Sunday, 10 August 2008

The New Translation & Catechesis...

Oh boy. It seems that the new English translation of the Novus Ordo Mass will be available "as early as" 2010. ICEL are really jumping the gun here... I mean, the whole point of the delay in making use of the new translation is to allow us stupid people time to get our heads around the difficult words. Will a whole two years be sufficient for the catechetical materials and training courses to be approved and implemented? I have serious doubts...

The American Bishops' Conference has posted the whole text as a PDF file, but it has "Study Text Only" printed in big letters on each page; no doubt this is just in case anyone should be tempted to study the paper the words are printed on rather than the text...

As a teacher, I want to do my little bit to help. I have a great deal of experience in teaching children strange new words like "photosynthesis" and "chromatography," and so I feel that I am uniquely placed to assist lay people with the return to a more sacred language...

Looking at the Canon of the Mass, I found one immediate change we can get to grips with...

Old translation: "he took the cup." New translation: "he took this precious chalice."

Ok, look at the pictures below.

(1) Cup

(2) Chalice

Now, which word do you think best represents the sacred vessel we use at Mass to hold the Precious Blood? And do you think that two years is long enough to get the hang of this difference?


Kasia said...

Oh dear...that was a bit blistering, don't you think? I think the Bishops need to be concerned about creating an occasion of sin for Catholic bloggers... ;-)

(Need I say that I agree with you wholeheartedly?

Oz said...

Conversation between a certain priest and a six year old girl (prior to her first communion) who was serving on the altar with her older brother:

Fr: Wouldn't you like to have some of the special bread?
Girl: It isn't special bread.
Fr: Yes it is, it reminds us of Jesus.
Girl: It is Jesus.
Fr: Well in a way it is.
Girl: It is the real presence of Jesus as bread and wine.
Fr: Who told you that?
Girl: I just know it.


gemoftheocean said...

"Now, which word do you think best represents the sacred vessel we use at Mass to hold the Precious Blood? And do you think that two years is long enough to get the hang of this difference?"

Mac, some of the bishops are singularly stupid.
Mahoney probably needs five years minimum, so they compromised.


Anonymous said...

I am young enough to remember the change from the english texts that we had before the awful ICEL things we have to use now. I cannot recall extensive catechesis etc. - it just changed. Overnight. We paid vast amounts for poorly produced new liturgical books and just got on with it. The same happened when the new Order of Chrsitian Funerals appeared, though I remember being dragooned along to some National Liturgical Thingy "training session" for clergy then. I decided that I would never attend such a thing again.

Putting the new, improved ICEL texts out for us all to see and then forbidding us from actually getting on with using some decent sacred language at last is just plain cruel.

I, for one, would be happy to make do with using what has received the recognitio thus far and wait for the various benches of bishops to decide on what they submit to Rome for the rest of the Missal.

For heaven's sake, we can read! Many of us are familiar enough with Scripture etc. to 'get' the nuances in the new ICEL tranlsations. No amount of catechesis is going to make a lot of difference to most of the people who come to Mass, and let's face it - most of them simply 'switch off' when catechesis about anything is mentioned.

the hound said...

Slightly off topic I know but a visiting priest recently explained that during the most vicious decades of the reformation in England special chalices were made for the Jesuits who were operating under ground which looked like normal drinking cups of the period. (To us they look pretty much like a chalice but they were made before glass became a common material for drinking vessels.) The chalice we use in our church is most probably one of these; the priest recognised it because he has one of the originals with a contemporary inscription underneath dating it to 1605 and even to a specific priest who heard the confessions of some of those involved in the Gunpowder Plot and was martyred afterwards when he refused to break the seal of confession.

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