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At a retreat I attended a decade ago, a priest was delivering a talk on the liturgy. He was firing off an explanation and said, “The Lord be with you.” Almost immediately, in a nearly involuntary reflex that would make Pavlov proud, everybody interrupted and chimed in with the response, “And also with you.” He paused, and then quipped: “Wow. If I rang a bell, would you all start salivating?”
Two days ago, the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship finally released the new translation of the Order of Mass (800kb PDF). It’s not for use in worship yet—Rocco Palmo says the earliest it’ll be rolled out is 2011—but it’s being provided for study and formation.
So, start unlearning 35 years of ingrained congregational responses like “And also with you,” and get used to “And with your spirit.” Other responses, as quoted from Whispers in the Loggia:
The more significant changes of the people’s parts are:
- et cum spiritu tuo is rendered as “And with your spirit”
- In the Confiteor, the text “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” has been added
- The Gloria has been translated differently and the structure is different from the present text
- In the Preface dialogue the translation of “Dignum et justum est” is “It is right and just”
- The first line of the Sanctus now reads “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts”
- 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.”
A few years ago, John Wilkins wrote an excellent article for Commonweal chronicling the painstaking and painful history of ICEL’s translating process. It’s a fascinating and disturbing history of clashing interests and church politics, of literalist translation versus dynamic equivalence, and of authority over collegiality.
I’m not happy with the text, but that’s not for me to decide. I will finally be able to work on either creating or updating the Mass settings I’ve composed, and hopefully prepare them for publication.