04 September 2011

The New Translation on this Side of the Pond

Catholics all over England and Wales started using the new English translation of the Mass yesterday.  

We followed along here at Blackfriars.  

Besides the stack of new books to juggle in the choir stalls and the occasional slip up with "And also with you," everything went well.  

One thing I noticed. . .for most of the Mass I was lost; that is, I kept having to stop and think about where we were in the liturgy.  All the familiar verbal cues were gone, so keeping track of where we were was a matter of actually concentrating on the content of what we were praying and not just the Cue Words. 

Another American friar visiting the priory noted that the text of the new translation sounds better when prayed in a posh Brit accent. . .so, maybe Americans should start practicing their Received Pronunciation!

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  1. I mean no offence, but one of the great defects of the defeated translation was that it was very American in a cultural sense - the language deliberately avoided formality and sacrality (commonly perceived as "British" English by Americans).

    The improved translation restores much of the formal, sacral character to Anglophone worship which is probably why Anglophones of the Commonwealth cultures are adopting it very comfortably.

    We in Australia began the transition at Pentecost, and except those dark spots that refuse to move on before the deadline of Advent, things are going very smoothly.

  2. I was had the privilege of sitting in on a couple of our priests' training sessions on the new Missal (I was on our diocesan implementation team). I have to admit I had some concerns about the new translation's intelligibility -- until we did a "read-through." To my surprise the new texts are much easier to follow and understand when proclaimed aloud than when read from the page. I had no problem understanding the intent and meaning of the prayers when I heard them proclaimed by a reverent, prepared presider.

    I think the implementation in the US will be much smoother than the prophets of doom and gloom would have us believe.

  3. Anonymous7:19 AM

    will always remember how you prepared us for the day. I will
    always remember you your frie
    Ron St Joseph Ponchatoula