Lost in translation

Today we finally inaugurate the new translation of the Roman Missal.

I attended the 4:30 pm Mass at my parish today, so I got to hear the prayers for the First Sunday of Advent. The prayers are definitely an improvement. The changes are not as dramatic as I had hoped, but it’s definitely better.

On some prayers, the new translation is so different from the previous one that its hard to believe that they were both based on the same Latin. As one priest put it, the previous translation was written in a very plain an bland English, like and instruction manual. I’d go a bit further. The previous translation was so poor that it was like those bad “instruction manuals” that leave you with extra pieces and a contraption that doesn’t hold together.

The new translation is more reverent and uses more symbolic/poetic language in a manner that really strengthens the prayers and stirs fervor. The new wording has stronger theological roots and has replaced casual parlance with more accurate terms.

It’s a great day in the Church!

Check out this page where you will find 17 brief explanations of key changes in the prayers of the Mass. It provides the context and the why. Very helpful.

3 thoughts on “Lost in translation

  1. I bet that this “great day for the Church” will not turn out to be so great and in fact will significantly contribute to further losses. A straw poll after mass this morning agrees with my opinion. The new words are stilted. Why is it that my grandaughters now have to say “grievous fault”? These changes which are unnecessary and forced come at a time when the credibility of Bishops is at an all time low.

  2. The changes make a real difference. Even my husband, who is a convert (and didn’t have the best formation in the faith), could not believe the difference it made for him in serving at Mass. This day was indeed a great blessing for the Church. Today, people actually had to pay attention to what was going on; that in itself led people to actually think about where they were and think about why they were there. The new translation, in my opinion and from what I observed today, made a real difference towards the worthy and active participation at Holy Mass. It was almost like watching a shade being lifted so the light could finally shine through. It was an amazing transformation from the boring and bland to the beautiful and the poetic.

  3. The new wording is great in that it forces us to recognize the gravity of every single sin, even venial sin, and to admit that we are personally responsible for each of our sins.

    These words are not “new” because they’ve been the official wording of the Church for a very long time. Us English-speaking folk have just been saying he wrong words all these years.

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