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The new translation of the Mass is a huge success. But why, oh why, are we stuck with the clumsy old version of the Agnus Dei?

All the same, I am profoundly grateful for what we now have. Never again ‘And also with you’

By on Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The new Mass translation (Photo: Mazur/

The new Mass translation (Photo: Mazur/

Well, the new translation of the Mass is now up and running, and, at least in my parish, its launch seems to have passed off without any awkwardness at all. “And with your spirit” was confidently and (as far as I could see) unanimously declared, as though the congregation had been saying it for years (phone conversations, however, have elicited a certain difficulty elsewhere in remembering to say it. Maybe the most important thing to remember is to keep your eyes on the card). There was a real sense of occasion, I thought. We began, slightly shakily, using James MacMillan’s very splendid setting (used at the beatification last year), and the process of getting people’s heads around it has begun. All in all, it was a great occasion.

As in parishes all over the country, a series of sermons on the new translation, and on the Mass itself, also got successfully underway. I wonder how many priests said for the first time that the people’s response in that opening exchange between priest and congregation does not mean “and the same to you, Father”. “And also with you” can’t really mean much more: indeed, it was the perfect example of how the old translation, from the off, consistently reduced (ah, wondrous past tense) theological meaning in the movement from Latin to English. So why is it “and with your spirit”? Your priest probably quoted biblical, especially Pauline, and also Patristic instances in which the phrase was regularly used – instances which mostly had never been quoted in sermons before, since we were lumbered with “And also with you”; why bother? (if you didn’t have such a sermon on Sunday, have a look at Fr Austin Milner OP’s scholarly article published in the Herald early this year).

The loss of meaning in that opening exchange was enormous. A good explanation of just how much was lost (and now has been regained) has been given by Mgr Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington:

In effect, the expression et “cum spiritu tuo” is an acknowledgement by the congregation of the grace and presence of Christ who is present and operative in the spirit or soul of the celebrant. Christ’s Spirit is present in the priest in a unique way in virtue of his ordination. Hence what the dialogue means is:

Celebrant: The Lord be with you.
Congregation: We do in fact acknowledge the grace, presence and Spirit of Christ in your spirit.

This understanding of the dialogue was not uncommon among the Fathers of the Church. For example St John Chrysostom wrote:

“If the Holy Spirit were not in our Bishop [referring to Bishop Flavian of Antioch] when he gave the peace to all shortly before ascending to his holy sanctuary, you would not have replied to him all together, And with your spirit. This is why you reply with this expression… reminding yourselves by this reply that he who is here does nothing of his own power, nor are the offered gifts the work of human nature, but is it the grace of the Spirit present and hovering over all things which prepared that mystic sacrifice. (Pentecost Homily.)”

On the whole, I am thrilled by the new translation, which consistently uncovers new theological meaning in the text. That’s why this Sunday I felt I had to be present at a celebration using the new English Rite: this was, after all, an historic event for the Church in this country. In future, I shall probably revert to my practice of attending the Oxford Oratory’s 11am Latin High Mass on Sundays. But most other Masses there are in English: and when I go to Mass during the week, there or at the Oxford University Catholic chaplaincy, Mass will still be in the vernacular. Most of us who prefer Mass in Latin have long ago accepted that most Masses we attend will be in English: so it is wonderful that the new translation is so palpably closer to the Latin – not just in some scholarly sense we would only be aware of if we have made a close comparative study of the new and old translations with the Latin text, but noticeably for anyone, sometimes, dramatically so: it is splendid, for instance that now, instead of confessing “that I have sinned through my own fault” and striking my breast just the once, on Sunday I confessed (striking my breast thrice) “that I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault”: for, the suppression of that threefold repetition of the “mea culpa” (in response, perhaps, to some mistaken ecumenical sense that there is a protestant dislike of what they are pleased to call “vain repetition”) – that suppression always produced a consciousness, in anyone who went sometimes to the Mass in Latin, of a dreadful and palpable loss of the prayer’s devotional power. But no longer: never again. Alleluia.

I have to say, however, that there was, for me, one disappointment (and though only one, a real and substantial one): that there has been no change in the exceptionally clumsy (and inaccurate) translation of the Agnus Dei. “Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world” isn’t just dreadful because it carries on from the old regime that terrible habit of writing prayers which seem to be informing God that he does this or that, or has this or that characteristic, so that it almost looks as though one is saying in the Agnus Dei, for instance, “look, you take away the sins of the world, the least you can do therefore is…” There is a real feeling of presumption in prayers conceived in this way, as well as a loss of meaning. The Latin is Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata Mundi: God’s taking away the sins of the world is expressed in a subordinate clause; this signifies that our prayer comes from our own consciousness of God’s saving mercy, and the transformation of our own relationship with God that that consciousness has brought (the same is true in the Gloria in Excelsis: “Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis/ Qui tollis peccata mundi etc”). Grammatically, of course, there is a problem in achieving a literal translation. “Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata Mundi, dona nobis pacem” has a vocative noun “Agnus”, followed naturally by second person verbs, “tollis” and “dona”. That would, if you preserved the subordinate clause, produce the literal translation “Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, grant us peace”. That “take” sounds, on its own, awkward in modern English.

But why not “Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world”? That is accurate and I would have thought quite mellifluous. It would take some getting used to: but so will “and with your Spirit”. But why am I grumbling? This will be the last time, I swear: for, in the immortal words of John Greenleaf Whittier, “For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.” It’s too late now: the translation we now have will be the last, certainly in our lifetimes.

The fact is, I have to admit, that I would personally always rather hear Mass said or sung in Latin anyway. But mostly, that’s not an option (though one day, and perhaps even relatively soon, say in a decade or two, perhaps it will be). We should be grateful (and I am, profoundly) for what we now have: an immensely improved and mostly much more beautiful translation of the Mass (some of the greatest beauties are in the new translations of the Eucharistic prayers: so the sooner Missals and Mass booklets with both priest’s and people’s parts are available, the better).

The more we get used to the new translation, I am convinced, the deeper will be our love of the Mass, freed from the sense that in the translation we use we have been shortchanged. One result, I would not be surprised, will be a growing feeling that we now need to change the translation of the Bible we use at Mass: the dreadful Jerusalem Bible is the scriptural equivalent of the old translation of the Mass: clumsy and banal, just not good enough.

OK, Vox Clara; how about it?

  • Dissidentcatholic

    Things are going backwards, courtesy of the ‘restorationists’, i.e. those who see evrything in the Church as rosy before Vatican II. They forget, of course, that everything wasn’t rosy as evidenced by the clerical child abuse scandal and the cover-ups by bishops which presumably went all the way to the top.

  • HCC

    Why are we stuck with the Protestant concession, “The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are Yours…”?
    Why are we stuck with Eucharistic Prayers, other than the Roman Canon?
    Why are we stuck with rubrics that have us standing during the Agnus Dei?

    Oh well…there is always Missale Romanum V. 

  • SOSJ

    “in England we are already using it” – not in our parish. No formal preparation either, but introduction is promised in a few weeks. Is this delay happening elsewhere?

  • Recusant

    “You” is not the second person, “Thou” is.

  • Anonymous

    Thou is an archaic form of the second person singular. Although it hangs on in some regions, I don’t think it’s a part of modern English, so you is the second person (both singular and plural) that most people use.
    (this post was in reply to Recusant – why does Disqus not put my replies in the right place?)

  • Anonymous

    This discussion about “Dominus Vobiscum” shows that translation is not as simple as some would suggest. In English we have the word “Goodbye” which comes from “God be with you”. When we read the phrase “God be wy you” in the original text of Love’s Labour’s Lost does Shakespeare want us to think that a prayerful wish was being made, or is it simply a routine formula said on parting? How should someone translating that phrase into another language decide?The phrase remained as separate words until the 18th century, but it is not easy to know when the meaning become simply “goodbye”.

    In a few weeks everyone will be responding automatically “And with your spirit” as a polite formula of response to a greeting, rather like “How do you do?” without the slightest thought about the meaning of the individual words, and no more thinking about spirits or priestly charisms than when we say “goodbye” we think about God.

    I confidently predict that the new translation will not have the slightest long term impact good or bad on any parish.

  • Radaelli

    You forget that much of the apostolic church has older and more venerable languages of worship: Greek, Syriac, Coptic… for a start. 

    Nevertheless, a greater use of Latin is a good thing, though not to the complete exclusion of the vernacular. 

  • Nat_ons

    Because, as loyal and orthodox Catholics we are asked to be true not only to the Order of Pius V but to that of Paul VI, and the reforms they both sought to implement (some successfully others not, a few only worked out over time). The Pauline reforms cannot be imposed on or added to the Pian Order, without corrupting it; and the Pian Order cannot stymie the Pauline, without dismembering it. Each may, nonetheless, inform the other .. without intrusion, discontinuity or faithlessness.

    The Order of Paul VI is the norm for the Roman Rite, and will probably remain so beyond the foreseeable future. So the beauty of its basic simplicity, even amid the wild complexity of its alternatives, is something that we are now free to enjoy – once again – as something genuinely and purposefully Catholic (perhaps despite its seeming Evangelicalisms .. often merely older or obsolete Catholic forms). We are not stuck with it, we are called on – by the awesome Benedict XVI – to hold to it firmly; although, no doubt, also rescuing it from the hardening arteries of the Age of Aquarius and the ‘spirit’ these vessels still seek to squeeze out (as if it were the will of the Fathers at Vatican II) .. yet whether the current spirit of reform can allow for living growth in ways that the ossified world of the ‘relevant’, the ‘new’, the ‘hip’ could never do remains to be seen (I trust to God it may).

  • Joan

    Then the remaining real Catholics will return to  the Traditional Mass.

  • Joan

    Well why not go along to an SSPX chapel  and tell them that?  You couldn’t say that at any UK chapel because they’re full of young families.

  • Joan

    No  it doesn’t.  As a dead language, the Latin protects  the doctrine. The vernacular side by side allows us to translate the prayers as we go through  the Mass.  It  is certainly more prayerful and spiritually  helpful than anything else on offer as Cardinal Ranjith  has said.

  • Joan

    The sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy is  a post-Vatican II phenomenon dating from the 60′s as the Archbishop Martin of Dublin admitted in an interview on TV last  year.  Any other kind of “abuse” such as corporal punishment which is documented in some of  these reports, was the normal practice in homes and schools  and other institutions.  When Pope Paul VI said after Vatican II that “the smoke of Satan has entered the Church”  he was talking about then, not pre-council.

  • Joan

    I disagree. The young will want to know why it matters that one small phrase must be  accurate. Young people are naturally curious and keen to get answers. They’ve walked away from the novus  ordo in droves and they didn’t have any  problem understanding that.  Who would, it is very shallow.

  • Joan

    There are no “Scotch” bishops, W Oddie.  They are either Scots or Scottish bishops.  Scotch is whisky.

  • Leonard

    “and look the other way as Father does  his own “creative” thing.”   Wow, what an unkind (and untrue) statement.  As my father would say, “O ye of little faith…”

  • Rob Hardman

    How out of touch with the ordinary people. Language develops or it dies. That is what happened to Latin, it died, it is dead, so why harp back to it? Christ didn’t speak it anyway, he used story and simple words to explain not confuse.
    The new translation is clumsy and in parts just absurd “….enter under my roof”.
    The worst thing, though, is the throwing onto the scrapheap of some beautiful Mass settings that now do now not conform to the new translation.
    Sadly the Vatican is once again looking backwards to the past helped by out of touch people. This will hasten the decline of the church. 

  • Dissidentcatholic

    Not in this county, it is a rare practice – thankfully!

  • Dissidentcatholic

    It is not a post Vatican II phenomenom, it goes back many, many years, its just that no-one started to believe children were capable of telling the truth until the Cleveland report in the 1980′s and even now adults are believed over children. Also no-one would ever have believed a Catholic priest could do such a thing, now we know different. Some men even became priests to gain access to children, so don’t go blaming the reforms of Vatican II, that had nothing to do with it. Blame those who covered up and frequently moved that minority of ‘problem’ priests around to protect their guilty acts.

  • Dissidentcatholic

    That’s your opinion. Personally, I and many others enjoy a full English Catholic Charismatic Mass, with uplifting meaningful hymns, priests and bishops who are on fire with love of the Lord and many, many young people who are so strong in their faith and prepared to talk about Jesus to their peers. That’s the kind of church I belong to, not one with a dead language, boring homilies and lifeless communities.

  • Anonymous

    Joan, you are mistaken. Did you not see the recent documentary about the Rosminians? All that abuse took place before 1963, and if you look at the priests who have been convicted of abuse you will find that the vast majority went through seminary training in the old rite and were ordained before the second Vatican council.

  • Usquequo

    I beg to differ, You, is the 2nd person plural as opposed to ,Thou, which is the 2nd person singular. In my post I wrote ” the 2nd person,You,” to distinguish it from “the 2nd person, Thou”.

  • Little Black Censored

    Nobody is saying that starving children are less important than the language of the Mass – but of course you don’t really believe they are, do you. Instead of making holier-than-thou comments you might ask yourself, “What can I say about the starving children that would be helpful?” There are some important subjects on which there is nothing much that is useful to be said.

  • Little Black Censored

    Scotch Scotch Scotch Scotch Scotch Scotch Scotch Scotch Scotch Scotch Scotch.
    It may (fairly recently) have become in effect an English word, but you are not going to stop us using it. You may call yourselves whatever you like.

  • Anonymous

    @Rob Hardman

    The fact that Latin does not change could be said to be an advantage: it provides a point of stability and avoids misunderstandings that might arise from changes in the meaning of words.

    Another angle: it is not amenable to people tampering with it (most people don’t have the mastery of Latin which that would require).

    “enter under my roof” is a quote from the Gospels (the centurion) – and is more obviously so in the new translation.

  • Anonymous

    While “enter under my roof” is a literal translation of the words of the centurion, it is not a phrase we ever use in English, unless perhaps we are talking about the encroachment of bad weather or pests into our attics. The meaning is clearly “enter my home” and in the Spanish they say “Señor, no soy digno de que entres en mi casa,” with “casa” meaning not just “house” but also “home”. I wonder if following Liturgiam Authenticam which says”The original text, insofar as possible, must be translated integrally
    and in the most exact manner, without omissions or additions in terms of
    their content, and without paraphrases or glosses. Any adaptation to
    the characteristics or the nature of the various vernacular languages is
    to be sober and discreet.” they will have to change this to “entres debajo de mi techo”, if so will anyone think that it is an improvement.

    In French they say, “Seigneur,je ne suis pas digne de te recevoir” which is very similar to our old translation, and in Italian it is, “O Signore, non sono degno di partecipare alla tua mensa,” which leaves the centurion behind and instead makes the phrase more related to the Eucharist. In Portugese it is “minha morada”, meaning “my home” . Vox Clara clearly has a lot more “important” work to do.

  • K. Smith

    Anglophone Roman Catholics have at last been given a new
    translation of the Mass. The Catholic hierarchy has called upon the faithful to
    welcome this event, calling it a return to fidelity to the original Latin,
    saying that it is more poetic and assuring us that it will inspire greater

    This new translation is now being read and spoken aloud
    at Masses throughout the English speaking world. But for many, I believe, this
    new translation has come as a bit of a shock. 
    It will feel like an imposition, a burden and a retrograde step that
    goes against the very spirit of Vatican II.

    Verbose, alienating, divisive and pompous-sounding, these
    are just some of the descriptions that one can apply to this ‘new’ translation.
    Some myopic individuals may claim that its closeness to the ‘original’ Latin
    lends it greater reverence and authenticity but let us look at what Jesus
    himself said about authentic worship:

    ‘For the hour is coming …[when] those who worship must
    worship in spirit and in truth.’ [John 4 23-24]

    Surely this must mean that genuine worship must be honest
    and from the heart in order to be truly meaningful. This requires
    straight-forward, plain language – not convoluted, awkward verbosity. Those who
    have foisted this stale but paradoxically ‘new’ translation upon us seem to
    have come to the peculiar conclusion that ‘more’ equals better, that verbosity
    equals genuine reverence and that the Latin language holds a special place in
    the heart of God. [Just as Arabic has a special, sacrosanct, place in

    Those who looked forward to the new translation coming to
    our churches are likely to be the same people who hanker after the Latin
    Tridentine Rite, who want to ban lay Eucharistic ministry and who also want to
    stop us receiving Holy Communion in the hand. These people are often swift to
    condemn and point the finger. They love to list rules and regulations and they
    have an unhealthy affection for the form of things, listing chapter and verse, statute
    and dogma in defence of orthodoxy and stern strictures whilst all the while
    Christian love and compassion are crushed by the heavy tomes of law, tradition
    and custom.

    So what is it that we are now obliged to give voice to?
    What words are being put into our mouths?

    Well, our humbleness, guilt and humility are certainly
    emphasised and our complete and utter insignificance in the presence of God’s
    divine majesty is also celebrated. Priestly separation from his flock is
    reinstated and straight-forward English is sacrificed on the altar of Catholic

    Immediately, from the very exchange of greetings at the
    start of the Mass we are faced with a separation of the priest and his people.

    The simple:

    Priest: The Lord be with you

    People: And also with you

    Is replaced by the people’s response: ‘And with your

    This may be closer to the ‘original Latin’ but it
    certainly needs some explaining. On the surface, it really doesn’t seem to make
    much sense – though I’m sure the traditionalists will be happy with this
    reversion, and, no doubt, they’ll be rubbing their hands with anticipation at
    what follows…

    In the penitential act, a simple and plain admission of
    guilt and sin is replaced by a really ladled-on thick emphasis on individual
    blame and culpability. ‘Fault, fault…grievous fault…’ There is certainly no
    doubt here. We’re not just ‘lost sheep’, we are all disgusting and undeserving
    reprobates destined for the everlasting furnace.

    In the Gloria and elsewhere, God will now be addressed as
    ‘O God’ – a Latinate reversion that detracts from meaning and immediacy and
    which, in fact, looks and sounds just a bit silly.

    The revised Nicene Creed replaces ‘we believe’ with ‘I
    believe’ – thus removing the collective nature of the prayer [logically ‘we’
    includes the ‘I’ and recalls Christ’s words on collective worship ‘Where two or
    more people are gathered together
    in my name…’

    Also, ‘Consubstantial’ has replaced ‘One in being with
    the father’- Why?  Perhaps because
    ‘consubstantial’ sounds more ‘holy’ or ‘respectful’. But, what this really does
    is help to alienate people. Latinate words have greater cache; they have more
    ‘oomph’ with Catholic traditionalists who place greater emphasis on blind
    obedience and outward forms than on God’s work in the quiet of the soul.

    As you continue to read through the ‘new revised’ Nicene
    Creed you will find an unnecessarily long sentence referring to the Holy
    Spirit. – it does rather go on, and on.

    At the Ecce Agnus Dei, the congregation responds to the
    priest’s words with ‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my
    This may be in keeping with the original Latin and recall the words
    of the centurion, but in the context of the Mass itself, it is clearly verging
    on nonsense.

    At the Hanc Igitur, the priest will now be obliged to
    say: ‘Graciously accept the oblation of your service…’ Thus further
    confusing the faithful and sending the more curious fumbling for their
    dictionaries. What is wrong with the word ‘offering’? Has it become soiled
    through over-use? Or is it simply too ordinary? Either way, this again is a
    silly change that will confuse people.

    Soon afterwards, the Lord’s ‘cup’ has become a
    ‘chalice’.  Now, of course, ‘chalice’
    means ‘cup’ but it has acquired an overlay of meaning and an aura of
    specialness and separation from ordinary life [note the beautiful vessels on
    display in the Victoria and Albert Museum] . But, I should imagine that Jesus
    himself would have used the equivalent of a cup at the last supper, not a
    vessel that represented separation, earthly wealth and authority. After all, as
    he said himself, his Kingdom ‘Is not of this world.’

    After the consecration, in the new translation, the
    priest is obliged to subject his congregation [feeling, I’m sure, more and more
    like an audience by the minute!] to two long, over-wordy sentences that are
    difficult to say and even more difficult to listen to. Is this what the Church
    hierarchy wants? In their eyes, so it seems, difficulty, verbosity and
    convolution of language are synonymous with holiness, authenticity and
    reverence. This equation is a distortion and runs contrary to Christ’s will,
    that we should worship ‘In spirit and in truth.’

    On a lighter note, I see that, during the intercessions,
    we ask God to grant those who have died ‘a place of refreshment’. It’s nice to
    know that we may end up in a lovely celestial tea-house or heavenly pub garden.

    To conclude; it seems that the new translation tries too
    hard. It labours at reverence. It strives towards holiness. It multiplies and
    embellishes in its attempt at authenticity of worship and in doing so it falls
    short. In fact, it runs contrary to the spirit of the English language itself
    and the nature of English speakers.  We
    distrust verbosity, we are suspicious of the grandiloquent phrase and we look
    sideways at those who insist on using many words when a few will do.



  • K. Smith

    Wasn’t the first Mass [the Lord's Last Supper] spoken in Aramaic? Wasn’t Latin, at the time of Our Lord, the language of the oppressor? Isn’t English the new ‘Universal Language’?
    Know what I mean, guv. [Tugs forlock after doffing much doffed flat cap]

  • K. Smith

    What is a ‘profound gesture’? 
    We should all worship in spirit and in truth in a language we all can follow.
    As far as Latin is concerned, it only broke down linguistic barriers for the clergy and the educated elite. The rest of the ‘great unwashed’ were collectively subjugated and mystified.  Do we really wish to return to those days? I hope Catholic doesn’t come to mean universally ignored, patronised and put down.
    Jesus never acted in such a way.

  • K. Smith

    Refreshing? It seems to me to be quite a laboured and stale concoction of archaic verbosity and laboured piety.

  • K. Smith

     Your ‘abuse’ in quotes appears to diminish the sufferings of those who endured vicious beatings, deprivation and misery at the hands of clergy and religious over many years. I’m pretty sure obvious sadism is a type of sexual abuse.

  • Anonymous

    Just as sad for me is the non-restoration of the great Confiteor “I confess to Almighty God, To Blessed Mary, ever virgin, to Blessed Michael the Arch Angel, to Blessed John the Baptist, to the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, and to you father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought words and deed. Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech, etc, etc.  

    What a profound prayer of petition.  Why it was replaced with the insipid  and very Protestant “I confess to you my brothers and sisters,” etc.  is a mystery to me.  And why in the name of devotion it has not been restored in this trumpeted restoration is even more disturbing.  

    While I agree that many of the changes forthcoming are good and more devotional – and more scriptural than the pedestrian Novus Ordo rite, this particular omission is practically a sin in my viewl.

    And while we’re at it, what is wrong with restoring the conclusion of every Mass with the traditional prayer to St. Michael the Arch Angel. 

  • Anonymous

    The more “simpler” the Mass, the better?.  Why not the more “reverent” the Mass, the better.  The  traditional Mass is more reverent, its that “simple.”

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps not necessarily the language of the vernacular lefty, but our meaning within the language.  
    Jesus taught us to love God “with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind:” Quite simply put, the Latin Mass, simply accomplishes this commitment in far more satisfactory terms than the insipid Novus Ordo.

  • Charismatic

    Congratulations, I think you sum up the thinking of ordinary English speaking Catholics very well, thank you. As yet, we have not received a copy of the new Collects which are said to be equally wordy and less likely to be understood. Fortunately, the Mass, whilst remaining the ‘source and summit’ of our faith, is but one means of Christian worship and many others, from simple prayer to praise and worship in the Charismatic sense, remain unchanged. So we will hear Mass on Sunday and continue with often lay-led Bible study, adult formation, prayer groups and conferences where we can be spiritually refreshed and maintain our personal relationship with Jesus Christ through the ordinary language we all understand.

  • K. Smith

    The ‘traditional’ Mass? What is that? Mass is part of a tradition. Things change, evolve…that is part of the nature of the universe.

    Anyway, your ‘traditional’ Mass is not more reverent. People may behave reverently but true reverence is in the heart. There are still many pharisees and whited sepulchres in our Church, I’m sure, who just love to look the part and sound the part, but whose hearts are full of condemnation and bitterness.

  • Anonymous

    Oh please K. Smith! On one hand you dismiss the traditional Mass as not anymore reverent. In the very next sentence, you agree that Traditionalists may behave more reverently at Mass. So behaving more reverently as opposed to less reverent is a wash as far as you’re concerned. Ha, that is some discernment you’re offering up there. There is an old saying which you should be reminded of… “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi” (As we worship, so shall we live.)   Why don’t you get hold of a copy of the old Roman Missal and measure it against the Missal of today. Then explain to all of us just how they are exactly the same. 

    One more thing, all this hullabaloo back and forth, modern vs tradition, would have never raised it’s ugly head had the Mass which brought millions to the faith been practically discarded in favor of the New Mass which in turn has lost millions.  Jesus prayed that we all be one, even as He and His Father are one.  It’s clear by the discussion we are having here, we are not exactly following our Lord’s importations. 

  • Parasum

    What is this “English Rite” the article mentions ?

  • Parasum

    Which is why we should stick to Latin - no translation, no translation errors, no heresies based on translation errors. Simples.

  • Parasum

    There was nothing wrong with this:

    “Priest: The Lord be with youPeople: And also with you.”

    I thought the Council wanted a “noble simplicity” - a good deal of the 1970 ICEL text shows exactly that quality.

    Cranmer would have given the Church a decent English Missal – unfortunately, Catholics today have no skill whatever in writing appropriate and memorable English.

  • Parasum

    The use of “You” in addressing God also obscures the difference between singular and plural – the Nerw English Bible in its unrevised form, of 1970, invariably uses “Thee” in prayers.

    If the Anglican Use can be allowed Coverdale, why can’t we be allowed Coverdale ?

  • Parasum

    The Confession in the Book of Common Prayer is good:    

    “Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep; We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, We have offended against thy holy laws, We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.”

  • Parasum

    Typical Sassenach :)

  • Anonymous

    Excellent Parasum, I agree!

  • K. Smith

    Not all of them…Certain members of the hiearchy, obviously. They are stuck in a particular groove.
    Orwell called it ‘Duckspeak’ [1984]

  • K. Smith

    What are ‘errors’ in this context? ‘Under my roof’ is ok? Obviously  peculiar in the context of the Mass, as we [the audience that used to be a congretation] are already ‘under a roof’ !! But that’s ok, I suppose, seeing as it is in line with the ‘original Latin’ [Might as well be Ancient Babylonian from the point of view of most people]

  • K. Smith

    Oh, dear. I thought I was being quite clear.  Reverence is in the heart, not in the form; my point being that revernce is about true worship being something from within the person!! But you may have got the wrong end of the stick. A habit of reverent behaviour may help to instil reverence ‘of the heart’ …maybe. But surely it is best that reverence is in the heart in the first place? Did you deliberately skate over my point of ‘whited sepulchres’ and modern ‘pharisees’?

    We delude ourselves if we think that a return to Latin will re-fill the pews.

  • Anonymous

    K. Smith. Ok, I didn’t respond to your whited sepulchres comparisons because I figured that, as a Catholic (presumed) you could not possibly be so uncharitable as to even so much as to hint that those of us who love the old Mass are in fact hypocrites who pretend to be holy while in truth, are evil. Is that what you meant? Because that is exactly what the definition of “whited sepulchres” means.  C’mon K. Smith, fess up, are you a closet anti-traditionalist? What do you consider a modern pharisee?  Is it the myriad of pederast priests in the modern church who spend their ministry lusting for little boys? Or the Bishop who rather than dismissing such cancer simply moves him from parish to parish?  Is it far too many modern communicants who have absolutely no knowledge of the true meaning of the Eucharist?  Is it the ICEL language manipulator who ipso facto changes biblical terms such as “Full of Grace” into “highly favored daughter.l” – or is it the traditionalist who takes seriously St. Paul’s admonition to “Hold fast to your traditions” or is it the  modern “reverent” such as yourself who uses tricky little phrases like “shited sepulchres” and “modern pharisees” to demean thousands of years of Catholic tradition.  

    If, as you claim, reverence is in your heart, K. Smith, certainly charity is not.

  • K. Smith

    There is nothing wrong with loving tradition, or with loving the old Mass. Tradition is a good thing, when thoughtfully addhered to. It is not good in itself.
    Consider the harmful and wrong-headed traditions that exist and have existed in many cultures…

     There is plenty wrong with those who go through the motions of reverence, yet turn and blind eye to abuse, protect criminals or [worse] are abusers. There is plenty wrong with loving a form but despising others. You have assumed you know my mind when I wrote of ‘pharisees’ and sepulchres’ …
    I certainly never claimed to have reverence in my heart. I pray for it. I hope for it. Too often I fall short.
    I hope though…After all, Jesus came to save sinners.
    I wonder what St.Paul meant when he said ‘Hold fast to your traditions’? This is a question that will take some time to unravel…It would be easy to jump to a quick answer and then have to reconsider.

  • Anonymous

    There you go again! Now you presume to link Catholic tradition with, lets see, which other wrong headed traditions throughout the ages . . . Might we be speaking of Islam with all of its finite regulations that assigns terrorists to heaven and infidels to every torture and death imaginable?  Perhaps you might be considering the ancient practice of Wicca, the neo-pagan, earth centered belief which we in America appear to honor each year with our impious  “Earth Day” celebrations. I believe St. Paul was addressing  the faithful when he exhorted us to remember what we have learned  “either by word or by Epistle.”  He was very explicit. Paul didn’t beat around the bush.  Like Jesus, he informed us very directly on what is necessary for us to achieve everlasting life. His was not some nebulous, muddled puzzle which might take some of us “some time to unravel.” 

    We are all sinners K Smith.  I’m happy that you admit your struggles and, just like the rest of us, often times fall short in your spiritual journey. At least in that matter, I join you.  Thomas a Kempis reminded us to “Strive to overcome ourselves.,” That is what all Catholics share, the striving and the never ending battle to overcome.  I pray for your success.  Perhaps, if we are found worthy in the eyes of the Almighty, we will meet again in paradise.  But please don’t presume that something you refuse understand or accept i.e The Latin Mass, is nothing less than a beautiful form of praise to our almighty God.  Like the old song, I’ve seen it both sides now, and the comparison in terms of worship is enormous.

  • Anonymous

    “One result, I would not be surprised, will be a growing feeling that we
    now need to change the translation of the Bible we use at Mass: the
    dreadful Jerusalem Bible is the scriptural equivalent of the old
    translation of the Mass: clumsy and banal, just not good enough.”

    The new Lectionary is three years away. I believe it does not include the JB. The psalms are revised Grail. A tad surprised that the Herald doesn’t know this.