QUAERITUR: Can we say “And with your spirit” now?

From a reader:

Could you perhaps use some of the new translation now? For example saying “And with your spirit.” under your breath or even using it in confirmation when the bishop says “Peace be with you.”

It seems to me that we, priests and congregations alike, should use the liturgical text that is in force now.  We should wait until the new, corrected version is in force.

Priests certainly have a greater responsibility in regard to proper use of the approved texts, and avoiding texts that are not (yet) approved for use.  Lay people also have an obligation, as participants in the liturgical action with a role to fill, to follow the texts which are in force.

It will not be long before we can put the lame-duck translation aside and use the new, corrected version.

It is tempting to jump the gun, and no one can stop you from doing as you please in this regard, and I don’t consider it to be a sin to say “And with your spirit” unless you shout it at the top of your lungs and thus disturb the whole action for others, but I would stick with the version in force.

My advice is to make a good verbal response using the text (sadly) still in force.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Rellis says:

    Whenever I go to a Novus Ordo, I usually reply in Latin. It’s not that difficult to memorize most of the more common responses, and a missal really helps. This has the good side effect of memorizing prayers in Latin like the Confiteor, the Gloria, the Credo, and the Agnus Dei.

    It also serves as a good “teachable moment” to the Baby Boomer set in the pews who look at me as if I stepped off a UFO.

  2. RichardT says:

    Surely there is a difference between using an unauthorised translation (or otherwise messing around with the words) and using a translation that has been authorised but is not yet in force?

    Using an unauthorised translation implies that the Church does not have the authority to issue normative translations (and, worse, might actually contradict the Church’s teaching on the Mass). But using a translation that has been authorised but is not yet in force is just disobedience to an administrative command. Still bad, and not to be recommended, but not as bad as the other.

  3. My husband and I have been responding in Latin. After all, all the Latin hasn’t changed.

    I have been known to answer in English, and Italian and now in Latin.

    As long as they are all approved answers, we assume they are all licit answers.

  4. RichardT says:

    I usually respond in Latin when I’m abroad (if I can’t find a Latin Mass).

    It really winds up the French.

  5. Random Friar says:

    To RichardT: As a celebrant, one of the things that sounds like someone taking a rake to a chalkboard, are the competing responses I hear, such as “It is right to give HIM thanks and praise.” “It is right to give GOD thanks and praise.” *sigh* I am happy with other languages, especially Latin, because I know that they are offering praise according to the Rite of the Holy Roman Church.

    I would counsel that disobedience in this matter is perhaps sinful, especially if you do it with full knowledge (My expectation being the readers of WDTPRS to be well-versed in liturgy), and free will, under no coercion. If you do not like the current English, respond according to another language, if you wish, although please, not in a adversarial or competitive spirit, nigh shouting “AND WITH YOUR SPIRIT!” as some of the “It is right to give GOD thanks and praise” folks do.

  6. robtbrown says:

    Random Friar says:

    To RichardT: As a celebrant, one of the things that sounds like someone taking a rake to a chalkboard, are the competing responses I hear, such as “It is right to give HIM thanks and praise.” “It is right to give GOD thanks and praise.” *sigh* I am happy with other languages, especially Latin, because I know that they are offering praise according to the Rite of the Holy Roman Church.

    I would counsel that disobedience in this matter is perhaps sinful, especially if you do it with full knowledge (My expectation being the readers of WDTPRS to be well-versed in liturgy),

    If it is sinful for a laicus to respond with recognizable Latin to “The Lord be with you”, then how sinful was it for Paul VI to promulgate a missale that is a break with liturgical tradition? Even more, how sinful was it to enforce (or let his liberal buddies enforce) versus populum, vernacular celebrations on the Church, all the while persecuting priests who wanted no part of it?

    And you might want to include all the bishops and religious superiors who were cooperators in the liturgical destruction of the Church.

    BTW, I always respond in Latin sotto voce at vernacular masses.

  7. jonvilas says:

    One may always use Latin, isn’t it? I.e. something, that Fr. Z. advises to priests. The laypeople can do this perfect well too. And it is not that difficult to learn one short phrase. In addition, I believe, it is easier, than to grasp “ineffable”.

  8. Random Friar says:

    To robtbrown: If I was not clear above, I wish to correct that. I did not say the saying it in Latin (or whatever language) was sinful, but that using a translation, either unapproved or not in force, could be sinful. I am glad to hear you do it sotto voce. I generally prefer it that way, and I think most celebrants do as well.

    As for the attacks and arguments beyond that, that horse has been beaten to death in discussion on this blog. As one of those priests who has been, well, not quite persecuted, but not always made to feel welcome, shall we say, I have no desire to dwell on those things, but to focus on the brick-by-brick project ahead of us.

  9. RichardT says:

    robtbrown, I don’t think the Friar was saying that using Latin was sinful, but that using the revised English translation before its time would be.

    I agree with him; it is disobedient, and with no valid excuse. I was merely saying that it seems a lesser sin than using one’s own words (such as “It is right to give GOD thanks and praise”).

    Friar, I can imagine it would grate on the celebrant to hear different responses, and I agree that if one is using Latin, it should be done quietly. But I’m afraid the reaction to a “pax vobiscum” to one’s neighbours when at Mass in France is just too amusing to give up.

  10. EWTN Rocks says:


    I agree with you, I would love to learn Latin, and have instructional books and audiotapes on order. However, I am tempted to give a try before receiving my order!

  11. RichardT says:

    Friar, you beat me to it; glad I understood you correctly.

  12. @RichardT

    I think you might have missunderstood what Random Friar said. I can clearly understand how having people give even slighlty different answers aloud could be very distracting to the celebrant, and other parishioners.

    He was merely pointing out that if every one were to respond in his own way, out loud, it would be very confusing.

    But then if every one were to respong in his own way, sotto voce, then it would mean the celebrant hears no answer and how would that be, considering that the OF is, aside from everything else, a dialogue mass.

    Although, I admit I answer sotto voce in latin. And I usually sit at the back of the church, I am sure that the celebrant doesn’t hear me, but maybe those around me do hear me and I possibly might be distracting them. I need to rethink this. I may have to refrain, then, from responding not just sottovoce but silently

  13. My comment I take back. It should not have been directed and Richard T. but robtbrown.

    Anyway, while I was posting my answer other comments came up. No offence was intended to anyone

  14. Random Friar says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful replies! I have no problem with any other language, approved. But if it is an English Mass, please, if you wish to say something else, sotto voce. And if in a Spanish Mass, don’t act like a tourist abroad, thinking if he speaks more loudly in English, folks will understand him!

    A while back, I was leading a chaplet of the Divine Mercy in English, and there was one sweet old woman who said it in Spanish in our smaller chapel, but fairly loudly. I knew she was pious, and not intending distraction. I asked her as nicely as I could to continue saying it in Spanish, by all means, but softly, because some of us more easily distracted folks do tend to lose focus. She understood, and all was well.

  15. Random Friar says:

    Oh, and if the priest or deacon brings up responses in Latin or Greek then, of course, the correct response would be in Latin or Greek! One should not respond “Lord have mercy” to “Kyrie eleison” or “And also with you” to “Dominus vobiscum!” I am not against the patrimony of the Church, by any means!

  16. AnAmericanMother says:

    Always a day behind the fair . . . I’m still one translation back. The old Book of Common Prayer is so ingrained in my memory banks that if I’m not paying strict attention (e.g. searching frantically for the offertory motet in my choir folder) my brain just automatically defaults to ” . . . being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven; and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary; and was made man . . . ” Then I get all flustered and can’t remember WHICH version I’m supposed to be using.

    I try not to mutter under my breath or deliberately use the wrong version, but it is very tempting. Why didn’t they just go with the 1662 book, with suitable amendments in the Eucharistic Prayer? Sigh . . . .

    Of course, today was Latin Sunday, with the Ordinary chanted in Latin, which must have worried the visiting priest a little bit (he WAS warned ahead of time though).

  17. Fr. Basil says:

    I would recommend that one either respond in the language actually being used or be silent.

    When I attend a Ukrainian Divine Liturgy, I can say most of the short responses in Ukrainian (which is similar to Slavonic), but longer texts that go by in a quick recitative (such as Only-begotten Son and the Creed) I say in English in my heart, and not aloud.

  18. Phillip says:

    I usually do what robtbrown does, i.e., respond sotto voce in Latin. I worry that using Latin too loudly will make me stand out, or appear holier-than-thou and distract those around me. But I also find that if forced to say “And also with you,” or “I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed,” for example, the actual Latin text is running in my mind, and I get upset by the bad translation, and I lose focus on praying and risk feeling a sense of pride by “knowing better,” or something.

    Typically, I use the English translation currently in place when praying the Confiteor and the Creed, and then quietly in Latin on the responses, e.g., “Et cum spiritu tuo,” “Domine, non sum dignus,” etc. I also usually quietly pray the Sanctus and Agnus Dei in Latin because if I try to sing those translated, and using the almost pop-music tunes my usual Novus Ordo parish uses, I become distracted and more likely to become irreverent.

    So, I just do what helps me to pray better and is least likely to attract attention or distract others around me. I think that’s better than jumping the gun on the new translation.

  19. shane says:

    If you’re going to ignore established liturgical legislation, then you may as well use the far superior ‘and with THY spirit’.

  20. KAS says:

    I have been saying the correct response for the version in use now, but in preparation for the change I have begun to think the new version in my own mind to link it to the response I am used to making so that when we change I will be ready and hopefully my memorization of the responses will be well established.

    I am eagerly awaiting the new translation.

    I wish it came with a book of music that was GOOD music– I’m so sick of the same songs at Mass– over and over through the year the SAME hymns all written between the 60’s and 2011…. every once in awhile an older hymn is tossed in but only so the music people can claim they are doing more than they actually do.

    I would LOVE a rule that restricts how often any one hymn can be used in a year!

    Otherwise, why bother at all with the music? Just set one hymn for each place you need music and sing the same stuff EVERY Mass so we can just memorize and be done with it– we sing the same miserable songs most Sundays anyway.

  21. dad29 says:

    Yah, well, bless me Father, for I have sinned.

    I’ve used the first-person singular for “Credo” throughout the last several years, following the strict instruction of Fr. O’Brien, SJ, at my Jebby high school.

    After all, who has more authority? A random Jesuit or the Pope?


  22. MrTipsNZ says:

    We’ve been using the corrected translation in New Zealand for the best part of 6months now. The sky has not fallen (but in our diocese we have had earthquakes and a number of churches have been seriously damaged including our Cathedral). To be honest, given these dramatic circumstances, there seems to be a willingness of the population to welcome the changes. The language has made people think more, providing a vehicle for catechism, and allowing a clearer path to the truth of our sacrificial liturgy.

    And the younger generation love it.

  23. I whisper the responses in Latin. That way, I can work toward memorizing the Latin and forgetting the lame-duck translation that I have been used to all my life. Seems like now is the time to be forgetting it, so that I don’t automatically revert to it when the new translation takes effect.

  24. James Joseph says:

    I usually just respond quietly in Latin, or I hardly respond at all.

  25. St. Rafael says:

    The English translation of the missal of Paul VI has been deliberately mistranslated for about 40 years or so. Using the correct form of the English is only following the orginal Latin of the missal itself. The laity don’t have to follow error. Using latin or the correct English is obedience to the original text of the missal, not the folly of the ICEL and liturgists who knowingly forced scandalous translations on the American Church.

    The biggest scandal was pro multis. I don’t know how priests have been able to say the erroneous “for all” for the last 40 years. If I was a priest, I would have used the Latin pro multis or the English, for many, during all these decades.

  26. amicus1962 says:

    I am amused to read from the comments here that I am not alone in responding in Latin in OF Masses. After becoming aware of the horrible state of the ICEL-translated Mass text, I made an effort long ago to memorized all the prayers and responses of the people in Latin and I use it whenever I attend Novus Ordo Masses everywhere I go around the world. I say my prayers and responses in my usual voice, somewhere between sotto voce and loud. Those around me would be able to hear it, but from exprience nobody has told me they were distracted by it, probably because they were also mouthing their vernacular responses as I was saying mine in Latin. I respect those who prefer to say it silently or even softly, but I made a decision back then that I will not be ashamed or afraid to pray publicly in the Church’s official language.

  27. avyanez says:

    I use the 1962 Missal at the NO Mass. It helps me to focus on God and not be distracted by the liturgical abuse and the OCP music. I don’t leave Mass angry anymore.

  28. Trad Tom says:

    Yikes! I’ve been saying “And with your (thy) spirit” for years and years and years. I was just never able to get that other phrase out of “Et cum spiritu tuo.” And, yes, I say it in my normal response voice. Do I need to confess that? I mean, it’s really just venial, right?

    How long, Lord? How long? I know, I know: Advent 2011

  29. muckemdanno says:

    So…it’s a sin to use the approved, correct translation.

    Wasn’t it a sin to produce an incorrect translation to begin with???

    Wasn’t it a sin to force Catholics to use this incorrect translation for the last 40 years???

    Isn’t it still a sin to force Catholics to still use this incorrect translation???

    Do you really believe it’s possible that any person ever has any obligation to obey any unjust command, including this???

  30. Imrahil says:

    That’s obedience in anticipation, isn’t it.

    In Bavaria we had a law that banned smoking in pubs with exception of special smoking pubs. The law was obeyed. However, next elections a political party campaigned for a reversal, managed to get into the new governing coalition with the fixed prospect of the reversal.

    From this very moment, the law, until then obeyed, passed into general ignorance by police, hosts, smokers, nonsmokers and the populace, although it would take another one year, roughly, until the reversal had passed through all parliamentary processes finally to be in vigour. (Right now there has been a reversal of the reversal, but that’s another story.)

    Now I think the, obviously sufficiently popular, attitude behind such-like action cannot be accused of disobedience.

  31. I think some people are getting worked up over very little. This is what the ancients would have called a fluctus in simpulo.

    Facetiously, using the new, corrected translation without permission of proper authority before its time is rather like on a far lesser scale of gravity the liturgical response version of cohabitation before marriage.*

    I don’t consider it to be a sin to say “And with your spirit” unless you shout it at the top of your lungs and thus disturb the whole action for others.  I have in mind also those who bray out things like

    “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of GAWD’S name, for our good, and the good of all GAWD’S Church.”

    Shouting, nay rather, braying something different from the approved text, in an obvious or disturbing way, is – and this is a useful technical term, though not precisely in our theological manuals – is to commit the sin of being a jackass. 

    As far as the “approved but not in force and therefore okay to use”, fine.  Say what you want.  The book says one thing, and you are saying another.  So be it. 

    “Approved” and “approved for use” are different.  The first means that it eventually will be licit to use it, while the second means you can use it.

    Is saying “And with your spirit” now a big deal?  No, provided you are not a jackass about it.




    *Which is a mortal sin, of course.  Don’t think for an instant there is a moral equivalence.

  32. robtbrown says:

    Puff the Magic Dragon says:
    I think you might have missunderstood what Random Friar said. I can clearly understand how having people give even slighlty different answers aloud could be very distracting to the celebrant, and other parishioners.

    He was merely pointing out that if every one were to respond in his own way, out loud, it would be very confusing.

    I didn’t quarrel with his notion that it would be confusing–my problem was saying it could be sinful.

    And I think it’s a bit silly after 40 years of highly Protestantized liturgy to begin to worry about confusion. I would say that of all the masses I’ve attended in the US since 1970 (11 years spent abroad), at least half featured changes made by the celebrant. In fact, every week I hear two examples from different priests:

    He took the bread, broke it, and gave it to his friends
    With our gifts prepared, pray that they are acceptable to God
    –which is theologically wrong.

  33. nanetteclaret says:

    I’m very encouraged to see so many people saying the responses in Latin. I’ve started doing that at “bi-lingual” Masses. Rather than contribute to the cacophony of 1/2 the people saying the responses in English and the other 1/2 in Spanish – at the same time – I’ve started saying them in Latin. I’ve been using my Adoremus Hymnal and it’s a little hard to keep up, but it keeps me from being angry about the chaos, which is especially bad during the Our Father since each group says it loudly in their own language. The “babel” of responses in two different languages seems to be completely counter to the “unity” we’re always being told we have to adhere to. This is just another example of the intellectual dishonesty and illogical reasoning that has occurred over the last 40 years.

  34. John Nolan says:

    When the corrected translation comes out I have to decide whether or not to break the habit of 40 years and respond in English. I think I’ll stick to Latin; it also useful when attending Mass abroad. Bawling the responses is bad form. anyway, but for one exception – if the priest starts the mass with “good morning , everybody” the correct response is ET CUM SPIRITU TUO!

  35. Random Friar says:

    I will stand by my assertion, again, with the prerequisite conditions. One could even sin by doing right action with wrong intention or needlessly uncharitable mind.

    In all the stories of the saints, I have yet to hear a story when the Lord or our Blessed Mother said, “Yeah, go ahead and disobey. It’s ok in your case,” on a matter liturgical.

    I would caution the same thing I caution penitents: spend less time worrying about what others do, and more with yourself.

  36. Random Friar says:

    I would also add that while I may not like much of the current translation, it is not up to me. Obedience to lawful authority insofar as they are competent to rule is truly obedience.

  37. Random Friar says:

    @Nanetteclaret: one cultural difference that might be jarring to anglophones is that in hispanic Masses, cohesion and precision in recitation is not really a central concern. This would be bothersome to an anglophone at a hispanophone Mass, but with a mixed crowd, it might really be bothersome. One reason I don’t much go for bilingual Mass.

  38. Eileen T says:

    In New Zealand we have been using the new translation since last Advent. Our parish priest celebrates a Latin Mass before the Novus Ordo Mass every Sunday so it was no surprise that we have the Kyrie Eleison as well as parts of the Liturgy in Latin. I noticed this Sunday that the congregation sang the Sanctus and the Agnes Dei with gusto, even though very few of them have attended the Latin Mass in the past.

  39. jj_nycguy says:

    I, too, respond in Latin.

  40. The bilingual Spanish/English Masses drive me nuts. It’s like the Tower of Babel. All these contortions to get out of using Latin. If we can print programs with Spanish on one side and English on the other, why would Latin on one side and English or Spanish on the other be so hard? But people here would rather eat a bucket of bugs than hear a syllable of Latin.

    P.S. I’ve noticed that the Hispanic parishioners stay away from these Spanglish Masses in droves. I can’t blame them: I wouldn’t appreciate being condescended to, either.

  41. Gail F says:

    I agree with Random Friar. If you want to use the new responses, say them quietly or we will end up with more of what we have now — masses where half the people say “God” instead of “Father,” “Him,” or “He” really, really loud, or (this one used to happen a lot in my parish but not much anymore, thank goodness) say, “FOR US…… AND OUR SALVATION” really loud, so that when the people who said the correct word “men” got to that word it was much quieter. And they always did this with a show of great piety and righteousness. I don’t see how it would improve things for anyone to do the same. We’ve been told to start at Advent, so wait until Advent. If we would like our priests and bishops to be obedient, it won’t hurt for us to try some obedience ourselves. I have tried out some of the new responses myself, and I whispered them for just this reason.

  42. Centristian says:

    “Shouting, nay rather, braying something different from the approved text, in an obvious or disturbing way, is – and this is a useful technical term, though not precisely in our theological manuals – is to commit the sin of being a jackass.”

    LOL. Especially amidst a congregation of mumblers, which most congregations seem to tend to be. I’ll confess, I do like to respond in Latin, sometimes (as a mumbler, though, not as a brayer), figuring that my inharmonious (though barely audible) responses and prayers are offered with a greater sense of fidelity to the spirit of the Liturgy than are the ad-libbed prayers of the celebrant.

    So when the celebrant says, for example, “My sisters and brothers in Christ, Jesus loves you and me and all of us here SO much that blah,blah,blah (or other similar foolishness), and so together we now pray with confidence to our loving Father in the words that Jesus our brother taught us,” I have no problem continuing, “Pater noster qui es in caelis…” [Which, if memory serves, is a text approved for use even in church!]

  43. MichaelJ says:

    I just don’t get it (seems to happen a lot lately….)
    If there is a corrected translation, does that not mean that the current translation is, well, incorrect?
    If so, I do not see how anyone can be compelled to use something that is known to be false.
    Someone explain to me please how this is not a case of saying that the Virtue of Obedience compels us to lie.

  44. Fr_Sotelo says:

    MichaelJ: The “corrected” translation did not correct every single word, sentence, or paragraph of the present Missal. The vast majority of words and phrases in the Missal are correct, in fact, in spite of the fact that the English may not be as elevated as we wish.

    So there is no need to go from the stance of “we are improving the Missal” to “this Missal is false, and we are compelled to lie by praying from this Missal.” The Church is free to make improvements to her rites or the translations thereof, without us having to become the enemies of what was previously the standard and ordinary text for millions of people.

    We don’t need to repeat the mistake of history, whereby in 1969 the New Missal of Paul VI become the only true and perfect prayer of the Church, and what was previously used all of a sudden become wrong and harmful.

  45. BobP says:

    St. Thomas More was right. I pray that English be banned in the Catholic Mass.

  46. MichaelJ says:

    I did not intend to suggest that the current Missal is false. I only stated that we now know that certain phrases in the English translation of the current Missal are false. Not simply because the language is not elevated but because they express something different than the Church intends to express.

    We know what the Church intends to say, and we know how to say it in English and yet somehow obedience to an administrative requirement (the text is approved, simply not yet distributed) requires us to continue to say words that we know to be false?

  47. Fr_Sotelo says:

    MichaelJ: Thank you for clarifying what you meant when you said, “I do not see how anyone can be compelled to use something that is known to be false.” The previous sentence mentioned the “current translation” and so it would be easy to think the Missal is what you meant by the “something” that is false. And then you cited this as the case of using the virtue of obedience as a reason to “lie.” Sometimes the dramatic flair does not help your reader to see what you are getting at.

    But there is something to be said for obedience to the administrative acts of the Pope, the offices of the Curia, or the legislation of the national conference. It keeps us on the same page, and does not assume that everyone else is informed of the changes. The person sitting next to you in the pew can easily think that your responses are your personal invention, whereas on the day of implementation, we all understand that this is what the Church is now doing.

  48. robtbrown says:

    Random Friar,

    I disagree with your understanding of the concept of obedience to authority.

    1. The obedience to which a religious is obligated is much more extensive than that to which a layman is obligated.

    2. A distinction must be made between moral and legal authority. I think there’s no doubt that obedience is owed when there is a concomitance of moral and legal authority–but that always isn’t so. A grand example is the present state of the liturgy. I have no doubt that Paul VI had the legal authority to promulgate a new missal. Further, various bishops’ conference (with the consent of the Vatican) also had the legal authority to vernacularize the liturgy and install picnic tables in the sanctuary.

    3. Whether they had the moral authority is another question. Thus, any obedience under the penalty of sin (as you imply above) is extremely problematic.

    4. In the mid 70’s the bishops of France suppressed the 1962 Missal. Fontgombault, which always used that Missal at the high mass, after consultation decided to use the 1962 Missal (many of the private masses continued with the 1962 Missal). The decision was made even though they did not think they were under any moral or legal obligation to stop using the 1962 Missal at high mass.

  49. Random Friar says:

    robtbrown: I would follow the example of Padre Pio, who applied for a dispensation to continue celebrating the Tridentine Mass (and some priests around the world as well). If he had been denied, I am, to borrow a term, morally certain that he would have obeyed.

    Yes, you are right to say that clergy are under greater obligation of obedience than the laity. However, your implications seem to be saying that the lawfully promulgated Mass of Pope Paul VI. But the infallible teaching of the Church in Pastor Aeternus reminds us:

    2. Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.

    Now, there is always the out that something is against the law of God or reason, but one comes awfully close to implying that the current OF is an immoral or unreasonable act, which is imputing many bishops and popes, including the one now reigning on the Chair of Peter.

  50. Random Friar says:

    MichaelJ and others: I think the problem is that the translation suffered more from a poverty of language. I do not think there were errors, in that an inherently untrue statement was made, or it would have been corrected much sooner (even “for all” can be understood, not as a statement of universal salvation, but of the desire of Christ for universal salvation, all the while allowing free will and choice to turn away from the gift of God). The recent encyclicals and instructions have nudged us back on a better course (some kicking and screaming, but we move forward). Translation is always a work of compromise, and even composing in the original Latin there must be a choice of wording and phrasing. We can only move closer to better language. The Mystery cannot be recited in exact language. That is asking too much from human tongues.

  51. Random Friar says:

    Anyway, I do apologize for monopolizing the last few comments. My lips/fingers are now sealed.

  52. MichaelJ says:

    Random Friar,
    I recognize that use of “for all” must be understood in the sense you indicate. It is inherently untrue nonetheless as it attributes words to Our Lord that He did not speak. Yes, I realize that He likely spoke Aramaic, or possibly Hebrew, but both of those languages distinguish between “all” and “many”. As I understand it, you and other Priests are quoting Our Lord at this moment, are you not?

    In any case, this is secondary to the issue I was attempting to bring up. The fact reamins that some words in the current english translation are incorrect (and “untrue” in the sense that they do not express what the Church intends to express), the Church has told us that they are incorrect, She has given us the correct words to use, and yet there are some who insist (in reading your comments I would not characterize you as one) that we must continue using the known incorrect translation because all of the bureaucratic hurdles have not been crossed.

  53. Random Friar says:

    MichaelJ: See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03255c.htm (down to “Gratias agens”, incl. Maundy Thursday).

    I’m not going to say that the new translation is not a better translation. You will see rejoice in Advent, and not just in anticipation of the Birth of Our Messiah. But place me in the camp that says that we must use the current English translation, if we are offering the Sacrifice of the Mass in the English language. The Church has stated (and allowed for regional conferences to anticipate) when we may begin. As was mentioned, I am a cleric, and am bound even more closely to follow the Rite as is in force, barring an indult or proper permission given for some other text.

  54. Imrahil says:

    Dear @robtbrown,
    I disagree with your distinction of legal and moral authority. Either an order is ordered or it isn’t.

    But from different motives I come to similar conclusions. Is the Pope to whom we all owe our obedience, is he literally saying, and more especially: is it to the laity that he’s literally saying: Say the old translation until Advent and then the new? Or, for that matter, is a bishop, is your parish priest?

    If so, we owe obedience (though if it’s not the Pope, we might appeal to a higher authority and then follow what the law says for such occasions); and we owe it even to grossly inadequate orders provided they’re not orders to sin.

    But my view is a different one. The Pope is, for the time being until Advent, not giving an order at all. He is just changing the law which, as usual for legislational processes, takes some time. Can you imagine the Pope saying: “Say ‘and also with you’ until Advent and that’s an order?” No? If not, then prepare for obedience in case he would; but apparently he isn’t at the moment, or you would be able to imagine him doing so.

  55. Random Friar says:

    Imrahil: That seems to me to miss the spirit of obedience. For example, has the Holy Father ever said we must obey any specific canon in canon law? Bl. John Paul II, in enacting the current Code of Canon Law, IIRC, simply said, “This is the date when it goes into effect.”

    The tact you are suggesting comes close to what some would say in disregarding much from the Holy See, including the new translation. “Well, Rome never *explicitly* said this…” Would someone be able to ignore the new translation of the Mass simply because it did not explicitly forbid the old one? If it is, after all, just a change in law, would a pastor who refused the new translation be disobedient?

  56. BLB Oregon says:

    We are not talking about making stuff up or reciting a translation that is known to be wrong. Assuming the volume isn’t up too high (which is actually kind of distracting no matter what the shouter is saying), I can’t imagine getting this worked up about someone else’s quirks.

    This is like a discussion concerning whether it is OK to jaywalk at 2 am when you can see two blocks in every direction. It is technically illegal, you could get a ticket, and so a officer of the court would not advise you that it is OK, but why would anyone who didn’t have a bone to pick with you ever give you one?

    You asked, though, and you got your answer, so now you have to stay on the curb until the light changes.

  57. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Random Friar:

    Well, I’m not entitled to speak about the *spirit* of obedience, though I may venture to speak about obedience itself… just kidding…

    I have been thinking that obedience is really a fine and not only necessary (which no one doubts) but also even comfortable thing; for the reason that it is only due to orders… There may be much argument for sticking to the law in force at present, as @Fr. Z said. But not – obviously not I’d say – that we offend the legitimate authority who gave it.

    Neither is disobedience the problem with those “some” you’re speaking about. When they’re disobedient is for them something to confess in the Tribunal of Penance; and for us it’s, so to speak, the weak point where to get them. But that they’re disobedient is not the problem; the problem is that they do the wrong things; and most of their disobedience comes from the awesome reason that a lawful authority actually has forbidden to do the things in question.

    But as a matter of fact even so, if they claim “Rome did not explicitly say”, well then may Rome please, please give them something explicit to be obedient about. In these days, I’m told, Rome hears very well.

    And the situation doesn’t compare to the position of the Code of Canon Law. If anything, it compares to the situation of a specific paragraph different in 1917 CIC plus postconciliar legislation on the one and the CIC 1983 on the other hand, and this between the date the blessed said “It will go into effect” and the date he said it will go into effect.

    Anyway, if it is okay to answer in Latin or, for that matter, German (thank God our translation is, I may say, somewhat better) even if the congregation as such answers in English, then it’s okay to break uniformity anyway. How could it then be that it isn’t okay to answer in English what the Latin says in English?

  58. Imrahil says:

    And the point about the “change in law” is that, yes, a law is an order. But my question was: Does there exist a moral law – which may be an implicit law – that we obey, so to speak, not only the law itself, but as well the necessarily bureaucratical processes of legislation and times of preparation and beginning of implementation and whatever?

  59. robtbrown says:

    Random Friar,

    1. If a man says “Et cum spiritu tuo” or “And with your spirit” instead of “And also with you”, he is not being disobedient to the pope: The first is actually what is found in the mass the pope promulgated (and thus is the rite in force), the second a literal translation of it.

    The disobedience would be to the US bishops who OK’d the soapy translation.

    2. I do not think the translations suffer from a mere poverty of language, but rather are ideologically based and are intentional equivocations. For example, the phrase “for all”, which as you say, can be understood correctly in a certain sense. On the other hand, the use of “for all” cannot be justified by Scripture–neither in the texts relating the institution of the Eucharist nor in the famous texts of Mt 20 and Mk 10 that directly refer to the Redemption.

  60. Random Friar says:

    @Imrahil: Thank you for your answer! I haven’t gone back through all the posts here, and it is a good discussion, but I was trying to say that one can respond in whichever language, but if it’s done in the spirit of anger or defiance (I’m thinking the “it is right to give GOD thanks and praise” crowd more). So yes, respond in German, Latin, Arabic, Geez or whatever language you are most comfortable in. If the English response grates you, then it would probably be better to respond in some other tongue, but I would call it a lack of charity and manners, in English Mass, to needlessly distract those around you, hence sotto voce. But even if everyone were to be responding in 150 different tongues, they should all still be doing it in the approved and in force rite of the Church. In whatever tongue, say the black, I would say.

    @Imrahil: I would say yes. Ecclesial law necessarily goes a “bureaucratic” process to give the Church time to prepare and catechize all those affected. Imagine the chaos if Rome just said “Oh, and by the way, here’s a new translation. Do it ASAP!” And it did happen — things were coming down (not all from Rome), and the altars were brought forward, the priests faced the people, with so little time to prepare. I think we have all learned a valuable lesson about sudden implementations. Summorum Pontificum is a little different, in that the text was already existing, people were already familiarized with the text, and for those who needed help, we could always run off a bunch of “worship aids.” However, it would have been counterproductive if the pastor simply changed all the Masses at a parish to the EF, without warning and preparation for John and Jane Inthepew.

    Good discussions, all! I will cease to comment further, but I will read your responses.

  61. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Random Friar,

    I didn’t intend to critisize the process of lawgiving. I only can’t get off the feeling that while this process is good, it has not itself the morally-binding force its result has.

Comments are closed.