Thursday, June 30, 2011

ICEL’s Executive Director: New Missal Translation ‘Long Overdue’

I am grateful to have had the following article pointed out to me yesterday: ICEL’s Executive Director: New Missal Translation ‘Long Overdue’.

An excerpt:

Although Catholics have become accustomed to the current translation of the Roman missal and some may wonder why a new one is being introduced, Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, who is executive director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy — which prepared the forthcoming translation that debuts in Catholic churches in the U.S. on the First Sunday of Advent — says it was high time for a revision.

“When our current translation of the Roman Missal — the first English version — was implemented in 1973, it was recognized that it would need revision in time. Many people thought it would be only five years before it was revised,” he said. “That was over 40 years ago, so such a revision is long overdue.


“Although we have become accustomed to the prayers at the Mass as we currently have them,” Msgr. Wadsworth continued, “many people would identify a number of serious limitations in the translation we have been using.”

One limitation, in his view, is that the current translation often fails to convey as full a sense of the sacred as worship requires. Everyday idioms have, in many instances, been used in place of the more lofty language appropriate for addressing God. The new Missal, he notes, does employ a “more formal language suitable for worship.”

Many ancient prayers added dignity and gravity through the use of repetition, and this will be restored in the new version.


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