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An article on the new Mass translation in The Australian May 24, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.

Australians and Americans have a number of commonalities.  While they are unfortunately much further down the road to socialist dystopia than the United States (but with Obama, we’re racing to catch them), they have retained a certain pioneer spirit and are known for their directness.  Such is evidenced here, in an article from The Australian on the new English Mass translations that will be released, prayerfully, sometime next year.   There are many reasons for the new Mass translation – to more accurately reflect the 2002 Latin Missale Romanum, to communicate ideas about the Faith more clearly, and to replace the sometimes banal language of the present translation with a transcendent use of English that reflects the fact that we are doing something very special in the Mass – worshiping God, our Creator.   But the Australian author is a bit more direct, witness:

A NEW translation of the mass soon to be celebrated by more than 100 million English-speaking Catholics reaches back to church tradition, replacing the more colloquial and dumbed-down liturgy that was adopted by the Vatican 40 years ago.

‘Dumbed down?’  Doesn’t that seem strong.  Well, witness this: “In 1966, for example, an article in a prominent Jesuit magazine in the US called for Catholic worship to employ ‘the language of the Beatles’.”  I am certain this is referring to America Magazine, that bastion of progressive Jesuits.  I think it is hard for someone like me, born after the fact, to realize just how nutty things got in the late 60’s early 70’s timeframe.  Alot of people really thought mankind had turned some kind of corner, that we were on the cusp of an age of technology solving all problems and that, through education, men were just now somehow fundamentally different from everything that came before.  Thus, people in the pews didn’t need this exalted language or a liturgy focused on God – they ‘knew’ the liturgy was focused on God and wanted language that was hip with the times. 

Unfortunately, that view was very mistaken.  Men haven’t changed – if anything, our technological and dislocated society increases the need for the transcendent, not decreases it.   While technology continues to advance, in some ways, human culture, especially Western culture, can be viewed as having been in a retrograde motion for the past several decades, with moral standards held for centuries collapsing around us.  The Church needs to stand apart as a beacon of Truth and right reason from this enveloping morass.  The Liturgy defines so much what the Church is – the Mass, the Eucharist, is the source and summit of our Faith, and it centrally defines our relationship with God.  Should we not use very special language to communicate to God, and to ourselves, that the Mass is a unique endeavour oriented towards worshipping Him that made us? 

I cannot wait for the new translation to be implemented.  I also am eagerly awaiting formation efforts to foster the implementation of this Mass – I will report on these as soon as they become available.

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