Friday, April 30, 2004


is available here in the form of jpeg images. Each image contains one page of the Liturgy in Latin and in English. Click on the links below and images will open in a new window. The new draft translation of the Mass in English, said to be more faithful to the original Latin text, is being circulated among the bishops for their comments. The new translation has been described as "elegant" by Cardinal George Pell, who is chairman of the Vox Clara Committee - the advisory committee to the Congregation for Divine Worship which advises in the assessment of english translations world-wide .

For background on Liturgiam Authenticam, some catching up is in order.

The first thing I noticed different was a slight rewording of the Act of Penitence.

I confess to Almight God
And to you, my brothers and sisters
That I have sinned exceedingly
In my thoughts and in my words....etc.

And that's just for starters. But remember, this is only a draft. There's also a series of interviews on the subject that you can read here as well.

So what’s this new translation like? Well at the moment when the priest says, ‘The Lord be with you’, the congregation responds, ‘And also with you’. But in future, if the Vox Clara committee has its way, they’ll say, ‘And with your spirit’, which is actually quite pretty, and it will also bring the English mass into line with what’s said in churches in France and Germany and Italy and Spain. The old Tridentine rite in Latin had a particular fondness for triple repetitions of certain phrases, and this is also back, ‘Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa ’ returns as ‘Through my fault, through my fault, through my exceeding fault.’

The creed changes from being a communal profession of faith (‘We believe in one God’) to a personal profession of faith (‘I believe in one God’).

And while many people were anxiously expecting the return of a lot of the older gender-specific language, in the main that doesn’t seem to have happened.

Some of the implications of the new translation aren’t immediately obvious. What will become of the last 30 years of modern Catholic church music when so many of the words have been changed? And what of the implications for the Ecumenical Movement? For years now, the various liturgies of the Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Uniting Churches have been on a quiet path towards convergence, so that more and more the language of the big public prayers is common to all. But now the Vatican could be about to step back from all of that.


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