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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/catholicchurch.org.uk)

The new Mass translation (Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)

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?

  • Mgr Bruce Harbert

    In the Mozarabic Mass, the Priest says ‘Dominus sit semper vobiscum’. At the Sign of Peace in the Roman Rite, the Priest says ‘Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum’, and in the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, in the Preface Dialogue, where we say ‘Dominus vobiscum’, the Priest says ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all’. These subjunctives influenced the decision to translate ‘Dominus vobiscum’ as a wish rather than a statement.
    My own view is that, when said by a Priest or Bishop, ‘Dominus vobiscum’ means ‘The Lord be with you’, but when said by a Deacon, at least at Mass, it means ‘The Lord is with you’. This is because Priests and Bishops extend their hands at this point, whereas a Deacon keeps his hands joined. The Deacon’s gesture seems appropriate to a statement, and that of Bishops and Priests to a wish. But any suggestion that the Church should adopt two different translations of ‘Dominus vobiscum’ was most unlikely to command assent among the world’s Anglophone Bishops!

  • Mgr Bruce Harbert

    Unless, of course, pastors and catechists take advantage of the catechetical opportunities that the new translation offers.

  • K. Smith

    Thanks for that. But you still don’t seem to follow. Forgive me, but I may be mistaken…
    I have not rejected, nor refused to understand… nor have I not … not understood the purpose of the Latin Mass.
    But also I know that almighty God does not need our praise. Our worship is an expression of our deep need. It must take place in spirit and in truth. The form is an outward expression. The truth is the voice that speaks from the depth of the soul. St Paul’s words on ‘Love’ still echo through the ages.

  • K. Smith

    Why not use the Middle English of Chaucer? What are we searching for here?
    Obscurity or clarity for the modern reader?
    Christ used straight-forward language, I’m sure. What’s wrong with with straight-forward English?
    Should a genuine and hard-hitting message be lost in vertbosity and pompousness?

  • Anonymous

    Great platitudes K. Smith. But, of course you’re wrong again. Unless you’ve started a different kind of ersatz Catholicism, you must know that God not only desires our praise, He demands it. “Holy God, we praise thy name. Lord above, we bow before you. All on earth thy scepter claim, all in heaven above adore thee. Infinite thy vast domain, everlasting is thy reign.” Probably not something you would sing but its praise handed down through the centuries through tradition of the Church. There are many examples of the same sort of petition and Godly praise expressed in the old Mass that is simply not there in the Novus Ordo. Look, it’s with the greatest charity that I reproach you. I don’t find anything sinful with the new Mass. But by comparison to the Mass of the Angels, it is vapid, banal and absolutely not inspiring.  Yes, I get your point. It’s what’s in your heart that counts. But what is wrong with being inspired as we search.  

  • Anonymous

    Quite. It the JB has served us well for decades. I’ve heard that the new Lectionary will be NRSV but don’t know that for sure. The new version of the psalms can be found here: http://www.giamusic.com/sacred_music/RGP/psalmDisplay.cfm?psalm_id=315

  • K. Smith

    You have confused NEED and DESIRE. God, I repeat, does not need our praise. It is poor sinful humankind who have this great need. Praise is an expression of our love. God does not need us to butter him up. Just like a loving father, he wants us to love him, we need to find ways of expressing that love, in fellowship, in sincerity and in the quiet depths of our souls. Be careful not to make assumptions about what others may or may not sing or proclaim.

  • Anonymous

    A distinction with not much difference, dear K. Smith, and I’m not confusing anything.  But this began as a discussion on the merits of the Mass. i.e. Your opposition to our Holy tradition versus my point that the Novus Ordo lacks reverence and borders on the precipice of triteness. While I am most happy to agree that God is completely fulfilled within his triune self, the Alpha and the Omega – the hypostatic union – the very definition of paradise – with or without us, my question to you is how did we go from there to defining the distinction between the words “need” and “desire.”  I’m sure there are more similarities than differences in our worship of the Omnipotent, Almighty God. We simply disagree on what it is that defines a Holy Mass and what does not. By any measurement, your points of reference are shallow.

  • K. Smith

    Sliver, need and want are very different and that difference is very important.  I am not ‘in opposition’ to tradition, I never said that I oppose  tradition. I merely observed that things change and that tradition is not good in itself. Your are entitled to your belief that my points of reference are shallow. I’m really not sure if we do disagree on what defines a Mass.

    If you check above you will see some of my views on the new translation…

    I remember that I had a discussion with one of my Muslim students a few years ago. He saw his god as an almighty judge and stern master who demanded absolute and unconditional obedience. I referred him to the loving father in the parable of the Prodigal Son.

    My [very nice and sincere] student left with much food for thought.

    Yes, God is omnipotent and almighty. But the love of God is manifest in his son, Our Lord.
    The Mass is the great expression of that love, and of our love for God.

  • Anonymous

    A “profound” gesture is an external physical expresses which symbolizes  something inherently concrete and meaningful.  A religious example of this is the one I gave in my original comments i.e a priest standing ad orientum towards the risen Christ in the East.  I think that we have lost an appreciation of such gestures and symbols which have been such an invaluable source of richness in our worship.  
    I agree that Latin historically was really understood under by religious and theologians within the Church but it still provided a means of conveying the Sacrifice of Holy Mass for well over 1,500 years and one of it’s beauties was that it united  congregations of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds in the one Faith from one end of the world to the other.  This silly idea that one is being patronized or denigrated because of the use of the historical liturgical language of the Catholic Church does not stand up to scrutiny.  Latin has provided a vehicle for some of the greatest music ever composed in the Western canon by some of the greatest composers the world has ever known.

  • Anonymous

    K. I Think I’ve conceded to your grammatical correctness which you should concede has nothing to do with our discussion.  But once again you attempt to draw me towards your anschauung-like position by obliquely comparing Catholic tradition with the intolerance of Islam. K, that’s quite a stretch.
    I will also concur with your point that things do change, if you will agree that things don’t always change for the good. The “Spirit of Vatican II” which so many modernists celebrate was one such downgrade.  Did V-II enhance the faith or did it diminish it?  I think there is significant proof that the Church has been greatly diminished in every conceivable way in the ensuing years; worship, Mass attendance, Clerical vocations, Schools, Holiness (yes that means reverence) and conversions. On the other hand, Wherever the traditional Mass is permitted, attendance is flourishing. So are vocations. So are conversions.  Whatever merit your argument claims, you certainly cannot assert that modernism has enhanced the faith.  Jesus reminded us very emphatically, “by their fruits, ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:16)  I think you get my point, my friend. 

  • K. Smith

    I understand. Thanks.
    Of course Latin has its place. No point in throwing the baby out with the bathwater, sheer vandalism to lose our wonderful heritage [Mozart, Beethoven, Bach ... the list is both long and noble ] One stands in awe at the genius and magnificence that we must respect . On the other hand, we should build on the past. We stand on the shoulders of giants.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dr.lisa.nicholas Lisa Nicholas

    I’m a little jealous that the English are already getting the benefit of the new translation, while here in the U.S. we are still waiting. Having seen the new translation, however, I must admit that I share Dr. Oddie’s disappointment that the Agnus Dei was not given a fresh, more accurate treatment. At least on Sunday’s, however, at my Anglican Use parish (St Mary the Virgin in Arlington, Texas), we usually sing either a Latin setting or a setting in traditional English (although otherwise our contemporary rite is very close to the English Novus Ordo); at weekday Masses, however, I guess I’ll just continue quietly saying “O Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world …”

    I also share the hope that the “elevation” of language in the Mass will make the awfulness of the lectionary translation (in our case, the New American Bible, arguably worse than the Jerusalem translation) glaringly obvious, and prompt a return to the RSV-CE.

  • Rodf

    I remember the time the new vernacular was being worked on; there are a lot of “qui” ‘s especially in the Gloria in excelsis. “You who” sounds like “Yoohoo” , sad but true. And to our less literate ear “who” seems to have become a third person pronoun! Cr*mn*r (lol) could use “That takest away…” but the Our Father was a “Which…” ! ” That ” and “Which” are no longer personal in our modern language. Lumpy is will have to stay; either that or “Yoohoo!”.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t mean to insult your church or its community, who I am sure are every bit as pious as you say, but please remember that the Mass is not for your entertainment.

    I taught music for a time, and have many friends who still do, but kids often complain that the music they have been assigned is “boring.”  We like to tell them, “It’s only as boring as the person playing it.”  They never like that, but it usually gets the point across.

  • Seanmanado

    God speaks Latin…

  • Anonymous

    Thanks a lot Jeffrey, now I’ll be laughing silently every time I hear that.  :)

  • Anonymous

    This is my experience too.  It was somebody my age who persuaded me to go to a Latin Mass.  I still prefer the one that is familiar to me, but I also can see that the impetus is coming from young faithful.

  • Anonymous

    It is a shame Latin is not taught much anymore, because it is quite helpful in understanding the roots of so much of modern language.  It is not hard to get if you ever study one of the Romance languages, which to my knowledge *is* a requirement in many high schools (or if you are a musician and get exposed to masses quite a bit).  If you ever watch the national spelling bee, one of the options available to somebody who is struggling with an unfamiliar word is to ask for its roots or origin.

    At first I did think that many people would have trouble with the Latin, but to hear over and over again that there is such a lack of trust in our intelligence is annoying indeed.  My bigger concern if it becomes mainstream is hearing the pronunciation butchered.  I do get sick of hearing diphthongs where there shouldn’t be, which is extremely evident in American speech.

  • Anonymous

    Also, not to let the author off the hook: Mr. Oddie, you presume way too much about my internal disposition if you think the current wording of the Agnus Dei encourages me to look upon God’s forgiveness with a sense of entitlement.  I never interpreted it that way and I think I’m not the only one who would be shocked that you believe that.  My impression of way too many supporters of the new translation is that they seem to think they can read minds.  It would go over much better if they were not trying to do that.

  • Garyfdreher

    If mass was still in latin. I probably would have qiut going to mass and church. If mass returnsto latin I would quit going to mass and church. 

  • Anonymous

    Islam doesn’t have any problems attracting young people, and it’s an almost total rejection of modernity. Muslims learn the Koran in Arabic, a language more alien to most of them than Latin is to us.

    Increasingly the Church needs to be offering up the eternal in counterpoint to the transient, the founded in counterpoint to the groundless, the ancient in counterpoint to the fashionable, especially at a time when Western society is so utterly lost, broken and disordered.

    At a time when even the Conservative party are talking of legalising “gay marriage”, at a time when we have an almost complete collapse of moral leadership, the church needs to be providing a solid base, an impenetrable fortress of eternal truth and wisdom, rooted in its deep traditions and rooted in the authentic gospel. With its roots deep, nourishing water may flow again to the branches and this land may turn back to God.

  • Nat_ons

    The 1969 translation was, so far as I recall, much like the 1967 radicalised form of the 1965 traditionalist revision of the 1962 Missal; the 1969 translation itself was revisited, as no doubt we all know, within three years – this revision having a sort of tune up in some places in 1973 but finalised (with the then expected spirit-of-the-council, marxian-liberation brutality) in 1975 (no prisoners taken, mild dissent crushed, and the opposition disappeared).

    I trust none of this ‘you-can’t-tell-me-what-to-do’ tinkering itch – so redolent of the restless spirit enraptured by the Age of Aquarius  - will seem appropriate to the latest form (which is more or less sound in idea and so clearly liturgical, if at times infelicitous to a minimalist yeah-man-it-grooves or edit-out-all-adjectives-and-adverbs journalistic ear, sic). Yet restoration of other liturgical and devotional texts may allow some wriggle room to the itchy-minded, eventually. The character of the new Missal has, however, none of the use-today-dispose-tomorrow appearance once de rigueur to the relevancy of the dedicated follower of fashion .. so it may not be sooner, even if many, like you, do deem it better for us all (revising the revised revision would not unnerve me too much, or the vast majority of faithful souls, I suspect .. although the very idea grates).

    ;0)

  • Guest

    Read the Gospel to find the prayer of the Centurion.
    That’s the Scriptural origin of the the prayer before we receive the Eucharist.

  • Guest

    A seminarian I was on retreat with pointed out that the most recent Missale Romanum (2000 I believe) probably does not use the full wording of the 1962 prayer, and Vox Clara had to work with the current edition of the Latin. It’s a shame. I agree with your points. I also think that we give Satan more power when we weaken the petitions of our prayers.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. I have a 1958 English translation of the old Mass which I usually read prior to the commencement of Mass. I read it prior to Mass in order to truly prepare for the awesome splendor of what is about to take place.  Without it, Mass becomes just another Protestant service for me. From the afore mentioned Confiteor to the Introit to the Nicene Creed to the Communion of the faithful, everything in that Missal is pure worship. It’s a pity that today’s Catholics haven’t experienced it.

  • Paul Booth

    The kyrie is Greek, not Latin.

  • Paul Booth

    You mean ‘ad orientem’ surely?

  • Paul Booth

    What about the error of translating the hebrew ‘almah’ (meaning a young girl) as ‘parthenos’ in Greek and ‘virgo’ in Latin?

  • Paul Booth

    A cheap remark.

  • Colleenc1947

    I do not have a problem with the “new” Mass translations.  But!!  What is wrong with the response “and also with you”  The Priest says “The Lord be with you”  & I say “and also with you”  The Priest wants the Lord to be with us & we in turn want the Lord to be with the Priest.  Now I know I will get all these people who will have an opinion but I am one of those who just will not get it.  I will say in obedience “and with your Spirit”  But it is really a difficult phrase to respond.  At the word Spirit, I think the Priest has some kind of”Ghost” coming out from him.  However if you say Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, I always image the third person of the Blessed Trinity.

  • David Jones

    I agree Rob, what a dog’s dinner – enter under my roof! – and then my soul will be saved  - what about my suffering body today.

    I used to tell friends I was a Catholic – no more.

  • AgingPapist

    The missal “a huge success”?  Hardly,  I know of at least six priests in the U.S. who have no intention of using this lemon of a missal under any circumstances.  They’ll be using the current missal.  They have the full backing of their bishop and the people in the pews.

  • Myguide

    Agnus is nominative, agne is vocative. In the Agnus it is nominative posing as vocative: not that unusual – look at the curious mixture of nominatives and vocatives in the second part of the Gloria.

  • Myguide

    In the Agnus, “Agnus” is not a nominative but a vocative posing as a nominative – not that unusual vid. the second part of the Gloria.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    It’s not an error.  The original meaning of “Almah”  was changed from “virgin” by Rabbis in the early middle ages to subvert Isiah’s prophecy with regard to the teachings of Christianity about the virgin birth.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    The Vatican-approved “Book of Divine Worship” has given the church a decent English Missal with Cranmer’s beautiful translations of collects, prefaces, etc.  It is there for use by the Ordinariate, though for those who don’t like this poetic version there is a contemporary version of the Liturgy.  The BDW can and probably will be edited for use in the UK if they don’t like the American version, (which was originally from England.) 
    NB: Here’s something that the UK Bishops who don’t like the Ordinariate don’t want the laity to know:  if, when the Ordinariate parishes are set up, you prefer the Liturgy of the Ordinariate, there is NO way they can legally forbid a “Cradle Catholic” from going to Mass at an Ordinariate parish. (They can’t stand at the door asking for your baptisimal certificate to forbid “cradle Catholics” entry.)  And if you find that the Ordinariate Liturgy brings you closer to God, –you may want to support it with your collection offerings.    Thus you are voting with your pocket book in favor of a style of worship and  liturgy which you find enhances your prayer life and deepens your love of God. Nobody can forbid you to do that, and don’t believe it if you are threatened otherwise.   This issue occupied reluctant American Bishops faced with the new “Anglican Use” parishes years ago, and that’s what resulted:  they just had to accept that the AU liturgy had a much wider appeal than they first feared :-) 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    I was raised in the days when the Mass was only in Latin.  No, as a child I didn’t speak it, but I did understand, according to my age, what was going on thanks to my parents who explained ahead of time what was happening when we stood up, sat, kneeled, etc.  I understood that it was a great and sacred mystery I was too young to understand, but that it was the sacrifice of the Cross made present:  and I received grace and holiness from it…  It fostered a contemplative dimension to my life, making me –and the other children I grew up with–appreciate stillness and occasional silence in the ceremonial, and made me at ease with sacred mystery. 

    As I got older I followed the Latin in translation, which unlike you I found beautiful, not pompous. I am not surprised that you are “stunned by the faith” of worshipers who reverently attend Latin Mass without knowing the language–”God reveals to the little ones what is concealed from the [condescending and superficially] wise.”  I later studied Latin at University, so I am not an illiterate and simple peasant.  I attend EF, Novus Ordo in both Latin and English, and the AU in the United States. Some forms help me to a profounder worship than others.  It’s all grace, but the advantage of Latin for a Universal Church is the “Universal” part:  I have visited foreign lands where I do not speak the language, but at a Latin Mass I am immediately “home.”  What esperanto enthusiasts have dreamed of and failed, Latin has done for Catholics worldwide.  QED.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    Aha– you can be allowed it if you choose to attend Lliturgy at the Ordinariate parishes once they are set up.  That’s what I do when I am in the USA and attend Mass at the Anglican Use parishes — the liturgy is GORGEOUS.   See my earlier comments on this farther up on this topic.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    Well, that’s you.  Others differ.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    AMEN! Yes, it’s immersion in the mystery.  We authentically “worship God in the beauty of holiness” even when we cannot exactly define “beauty” or agree on one meaning for “holiness”. Even when our minds unintentionally wander, we worship by lifting up the heart and the mind to God by sheer act of will.  Ultimately, private prayer, public prayer become integrated; oral and mental prayer become wordlessly contemplative, –but that state of union is a gift, not our effort:  it is the direct experience of God, unmediated by the senses. We can only prepare for that gift in this life, but in heaven we shall all be contemplatives.  Hopefully the Liturgy aids us in preparing for this gift–and the Liturgy which helps many people the most is the Latin Mass.    

    Because our Saviour and our Church and our Sacraments are incarnational, we need the reverent postures, the music, the candles, and the sacred architecture to help us worship.  Yes, we can do without them.  And some of us actually worship best to guitar hymns, but I’m not one of them ;-) 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    In contemporary Lancashire and Yorkshire my neighbors still say “th” and “tha” as colloquial “thee” and “thou” in everyday speech.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    She means the new “Ordinariate” for Anglicans returning to Rome, whose parishes have yet to be set up in the UK. The liturgy will be similar to, or adapted from, the Vatican approved “Book of Divine Worship” (available online–google for it) which is the Catholic version of the Book of Common Prayer, which began as the English Protestant version of the Liturgy of the Hours, Sacramentary, and Missal according to the Sarum Rite of pre-reformation England. (Yes, it’s historically complicated, but it makes sense if you investigate it.)  This beautiful liturgy has been pioneered by former Anglican/Episcopalian but now Catholic priests for a quarter century in the USA under the term “Anglican Use” (AU).   When an Ordinary is appointed in America, the AU will officially become part of the Ordinariate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    Most people concerned with starving children in Somalia replied by donating on charity websites rather than commenting on the situation on this one, which is concerned with liturgy etc.  My parish had a special collection for them; I doubt most of the parishioners felt any need to mention it on a blog anywhere. . . 
    And yes, God has indicated that he really cares about precise language in prayer, and he cares that he responses make sense. . .   “Lex orandi, lex credendi.” =  What you pray, you believe.” Words matter, To know why, –go online to find George Orwell’s classic essay on the use and abuse of language, “Politics and the English Language.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    I heard on BBC Radio last week that there is a big resurgence of demand for the teaching of Latin in state as well as “public” (private)  schools and academies.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    Funny how the Holy Spirit works !  Stirring up the young to like all this old fashioned stuff their  modern parents threw out !  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    O JOY JOY JOY !

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    That is SO California — worship brought to you by stage and silver screen !  . . :-) Remember, you can print it out from the internet beforehand–.  

  • DavidCarbo

    i agree

  • Little Black Censored

    …the Protestant concession, “The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are Yours…
    Well, the Orthodox use it; do you regard them as Protestant (just as they regard western Catholics as Protestant)?
    Since the doxology is retained, why was not the form that every one knows also retained: “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory”? That insistence on being different was perverse.