Mass translation may be revised?

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

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IncenseTom
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Parish / Diocese: Diocese of Leeds

Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by IncenseTom » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:12 am

I'm certainly no expert on Latin but I personally don't find that a barrier. I've been to Latin Masses where I've found it easy to enter into the liturgy and get a lot out of it.

I've been to Masses exclusively in English where I've understood every single word and walked away feeling stone cold.

I'm sorry to have made this about Latin vs English. To get back to the topic, I would say the same of the 2 English translations I lived through - variation from Mass to Mass, priest to priest, parish to parish, is HUGE. So much so that certain places can feel like attending a different denomination.

I would suggest that part of the decline in Mass attendance, confessions, Baptisms, Catholic Weddings, Requiem Masses, priestly ordinations and the resulting squeeze of resources and parish closures is a symptom of this multi-coloured state of the liturgy. We'll all be familiar with this:

"I don't bother with confession - God knows what's in my heart"
"I'm having my funeral at a crematorium because Fr is so stuffy he won't let me have 'I did it my way' as I'm carried into church"
"I like going to the parish in the next town because the priest there tells jokes, uses the old translation and Mass is over in 40 minutes"
"I like driving for half an hour to go to the Extraordinary Form even though my local parish is facing closure"
"I was busy last week so I didn't bother going to Mass - doesn't matter. Fr says it's ok"

We've made it all about us and it's not worked.
Changing the guidelines for translation will change none of that.

alan29
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Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by alan29 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:57 am

I think the decline has little to do with styles of worship, to be honest. Membership of most churches and many other organisations has fallen off a cliff during my lifetime. A lot of research has been done on why this should be - boils down to the fact that we are more individualistic than in the past (I would include those who demand that everyone worships their way.)
The RC church has additional struggles to do with its disgraceful handling of abusive clergy which turns the stomachs of many, and its clergy's' seeming obsession with the bedroom activities of its members. Speaking to my own non-practising adult children, those factors loom larger than almost anything else ..... perceived wealth is in there somewhere too.
I think that pointing the finger at liturgical preferences in the face of those things is to look completely in the wrong direction.

IncenseTom
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Parish / Diocese: Diocese of Leeds

Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by IncenseTom » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:12 pm

I completely agree with what Alan says about wider issues and decline, but it would be foolish to ignore the importance of the celebration of Mass in terms of peoples' personal relationship with the church.

A pick and choose approach to liturgy (priest's style, musical style, translation - or not!) opens the door to a pick and choose approach to faith - "what I like/prefer, what's right for ME" - in my opinion, and this is part of the problem. Folk don't know where they are anymore. They find a parish/priest/community which suits them when any and every Catholic church should fit the bill.

A loss of consistency in liturgy is a loss of consistency in faith.

Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack the thread!

dmu3tem
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Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by dmu3tem » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:27 pm

I have four reactions to all this:

[1] Tinkering around with getting the text 'right' is Scribes and Sadducees stuff. The bottom line, surely, is whether the service works for the people who use it locally. A liturgy that does not do this is useless - even if it is liturgically 'authentic'.

[2] Whatever the (im)perfections of a given service God is quite capable of understanding what we are trying to say and do; from his point of view that is what surely matters.

[3] I am fed up with constant changes - or the threat of them. I just want to get on using the service that is generally available at the moment. However, if I am to have change, I would like to go back to the Mass we had before 2011(as it has more modern English).

[4] Surely all the officials who are going to be deployed on these sorts of exercise would be better employed doing something else. For example we are constantly told there is a shortage of parish priests in this country, can those who are ordained not be redeployed to help make up the shortfall? Likewise could not those who are not ordained spend more time as parish eucharistic ministers?
T.E.Muir

alan29
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Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by alan29 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:10 pm

IncenseTom wrote:I completely agree with what Alan says about wider issues and decline, but it would be foolish to ignore the importance of the celebration of Mass in terms of peoples' personal relationship with the church.

A pick and choose approach to liturgy (priest's style, musical style, translation - or not!) opens the door to a pick and choose approach to faith - "what I like/prefer, what's right for ME" - in my opinion, and this is part of the problem. Folk don't know where they are anymore. They find a parish/priest/community which suits them when any and every Catholic church should fit the bill.

A loss of consistency in liturgy is a loss of consistency in faith.

Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack the thread!


But there has been a variety of rites within the Catholic church for centuries without it diluting the faith. Indeed some of the Eastern Rite Catholics are at this moment providing martyrs ..... and have done through much of my lifetime.
But as you say ..... off topic.

My thoughts on the present translation are pretty unprintable, to be honest. We have a glorious language of which we should all be proud - and yet Sunday by Sunday we are subjected to Yoda-speak, a mangled version that pays zero respect for our own tongue. It is totally disrespectful to our heritage and culture in a way that would be unthinkable in other circumstances.

nazard
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Location: Muddiest Somerset

Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by nazard » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:05 pm

I had hoped that this pope would leave liturgy alone, and concentrate on something else. Tinkering with the liturgy, although important, is not something that is going to bring the church into contact with the general public.

It is now allowed for priests to say the Tridentine mass as they wish, and if the bishops would let them get on with it we would see where it leads. It may grow or it may fade away, but the only way to see if it sustains the faithful is to let it have a try.

I personally feel that in spite of the scattering of horrors across the new translation it is a great deal better than what we had before. Those who accuse it of being too literal probably have a point in places, but there are places where it could be more literal.

I would have preferred to see

"Glory be to God on high, and peace on earth to men of good will," which I feel trips off the tongue and is more easily set to music.

My biggest worry is that we could go back to the dreadful translation we endured for years.

Perhaps one of the Tridentine Mass orders would like to set up in Taunton? The cider is quite palatable...

IncenseTom
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Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by IncenseTom » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:42 pm

nazard wrote:Perhaps one of the Tridentine Mass orders would like to set up in Taunton? The cider is quite palatable...


I keep cheekily suggesting to my Parish Priest that we should try and establish the Parish as an Oratory :D

blackthorn fairy
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Parish / Diocese: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Wellingborough Northamptonshire

Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by blackthorn fairy » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:45 pm

Yes Nazard - I agree. Some horrors in the new translation, but many more in the old. The Gloria was a travesty and I for one welcome back all the phrases that got pushed out last time.

blackthorn fairy
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Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by blackthorn fairy » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:46 pm

...and don't get me started on 'And also with you'!!

Howard Baker
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Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by Howard Baker » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:00 pm

Well, some of the most ancient creeds have "credimus" (and early Greek ones have "pisteuomen", we believe, too). So, you'd be in good company and I guess the earlier translators took these creeds into account. (Mind, it would be "... in Deum parentEM ..." - third declension accusative - well, someone has to keep an eye on the fundamentals of life!)

alan29
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Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by alan29 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:11 pm

blackthorn fairy wrote:...and don't get me started on 'And also with you'!!

I prefer to wish the Lord were with the whole man,body and spirit.
After all, we do believe in the resurrection of the body, and don't believe in ghosts.

Peter
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:05 pm

Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by Peter » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:27 am

Just over 50 years ago, when I was preparing to sit my “O” Levels, I was told that for the Latin exams translations had to be exact and I’d lose marks for any variations or approximations, but for the French exams I’d lose marks if the translations were too literal (“the pen of my aunt” etc) and should instead produce idiomatic French or English texts conveying the same meaning as the originals. It’s a shame the translators of the Missal adopted the former approach rather than the latter and if a new version were to appear prepared according to the latter principles it would be welcome. However, as has been noted earlier on this thread, that is unlikely. It would also mean a lot of music would need to be rewritten or composed afresh.

nazard
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Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by nazard » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:08 pm

blackthorn fairy wrote:...and don't get me started on 'And also with you'!!


I am reminded of the priest who felt that he had suddenly become inaudible. He looked up at the congregation and said:

"There's something wrong with this microphone,"

and the congregation replied as one:

"And also with you!"

alan29
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Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by alan29 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:18 pm

On the up side, my wife has A level Latin and taught English as a foreign language to academics; she knows her stuff about proper English prose.
She takes a Latin/English Missal to Church has been known to say "Fail" rather than "Amen" at the end of particularly badly translated collects.

JW
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Re: Mass translation may be revised?

Post by JW » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:19 pm

Might I suggest that, as the title of this forum is Liturgy Matters, then the Mass Translation is exactly the sort of thing we should be discussing. We are a different organisation to the likes of CAFOD. If we shouldn't discuss Liturgy then we might as well all go home..

And welcome back to Nick Baty!

On the question of an Open or Closed Church, I can't help feeling that clericalism, which the Pope condemns, does alienate a lot of people. Thank goodness we no longer have priests mumbling their way through poorly pronounced Latin. If you can't understand the language in which the Mass is being said, then you are unlikely to come back. Obviously Latin is the language for some, but not for the majority. It doesn't matter if the Mass is in Latin or dodgy English. We deserve better than we've had the past 50 years or so. So let's get a proper translation out there.

There's a good book called 'Great Catholic Parishes' by Bill Symonds. On of it's main findings is that Sunday Mass is excellent in the best parishes.
JW

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