New English Mass Translation
At the start of Advent there will be a change in the English speaking countries of the Catholic Church. While the Mass remains the same, the sound and the feel will be a bit different. The scripture readings, however, will remain unchanged. The changes are affecting the Roman Missal, the book the priest uses to recite various prayers throughout the Mass. Translators today have a better understanding on how to translate a literary work to maintain the original meaning, feel, and poetry. The thought in the 60’s and 70’s was to use a dynamic equivalent of the original. Today experts in the field of translating say literary works are better translated using a formal equivalency. The new translation will have more depth, more connection to scriptural roots, better faithfulness to the Latin origin, and be more poetic.
The words of the Mass generally allude to Bible passages. The revised translation will bring more of these allusions to light, better connecting the prayers to the biblical readings. Worshippers will be able to grasp, with greater ease, how our prayers arise from their scriptural roots. These texts will more clearly and more scripturally express why we pray, why we hope, and how we present ourselves before God.
Faithfulness to the Latin
Overall, the revised translation achieves a greater adherence to the original Latin. The current translation has been in force for forty years and has served us well. It has helped entire communities transition from praying the Mass in Latin to praying it in English. It has shown us how a good translation can enhance the prayer of both individuals and entire congregations. It gave us a better understanding of the Faith we share and has laid a foundation for the vernacular worship upon which the Church is now building anew. Some Catholics who lived through the era of the second Vatican Council want reassurances that its reforms will remain. They hope that the recent compassionate outreach to those who prefer the 1962 Mass in Latin does not foreshadow a wholesale withdrawal of the vernacular. Be assured; it does not! English is here to stay. It will be enriched through a re-examination of the original texts in Latin.
Many of the original Latin texts are simply lovely. They were crafted with vocabulary which is rich in poetry, rhythm, structure, and sentiment. Just as many Catholic churches were adorned with beautiful art, stained glass windows, paintings, statues that please the eye, so too the words for worship. The beauty of the language used in worship proclaims the beauty of God. The guiding principle is to achieve a translation that better evokes what the original Latin Text says, means and poetically expresses. You may also notice some difference in the attitude of the text. Some of the prayers will sound more humble, a bit more modest in the presence of an awesome God. These prayers acknowledge the Majesty of God and the boldness of our liturgical worship; we human beings are actually speaking to God our Creator!
Personally, I am looking forward to this renewal in our Church! I hope that, as we continue to discuss the changes in the new Roman Missal, you too will be re-energized with respect to the Mass and you will be drawn to use this as an opportunity to deepen your faith! May God shower special graces upon you during this significant time of renewal within our Church!
Fr. Steve Kunkel
|New Translation of the Missal Part 1||Fr. Steve||Download File|
|New Translation of the Missal Part 2||Fr. Steve||Download File|
|New Translation of the Missal Part 4||Fr. Steve||Download File|
|New Translation of the Missal Part 5||Fr. Steve||Download File|
|New Translation of the Missal Part 6||Fr. Steve||Download File|