The New Translation of the Mass – the People’s Part. Part 1: The Opening Greeting and the Gloria. (#167)
The new Latin Missal (1969), introduced after the Second Vatican Council, made important changes: three Bible readings, public intercessions, and a choice of Eucharistic Prayers. And a different style of service came in: the people joined in, the priest faced them, there was a real kiss or handshake at the Peace, and Communion was given under both bread and wine. The 1970 English translation came out in 1970 with Vatican approval. For two generations of English speaking Catholics, born after 1960, it is the Mass.
Basically, this translation tried to say in English what the original Latin meant. It deliberately did not reproduce wordy and elaborate language in the Latin, taken from the high style of the Roman Emperor’s court when spoken and written Latin were growing further and further apart. It used plain English – though not colloquial English. The result was dignified when it said something important clearly and simply. For example, consubstantialem Patri became “of one being with the Father”. Neat, plain, and exact: the same being, God, as the Father, even though a separate “person” and perceived as such. “I and the Father are one” (John 10.30).
There were four representatives of the European Network Church on the Move, of which Catholics for a Changing Church is a member, at the June 2013 meeting in the spectacular Agora building of the Conference of INGOs (what we generally call 'the voluntary sector') at the Council of Europe: Francois Becker and Fernard Jehl of France, Gerd Wild of Germany and Simon Bryden-Brook of the UK. The Council provides the conference with expert simultaneous translations into French and English and this makes a great difference – as long as one understands the jargon.
We arrived on Monday afternoon in time for workshop on the important Human Rights recommendations which had been in preparation for some years under the guiding hand of our own Francois Becker; it required a tedious but necessary examination of a draft in French and English in order to submit a document for consideration two days later by the Human Rights committee before being present to the full Conference.
International Federation for a Renewed Catholic Ministry
Executive Committee Meeting, Mahwah NJ, Friday 31 May 2013
Opening Remarks by the President
The role of the papacy post Vatican II
It would be delightful if it were true that the new bishop of Rome had indeed told the papal master of ceremonies, when offered the velvet and ermine mozetta to wear immediately after being elected earlier this year, “Carnival's over – you put it on!” He may have put it more politely but the gesture itself was eloquent whatever he said. Things are going to change, perhaps if only because we shall never have another pope ordained before the Second Vatican Council.
I am reminded of another papal remark, this time to Bishop Remi de Roo, recounted in his memoirs, who pressed the soon to be sainted Polish pope at the lunch table about the need to provide presbyters to ensure Eucharist for the people, “Deus providebit!” (“God will provide!”) he roared, banging the table, totally ignoring the fact that he was the instrument effectively appointed by God to make the necessary change and effect the provision.
Look not at his divinity,
But look, rather, at his freedom.
Look not at the exaggerated tales of his power,
But look, rather, at his infinite capacity to give himself away.
Look not at the first-century mythology that surrounds him,
But look, rather, at his courage to be,
His ability to live,
The contagious quality of his love.
Stop your frantic search!