Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bishop Trautman's call to ditch the new Mass translations - a matter of obedience?

Just saw this from America magazine: Bishop Donald Trautman is calling for a halt to the new translation approval process to save us from bad grammar and "unproclaimable texts." While I seriously doubt that a one-man charge can change the course of this particular juggernaut, you have to admire the man for trying.

Go take a look at the article here:

In contrast, Liturgy Training Publication's website, in their promotional material for their revised series of pamphlets on the Mass assures us that the new translations will only "deepen the meaning" of the Mass - they are, under the aegis of Cardinal George, putting out materials to help us accept the new reality imposed upon the American church by the Vatican.

As usual, we are a church conflicted. Which approach makes the most sense? Do we remain who we are as Americans- a fiercely independent people who do not normally take things just because someone says so - or do we, as faithful sons and daughters of the church, bite our tongues and bow our heads in acquiescence, accepting the new texts without question?  Bishop Trautman's last-ditch attempt to derail the process leads to many questions.

Is the very character of our worship indeed coming down to being a matter of obedience?


  1. Response to Bishop Trautman's article: our liturgy needs a "sacred language" because it's not a matter of grammatical correctness! The new translation emphasizes that noble simplicity. Do we say "and also with you" and just think of the priest as the priest, and not of him as a body-soul composite, or do we say "and with your spirit," and remember that he, like all of us, is not just the man standing on the altar, that he has a "spirit"-ual dimension in which he is conformed in the deepest recesses of his being to the Eternal Priesthood of Jesus Christ? The new translation might be idiomatically unfamiliar to Americans, but it is beautiful and expresses the mystery of the Sacrifice. As for obedience..."Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices" (1 Samuel 15:22).

  2. It is what it is. Some of it is indeed beautiful - and the change was needed and welcome. Some is just plain awkward and incomprehensible. Our presiders continue to struggle a bit with the orations, especially the one for whom English is not his native language.