27 November 2011

The New Translation: how'd it go?

Let's hear about your experiences with the new English translation of the Roman Missal. . .The Good, the Bad. . .and the Ineffable!

I was really shocked to hear how many parishes/pastors have done little or nothing to prepare their people for the transition.  One would hope that this failure isn't some sort of self-fulfilling doomsday prophecy about the new translation:  "We told you it was going to be a disaster!"  

Anyway, my guess is that 99.99% of regular Catholic folks are going to be just fine with it.  

Let us know!

Update:  thanks to all of you who've shared your experiences with the new translations. . .I'm happy to hear that there were no riots.

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  1. I am from the future (Australia began using the improved translation at Pentecost) so my story is from a few months ago, but...

    "and also with your spirit".

    Lots of this. However, it is now Advent and most of these have ceased. There are a few people (mostly older folk) who are still in the grasp of old habits, but their number dwindles each week. I expect that by this time next year to hear the old response "and also with you" will be just as disconcerting as hearing the new is today.

    God bless you, Americans!

  2. Anonymous12:45 AM

    I'm sad to hear that some priests are sabotaging the transition. There's a blessing in obedience in the Church, especially when it's hard to obey, that they are depriving themselves of.

    On the other hand, our bishop let the parishes use the new missal during the weekday masses. While my parish did, I know that not all parishes took the opportunity. But I don't know of anyone that didn't do some sort of preparation.

    My own has even had some talks about it, as this one for teens: http://gloria.tv/?media=218209

  3. peregrinus.sg1:32 AM

    Mass at the local Cathedral went as well as I could have ever hoped for.

    We are in a region where the new translation of the Order of Mass has been in use since September, and the new propers from the First Sunday of Advent. No catechesis, but most have gotten used to the responses by now, and while the Priest was somewhat unsure of how to pace the new Collects and Post-Communion Prayers, they were still prayed well. I also noticed that when hearing the Post-Communion Prayer, the centrality of the "mysteries we have participated" was left imprinted in my mind sufficiently long that made it quite obvious that the later "these" did not refer to the passing things, even though the Priest read the prayer without varying his tone or pace. Quite unlike what the whiners at some blogs have whipped themselves up into.

    The best part was our Cathedral choir loved the Missa Emmanuel for Advent, and it gets kind of dreary and silly to sing every Mass part to the Veni Emmanuel tune. With the new translation, we no longer had that dreary Mass setting! We had Latin chant from the Missal for the Kyrie and Credo, with Sanctus de Lourdes and a polyphonic Agnus Dei in Latin, and the Pater Noster in English chant according to the Missal.

  4. The vigil Mass yesterday went great. We had had a class offered 3 different times on the new chants and we have pew cards. There was one miniscule error of the priest though he claimed afterward to have messed up the music (only musicians would notice that kind of thing). There were hundreds of "and also with you"s and I badly messed up the under your roof part but I was in the front row and I think only the Mary statue heard me. She continued to have a faint smile so it was okay I guess.

  5. Beyond our performance, lots of people were excitedly talking about the depth of the prayers now. I noticed how much longer I had been kneeling because it hurts for me to kneel. The old translation was not just dumbed down, it was truncated by the simplification. It it great.

  6. There's been very little preparation in my parish -- unless you count getting a new pastor 5 months ago and a new vicar 1 month ago as preparing the parish for change. We have had cards with the new responses in the pews for several weeks, though, and mention of all this has been made from the pulpit, so the parish is at least aware that something's going on.

    I expect there to be quite a bit of both/and at today's Masses, with improvement by the week. (Christmas Masses should be pretty miserable, not only with the influx of C&E Catholics who know nothing about the new translation, but also with the crowds soaking up all the cards and missalettes.)

  7. Anonymous8:03 AM

    Dear Father, Our parish had NO preparation whatsoever till last night. Just before the Vigil Mass started, our pastor gave a short notice as to what was going to happen. Prior to that, for months NOTHING had been said. Our parish (I live in Quebec) is bilingual, English/French, and our pastor said that this was some peculiarity on the part of English-speaking people, who didn't go along with other languages (French, Spanish, etc.) who retained the "With your spirit" response. In Quebec, everything is seen in terms of language - the politicians are always rabbitting on about how French is "threatened" - even such a simple task as shopping can be a linguistic minefield. That said, the new translation was implemented in the usual slapdash fashion that our parish uses for everything - could have been better, but could've been much worse. Father said the choir will have problems - too bad, but it might wake them up, because they've been on cruise control for years (one reason I quit as organist) - a shakiing-up would maybe be good for them!

    Christmas Mass should be verryyy inter-est-ing, as Arte Johnson's little Nazi would say.

    Wishing you a prayerful and joyous Advent season.

    Regards from Canada,

  8. We've been 'prepared' by our priests and music ministers for at least a couple of months, and last night people at my parish seemed very open to it. Father Will reminded us that Advent is a great time to learn patience, and we will all need to be patient with one another learning the new translation! :) Even when parishioners, deacon, and priest made mistakes, always stopped and tried again. I found it to be refreshing; everyone seemed more willing to be authentic with one another. So...a great start!

  9. No problems here. At the start of Mass, everyone was saying "and also with you" but by the end, with some gentle reminders from the priest, a solid majority were saying "and with your spirit". The other prayers were hit and miss, with many people reading from the misalette but an equal number just going from memory.

    Overal, about as expected. Perhaps everyone will be used to the new prayers by Christmas

  10. Nice pew cards showing changes in bold which points out, at least on our side, that the changes are minimal. Our daily Mass has been incorporating it for a few months and it was smooth today. No one discussed it - we just did it. It also reined in the ad-libbing as our priests had to read from the book. I like it!

  11. No problem here. We've been prepped by the pastor over the last few months, there was also an abundance of booklets available that had the Mass liturgy printed out very plainly. The only glitch we suffered at the 8 AM Mass was the priest recited an entirely different Eucharistic Prayer than the one printed in the booklets. As responsive as our pastor is, I'm sure that will be quickly addressed.

    I missed using my own missal. The new ones aren't due in to the local bookstore until January (some unspecified snafu was cited when I called about it). Oh well, Sister Mary Tarantula would have advised to just offer it up for the suffering souls.

  12. In the event, the congregation at my parish's 11:30 Mass brought it. By the standards of the congregation at my parish's 11:30 Mass, at least.

    Hardest part: figuring out the cadence for the Creed.

  13. Tom, just wait 'til after Advent and you hear the Glora! Oy.

  14. Very excited about it--got the new missal in the mail a week and a half back, and have been rather obsessed with it.

    Our pastor has been pretty low-key about the change, though he has mentioned it a couple of times from the pulpit, and we began doing the 3rd-Ed Gloria, Acclamations, and Sanctus about a month and a half back. Today's mass seemed a bit weird, but not unhappy. I suspect we'll all be used to it soon.

  15. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Half of each sermon the last two weeks was mentioning the things that would change. We had nice laminated pew cards with the people's parts. Most importantly, we had a cantor who said the new parts firmly so that helped whenever he was near a mic. He also went over the Sanctus (a variation of the English one we've been using for years) and the Profession of Faith before Mass started.

    I heard more of the new responses towards the end of mass than I did at the beginning, so people were figuring out that they needed to look at the card.

    Our parish picked a good sized pew card - large enough to be easily read and small enough to hold onto with two children sitting on my lap.


  16. I still hope and pray for the day when I can attend the Tridentine Mass exclusively (right now I can get it only very rarely, mostly by traveling hundreds of miles). However, the new translation is a vast improvement. The language is in a loftier style far more appropriate to the occasion than the old translation, and many theological distortions caused by "dynamic equivalence" have been removed. Plus, Scriptural allusions that had previously been effaced ("Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof...") have been restored.

    Now if only the music people would quit trying to shoehorn the awful Mass of Creation around the new translation...

  17. We've had two excellent homilies based around the new translation and this Sunday went pretty well. I was surprised how hard it was to not say "And also with you", even though they projected the proper response and we had pew cards. I think I flubbed it every time, even though I'm quite used to the French and Latin.

    I cannot really judge the new translation yet, because Father keeps grinning and emphasizing the new parts, which makes it just a little awkward, but at least he's enthusiastic about it!

    So far, so good!

    St. Mary's, Ottawa

  18. We had the pew cards, and we had done catechesis on the reasons for the changes for a couple of months before the change.

    The one "bump" was that at our first Masses, the people read along the pew cards... but continued to read the red rubrical instructions!

    I guess we priests took for granted that everyone knew to "say the black, do the red!"

    I had a later Mass, and so I was able to prepare the folks with the pew cards. I'd say 98% plus said the right responses! Most people were actually amazed at how much the *priests'* language had changed. I kidded some folks after Mass. "EVERYTHING changed for us. All you guys had to do was 'and with your spirit!'"

  19. Our parish has been preparing since September - the new musical settings have been sung since then. Pew cards have been out for two weeks for people to begin looking at them. And I think our pastor did a pretty decent job with the pacing and the new prayers.

    There were of course several people on autopilot or who were clueless who didn't get the memo.

    Overall it went very well. Hopefully it will get better each week.

  20. Gregg the Obscure11:20 AM

    I commented at WDTPRS first. There were protesters outside the Cathedral here in Denver, but they were a tiny group of aging hippies. The hundreds inside the Cathedral took everything in stride quite well.

  21. Father:

    My parish had explanatory handouts for the past several weeks. We also "tried out" a few of the responses during that time.

    Yesterday's unveiling of the significant changes made to the prayers offered by the priest made the beauty of the properly translated language of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass apparent to all but the hard of heart. It was beautiful!

    Morning Mass today was even more awesome!

    What a gift. May we not squander it!

    Michael Seagriff