“Pro multis” in the the Misal Romano, Tercera Edición for the USA

From the September newsletter of the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship comes this blurb:

Use of Ustedes and the Spanish Translation of Pro Multis

In 2008, the USCCB petitioned the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for permission to use “ustedes” and the corresponding verb constructions in place of “vosotros” for the Order of Mass, including the words of consecration of the bread and wine.  At that time, the USCCB also petitioned for the use of “por muchos” as the newly-approved translation of pro multis, to replace the wording “por todos los hombres.”  The Congregation granted recognitio for both of these changes in January 2009, but also stated that they would take effect only with the Misal Romano, Tercera Edición.  Since the USCCB has not yet approved a new Spanish translation of the Roman Missal, the official words of consecration in Spanish in the United States remain as in the current edition of the Misal Romano.

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  1. Father G says:

    Thank you very much for the blurb. I had been wondering about this for the past week and was going to send an email to the USCCB regarding it. No need to do so now. It will feel odd for me to be saying “for many” when celebrating Mass in English and still use “por todos los hombres” in Spanish.
    I noticed how the last sentence of the blurb makes no mention that the use of “vosotros” is still in effect until the new Misal Romano for the USA takes effect. The vast majority of Spanish speaking priests in the USA use “ustedes” at Mass since the use of “vosotros” is rarely used now in Latin American Spanish.

  2. uptoncp says:

    I can understand wishing to delay the change in 2nd person forms until a complete new Misal is published (would I be right in thinking that many Spanish-language masses in the US are celebrated by priests for whom it is a second language?), but given the importance that has been attached to it at the highest levels, delaying the implementation of the improved translation of pro multis seems a somewhat perverse decision by the CDW.

  3. mike cliffson says:

    So, pro multis on the one hand, on the other, American use trumps yuropean tradition. This is what we britspeakers were given as one justification/explanation of icel, way back when. This is no way to run a railway.

  4. Mitchell NY says:

    As an English speaker who is also fluent in Spanish I can attest to the fact that even I know the word “Vosotros”. Latin American schools still teach this word and conjugation to students from the earliest of education as part of the curriculum. It may not be used in everyday speech, but neither is “art thou” in the Lord’s Prayer and people know what it means. Argentina, Spain, Uruguay, some Colombian towns, and Mexican, as well as some in Venezuela continue to speak using this in everyday speech and it is not uncommon to those Spanish speakers listening, harking back to their education what is means. More formal, yes. And in an era when the new US translation has been translated to better conform to the Latin and use a more formalized standard of English, their is no real reason to drop Vosotros for Ustedes. It smacks of more “change for the sake of change”. I mentioned this to a friend from Latin America and all he could say is “that is ridiculous” !

  5. JeffTL says:

    Actually, Mitchell, “vosotros” is the informal second person plural, just like “ye” (the plural of “thou” and hence “Take ye all of this and eat it” – though “ye” was the first to be replaced with “you” in informal situations, before “thou” became archaic). In many of the Latin American dialects, including those most common in the United States, “ustedes” is always used instead, though “tú” remains as the singular. Historically, the intimate second-person has been used in addressing God to emphasize our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father — and in the case of the Words of Institution, these forms have been used because the context suggests their appropriateness. The “t-v distinction” does not to my knowledge exist in the classical forms of Hebrew, Greek, or Latin, or in Aramaic at all, so either translation in languages such as Spanish where it does exist is arguable.

  6. Oleg-Michael says:

    The worst thing about those falsified translations is when they are into languages which themselves are derived from Latin, such as Spanish, Italian, etc. In them, it’s no longer “we know better how to put this and that in our language”, but rather “we want our own mass instead of the Church’s mass”.

  7. James Joseph says:

    Vosotros is a beautiful word. And, Voce is equally dignified.

    “Como’sta Voce?” It flows so much easier than “Como esta Usted?”
    “Comi’stan Vosotros?” is equally dignified.

    The issues surrounding to what seems like an endless number translations for each and every Hispanic barrio not to speak of the horrors of Latin being translated first into English and then into Spanish by Ken Candido-types and Fr. Virgil Funk-types drives me nuts. The horde and the juggernaut continue to march against the dignity of the Spanish tongue. Dividing so as to conquer. For all of Latin America is too strong a bulwark to de-Christianise in one stroke.

    I wish I still had Msgr. Jim Moroney to explain these things for me (not to mention his homilies and jolly working-class Irish laugh).

  8. mike cliffson says:

    How odd to put pro multis and localist plural you in the same basket/ blurb!
    If you want dumbed down liturgical language the way the plebs speak it, having lost the case in English, go ahead.Everything for the people , and the dimber the better. Of course more americans statistically use ustedes.For that matter, Icel was very much nearer Chigago ganstaspeak than the improved version.
    So what?
    Change languages, and suddenly a thread on Fr z’s blog is back 40 yrs.
    I don’t get it.

  9. Fr_Sotelo says:

    The Mexican Episcopal Conference (La Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano) already petitioned and received from the Congregation for Divine Worship permission for these changes, and they have already been promulgated in Mexico, and are now in use there for at least three years that I know of.

    When I ordered my last copy of the Misal Romano published for use in Mexico, I received another bound book which is an adendum and has “por muchos” in the consecration and “ustedes” in all the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass. All missalettes used in Mexico now have these changes as well.

    Granted, American priests are under no obligation to use the promulgated liturgical books of Mexico for Mass in Spanish, but it seems to me that this would be a wise and prudent course for Masses in Spanish while we are awaiting an approved Spanish translation under the auspices of the American bishops. In fact, given the track record of American translations, and the well-known beauty and elegance of translations from Spain and Mexico, I have to wonder how many priests in the U.S. who offer Mass in Spanish are going to avail themselves of anything in Spanish coming from Washington, D.C.

  10. Nicole says:

    Maybe all this translation difficulty is a sign that the Latin Rite should offer its sacred services in…………..Latin?? My father often laments the change in the language at Mass…how it used to be that he could go to a Latin Rite Mass anywhere in the world and follow along easily, knowing what was going on…and how that is not the case anymore.

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