now that there was an unseemly haste to change. And in that haste to change much has been lost of our Catholic patrimony that will be regained with difficulty. There are many paths that will need to be trod in their recovery, and among those are this much-improved English translation and the recovery of the older form of the Mass in the public sphere.

  21. Ceile De says:

    Maybe I’m too much the optimisit but, Hans, your surname doesn’t begin with a “K” does it?

  22. I am very pleased to learn that Anglophone priests of the Roman Rite, would, while on retreat with their bishop, make a point of “practicing” the new translation of the new books – even celebrating the Mass according to them.

    My PERSONAL curiosity would like to know with what books most of the retreat Masses were celebrated, i.e., whether they used the OF Missale, whether they ever used the ’62 books, etc.?


  23. Maltese says:

    Hans: the novus order is not a mere “translation,” it is a “banal, on-the spot” (in the words of then C. Ratzinger) manufactured liturgy–a liturgy by commission–slopped together with the help of seven protestant “advisors,” and was spearheaded by a possible mason, and confirmed hater of Tradition.


  24. Karen Russell says:

    Kate: Re “When the Poles translated the Mass, they must’ve kept the translation more accurate? Are other countries/languages similar; is it only English that’s had an inaccurate translation all these years?”

    I’m not sure whether English is the only inaccurate translation, but from what I have read, it is the only major one.

    A few weeks ago our pastor gave an excellent presentation on the new translation and the reasons for the changes. I live in a part of Canada with mixed French and English-speaking population, and members of the French community who were present that afternoon were emphatic that the new translation is much closer to what they are used to at French language masses, e.g. “Et avec votre esprit” instead of “and also with you.”

    It all makes one wonder . . .

  25. Re: Maltese’s kid

    First — clownishly bad OF vs good EF really isn’t a contest, is it? I mean, we’ve seen people advocating attendance at Protestant and sedevacantist liturgies on these grounds. I’ve seen plenty of people “sense” that drum circles were more spiritual than Eucharistic Adoration, or that the most materialist forms of Wicca were more spiritual than Christianity. So… it’s good that you tell us this, and it’s good to hear, but it doesn’t prove anything definite. It’s a nice data point, though.

    Second — it’s clear that plenty of people in the Good Old Days didn’t take the EF seriously, and that some of them were priests. That’s part of how we got in this fix, between Fr. Fast Freddy, Fr. Jesus Was a Product of His Time, and Fr. Liturgist Knows Best. Again, this doesn’t prove anything, since plenty of people wouldn’t take Jesus Himself seriously when He was out preaching on earth.

    Third — the good news here is that _you_ take the EF seriously, and are obviously doing your part to make sure the kids get a good example and good catechesis. You are bending the twig the right way, at the EF. Being open about your faith and getting the family to church every Sunday is one of the most influential things you can do to spread the Gospel in your own family. I salute you.

  26. Tradster says:

    I cannot help being concerned about the encouragement of early adopters. Seems to me that granting the right for use before the official launch also implies the right to set the adoption after the launch – in the case of many bishops, far later. I have no doubt that if there is a loophole to delay then shepherds like +Trautman will find a way to wiggle through it.

  27. ron.d says:

    I just about fell off my seat laughing when I read “no horses appeared to be frightened!”

  28. Will D. says:

    First—clownishly bad OF vs good EF really isn’t a contest, is it?

    The real problem is the concept that some people have that all OF Masses, whether in Latin or in the vernacular, are infested with liturgical dancers, giant paper-mache puppets, “rustic” clay chalices and the like. Which is simply not the case. Similarly, every EF Mass is necessarily perfect, transcendent, with no distractions or lack of decorum, which is also not the case.

    They all vary. Admittedly the newer form varies more, but I believe that is changing. The “spirit of Vatican II” crowd is fighting a rear-guard action to maintain their ability to experiment. Our dear Pope, with the help of many fine bishops and priests, is trying to bring about the authentic reform that the council envisioned. And I support him and that reform all the way.

  29. Joe Magarac says:

    Some commenters have suggested that the need for edits and new translations just demonstrates the superiority of the timeless Extraordinary Form over the fickle and modern Novus Ordo. I think those commenters are forgetting just how radical and prone to change the EF itself was in the days before the NO.

    First, the popes were constantly tinkering with the EF: most recently, Pius XII radically changed the timing of the Holy Week services, and John XXIII added St. Joseph to the canon and dropped “perfidis” from the Good Friday liturgy.

    Second, the EF’s Latin text was itself a radical break from tradition. The Society for St. Pius I points out, citing the Catholic Encyclopedia, that when St. Gregory the Great changed the Mass from Greek to Latin, he made a number of radical changes to the canon.

    Who here will join me in demanding a return to the original Greek Mass as celebrated in the days of St. Justin Martyr?

  30. KevinSymonds says:

    Maltese, I read your article on Medjugorje and liked it. Cardinal Lambertini’s treatise “De Servorum Dei” is 8+ volumes and I would LOVE a more precise citation so I can look it up for research purposes.


  31. Charivari Rob says:

    Will D., thank you. I’ve been reading this thread, mulling over making a commetn, trying to find the words – and I think you said things a lot better than I would have.

  32. MichaelJ says:


    In light of your comment that we cannot say that the first English text was defective or evil, what are we to make of the current, approved English translation of “Mysterium Fidei”?

    When you consider the plain, unambiguous meaning of the English translated words, I would certainly say that the translation is defective and expresses a falsehood.

  33. Martial Artist says:


    Although they do have Baptists in the UK, I am fairly confident that they don’t have any examples of Waffle House.

  34. MichaelJ says:

    I hope you will forgive my increasing frustration with this, but please provide a citation of the decree you referenced in your comment of 8:15 AM.

    You have previously provided numerous citations pointing to discussions about this issue, but none to the actual document itself.

    If the actual document is not available on line, could you please at least copy and paste it here since you have read it?

  35. JonM says:

    @Joe M,

    You bring up a good point.

    I think that the objections many have are not rooted in opposition to change per se. Rather, discontent stems from a perceived bad motivation to effect dramatic changes.

    In the 1960s, there was a pressing need for the Church to face as hard as ever a world spiraling deeper into darkness. Freemasonic revolts, state absolutism in communism, and the crushing worship of Mammon in capitalism were drastically transforming the world. This, as technology began change rapidly.

    Did the Church’s leaders reject novelties like trans-species evolution and social upheavals by being tough? No, they literally threw open windows to the world in a twisted embrace.

    And the highest, most sublime part of our lives, the Mass, was reworked to ‘appeal to’ heretics. 40 years later, practice of the faith is dismally low and those who do worship often have poor understandings of the faith. Meanwhile the ‘human condition’ is definitely no better.

    As the traditional Mass developed, changes occurred over wide spans of time and none were so radical in fuzzy wording as the Mass of Paul VI.
    Many prayers in the TLM go back before Stm Gregory, so there still remains a firm continuity. Regarding the shift from Greek to Latin, all I will say is that Greek survives in the Byzantine Rite, and that’s good. It is also good that the Latin Church was able to continue to develop in its own language, one that is sonorous and has lent itself to transcendent worship that is hard to match.

  36. chironomo says:

    Kate: Re “When the Poles translated the Mass, they must’ve kept the translation more accurate? Are other countries/languages similar; is it only English that’s had an inaccurate translation all these years?”

    The Hungarian Mass that I play for at our parish also says “And with your Spirit” (in Hungarian, of course…) and also has a literal word-for-word translation of the Gloria and Creed. And yet, somehow they manage to also have truly beautiful music…and a “National Hymnal” for Hungarian. How do they do it, you ask? I guess they didn’t realize that Vatican II meant everything old goes out the window and is replaced with crap….

  37. John 6:54 says:

    So now both liberals and conservatives have thrown obedience out the window.

    Why can’t everyone just “Say the Black, & Do the Red” and then continue doing so when the new version is finalized & approved?

  38. Johnny Domer says:

    The new translations are necessarily going to be wordier than the old translations, because so much of the original Latin is flat-out omitted in the old translations! Here’s an example:

    Latin: “Accipiens et hunc praeclarum calicem in sanctas et venerabiles manus suas…”

    Good translation: “Taking also this precious chalice in His holy and venerable hands…”

    Current translation: “He took the cup…”

  39. “Comment by MichaelJ — 26 May 2010 @ 12:58 pm”

    Wanna hear MY frustration? This won’t be enough for some people. Read all of it. Down to the bottom. Down to where it says that “The date for the publication of The Roman Missal and its implementation in our territories is a matter to be determined by Bishops’ Conferences in conjunction with the Holy See.”

    Hopefully it’s enough for yourself. If not …. well, in another location describing the release, a cardinal stated that it probably wouldn’t be implemented anywhere until Advent 2011. I wish I could provide you with that statement, but if you check New Liturgical Movement at about the same time, you’ll find a statement regarding the date.

    And as to why it would take so long, I’ve tried to answer that question in this forum several times, twice this month alone.

  40. MichaelJ says:

    Once again, I find that I am not being clear enough. I have seen endless discussions of the decree and endless descriptions of the decree but not the actual text of the decree. In the link you provided (which I also found, btw) is the statement:

    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 want to see a copy of the document that was signed by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera. I do not say this to impugn the integrity of anyone who has actually seen the document, but to attempt to make it crystal clear what it is I am looking for.

  41. mpm says:


    That’s what I thought you were referring to. It is the statement of +Arthur Roche, in his capacity as Chairman of ICEL. Not a normative statement, apparently, at least in the British Isles where he hails from.

    The logistical enormity of bringing out a full-scale, cast of thousands, pull out all the stops, Mass using the new texts, may be as complicated as you describe — I’ll take your word for it.

    A daily parish Mass does not usually require all the bells-and-whistles.

    I will also contribute, for those for whom the virtue of prudence means “never do anything until everyone else is on board” the following, from 5/1/2010:

    The USCCB explained in a press release that each bishop will be in charge of gradually implementing the changes in his diocese.[]

    Of course, perhaps the statement by “the USCCB” has been disavowed.

  42. mpm says:


    Unless I am mistaken, the notification you are seeking a copy of, was transmitted by mail to the corresponding official at the various bishops’ conferences directly. I read that the USA recipient was +Arthur Serratelli in the USA, as one would expect.

    I don’t think such letters are made available on the Internet immediately, but I may be wrong.

  43. MichaelJ says:

    Thanks mpm,

    Perhaps then, until the actual text of the decree becomes avaiable, it is premature to accuse Bishops and Priests who have actually begun using the new translation of disobedience.

  44. “I want to see a copy of the document that was signed by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera. I do not say this to impugn the integrity of anyone who has actually seen the document, but to attempt to make it crystal clear what it is I am looking for.
    Comment by MichaelJ — 26 May 2010 @ 1:53 pm”

    The actual text is available, or it wouldn’t have a protocol number. (You know, the one you mentioned in a previous response.) Go to the Vatican website and look it up. You have everything you need to do that. I already have what I need to know I’m right.

  45. Further, your statement of 2:14 pm makes absolutely no sense, as if to say that until approval is given for something, you can use it anyway. Huh???

  46. MichaelJ says:

    You said that you personally read the document; I could not find a copy – even after searching the Vatican website. If you do not want to or cannot provide a copy of the actual document (the one with the protocol number) that’s fine. I’ll just wait until one becomes available.

    As far as my later statement goes, it appears that once again what I thought was clear English turned out not to be so clear after all. How about this:

    1. The new English translation was approved by decree (Prot. 269/10/L) on 25 March 2010.
    2. Some Bishops and Priests have begun using the new, approved, translation despite that it has not yet been published.
    3. Others have accused these Bishops and Priests of disobedience because their local Bishops Conference has not explicitly told them to begin using the new approved translation.
    4. Whether these Bishops and Priests are disobedient is dependent on the content of the decree.
    5. I will (and think everyone should) reserve judgement until the actual contents are publicly known.

  47. AnAmericanMother says:

    Martial Artist:

    O ye of little faith!

    Waffle House

  48. Maltese says:

    Joe Magarac: the liturgy created after the council (of which the new translation is a reworking) was a “banal, on the spot” liturgy. Just because previous Popes made small revisions of the TLM does not legitimize what was done after the council (and because of the council.) Here is what our Pope has written:

    When I came home after the Council’s first session, I had been filled with the joyful feeling of an important new beginning. Now I became troubled by the change in ecclesial climate that was becoming ever more evident. I tried to sound a first warning signal, but few noticed it…Pius V had simply ordered a reworking of the Missale Romanum [during the Council of Trent] [a reworking done] as one phase in a long history of growth. The prohibition of the missal that was now decreed [by Pope Paul VI], a missal that had known continuous growth over the centuries, starting with the sacramentaries of the ancient Church, introduced a breach into the history of the liturgy whose consequences could only be tragic; the old building was demolished, and another was built.

    (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Milestones, Memories 1927-1977)

    The Tournai Mass is the oldest polyphonic setting of the Mass to have survived (dating to 1360.) A time traveler could come to us from this mass in medieval France and understand perfectly a mass done by FSSPX. On the other hand, if he went to an average novus ordo he’d probably feel compelled to go to confession after.

    Here is a snipped from a Tournai Mass (I know, I know, the video is terrible, and the music not great, but you get the picture):

  49. Michael, you are at most being obstinate, or at least frustrating yourself without purpose. If you have a protocol number, you have the necessary evidence of an official document. Whether you like it or not, that is how it works. If you have an article showing the text of the document itself, you have all that an average member of the faithful, not to mention most bishops, could possibly need to know about the matter. You probably do not require a certified copy of a Vatican document to prove anything. If you do, write them and ask for one, and they might send you a copy. If they cannot or do not send you a copy, it is probably because you don’t need one.

    Now, everybody: back to the Waffle House! I’m buying!!!

  50. J Kusske says:

    Instead of waffling, we should stand firm and set our faces like flint, so maybe we can meet at Cold Stone Creamery or (in my native place) Granite City Brewery! I wish those who had made the earlier English translation had done so. To add to those reporting other languages, the Chinese version used where I am is also far more faithful to the Latin meaning, and from what I recall so is the Japanese version (though for some reason the Japanese bishops’ conference took it upon themselves to cut out the “let us give thanks to the Lord our God” – “it is meet and just” part of the Sursum Corda).

  51. Daniel says:


    I missed your analysis of mpm’s 1:57 reference in which the USCCB had announced that each bishop will be in charge of gradually implementing the changes in his diocese. That seems to fit a situation in which an implementation is a “must change by” date rather than a “can’t change before date”.

  52. Daniel:

    I don’t remember DOING that analysis.

    Frankly, I don’t know that handling it at the diocesan level is what was actually called for, but I imagine that before the official material is actually available — from altar missals to hand missals to missalettes to musical scores — a “can’t change before” date is going to speak for itself. I mean, if you don’t have it, you CAN’T have it.

  53. Jayna says:

    “No-one died and no horses appeared to be frightened.”

    I’m taking that and using it as often as possible.

  54. catholicmidwest says:

    Ah yes, the last minute fighting over what actually *is* going to happen. Music to my ears.

    As far as the original article goes, I have no idea why priests and a bishop couldn’t practice before the go date. It seems perfectly reasonable to me.

  55. Daniel says:

    Yes, one wonders how the UK bishop and his priests on retreat could have possibly done the Mass with the new translations as they could not have the official material in an altar missal. Though perhaps they are merely implementing the changes on a gradual basis? It has been mentioned frequently, both here and elsewhere, that “The date for the publication of The Roman Missal and its implementation in our territories is a matter to be determined by Bishops’ Conferences in conjunction with the Holy See.” It would seem that the Bishops’ Conference here in the US has determined “each bishop will be in charge of gradually implementing the changes in his diocese.” While I can see that it will take some time for the mechanics of producing sufficient copies for all to have copies, Msgr. Sherman of the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship is quoted as saying “A great effort to produce the new Roman Missal for the United States of America is underway NOW among the publishers of liturgical books” and “Even as that work is underway”. To someone merely applying common sense rather than having “genuine knowledge” it seems that the bishops’ conference has already given the go-ahead required for a gradual implementation. Does everybody have all the texts? No. Do some have some of the texts? Yes. Is it permissible to insert approved text from one translation into a different approved translation of the same Roman Missal? It happens all the time! Is it somehow considered illicit to have a bilingual(or even more languages)Mass?

  56. I used to practice saying Mass when I was seven. I used a quilt for a chasuble, and covered several books with a towel for a veiled chalice. I also remember in the fall of 1964 when my pastor did a “dry Mass” for the kids at my parish school. So I guess it’s okay.

  57. “To someone merely applying common sense rather than having ‘genuine knowledge’…”

    … a quest for said knowledge would be an admission that one does not know everything, hence a desire to know more.

  58. frjim4321 says:

    This latest attempt is fairly torturous, the earlier ICEL rendering c. 2002 was aesthetically superior. I can’t deny that the time for a richer translation, carrying forward the scriptural and patristic allusions and offering a more carefully nuanced expression of theological truth has come, but it was not necessary to do so in such an uglified text. “Wordy” is a kind way of saying “convoluted to the point of absurdity.” Fr. Jim

  59. catholicmidwest says:

    Rather than the current translation which is only fit to be written in crayon, frjim1234?

  60. frjim4321 says:

    cmw, I really don’t know if you read my comment completely

  61. Daniel says:


    As you seem to be comparing a Mass which begins using the new translation in part prior to some date to be named with a “dry Mass” or a practice Mass that you did as a kid, it would seem that you would consider it not only illicit but invalid. Seeing as how you’ve also stated your preference for the traditional Latin Mass, will you consider it a valid Mass once what you consider a proper implementation date has passed?

  62. J Kusske says:

    Perhaps some Latinate word constructions seem tortured to our modern Anglophone ears, because our culture has debased the intellectual coin so greatly. By raising the register of speech the new translation will have the kind of “gravitational pull” that our good Fr. Z and others speak of, and not merely in the Faith. But fidelity to the actual text is the primary concern that trumps all others, in order to avoid the ever-present danger of “Traduttore, traditore”–“who translates betrays.” A master translator fully conversant in both languages can thereafter work on polishing phrases into truly euphonious words that slip like gems off the tongue. Having the wrongfully excised portions of the mass back (“through my fault, through my fault, through my most grevious fault”, to say nothing of the lovely image of the bees in the Exultet) is worth rejoicing over if for no other reason!

  63. Maltese says:

    Kevin Symonds: I actually got it from Jones’s book; can’t give you an exact citation. God speed!

  64. Hans says:

    It most emphatically does not, Ceile De.

    Be that as it may, Maltese, that’s not the argument you made.

    Waffle House in the UK:

  65. Incaelo says:

    J Kusske: As others have indicated, it would seem that your bishop is the person to go to in the first place. However, I have no idea how realistic that is in China and in the diocese you are in. But it’s always good to implement change in good cooperation with the local ordinary and priest(s), of course.

    Since some priests are already using the new translation, I wouldn’t think it out of line to raise the topic now already.

  66. C. says:

    @MichaelJ: I would certainly say that the translation is defective and expresses a falsehood.

    I did not say that the translation was free of defects of accuracy but meant that the resultant text is free of intrinsic defects, meaning defects of faith, and that anyone who says otherwise is anathematized by decree of the 7th Session of the Council of Trent:

    CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned…let him be anathema.

  67. “Comment by Daniel — 26 May 2010 @ 10:27 pm”

    If you live in the States, you’re gonna REALLY need the holiday weekend coming up. I was making a joke, if a bad one. And while I prefer the Traditional Mass, I have attended both, and MC for both. So obviously I think the reformed liturgy is valid. When an approved text is used, at the time it IS approved, and (wait, here it comes!) under the conditions by which the approving entity approves it (as opposed to someone with an itch they just gotta scratch), it is also licit. Valid. Licit. There’s a difference.

    Now, back to our regularly scheduled bickering about the same thing we were bickering about in last week’s post …

  68. AlexE says:

    Well, I just read the prayers again and guess what? I didn’t notice anything wordy or “convoluted to the point of absurdity.” In fact my first thought was “hey this sounds nice” and my second ” oh my gosh, this sounds like the Spanish Missal” that struck especially at the “Blessed are you Lord God ” prayers. In terms of when , I think NOW is the time to prepare for them and then use the whole Church in America should start using them a the same time. I think priests should use them if they say Mass sine populo. I think most people understand big words at least contextually and well if syntax is a problem then perhaps we ought to start reading better literature.

  69. AnAmericanMother says:

    “Convoluted to the point of absurdity”? I’m not sure how anybody can get that out of the new translation, unless it’s just that long words make his head hurt.

    Fr. Jim, I’m more than ever convinced that you’re an Episcopalian. You repeat almost word-for-word the same arguments that I used to hear over there.

    I would prefer a good 17th century translation along the lines of Thomas Cranmer’s, just without the heresy . . . but this translation is more accurate, it flows nicely when read aloud, and it reintroduces some of the repetition and balance that are a hallmark of the Latin (and the 17th century translation).

    I will convince our regular waitress to save us a booth at the Waffle House (it does seem to me that the English Waffle House is far more upscale than your typical Southern Casa de Waffle, maybe we should meet there instead.)

  70. doanli says:

    Don’t think their Waffle House is related to ours. ;)

    My son and I have had many happy times in those Yellow Boxes/ our WH’s. My husband has an English accent and doesn’t like to go there because he says they always get his order wrong. :(

  71. AnAmericanMother says:

    I’m sure it’s not, since the WH was founded in a local suburb of Atlanta by a couple of guys back in the 50s. It’s pretty much a Southern Thang, as shown by this chart:

    Number of residents per Waffle House.

    Our very nice waiter in a little hole in the wall in Grantown-on-Spey, Scotland, didn’t have much trouble because we had adopted the protective coloration of Scottish clothing and a generic North Country accent (I’ve learned it the hard way, my lucky husband has perfect pitch and blends in after 48 hours). But we did have some fun when he couldn’t believe we were from the States, and my husband winked and drawled, “Wud yu raahther I takked laike THEE-is?” and he said, “Och, no, it’s better the other way.”

  72. Joe Magarac says:

    @ Maltese — 26 May 2010 @ 4:42 pm

    Look, I agree with you: the EF is better than the NO in every respect. Its red is better, its black is better, its tie to the liturgies of the past is better, is gradual and organic development is better. All better.

    My point was this: the NO is getting new and better vernacular translations. The right response to this, whether you attend the EF or not, should be “good for them.” But your response was: “more new translations will be needed, “ever more,” in the words of Poe!” You rained on the parade.

    Also, the fact that your local NO is “clownesque” doesn’t mean that every NO is. Here in Pittsburgh, I live less than 5 minutes from my local parish, which has a beautiful church and does a reverent and solemn NO liturgy. I also live 20 minutes from the diocesan EF parish, which has a beautiful church and does a reverent and solemn EF liturgy. I attend the NO parish for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact that the priest at the EF parish seems to give the same LOOOOOONG sermon every week – about how much better the EF is than the NO. That grows stale after a while.

  73. Daniel says:


    You commented “under the conditions by which the approving entity approves it”. You apparently comment in a variety of different blogs, but from what I can tell here you have relied mainly upon a news release which referred to a manner “to be determined by Bishops’ Conferences in conjunction with the Holy See.” You seem to ignore references to press releases in which the USCCB has indicated “each bishop will be in charge of gradually implementing the changes in his diocese.” You seem to suggest in your remarks to MichaelJ that you have had access to some document that nobody else needs to see, which document would contradict the statement by the USCCB regarding “each bishop”. Since I have noticed that you have directly commented on the USCCB’s statement or those of Msgr. Sherman, I have “missed” your analysis of those statements. I appreciate what your opinion of an orderly implementation should look like, but it seems like the USCCB’s statement allows for a licit implementation in a manner that you feel is less than orderly.

  74. AnAmericanMother says:

    Joe, Maltese,

    I have to chime in here. Our parish has a very reverent NO liturgy with excellent music and liberal use of Latin. The church is beautiful and traditional on purpose — the rector specifically asked the architect to design it that way (the building is about 15 years old). Our local EF church has a lovely liturgy, they have done wonders with the interior of a horrid little red brick formerly Baptist church, but the parishioners are a bit insular and standoffish. Also, our music is better.

    You can’t simply say “EF good! OF bad!” and leave it at that. Not as a practical matter, anyhow.

  75. “You seem to ignore references to press releases in which the USCCB has indicated ‘each bishop will be in charge of gradually implementing the changes in his diocese.'”

    I did not ignore it. My response to date was here. Granted, it is not a lengthy one.

    I believe an orderly implementation, besides doing so according to the norms established in the decree — the one that isn’t available yet has a protocol number — should be handled at the level of the territorial body of bishops, rather than solely a diocesan bishop’s discretion. It’s not the way I usually go with these things, preferring the authority of an individual bishop. But the Holy See has made this determination, and however subject to the discretion of the designee, implementation on a larger scale makes sense, when you consider that the material being produced will be made available at a national level, not a local one. If OCP and GIA and Liturgical Press and all the others have material for the new translation already available by, say, the First Sunday of Advent, 2011, then that’s going to be the only option for the dioceses of the USA. It’s not as if the old material will still be available. As for permanent worship aids — well, enough parishes use the disposable ones (OCP supplies nearly half the parishes in the USA) that it simply won’t be worth it to do it piecemeal.

    Remember also, that one of the mistakes of implementing the reformed liturgy to begin with, was that it was done in haste, with little information available about it before hand. I am old enough to remember this, as are others who do not wish to repeat that.

    You ask me what I think, and this is what I think, as well as WHY I think what I think. Some people in this forum have an idea of what they would like to see happen and how quickly, with nary a regard as to HOW that really could happen, and necessarily has to. In order to change that, I would have to be persuaded that both the “before” and “after” material (again, from altar missals to missalettes) would be equally usable and available everywhere. I have just proven otherwise. And most parish priests have better things to do with their time and money, than to mass–produce handouts that will only be used for a brief interim. Besides, it looks ridiculous.

  76. Joe Magarac says:

    You can’t simply say “EF good! OF bad!” and leave it at that.

    True. But you can ask whether, all else being equal – the beauty of the building, the devotion of the priest, the quality of the music, et cetera – the EF is superior to the NO, or vice versa.

    My point is that all else being equal, the EF’s prayers and ritual movements are superior to the NO’s. I think it would be hard to dispute this, though you are welcome to try.

    Of course, in the real world all else is not equal. Which is why my family attends an NO parish.

  77. AnAmericanMother says:

    I agree with you – in isolation the EF is obviously superior.

    But as you also state, we never view it in isolation, at least not in the context of choosing a parish.

    That was all I meant – I thought it was clear because of my references to other factors.

    There is only one EF parish in our archdiocese, and aside from the other factors I already mentioned, it seems better to me for us to work in our parish for more Latin, eventually an EF Mass maybe once a month, then more often (I hear through the ecclesiastical grapevine that this is in the works), than have just one parish where Latin is quarantined so it won’t affect anybody else . . . .

    Let me make clear that I don’t think that is the hierarchy’s intention here. Our retired archbishop was very enthusiastic about the EF and gave great assistance to the EF parish long before it was fashionable to do so — the new archbishop seems reasonably supportive, he sponsored an “EF Grand Tour” in which the EF was celebrated at the Cathedral and at several large parishes after Summorum Pontificum was announced.

    But the fact that we’re in the South, land of converts, and land of young Catholics, means that the Latin Mass is completely unfamiliar to most folks, and your average Southern Catholic is not going to walk up in cold blood to a 100% EF parish. Not without a lot of outreach and encouragement, which the EF parish seems unwilling or unable to undertake.

  78. MichaelJ says:

    Perhaps I am being obstinate, but I do not deny the existence of the decree in question. All I want to do is see it. Is that really too much to ask? I took your comment of 8:15 yesterday at face value. You wrote:
    “As I remember from the reading of the decree…”

    Silly me. I took that to mean that you had actually read the decree. As has become painfully obvious, you have not. When I asked you personally for a copy, why didn’t you just say that you did not have one and indicate that I had mis understood your previous comments?

  79. “Comment by MichaelJ — 27 May 2010 @ 12:05 pm”

    Yes, you are being obstinate. You have seen it. I have shown you its contents by producing a link to an article which reproduced it. You have quoted from it. If by “seeing” the decree, you mean a notarized copy, I can’t help you.

  80. MichaelJ says:

    I’ll go back and double check more carefully. I am truly sorry if I have missed it. As I recall none of the articles you cited reproduced any of the contents of the decree. All simply mentioned that it existed and then discussed the practical implications. None actually said, as I recall, what the decree specifically required or allowed.

    If I do find it in any of the links you provided, I’ll come back here and publicly apologize.

  81. mpm says:


    “just one parish where Latin is quarantined so it won’t affect anybody else . . . .”
    “your average Southern Catholic is not going to walk up in cold blood to a 100% EF parish.”

    I think there’s a lot of Flannery O’Connor (or even Mark Twain) in you. If you are not already a writer, perhaps you should be!

  82. Michael:

    I looked at the link again. Strictly speaking, you are correct about the existence of the text of the decree itself online, so I guess I’ll have to apologize for that. However, the fact that the Vox Clara statement contains the following …

    “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.”

    … is enough to confirm its existence. Since the Committee is authorized to speak on the matter, and since the statement summarizes the chain of events, one can say truthfully that there is a decree, and that its contents are known. I guess the reason I didn’t look into it further is that the statement (with the protocol number, a fact I’ll keep going back to) and its contents are sufficient for me, especially given the publication of the Holy Father’s address concerning its release (also at the same link I provided above). Also, people seem to get pretty worked up over 1) why is it taking so long, 2) why can’t we do it by next Sunday, 3) why we can’t just do the Traditional Mass in English, and 4) all of the above. Even when you answer these questions, people are not satisfied. From our personal vantage point, yours and mine, having a signed decree in our hands is of little consequence, aside from being suitable for framing. We have notification of it as I described, and we have the Pope’s address referring to it, so it DOES EXIST! If people took that energy and actually studied what was being published, their time would be better spent, and I believe they would be much more at ease. The weekly WDTPRS column in The Wanderer, as well as commentaries on the same subjects here, will go a long way towards explaining to others when the time comes.

    And THAT will be of more use to someone in the pews, when the average Joe starts asking a lot of questions during Advent 2011, or 2012, or whenever.

  83. AnAmericanMother says:

    Lord! I am not worthy! Being mentioned in the same breath as those colossi of Southern literature gives me palpitations!

    Andalusia is of course just under an hour’s drive from here, and O’Connor is featured regularly in our archdiocesan newspaper.

    I do write for a living — boring lawyer stuff, but occasionally I am unleashed by my boss to deliver a chastisement or add an amusing footnote (o.k. then, amusing by lawyer standards). Other than that, I write now and then for a couple of historical journals. My only efforts at fiction are hidden in the bottom of my desk.

    I’m glancing skyward here waiting for the Nine Muses to strike me with a bolt of lightning . . . .

  84. MichaelJ says:

    Thank you. I think I understand now. It appears that we were talking at cross-purposes. Just to clarify, I never intentionally meant to deny the existence of the decree and never doubted its existence. I simply thought it would be a useful source to answer Father Z’s question about whether a Bishop or Priest should show some initiative.

  85. Whatever I can do to help. That’s why we’re here, to speak the Truth in Love. (sigh!)

  86. catholicmidwest says:


    I read your post in its entirety.

    “This latest attempt is fairly torturous, the earlier ICEL rendering c. 2002 was aesthetically superior.”

    Absolutely nothing of liturgical note happened in American parishes in 2002, so who cares about this comparison? From the drafts that I have seen recently, the new translation is far superior to what we currently use, which is the same thing we used before 2002, for that matter. What we currently use sounds like it’s been eviscerated, castrated, flayed and then drowned, coated in baby powder and boiled til limp. Then usually accompanied by what sounds like sun-warped 78 rpm music played on a grammophone cranked by a chimp. It’s unbelievable at many parishes. Many people tolerate it only because they’re used to it. God is very, very kind and tolerant and the fact that some church buildings still stand is overwhelming proof of that.

    “I can’t deny that the time for a richer translation, carrying forward the scriptural and patristic allusions and offering a more carefully nuanced expression of theological truth has come, but it was not necessary to do so in such an uglified text. “Wordy” is a kind way of saying “convoluted to the point of absurdity.” Fr. Jim”

    Noo. “Wordy” is a way of saying that the powers-that-be are slowly recognizing that words have meaning and a felt banner and a grunt in my direction isn’t preaching to me. Nor is it liturgy.

    This isn’t the last translation that we will ever have, nor is it the last version of the Latin that we will ever see. We took an awful wrong turn and got lost for a while. Now we’re finding our way back. Let it be. IT’s good.

  87. catholicmidwest says:

    “Besides, it looks ridiculous.”

    And missalettes don’t?

    [Particularly the missalettes that have the wrong words on familiar tunes because they’re trying to be trendy? –and make $$$$$$$ on copyrights]

  88. “And missalettes don’t?”

    Without the handy leatherette covers, yes. But not as much as those mimeographed sheets they passed out at Mass in the mid-1960s. That’s what would be expected to jump the gun on the translation. There is a bottom line here, a right way and a wrong way to do something, and all the rationalizing that is produced here will not change that. Looking for imaginary loopholes is a wasteful diversion from an opportunity to educate, to inform, and to prepare.

    There is no right way to do the wrong thing, so do the right thing.

  89. catholicmidwest says:

    And your main objection is that mimeographed papers look unsightly. Wow, that’s really important, huh?

    Do you also rate the quality of your local schools by how nice their real estate is? Many people do. It’s very superficial but that doesn’t stop them (to your point about mimeographed papers vs. missalettes).

    Do you work for a missalette company or a hymnal company by any chance?

  90. catholicmidwest says:

    PS, there are quite a few people out there dragging their heels for several reasons: fear, misplaced nostalgia, dissidence, repugnance for better english, etc etc. Some people don’t like the nature of the change in the mass, and that’s their problem, and the real reason for their panic, delay, bad-mouthing, evasion, etc etc.

    I’m not in that crowd, as you can tell. There have been periodic incremental changes to the mass through the whole history of Catholicism. I don’t know why that should come to a complete halt now. This is just one more incremental change. I say bring it on as long as it’s going to happen anyway. BTW, it looks like an improvement to me: even better.

    Publishing houses roll on and they can tool up very quickly when this much cash is involved, don’t kid yourself. That’s not the reason we’re seeing delay.

  91. Daniel says:

    My main objection to mimeographed papers would be that their smell would get in the way of the smell of the incense. It seems it would cost a great deal to maintain a mimeograph machine, parts must be hard to come by.

    More seriously, why does the congregation need to be reading anything for the priest to read a new collect, to begin the Creed with “I believe rather than “We believe”, or to delete “let us proclaim” from “the Mystery of Faith”. I wouldn’t think they’d even need to be reading to be instructed to respond “and with your spirit”.

  92. Hans says:

    I could be wrong (as I frequently am), catholicmidwest, but it seems to me that manwithblackhat is really talking about our necessary obedience to, and respect for, proper* episcopal authority more than he is talking about anything else, but he is also making side arguments in support of that obligation on our part. Desiring things to be done in their correct order is hardly un-Catholic.

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