Friday, November 25, 2011
Take a good, long look at Rome... After Sunday it will never be the same...
My point... simply that the media loves to predict the demise of the Church or Christendom as we know it and seems to delight in every opportunity to poke at the Church (Roman or otherwise) when tradition is respected, doctrine is followed, and rules are kept. But, then again, the media has hardly ever had the health or life or faithfulness of the Church as one of its primary interests... Just reminding you of this fact as they whole thing gets ramped up for the end of one translation (and its demise) and the start of a new one...
One columnist described it as a death, a funeral for the last vestige of Vatican II and its rather trite and wooden liturgical legacy. Those on both sides have used this imagery and in each case it is an overstatement, an exaggeration designed to incite rather than illuminate. You can find such folks in Lutheranism as well.... the only problem is that we have no mechanism for enforcement of the liturgical rules and so you can do little to reign in the excesses of parishes and pastors who do what is right in their own eyes....
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Well ... Rome has not changed at all.
For one thing, the new translation is into English, and the great majority of the world's Catholics do not speak English as their primary language. (North America, where most of them are, is roughly 16% of the world's Catholics).
For another, the text the translation translates is the same. The translation only brings what is said in English closer to what the Latin has said all along, well, since Vatican II.
Which leads to another, us having no mechanism for enforcement is not a problem at all. The RCC has mechanism galore, and a very poor translation has been official for over a generation now.
And last, the novus ordo, original Latin, old or new English translation, is not tradition.
The new liturgy will finally use the same texts for English speaking Catholics as have been used by others. French, German, Spanish Catholic have always used the response "and with your spirit", etc.
As usual the media is having hysterics over something they have no comprehension of.
Catholics born before Vatican II will be familiar with the "restored" (not "new") liturgy and younger Catholics will adjust very nicely in time.
It's a great time for the Latin rite church.
I really like the new translation of the Mass, and I'm not a Roman Catholic. Perhaps because I was an English major and a German minor, I am very sensitive to language and translation. In theological matters, I almost always favor literal word-for-word translations instead of thought-for-thought translations or paraphrases. That's my main reason for liking it. What will remain to be seen it this: Is the new translation singable? Does it flow? A good translation is sonorous, like the old Book of Common Prayer. A good translation rolls off the tongue, and has a sense of rhythm to it. That doesn't mean the translation has to be in an antiquated style of language. But it does need to have a poetic quality to it to make it not sound bland and pedestrian. I am eager to see how this turns out.
I think you've got it, Brother Boris. Catholics in general understand (especially those prior to Vatican II) that what the new missal is attempting to do is restore reverence to the texts. Even though all Catholics now use their particular national vernacular tongue all will be using translations based on the authentic sense of the Latin text.
"The RCC has mechanism galore, and a very poor translation has been official for over a generation now."
It is to the credit of John Paul II that he realized the poverty of the dynamic equivalence that came into use after Vatican II and sought to correct it. Getting this done in a world wide church like the Catholic church takes a great deal of time.
I have heard many good comments from Catholic friends on the new missal.
Nonsense. The world wide RCC does not speak English. My second year high school Latin class could have translated the novus ordo better as a week-end class project. It was an official translation that officially stood for over a generation, and there is no bloody excuse for that.
Who said the world wide RCC speaks English? The point was that they are all using the same texts now.
As to how long it should or shouldn't have taken, that's an internal matter for the Catholic church.
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