“And also with your spirit under my roof”…Welcome to the new Mass translations.

Coming soon(ish), depending on subsequent approvals, all-new prayers and responses for the Mass, courtesy of that old-fashioned fellow, Pope Benedict XVI. Why this tradition-minded pope is pushing so many retro innovations is another topic. And I’m sure anything to do with the so-called “liturgy wars” is going to provoke fire and brimstone. The middle ground is pretty much no man’s land, and that’s where I find myself. I like and am familiar with most of the “old” responses, but I do prefer some of the poetry and enriched concepts of the new prayers. Yet some of them, especially those anticipated for the next round, strike me as antique to the point of silly.
Courtesy of the U.S. bishops press office, here are some of the major differences you’ll hear and speak:


1) et cum spiritu tuo is rendered as “And with your spirit”;
2) In the Confiteor, the text “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” has been added;
3) The Gloria has been translated differently and the structure is different from the present text;
4) In the Preface dialogue the translation of “Dignum et justum est” is “It is right and just”;
5) The first line of the Sanctus now reads “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts”;
6) The response of the people at the Ecce Agnus Dei is “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

Implementation will probably be a couple years off, at least, but start learning now. As Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation, said, the text is being distributed now to provide “time for the pastoral preparation of priests, deacons and for appropriate catechesis of the lay faithful. It will likewise facilitate the devising of musical settings for parts of the Mass.”
For a good overview of the new prayers, check out this CNS story. For a sense of the coming clash among the bishops and between the American bishops and Rome, check out John Allen’s coverage of the U.S. hierarchy’s meeting in June.

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posted July 31, 2008 at 12:47 am

I understand your concern about “stilted” translations. I also think some of the proposed translations are a bit affected. However I think there’s more to this. I used to be a tridentine (extraordinary form) proponent; now I’m struggling with my faith and the teachings. But one thing I took away from my “traditional phase” was this: the Latin of the Mass (both forms) is filled with profound allusions, metaphor, and theological richness. The 60’s translation of the ordinary form rationalized and minimized this profundity in the name of “accessibility”. Take the prefaces for example: the Latin often contains very beautiful and precise language that disappears in the current translation.
It’s an injustice/insult to English-speaking Catholics everywhere to deny them the best possible rendering of the linguistic/theological “depth” of the Latin, even at the cost of stilted language and “tough words”. If given the chance, I think many Catholics might rise to the occasion, learn more about the new missal, and maybe this might bring some people back into the fold.

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posted July 31, 2008 at 1:09 am

But one more thing (forgot sorry) — I get the feeling that some priests will strongly dislike saying Mass from the new Missal. The bishops’ debates hint at some significant dissent over the new translation. Instead of an informal schism, why not let bishops provide case by case dispensations for parishes that prefer the current translation? For many years, a good number of Catholics resented the old translation — why should others now be penalized similarly for their preferences?

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posted July 31, 2008 at 10:56 am

No I didn’t know that their was going to be a change, I beleive
that the Church is getting to liberal. That is why we are not getting any new Priest.

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posted July 31, 2008 at 11:26 am

I am sorry; but I am angry right now,How can the pope,& the church which is supposed to lead the congregation to Christ,instead continually add new schisms into the mass,& cause more to fall away from the church,by making up new things to add ,just to satisfy their own inadiquacies,etc;… It is going to further repel them from what God originally intended to bring us closer to him? I am dissalusioned(sigh!) How could we have fallen so far awayform,& let ourselves be decieved so!…I can only pray in the holy spiritbecause there is no direction anymore.alas poor Jesus,he must be so sad.
Are there any christians left out there who are willing to do God’s will?

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posted July 31, 2008 at 1:00 pm

How else would “et cum spiritu tuo” be translated?
I find it interesting that, except for #2 on your list (which, I presume, is a new rendering of “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”) which is pretty awkward, the rest of these phrasings are basically what we’ve been saying in my little United Methodist church for many years.

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posted August 1, 2008 at 10:23 am

Does this mean that the Confiteor will be revived?
It hasn’t been said regularly on Sunday since I was a kid, ‘though at daily Mass the Confiteor tends to replace the Gloria.

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posted August 5, 2008 at 6:38 pm

I don’t see what the big deal is. As a bilingual Catholic, the only thing the new responses will do will be to resemble more closely the Latin sayings. The “new” responses will also closely resemble the responses in Spanish, and add things that we, Spanish speaking Catholics have been saying all along in Mass (for example, the Confiteor’s added responses have always existed in the Spanish responses)
All this doesn’t really change anything about Mass or someone’s personal relationship with God. So, people will have to learn a new things to say in Mass, big deal!!

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posted August 6, 2008 at 10:28 am

These words just harken back to the 50s and 60s. All are appropriate albeit slightly different. Get over yourselves. This is not controversy and it won’t drive anyone who devoted to Christ’s true Church away.

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posted May 14, 2012 at 5:41 am

I realize that I’m of the old school, but these changes are not NEW. This is the way we learned to respond 50+ years ago, and in Latin. Vatican II changed things in the 60s, the the old responses remained in my memory until revived by recent changes.

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