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Mass Translations Worse than Anticipated

In the May 21 issue of America, Bishop Donald Trautman, Chair of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, called on Catholics to “speak up” about the stunningly archaic language soon to be foisted on unsuspecting Mass-goers.  Some examples:

“Accept, O Lord, these gifts, and by your power change them into the sacrament of salvation, in which the prefiguring sacrifices of the Fathers have an end and the true Lamb is offered, he who was born ineffably of the inviolate Virgin.”
(Prayer over the gifts, Season of Advent)

“Make holy these gifts, we pray, by the dew of your Spirit.”
(Eucharistic Prayer 2)

“Cyril, an unvanquished champion of the divine motherhood”
(Collect for June 27)

Bishop Trautman said he was amazed to learn that professional liturgists have not had access to the work of the newly reconstituted and quite conservative International Council on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).  He also believes the worshipping community of the laity should be involved in the preliminary process of judging ICEL texts.  He is passionate about the quality of worship: “If the language of the liturgy is a stumbling block to intelligibility and proclaimability…and does not communicate, how can people fall in love with the greatest gift of God, the Eucharist?”           

But to whom should Catholics speak?  Trautman suggested first writing to local bishops who will eventually vote on the texts.  Then write to the bishops involved with ICEL: Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, Bishop Oscar Lipscomb of Mobile AL, Bishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans and Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, NJ, who serves on the ICEL board. Their addresses are available at http://www.usccb.org/.

Focus on FutureChurch

Summer 2007


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