December 3, 2020

New Missal Introduced — What Do You Think?

Today, on this first Sunday in Advent, the traditional beginning of the Church Year, the Roman Catholic Church began using a new Missal in the mass.

Priests have been preparing congregations throughout the autumn months for the introduction of the new mass translation. Catholic News Agency has had a website available that contains a number of resources, news reports, and commentaries to help people get familiar with it. “The Pope and many bishops are calling this new translation a perfect time for a new ‘eucharistic catechesis.’ It’s a chance for all of us to reflect and pray about what the Mass means and what happens in our celebration of the Eucharist,” said David Scott, editor-in-chief of CNA.

I’d like to give our Roman Catholic readers a chance to give us their first impressions of the new changes in the liturgy.

What do you think? How was the new mass translation received today?


  1. it’s hard to judge from my small sample, since for the older ones of us, this new translation is quite similar to the old old new translation (the first English translation) as distinct from the now old new translation (the one that’s been used for the past thirty years or so).

    I don’t mind it, and indeed it brings me back to the far distant days of my childhood, but it will just take a bit of getting used to (it’s easy to slip into the automatic responses from the old new translation).

    What is annoying me is all the objections about “Oh, but it’s too hard for the ordinary layperson to understand!” Funny how we ordinary lay people manage to struggle through our day-to-day lives coping with new technology and the invention of complete new concepts and new words to describe those concepts, yet we can’t manage to read a mass-book that uses language that’s been around for donkey’s years.

    To quote a letter from a group of clergy here in Ireland:

    “The missal’s introduction has been opposed by the Association of Catholic Priests, which has described it as sexist, archaic, elitist and obscure.”

    I roll my eyes at the sexist bit (oh, noes! non-inclusive language that refers to God as Father and Jesus as His Son!)

    Even worse, elitist language that talks about Lord and King! After we just celebrated, on the 20th November as the last Sunday of the liturgical year, the Feast of Christ the Democratically Elected Constitutionally Republican President!

    Archaic and obscure? That’s why they should stop teaching Shakespeare in school, man, ‘cos, like, there ain’t no text version of the plays and stuff, y’know, right?

    A few people will be vastly offended (the professional liturgists), a few people will be vastly offended (it should all be in Latin!) and most of us will just get on with the changes like we did when they switched from Latin, to the first English translation, to the second English translation and now to this one (and if I live long enough, I’m not betting I won’t see the Latin coming back again, what with Summorum Pontificum).

    That’s the nice (as opposed to the infuriating) thing about working on Vatican Time: we can spend forty years trying something out, then go “Nah, not working” 🙂

    • Quite true, Martha. No one can accuse the Church of running willy-nilly after fads and whims!

      Like Martha, I am of a “certain age”, and therefore the current translation does remind me of my childhood….I had just starting learning the Latin responses as a wee little one when the (first) vernacular change came. Today’s readings and responses re-introduce the poetry and magnifence of the Latin, which was put into a very utilitarian prose the last time around. A simple head to head look at the Latin, the “old” English and the “new” English show the difference. (There are several good articles on the net that do just that.) It felt like going home to me, but I can see how it could be rough on younger folks.

      We bumbled through today with our old missals and our new lamintated guides to tuck into them, and even our chuckes when we messed up couldn’t hide the more worshipful and personal aspects of the current readings as we start a new Church year.

      Even when the Church gets it wrong, it fixes it…..sooner or later. Just ask Galileo!

    • Isaac (the poster occasionally still known as Obed) says

      The whole Shakespeare thing is my same argument for folks learning the traditional Anglican liturgies from the classic BCPs rather than all of the various and sundry “Alternative Liturgical Texts.” Sure, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but it’s totally worth it.

      I dig the “semi-archaicisms” of the New Missal, mostly because it reminds me of the old BCPs 🙂

      • Margaret Catherine says

        Mmm. There’s a convent down the road from me that recently came wholesale into the Catholic Church from Anglicanism. At least for now, they have a “regular” Roman Rite Mass; but their private prayers all sound exactly like the “Our Father”. I was there for a two-day retreat, just long enough to get over the strangeness and start to enjoy it. 🙂

        • Dan Crawford says

          It’s helpful to realize that English first made its way into the American Roman Catholic Mass on 1st Advent 47 years ago. The Church of England has used English in the liturgy for nearly 461 years and translated many Roman Catholic prayers magnificently and with a nobility of expression which is lacking in so many contemporary Catholic and Anglican texts. Some people (myself included – but I was a callow “liturgist” in his early 20s) when English was first used in the Mass suggested that the Church might benefit from some study of the Anglican texts, but that of course was dismissed as recognizing heretics.

          • Glenn A Bolas says

            Quite right. Cranmer had his faults but a paucity of wordsmithery was not one of them. Our unwillingness to learn something from the BCP forty years ago is highly ironic when you consider that it’s usually we Catholics who are accusing the Protestants of reinventing the wheel.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I roll my eyes at the sexist bit (oh, noes! non-inclusive language that refers to God as Father and Jesus as His Son!)

      As opposed to “Global replace string ‘man’ with string ‘person’?” That’s resulted in some language stilted enough for Cold War-era Pravda.

      • Or indeed, some allegedly replace all inconvenient pronouns so that instead of saying “Him” and “His” when referring to God, we get “Godself”, as in “God shares Godself with us through Christ” and the likes. I haven’t seen any instances of this in the wild, so to speak, so perhaps it is confined only to the very, very advanced and enlightened 🙂

        As Max Lindemann reminds us, even though it may be entertaining to poke fun at the more liberal wing in theological mattrs, things could have been a lot worse:

        “All the complaints about the ungainly language made me expect to hear the liturgy in something like corporate English:

        On the night He was thrown under the bus, which He practically incentivized, He took the bread, gave it to His disciples, each of whom had a place at the table, and said: “Take this, all of you, and eat it. Connect the dots, people: this is My Body, which will be utilized for you.” As the team-builder was wrapping up, He took the cup…and said: “This is the cup of My blood, the blood of the new game-changing, customer-centric covenant. It will be shed for you and for all in the interest of vertical conflict resolution.

        Remember our brothers and sisters who have been downsized in the hope of getting the golden parachute; circle the wagons and bring them and all the departed into the light of Your presence. Have mercy on us all; help us all onboard into eternal life with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with the apostles, and with each individual contributor who reflected Your core values throughout the ages. May we praise You in synergy with them, and brand You through Your Son, Jesus Christ.

  2. In our Dioceses they have been handing out flyers for ages, and announcements. But we don’t Catechize much, so a number of people were just not ready. The first greeting (The Lord be with you), is supposed to be answered with ‘And with your spirit’, instead we got ‘And also with you…Spirit!’ in a pretty mumbled fashion. The good Fr. shook his head, smiled and then explained that we would have to pay attention and learn as a body the new Mass.

    I’m still a new Catholic, so I thought the changes where fine. They handed out guides, and there where a couple of false starts, some hilarity, like after the initial greeting we normally sit. But Fr. was at the altar and had to walk back to his proper seat, so no one was sure if we could sit or wait until he got there (wait until the Fr. sits is the correct answer). That happened twice (once with everyone looking to see who would go first).

    I like the clarity of the new translation, and I’m looking forward to settling in with it. It was a rocky start, I told the Father we call that in the software biz a user acceptance test 🙂 For us, we didn’t have a Deacon today, Advent starts, some parts are in Latin (like the Sanctus), and on top of that you toss in a new translation and you get a perfect storm. The kind woman behind me tried every combination of the greeting and never got it right, I ended up just trying to out voice her so I could get it right myself (hard to say it right, when she’s right in your left ear mixing up the words).

    One thing I thought was interesting, is that as a new Catholic, I have read up on the Mass. Made sure I understood it, but don’t have it down as automatic, and this morning showed how many people have the pattern so memorized that I’m sure they can do it in their sleep. The changes seemed extra hard Not a bad thing, just an interesting observation.

    After Mass there was some consternation, and a little more chatter than usual. But it’s Mass, and we are Catholic, so it’s what we do. And like it or not, it is what it is!!


    P.S. The hardest part is that the St. Joseph liturgy guide that is ubiquitous for Catholics (new and old alike) has not been released with the new Translation, had we had that in our hands, the whole thing would have been a breeze 🙂

    • AMEN to your post-script. We were visiting the National Bascilica in DC last summer while we were in the area awaiting the arrival of our second grandson, and went to the bookstore to get the new copy, as that is where we had found our OLD (large print) missal….our church does not use them in the pews, so if you want to read along you get your own.

      They told us they would not be out until NOvemeber…and when we tried AGAIN while visiting the same kids for Thanksgiving, they STILL did not have any, on Novemeber 26th. grrrrrrr….

      At least we had oour laminated tri-fold guide to the changes. Our pastor (jokingly) said that anyone who removed an insert would be excommunicated on the SPOT!

  3. Richard Hershberger says

    This is a subject which bemuses me. This is completely unnecessary pain which the Catholic and Episcopal churches inflict upon themselves whenever they put out a new edition of the liturgy. The problem isn’t that people can’t or won’t accept a new version. It is that they don’t like having it forced upon them. But these churches for some reason believe that it is terribly important that everyone use the same text. They aren’t claiming that there was anything wrong with the old one: just that everyone has to use the new one now. Hence the gnashing of teeth and even schism.

    Compare this with the Lutheran way of doing the same thing. The books are published by the denominational publishing house. When a new one comes out, they simply stop printing the old one. The individual congregations can adopt the new or or not, as they choose. In practice the vast majority adopt the new one within a few years, so as not to seem like a bunch of fuddy-duddies. Most of the residue that holds out will adopt the new text as their old books become worn enough to merit replacement. The residue of the residue that really wants to keep the old book can rebind their books, or buy used ones from churches that made the switch and sift through the boxes for the ones in better condition.

    As it happens, my congregation does not mind in the least being considered a bunch of fuddy-duddies when it comes to liturgy. We use the Service Book and Hymnal (the Red Book) which was first published in the 1950s. It was replaced in the late 1970s by the Green Book, which in turn has been superseded in recent years by the Cranberry Book. We bought a copy of that, looked it over, and called the publishing house and asked if they by any chance had any of the old Red Books in the warehouse. They rooted around a bit and discovered two cases in some musty corner, which they were happy to sell to us. Everyone was happy. (Yes, any old-fashioned church over the past thirty years could have done this, but so far as I can tell no one thought to ask. It was something of a brain flash by the member who made the call.)

    Well, almost everyone. The bishop of the synod once told us that one of his goals was to persuade us to get with the times. We smiled serenely at him and went about our business. The Missouri Synod crowd is right that the ELCA made a mistake adopting the churchy word “bishop” to replace the bureaucratic word “president”. But we weren’t so foolish as to give the bishops real power over us. His successor seems unperturbed by our being so anachronistic.

    • “This is completely unnecessary pain which the Catholic and Episcopal churches inflict upon themselves whenever they put out a new edition of the liturgy.”

      I can’t speak to the Episcopal tradition, but the last change to the Catholic liturgy was 40 years ago, so it’s not like we’re revising the liturgy every couple of years or so. This revision adds a lot to the reverence of the Mass, and it’s a much more accurate translation of the original Latin.

      “But these churches for some reason believe that it is terribly important that everyone use the same text.”

      As Catholics, it actually is important to us that everyone use the same language in liturgy. We’re one Church, our liturgy is universal, and we worship as one body. It’s a little difference situation than individual denominations or independent congregations that choose for themselves how to do their liturgy (if they have liturgy at all).

      Personally, the new missal will take some getting used to, but it’s nothing that I can’t adapt to. I appreciate how much more it reflects the actual text of some Scriptures and how it presents better, more accurate theology.

      • That you…my earlier response to this post was less gracious and was well removed….

      • I fell in love with the Anglican liturgy and thus find a connection with the historical faith in that liturgy. Words are important, and beautiful words speak volumes into the nature of God. We’ve not had as many problems with the National Church’s innovations in liturgy. Our problems have come with local church innovations. We’ve recently switched services after a rewrite of the liturgy to make it more “young person friendly.” What do “younger persons” need badly turned phrases and weakened theology? I have two teens. They found it clunky and awkward. We agreed to give it a couple of weeks, and they were still unimpressed and have decided to get up early (not an easy task for teens) on Sundays.

    • Well, part of the reason for the new English translation (and it’s only we Anglophones that are getting it) is that other vernacular translations were more faithful to the Latin original, while the English translators the second time round *coughICELcough* went overboard with the simplification for the laity, turning the emphasis in the Eucharist from the sacrificial to the communal meal aspect, and general warm fuzziness.

      This is the rollout of what Pope John Paul II announced in 2000, so we’ve had 11 years to wrap our heads around the fact that it’s coming down the track. Fr Z’s blog has been exhaustively digging down into the Latin prayers, translating the meaning of the Latin and comparing the Latin with the old ICEL 1973 translation and the new revised one; for instance, just today he examined the Offertory prayer for the first Sunday of Advent:

      “The now obsolete – HURRAY! – ICEL version emphasized the “meal” aspect of Mass rather than the transforming “sacrificial” dimension. The Latin says munera, “gifts”, but ICEL says “bread and wine”; panem et vinum are not in the Latin original. Of course at this point in Mass munera indicates the bread and wine on the altar. Tthe obsolete ICEL restricts us to the obvious elements of bread and wine. The Latin is less restrictive. Munera embraces all that we bring to the Lord at Mass, material and spiritual sacrifices.”

      Part of the rationale is to restore the sense of the sacred in the liturgy; that the Mass isn’t just a weekly get-together of pals but a sharing in the sacrifice of Calvary – the mystery of faith. Part is to address objections by Traditionalists that the Novo Ordus wasn’t merely a translation but a whole new (and in the opinion of some, invalid) Mass that broke all links with the historic practice of what had gone before. Part of it is to fulfil the actual objectives of the Second Vatican Council (rather than the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ notions which waft about). Part of it is to get us Anglophones in line with our global brothers and sisters 🙂

      • Martha,

        Relative to the response, “and with your spirit“, is spirit a more accurate reflection of the Latin or is there another purpose behind the change in wording?


        • Isaac / Obed says

          It is the literal translation of the Latin et cum spirito tuo. Again, the traditional Anglican liturgy from the BCPs had been saying “And with thy spirit” since the 1500s for that very reason. It wasn’t until all that ICEL stuff that Anglicans started saying “and also with you.”

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            And I understand a more ancient form of the response, dating back to the 2nd or 3rd Century.

            And at St Boniface last Sunday, it was the most muffed line of all the changes. I expect to hear “and also with you” for the next couple months until everybody gets used to it.

          • It’s said you can tell an Anglican by showing them Star Wars. They keep trying to reply to anyone saying ‘May the Force be with you’…

        • I’m not even Catholic, but even I remember that the Latin is “et cum spiritu tuo”…..You decide.

        • More accurate. Fr. Robert Barron points out in this video that in the post-Vatican II French and Spanish vernacular translations, for example, they retained “and with your spirit” while English completely changed this.

          Now, it’s not completely perfect (yes, it’s only been out one day and I’m already nit-picking!), since some of the English is a bit clunky in places, and I don’t think you can blame that on the Latin, but it is meant to be a more accurate and more faithful translation of the Latin texts, which are what underlie all the liturgies.

          Fr. Z’s blog has been exhaustively going through the Latin,comparing the literal meaning of the Latin words, the 1973 ICEL translation which has been in use up to now, and the new translation. In some cases, there is a quite startling divergence between the original Latin and the English used up to now.

          Also, I think we all need to be clear on what “spirit” means; we are spirits, we have souls, we are in bodies. Three elements, and the “with your spirit” emphasises that theology (which I freely admit I am just as wobbly on as anyone else).

          • Glenn A Bolas says

            Martha, how very Platonist of you! We don’t have souls, we ARE souls. We aren’t in bodies, we ARE bodies. We’re soul-bodies, or bodied-souls or something (curse you, conceptually inadequate English!).

            On a barely related note, I shall never forget the shrill and impassioned response of a Dominican friend of mine to a typical discussion being had by a group of young male university students- “A woman doesn’t HAVE a beautiful body! A woman IS a beautiful body!!’

    • What’s hilarious is that LCMS and ELCA Lutherans revised their liturgies when American Catholics did so that we’d have similar liturgies. The old LCMS red hymnal used “and with your spirit” and other old phrases that were dropped. A lot of Lutherans rejected the new hymnal and kept the old liturgy. Now, 2-3 years ago, we in the LCMS got a new burgundy hymnal with 5 different liturgies. While I like having a number of settings for the ordinaries and propers, it’s absolutely ridiculous that we have several liturgies with some using “and with your spirit” and others “and also with you.” We switched to using the old liturgy today, and we had half the congregation saying “and with your spirit” and half saying “and also with you”.

      • Isaac / Obed says

        Yeah, in the 60’s and 70’s all the mainline Protestant denominations figured that if we could all look alike, we’d soon all reunify. And we’d all give each other flowers and issue in world peace. :p

  4. I’ve really enjoyed the Mass with the new words. It’s good. Better than the old one by a good deal. More lovely, more theologically accurate.

    • I agree, Devin. Many of the changes sound like the old Book of Common Prayer, which is what I was used to as a child. I even caught myself saying, “And with thy spirit,” instead of “and with your spirit.” Our congregation is good-humoredly bumbling through it and will get used to it in time.

      • Besides, it gives us something to complain about. Catholics need something to complain about in the Church, otherwise we’re not happy 😀

        • Just like families and soldiers…..grumbling comes with the territory. But only siblings can verbally bash their brother, only those in the military can make jokes about other branches, and only Catholics can can get crazy complaining about the Church.

          In all three cases, outside crititism tends to make the ranks close together protectively….”You can’t beat up my brother, only I can beat him up…….”

  5. Intitial Impressions….

    “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” – An attention grabber right from the get-go.
    “I believe” instead of “We Believe” – Powerful and moving, our God is truly a very personal God.
    “Consubstantial” – A little tongue-twisterish, but it makes you ponder a deeper truth.

    “And with your Spirit” – Totally cool.

  6. I’m not Roman Catholic (I’m United Methodist, albeit with serious Anglican tendancies), but since I do a lot of worship service development (as a lay person), I’m delving into the various Missals a fair bit, looking for ideas and inspiration. So when the new English Mass was announced, I took a look over it. On the whole, it’s feels better than the previous version. It seems to match the poetry of the Latin Mass a bit more. However, some of the four dollar words (like “consubstantial”) that, while they may be a more direct translation of the Latin, become a stumbling point in the liturgy. In almost every case, there’s a better way to phrase the translation that’s easier on both the tongue and the ears, and means exactly the same thing. Overall, though, it is better, in my very humble opinion.

    One minor (protestant viewpoint) question: I’ve not seen the new Catechism that goes with the new version of the Mass. Does it address the issue with the greeting that caused most of the Protestant denominations to switch from “And with your spirit” to “And also with you”, that of the appearance of the priest having a special, “extra” portion of the Holy Spirit, which is not the intent of the passage the greeting is based on?

    • David Cornwell says

      “I do a lot of worship service development (as a lay person)”

      Very good to see a United Methodist doing this work. And a lay person, not clergy. Keep it up!

    • Isaac / Obed says

      I think the “consubstantial” bit is my least favorite change, though it is indeed better than “of one being.” I’d have preferred something along the lines of “of one substance” instead.

      • Funny you should say that, Isaac/Obed: I have my old missal from 1970 when I made my First Communion and the version of the Creed therein does say “Begotten, not made, one in substance with the Father”.

        In some ways the original English (that is, not the standardised 1973 ICEL version everyone is lamenting/cheering the end of) was much better because closer to the Latin.

  7. Margaret Catherine says

    It went fairly smoothly at my parish – some stumbles, of course, especially since our “cheat sheets” were missing a couple of the changes. ‘Consubstantial wasn’t among the stumbles…though I don’t mind the Eastern Catholic translation “of one substance/essence with the Father”, and the Creed at least should be the same in translation across all Rites. We are one Church, we profess one Faith whether East or West; in the Creed if not in the remainder of our liturgy we should be united.

    One prayer at the end caught my attention as especially lovely:

    May these mysteries, O Lord,
    in which we have participated,
    profit us, we pray,
    for even now, as we walk amid passing things,
    you teach us by them to love the things of heaven
    and hold fast to what endures.

    The same prayer, in the old translation: Father,
    may our communion
    teach us to love heaven.
    May its promise and hope guide our way on earth.

    And in the Latin original: Prosint nobis, quaesumus, Domine, frequentata mysteria,
    quibus nos, inter praetereuntia ambulantes,
    iam nunc instituis amare caelestia et inhaerere mansuris.

  8. Dan Crawford says

    Report from a Catholic congregation in SW PA: Before Mass, all Express and Quick Exit aisle seats filled: emptied before the last communicant reached the pew. “Fellowship” is no longer used in the opening greeting – obviously a Protestant word that needed to be purged. Strange phrase in the Eucharistic prayer:: “held to be worthy” – not sure what that meant. The opening prayer for the first Sunday of Advent is definitely not an improvement over the prayer used for 1 Advent in the post Vatican II Mass, and is decidedly inferior to the Latin collect for 1 Advent of the Tridentine Rite. The priest was tongue-tied by the changes in the Eucharistic Prayer. The Lector leaped to her feet and waved the pew card whenever something new was coming the congregation’s way. My general impression of the changes is that they could have done a more mellifluous translation while remaining faithful to the sense of the Latin text: instead, the Vatican apparently relied on someone who knows English as a second language: awkward sentences and Latinate expressions which need not have been so literally rendered. Compared with the new liturgical texts, the NAB scriptural translation looks better – which was not the case with the previous liturgical texts. The celebrant did a fine job of preaching a homily on the the themes of new beginnings referring to the liturgical changes and the scriptural readings. He tried to minimize the awkwardness as much as possible, and seemed to succeed fairly well.

    All in all, my summary is simply: The Express and Quick Exit aisle pews were filled before Mass and emptied before the last communicant reached the pew. Not much has changed. Which suggests to me that the great reform of the Liturgy brought about by Vatican II has had very little impact on many Catholics who were taught that one didn’t commit a mortal sin if one checked in before the Offertory and checked out after Communion.

    • Margaret Catherine says

      As to ‘fellowship’ – is there any other place/time that we refer to “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit”? It’s not an especially “Catholic” phrase, else, at least to my knowledge.

      • Dan Crawford says

        Of course not. It’s a Protestant word that needed purging.

      • I can find only one place where the corrected translation uses the word “fellowship”: Eucharistic Prayer I, in which the priest asks God,
        “To us, also, your servants, who, though sinners,
        hope in your abundant mercies,
        graciously grant some share
        and fellowship with your holy Apostles and Martyrs…”

        I’m no Latinist, but while I remember “fellowship” as a buzzword from my Baptist days (and as a verb it irks me), I don’t see anything necessarily Protestant about it. It seems a pretty straightforward translation of “societatem.” The reason for “purging” it from the opening greeting is surely that “communicatio Sancti Spiritus” actually means something closer to “the communion of the Holy Spirit.”

    • Glenn A Bolas says

      A Protestant word that needed purging? That seems a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. Albeit a mildly understandable one. I can’t stand these kinds of superspiritual words for ordinary stuff myself. Whenever I hear my evangelical friends talk about ‘fellowship activities’ or ‘opportunities for fellowship’, I feel like saying, ‘What you really mean is ‘social activities’ and ‘opportunities to hobknob/ hang out’.’ God is already in ordinary stuff. You don’t need to use religious words to make Him present in them.

      As to the new translation, my suspicion is that it was felt ‘fellowship’ was too equalising (which explains why we still speak of fellowship with the saints). That’s my- possibly wrong- guess, anyway. Mind you, my general impression has been that the new translators have been far more preoccupied with just translating the Latin than with the broader cultural associations and repercussions. Perhaps it was the other way round and the old translators used the less-ideal translation of ‘fellowship’ in a misguided attempt at ecumenism while the new lot just decided on the closest correspondent to ‘communicatio’?

  9. “And with your spirit.” I am fine with that.
    “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.” Fine with that too. Both of those things are things we said back many years ago.

    “Consubstantial.” I don’t like it. It means “one in being” or “of the same substance” so why don’t we just say that? “One in being” is more poetic and says what it is. “Consubstantial” is not necessary.

    “Incarnate of the Virgin Mary.” Again, not a necessary change. It’s not that I don’t like “big” words. I like poetic words that say the same thing. You may say that “born of the Virgin Mary” doesn’t portray the special way in which he was conceived. But we just said, “by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary , and became man>” I think we should have kept it that way.

    I also wish we had kept the “we” instead of “I.” We are saying the Nicene Creed as a group at Mass. Keeping the “we” would reinforce that we are a people. a family.

    Here was how we did say the Nicene Creed:
    “We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary , and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. ”

    And here is what we say now:
    “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made,
    consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son
    is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

    But, I hardly get to Mass anyway. It will take me a while to not mistakes when I DO get to Mass!

    • I don’t know – I do like “incarnate” better than “born of.” Incarnational theology is one of the things that I (a recent convert) most love about Catholicism. Incarnate literally means enfleshed. He wasn’t just born, he took on physical matter. People are born all the time, but to me “incarnate” carries a special sense of God assuming a physical form and entering our physical world as one of us.

      • I know what you mean, Kate, but I think the preceding words “by the power of the Holy Spirit” explain that he was conceived in a way unlike all other human beings. I don’t mind “incarnate” as much as I mind “consubstantial.”

    • Isaac / Obed says

      As to the change from “we” to “I” in the Creed, it had been “I” for about 1600 years before it was changed to “we.” “I” is more faithful to both the Latin and Greek. I’m pretty sure that’s the reasoning behind the return to “I.”

  10. My wife and I are blessed to belong to a parish where the priests pay close attention to celebrating the Mass reverently in accordance with the rubrics. We often attend a Traditional Latin Mass, and sometimes a Latin Mass in the Ordinary Form, the latter being what the new translation is based upon. So we’ve long been exposed to elements that the old translation obscured.

    Tonight after Mass, a friend declared with great excitement that the new translation is like wearing a new suit! It will take a bit of getting used to, for sure–I heard lots of people say automatically “And also with you” before the proclamation of the gospel–but it’s so much more beautiful. At the same time, I bear no resentment over the limitations of the old translation; it’s what was used when we got married, for example, and for countless other occasions of great meaning in our lives. So this is just moving to a fuller expression, for which we can be even more thankful.

    Unquestionably the new translation better renders the richness and depth of the Latin original, including such scriptural allusions as “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” For the past few decades that has been stripped down to a bare “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” Now the original connection to Matthew 8:8 is restored. Overall I could hardly be more pleased.

  11. Our priest has been going over the changes at the end of Mass since the end of August and I have been doing the same for the CCD program at my parish. We also have cards in each pew and at the beginning of this weekend Masses he reminded everyone to follow along. I enoy the changes and believe within a few weeks most regular church goers will have the hang of it. more of the burden is on the priests, especially the older ones who have would be able to say the older version long after their mind has gone (and I have seen this happen).

    It is funny though that there are a few who are wondering why the Church keeps changing the Mass all the time and I remind them that I believe the last changes I remember were back around the late 60’s.

    As for the translation – it becomes less cumbersome and more beautiful when one knows the origins, but for the average luke warm Catholic it will continue to seem awkward.

  12. Glenn A Bolas says

    Living in China, I remain so far unaffected by the changes (though I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten off scot-free since I still have to learn the responses in Chinese- most of it I’ve got downpat but the Creed and Gloria still give me trouble). Which means all the changes shall come tumbling down upon me like a ton of bricks when I go back to visit my family for a month in January. Fortunately, by that time most people will probably know them and I’ll be able to hide behind the confident responsorialness of everybody else.

    From what I’ve read, some changes I like and others I find unnecessary. There are more of the former than the latter. The Creed could have been left alone, I think (why on earth replace ‘eternally begotten’ with ‘before all ages’?!- that sounds much more Arian). Also, saying ‘and with your spirit’ will take some getting used to. I need to look into the theological underpinnings of the phrase to understand it better because my instinct is to hear it as a kind of anti-sacramental thing- ‘with your spirit but not your body’. Other changes I find extremely positive. The collects and closing prayers in particular (or those I’ve read) seem to have benefited immensely from the new translation. Much more poetic and dignified. The prayer Margaret Catherine posted above would itself be worth the price of admission.

    • You learned this in CHINESE??? I bow to your brains and dedication! Whenever we attended Mass off of a military base in Europe, we just had to stumble along, poorly, in German or French. We knew we were at Mass, but without a translation in front of us we could have been in a Greek Orthodox parish for all we knew. But, with a large crucifix on my shirt and a big smile, we were still welcomed.

      • Glenn A Bolas says

        I don’t know about brains and dedication. I’ve been living here almost a year now and stumbling along is pretty much what I do most of the time still. Short stuff like the Kyrie and Agnus Dei I picked up pretty quickly, and I can do the Gloria (except for one or two characters whose pronunciation I still haven’t managed to pin down) as long as it’s sung- if they say it, it’s too quick for me to keep up. Fortunately they have missals in the pews here, so I can usually check stuff like keywords in the scripture readings in my dictionary and work out what they’re talking about if I get to church early, which I try to do most weeks.

        Having said all that, I am looking forward to being back home for a bit in the New Year and hearing some comprehensible preaching. The ex-Baptist in me misses a good sermon.

      • Glenn A Bolas says

        I should add, getting through the liturgy in Chinese is a cinch compared to going to confession in Chinese.

        • Margaret Catherine says

          When I was there (in Shandong Province), the priest just had us stand in front of the Tabernacle. I confessed in English, he absolved me in Chinese, and Christ dealt with the language barrier. Even in the liturgy, I never did better than learning the “Lord, have mercy”.

  13. Margaret Catherine says

    …30 comments in, and not one mention of “pro multis/for many”… 😀

  14. Sorry, but it isn’t just “lukewarm” Catholics who will continue to find this translation awkward. That comment is a good example of what is most disturbing about Catholic reactions across the blogosphere. From the Pray, Tell and Commonweal folks to the WDTPRS followers, the judgments have come: ‘you’re not sufficiently Catholic if you think______ regarding the new translation.” It’s a spiritually damaging game.
    As for me:
    Penitential rite changes; yes
    more closely following the Centurion’s words: yes
    the Creed: no
    “for many”: theologically justifiable either old or new way, so neutral
    Eucharistic prayers: noooooo!!!!!
    “and with your spirit”: yes

    Here in the good ol’ Arlington diocese, our priest stumbled, we stumbled a bit, fewer responded than usual with either spoken/sung responses. Yes, life will go on and we’ll all get used to the changes in a few months. But on the whole, I wish this had not been done.

    • Dan Crawford says

      Thank you, SAF, for pointing out how many Catholics feel. Their voices have been noticeably absent from themedia stories and commentaries on the changes.

    • Margaret Catherine says

      Would you say that that is the common opinion in Arlington? As tradition-minded as your diocese seems to be, I’d’ve expected the changes to be more readily embraced there.

    • Glenn A Bolas says

      SAF, I’m with you on the Creed.

      You seem to feel pretty strongly about the Eucharistic prayers. Could you say something more about that? I’m curious.

  15. Dan, I appreciate your kind words. Margaret Catherine, I’ll try to address your question later this evening; I’ve been pondering all afternoon how to cut my answer down to a reasonable length.

  16. Maybe I have a minute now, Margaret Catherine, now that my sick toddler (ear infection) is in bed.
    Re/ the reaction in the Arlington diocese, I can’t claim a common opinion exists. What I think you mean is that the diocese is known for accommodating certain traditionalist preferences: pastors can and do reserve altar serving to boys in most parishes, for instance. And we’re a big money diocese, with government and quasi-government jobs keeping the economy here better insulated than it is in much of the US. So we’re “obedient.” Much more could be said but that will have to do.
    My home parish is arguably one of the 2 or 3 most “tradition-minded” in the diocese (EF every Sunday for quite some time now, propers in Latin for the 9:00 Mass long before Pope Benedict issued SP, etc.) And I did not- visibly- wince during Sunday’s Mass. I had studied the new translation beforehand and knew what was happening. That’s all I want to give as far as “bona fides.” It’s important that you hear the next part without knowing whether I, say, wear a mantilla to Mass or am wearied by the Four Most Important Things we are regularly warned of at homilly time (contraception, gay marriage, abortion, SNAP.) Both may apply to me, but that’s not an acceptable combo in over-simplified and over-heated Catholic liturgyland.
    What will be interesting in the Arlington diocese over the coming months will be whether the EF Masses gain in attendance or stay small and static at about 30-45 regulars at, say, my parish. Will the (very nearby to me)Byzantine Rite church in communion with Rome, or the Melkite Rite church a good bit farther away, gain any new members?
    My bottom line is pretty much this: whatever else Vatican II allowed, and whatever resulted from its implementation, Mass in the vernacular is a definite “good.” Catholics who understand why ad orientam worship is optimal may also know that liturgical Latin is a translation of a translation, ad nauseum. Accuracy in translation is a fine thing. So is euphony and clarity. That the “traditional-minded” vs “liberal” Catholic divide must be the media’s and the blogosphere’s first point of reference, in regard to opinions of the new translation, is sad at best.

    • Margaret Catherine says

      If I’m reading you correctly, you have quite possibly the only EF Mass celebrated in a church-in-the-round. A close friend of mine attends there, so that parish is my measuring stick for the diocese as a whole – I can’t imagine it existing out here in Baltimore. Familiarity with Arlington has certainly been an education in the ways in which traditional/liberal/orthodox are and are not opposed, and are/are not able to co-exist.

      • Margaret Catherine – which parish in Baltimore? I’m at St. Margaret in Harford County. 🙂

      • MC…I graduated from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel HS on Eastern Ave. in Essex AND the College of Notre Dame on North Charles St……spent 12 years of my life as a Baltamoron!

        • Go, Pattie! You’re one of the relatively few in this world who know how Notre Dame is REALLY supposed to be pronounced 🙂

  17. You have, I think, cracked the secret code of my home parish, Margaret Catherine. And I too am fascinated by “the ways in which traditional/liberal/orthodox are and are not opposed, and are/are not able to co-exist.” I’m glad to “meet” you here on internetMonk.

    • Margaret Catherine says

      Ad orientem *and* facing the people…something for everyone, unless you come in too late and there’s hardly any place even to stand. It does attract people, no question; and no question as to the beauty and reverence of that high of a liturgy…but it also introduces the danger of loving the things of God above God, which is an undercurrent in the diocese (official structure thereof) as a whole. It doesn’t surprise me that there would be homilies devoted to SNAP – again not something you’d find out here in Baltimore.

      • “…loving the things of God above God…”
        Exactly! This is a temptation for high-liturgy types and, yes, there’s an undercurrent evident in the Arlington diocese, more from bloggers out this way than from the clergy, I would say.
        Lesson one in semantics class: the word is not the thing. ‘Save the liturgy, save the world’??? A thousand times, no. Christ alone saves, and liturgical idolatry is no less idolatry than any other kind.
        AnneG, we will have to disagree about the ‘dumbed down” language of the old translation. But you bring up a good point about the universalism of the Church. Someone I read, who feels as I do about the new translation, suggested offering (up) our participation in solidarity with those whose Mass vernacular hasn’t utilized dynamic equivalence in translation. That is the best way for me to look at it and it is a small penance.

        • Re “dumbed down” I’m comparing to one of the couple of other languages I speak well enough to compare. A lot of Spanish speakers in th US are not that well educated or catechized, yet have very little problem with elevated language such as that in the new translation. Offer it up is probably good.

          • This really must be my last post on the subject.

            Collect from First Sunday of Advent, new translation:
            Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
            the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
            with righteous deeds at his coming,
            so that, gathered at his right hand,
            they may be made worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.

            If I fail to find this language ‘elevated’, my education is the cause. I learned English grammar and syntax, and worked as an editor/proofreader for years.

          • Remorse.
            My response above was snarky, rude, and arrogant. If anyone is still reading, I apologize.

  18. I’ve been Catholic long enough to have the old responses memorized, so the changes are new to me.

    I like most of the changes in the Creed, but not “consubstanital” I much prefer “one in being” One change that I dislike is “chalice” for “cup” I think that Christ used the Hebrew or Aramaic for cup at the institution of the Eucharist.

    I was caught by surprise by the changes in the Agnes Dei, but like them

    I’ll get used to it in time, but hope that my personal pew card arrives. At one parish, the pew cards give a lot more information without putting the changes in bold.

  19. There’s no new catechism. Translation from The Official Mass which is Novus Ordo, in Latin, is the only thing that has changed.
    The greeting and response of “and with your spirit.” is a whole different subject, related just to the correct translation. It has a lot of theological significance. The now old translation used dynamic equivalence,making pony, horse, foal, nag, stallion into horse. That was the problem the new, corrected translation was intended to correct.

  20. We didn’t go to our usual OPM (old people’s mass), the vigil Mass, because I was sick. So we went to the LCM (last chance mass, Sunday night). Our parish had booklets, several study groups, a month of teachings by the pastor and pew cards and only the real grey hairs and professional catechists were grumbling. Our diocese has a reputation of being fairly progressive, read nostalgic for the ’70’s.
    With pew cards most people missed the first, “and with your spirit,” but seemed to be trying to catch on. I have actually been saying that for months to see if I could get used to it again. (Raised Episcopal and old) I’ve also been saying the “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof..” quietly as well, just to learn it.
    Have to relearn the old translation of the Creeds and I like consubstantial. It means something unique in history and creation happened. Hopefully the stumbling will call it to mind. The priests have to practice the prayers to get the right meter and emphasis. Our priest proceeded slowly and deliberately and did a good job. I like the more formal language. You can’t slide over it as in some of the other now old prayers.
    I am very thankful that we are now praying with our Spanish, German, French, Italian, Polish, Czech and Hungarian brothers and sisters, using the vernacular. Those are languages I’ve attended Mass in. I could never figure out why we used some of the dumbed down language, 1st person plural in the Creed and some other things when, in Spanish, the language I converted in, the prayers were so different.
    Somebody said they couldn’t figure out why we got so worked up over this:
    The Catholic Church is one Church. We belong to different parishes and dioceses all over the world, but One Church. That’s the difference. The Latin Rite Mass is the same the world over regardless of language.
    BTW, some of the translations were done, not by somebody in the Vatican who didn’t have anything better to do, but by a multi-national committee of native English speakers. American utilitarian English isn’t necessarily the best use of language. That explains some of the constructions we aren’t used to. Just be glad the translators weren’t all Irish, right Martha?

    • Dan Crawford says

      They may have been “native English speakers” but they were deficient in their English writing.

  21. John Jackson says

    A Chinese friend if mine says that the Chinese catholic church has been using our ‘new’ version for years and years – as long as she can remember. This makes it appear that the Chinese church has been ahead of the game for many years. Can anyone comment on why the Chinese church has been so far ahead of the Vatican for so long? The new version was put into latin by Pope John Paul II in 2001.

  22. John Jackson says

    This project has been cooking in the oven for at least 10 years. The Vatican must have had a small army of biblical scholars working on it. And that same army will not lose their jobs. – They will soldier on and start on the next version which will appear in about 20 years. All for the sake of ‘a more accurate’ translation of scriptures. You mean we didn’t know what we were doing all those years?! Will we EVER know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it?! Must be great to have a job for life. No, the army will not end up unemployed. The hoi poloi will forever need educating. How can folks like us ever understand their esoteric game?

  23. Brian Suchsland says

    I don’t like the translations–I think they are unnecessary and come at a time when the church could be using that energy for other matters. I WON’T be using the translations and it makes me sad that my daughter will never hear mass the way I did growing up…