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Catechesis for the New English version Roman Missal March 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.

As I’ve blogged about before, one day relatively soon, possibly as early as Advent 2011, we in the English speaking countries will (finally) be getting a new and much improved translation of the Novus Ordo Mass, from the original Latin to English.   This new translation has been under development for two decades, and as I’ve related, it’s introduction promises to set some people running off to the panic button. 

One of the problems with the original English version of the Roman Missal that was released in the early 70’s is that it was dumped on the people with no preparation.  Quite literally overnight, the Mass was changed from the 1965 Missal in English to the 1970  Missal.  Many liturgical experts have long lamented both this sudden transition, and the haste with which the 1970 missal was produced.   It has been hoped by many that the introduction of the new translation would not be so sudden, and would not take place without proper catechesis.  It is very important for all the bishops in the English speaking countries to put together programs to provide the faithful with information on what to expect in the new translation.  This should include examples of the changed texts, why they were changed, and what the changes mean.  I had hoped we would start seeing such programs by now.

However, I do have one piece of good news on this front.  At Mass at St. Mark this morning, the pastor, Fr. Cliff Smith, went into some detail explaining one of the changes, that being the proper translation of the Latin pro multis from “for all” to “for many.”   According to the liturgical experts I’ve read, this is definitely the proper translation of the Latin.  Fr. Smith went to some lengths to try to explain what this change means in terms of the liturgy and the doctrine of the Church, and this can be a bit of a sticky area.  While Jesus did suffer and die on the cross for all, not all will accept that salvation.  How does the Church communicate that reality?  I think Fr. Smith did  a good job explaining the beliefs the Church holds, and why it is necessary to modify the language in the Mass in this fashion. 

So, like in so many areas, another good effort from Fr. Smith and another positive occurence at St. Mark.  There are many good things happening at St. Mark to help strengthen the faith, the formation, and the catholic identity of the parishioners there.  I do wish I could report that all goings on at St. Mark were so positive, and not just the substantial majority of them.  But, we should all try to remember that pastors do have tremendous pressures put on them by a wide variety of perspectives, and not just those who take a traditional, orthodox view of the Church.  I don’t think that justifies an invitation to Dr. Gaillardetz, but it may explain it.


1. Steve Boor - March 4, 2010

An EXCELLENT resource for preparing oneself for the upcoming ICEL translations is a very reasonably priced book by a young lay Catholic author, Jeff Pinyan, titled “Praying the Mass – the Prayers of the People”.

You can order the book (~ $17 including S/H) from the following web site: http://www.prayingthemass.com

Jeff Pinyan’s book is not only an outstanding resource for familiarizing oneself for the new ICEL translations, but also does a phenomenal job at instructing the faithful about what is really happening during Holy Mass, and how we can more fully participate in prayer during Mass.

Check it out!!!

Steve B
Plano, TX

tantamergo - March 4, 2010

Thanks, Steve! I have heard very good things about this book.

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