revised english missal

Here is an article the I wrote for the Prairie Messenger. It`s a reflection on the revised English Missal, scheduled for use this Advent.

Church emphasis should be on unity not uniformity.

I`d love to hear your reactions to the changes. What are the feelings in your part of the world? Do folks even know of it, or is it going to come as a surprise? How is your diocese and parish preparing for it?

Related Site

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – Roman Missal Updates

2 thoughts on “revised english missal

  1. From what I’ve seen of the new Missal, I am both ambivalent and discouraged. Ambivalent because much of the language is what we had in the late 1960s, with the Latin on one side of our prayer book and English on the other. So, no surprise, and a return to the somewhat familiar.
    I’m (very) discouraged because, while the translation may well be faithful to Latin, it’s in no way faithful to English. The release of a new Missal is always a good time for catechesis. But when the catechesis has to be about telling people that the words don’t mean what they say and actually mean something else, and that phrases presented should be read as sentences even when they fall short of any English sentence structure, or that incomprehensible Latin-like words are being used in the place of perfectly good English words which accurately stated what the original Greek said, I get discouraged. I get even more discouraged when, time after time, I hear things like “The original English translation was the only one that got it wrong”, or “There wasn’t enough space to talk about the 1998 translation, so any reference to that was left out”, I find myself thinking there’s a deliberate pattern of obfuscation and subterfuge to avoid having to deal with the fact there was an excellent translation, developed through real and broad consultation, and approved by all the Anglophone Bishops’ Conferences, already available, but shelved in favour of a top-down imposition of an inadequate translation.
    Will I follow the new Missal? Yes. I am Catholic, and don’t want to see us divided into a mass of differentiated groups (even if they get their own “Personal Prelature” or “Ordinariate”) whose only commonality is that they are all recognized by Rome.
    But I will also voice my sadness, and begin asking for a new English translation which will be faithful to the richness and beauty of the English language, and which will make it possible for me to move back to the full participation I have enjoyed rather than the half-hearted mouthing of meaningless or even false words of this Missal.

  2. Amen, brother! Welcome to our dialogue, Ray. Thank you so much for sharing your well reasoned and very rational thoughts with us. I do hope that many will `voice their sadness`. My fear is that complacency will rule the day, and the changes will either go unnoticed or unchallenged. We need voices like yours.

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