Over at the Deacon’s Bench, Rev. Mr. Kandra has a great post. A priest wrote to Dcn. Kandra as a reaction to the whiny survey of priests about the new translation. My emphases and comments:
After reading this latest post on how priests reportedly dislike the new Missal, a priest friend dropped me an email to share his impressions:
One of the things going on here is very important, but I suspect most priests have never thought about it.
I concelebrated at a Funeral Mass with an older priest (about 75) about four months after the new Missal came into use. I was the main celebrant. His parts were reading the Gospel and the sections of the Eucharistic Prayer given to concelebrants.
He did this with real difficulty, the reason being that he kept trying to look at the congregation as he read. This is much easier with the older, easily memorized text. This book keeps you needing to read from it. [It makes you think about what the texts mean, too. One day some of these priests will actually think about the texts and they will realize that most of the time they are not talking to the congregation.]
Most priests do not seem to ever have thought about the nature of ritual at all. The priest who comes out on the altar and greets the folks in his own colloquial way, and then starts the Mass with the text, doesn’t realize that there IS a greeting in the Mass. He speaks in “real life” and then retreats to the formal worship. He does so at the end as well. “Have a nice day!”
This priest I concelebrated with did not seem to realize that in the Eucharistic Prayer we are speaking to God, not the congregation. [There it is.]
I believe that putting the priest celebrant behind the altar facing the people was a very serious, core error. [Do I hear an “AMEN!”?] When I celebrate the Traditional Mass or the Anglican Use liturgy (which is generally celebrated with the traditional altar ceremonies), I come before the altar, face it in the same direction as the people, and begin Mass by addressing Him. I submit myself to the rite; the people submit themselves to the rite. We participate together.
The Novus Ordo has made the priest the focus. He starts by initiating a dialogue with the people. He keeps up this dialogue throughout the Mass. He stands behind the Altar like Julia Child doing a cooking demonstration at her kitchen island. [Good one!]
A new translation cannot be expected to accomplish everything. Only with time will we recover a sense of the difference between going to the Altar of God and singing around the camp fire.
Read the whole thing over there.