Friday, May 07, 2010

Catholic Herald Welcomes New English Missal Translation

The new translation is on its way. Let’s welcome it
Leading article
7 May 2010

The Vatican has finally approved the new English translation of the Roman Missal, as the Holy Father confirmed this week. He told the Vox Clara committee, which has assisted Rome in the translation: "Soon the fruits of your labours will be made available to English-speaking congregations everywhere." Not that soon, however. The Church in England and Wales will not introduce the Missal until the summer of 2011. That may seem a long time to wait; but, as Pope Benedict noted, "many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly 40 years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped."

The Pope is well aware that a minority of Catholics have theological, aesthetic and (regrettably) ideological objections to the new translation, which renders the Latin text more literally than its predecessor. In the Creed, for example, Jesus is no longer "of one being" with the Father, but "consubstantial" with him. There is greater stateliness and solemnity - "cup" becomes "chalice" at the consecration - and also poetry: in the third Eucharistic Prayer, the phrase "from east to west" becomes "from the rising of the sun to its setting".

This newspaper welcomes the new translation wholeheartedly. One might quibble with one or two details, but the Church has essentially succeeded in producing a text that is both more accurate and more beautiful than its predecessor. Crucially, it has been approved, after long debate and votes, by the bishops of the English-speaking world. Now it is the responsibility of those bishops to make sure that their priests celebrate according to the new text - for, whatever we might read to the contrary, a priest has no more right to refuse to use it than he has to refuse to say Mass in English according to the current approved translation.

But let us not pay too much attention to any controversy over the Missal, which will die down quickly if the bishops put their full weight behind it, as they intend to. Instead, let us accept the new text for what it is: a refreshing of familiar words that, precisely because it will force us to concentrate more deeply on the miracle of the Mass, offers us an opportunity to deepen our faith.

Source: The new translation is on its way. Let's welcome it – Catholic Herald Online

See also from today's Catholic Herald: New Mass translation will be introduced next summer by Mark Greaves

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