November 29, 2011
BRUCE A. BRENNAN BLOG FROM THE WORLD AND MY MIND
The news as I see it and the views as I want them.
November 29 is … Square Dance Day
Grab your partner, dose doe; swing her all around, dose doe!
I wrote about the changes the Roman Catholic Church made in the 1960s as a result of the Second Vatican Council. They have not worked well. Several months ago I wrote about changes coming to the Mass that were to take effect in November. Well, they are here.
English-speaking Roman Catholics who haven't been paying close attention to their church bulletins might notice something a little different during services this Sunday. For decades at the very beginning of Mass, the priest has greeted the congregation by saying "The Lord be with you" and congregants responded: "And also with you." Starting this Saturday and Sunday in the English-speaking world, the response will be: "And with your spirit."
And that's not all: Familiar prayers, both spoken and chanted, have changed and new words like "consubstantial" and "incarnate" now appear. In the Nicene Creed, the affirmation "We believe" has been replaced with "I believe."
The changes are the result of a years-long process to produce an English translation that is closer to the original Latin of the Roman Missal, which the text of prayers and instructions for celebrating Mass. It's the most significant change to the regular worship for Anglophone believers since the upheavals that followed the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.
"It's human nature that we're resistant to change," said Monsignor Michael Clay, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church in Clayton, about 40 miles southeast of Raleigh. "I'm old enough to remember when we went from Latin to English, and that was just a huge change." Clay likes the new translation, finding it closer to the Latin text that is still the church's official language. But some priests and parishioners have been less enthusiastic, criticizing the new version as too ponderous or distant, and in some cases circulating petitions asking for a delay in introducing the new missal. The Vatican never admits it is wrong although they have admitted to being short on right once in a while.
The roots of the new translation go back to that epochal council held at the Vatican in the 1960s, which allowed Mass in languages other than Latin. An English-language missal was produced by 1973, but that was intended to be temporary while improvements were made.
In 2001, the Vatican office that oversees worship issued a directive requiring translation of the English missal that would be closer to the Latin rather than to more familiar vernacular speech. Numerous revisions and bishops' meetings eventually produced agreement on the translation being used Sunday.
Do you think the fact every Catholic and every Church will have to purchase new missals to replace the now outdated books. I am sure the Vatican Press publishes the new books and gets a piece of the action from other publishers interested in selling to the English speaking Catholics around the world.
The Roman Catholic Church should consider making going to Mass enjoyable and easier, not work and embarrassing.
Just a couple of thoughts I had and you should too or at least think about.
BRUCE A. BRENNAN
DEKALB, IL 60115
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Holmes the Ripper
A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction
"One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar." Helen Keller