"Why did you change the words in the Gloria?" — UPDATED

That’s the question a woman asked me after Mass last night, as we introduced the altered musical settings for the new edition of the Roman Missal.  A friend who was with her echoed the sentiment.  She was baffled.  “Are they going to change back?,” she asked.

This, after months of bulletin announcements and articles about the coming changes — and multiple write-ups in the diocesan newspaper and in a variety of Catholic media that have been anticipating this moment. How many others, I wondered, are clueless about what’s coming?

UPDATE: A commenter asked if the new music was available online.  Here’s the setting for the Gloria (and other bits of music) that we are starting to use, courtesy Marty Haugen:

A song popped into my head: “Still don’t know what I was waiting for…” Take it away, David Bowie.

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57 responses to “"Why did you change the words in the Gloria?" — UPDATED”

  1. I feel your pain. I am in Our Lady of the Mountains Parish in Jasper Georgia (www.olmjasper.com)- a transplant fron Long Island. Sept 24th 2010 the archdiocese offered the Mystical Body Mystrical Voice workshop on the new translation ( great btw). At that point we decided to run a weekly column in the parish bulliten called Get On Board. that would cover the history and all that could be found on the internet concerning the development and understanding of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal and the singing of the propers, etc. Announcements from the ambo were also made to describe and remind everyone that the articles were in the bulliten and could be found on line so they could go to the links. Came this summer I decided to start asking who has been reading the articles. Well, we could have saved allot of money on ink. This weekend the pastor has decided to give a talk about the Missal beteen the 2 Sunday masses. The CFF program at registartion time had given out a CD of Edward Sri’s “Biblical walk through the mass”.EVERYONE ( it seems) is relying on the Holy Spirit for enlightenment on the First weekend of Advent. Boy — the last time changes came our way it was the light switch approach. This time is was real catechesis with online availblity. Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.

  2. So…

    Why DID you change the words in the Gloria???

    It’s gonna be a mess for at least two years, especially at Christmas, Easter, weddings, and funerals, when the less-than-regular attendees get caught up in it all. It will probably be helpful if some sort of charitable and welcoming announcement before these masses is made that calls people’s attention to the changes and they are encouraged to follow along in the missalettes.

  3. I agree, Greg. This is discouraging. I gave two sessions at a regional in-service with catechists of younger children yesterday – and for most of them, the changes are news. Not one of them was in a parish where they have taken advantage of the September option to start the new sung acclamations. Worse than that, they have a somewhat rudimentary understanding of the Mass and liturgy.

    In the University of Dayton online course on the Missal, which I have facilitated 4 times over the past 10 months, the situation is only slightly better. The parish catechetical leaders often feel on their own preparing the parish for the Missal changes, without support from their pastors, and most of the catechists had heard little or nothing at all about it before taking the course, which they had to choose to do on their own.

    These are the folks who are going to teach this to our parish adults and children… who should have already started.

  4. You know, I think people will get used to this very quickly and will soon not remember singing/saying it the old way.

    I have heard several complaints about it ranging from the mild ‘how am I going to get used to this after XX years?’ to absolute rage that the Vatican had the audacity to do this. I have heard of priests even saying that the Vatican has little to do if it has to go around messing with the Mass text.


    Maybe the change is what we all need – it will force us to focus on and think about what we’re saying instead of mumbling along like the creatures of habit we are.

    I’ll be singing the revised Gloria this morning. I am already used to it and pray that our congregation can follow along easily.

  5. Gerald,

    I wouldn’t worry about Easter, Christmas, and “3-B Catholics” (Baptisms, Bridals, and Burials), most don’t know the words to the current words anyway. Easter Masses held at the “overflow room” at our parish looks like a bunch of old folks trying to keep up while doing the “Electric Slide”.

  6. The other question the woman brought up:

    “Why does it say ‘on earth peace to people of good will’? Why isn’t it peace to ALL people?”

    I was stumped.

    Any thoughts? I know it’s scriptural — the words of the angels at the nativity — but why the distinction?

    Dcn. G.

  7. I will admit to feeling a little bit grumpy about the upcoming changes when they were first announced. However I just got back from a trip back to my home town to visit my dad. He is so happy about the changes, I didn’t know he minded the present translation so much. So I can be glad that he’s happy, even if my cheese gets moved a bit. He has been doing all kinds of reading up on it, the material is there if people will avail themselves of it (unfortunately some people think it’s penance to read for information). Our pastors here having been dedicating the month of October to explaining the changes in their homilies. So if people are at church, they won’t even have to read.
    Our choir has been working for weeks on the new material, so we will hit the ground running.

  8. Greg:

    I have to be honest , and I suspect I will be taken to task here by the orthodox brigade, but I find myself honestly not caring much about these new translations. Based on recent surveys of weekly churchgoing Catholics, I guess I am in the minority in that I know change is coming and have even read some of the claptrap that tries to explain how a translation like ‘consubstantial’ somehow improves the fourth century Nicene creed spoken by the faithful who use English in the 21st century. (it doesn’t in IMHO) I am sure I will deal with it, after all the Church as struggled with translations of ancient texts for centuries, we will survive this one too

    But here is a question I have not yet seen answered. Why, if the golden era of the Church really happened pre-VCII- do we say “spirit’ in the new translations? If the oh-so-smart translators in the Curia really had the courage of their convictions wouldn’t they have just made the response to ” The Lord be with You!” the proper pre-VCII language ” And with your ghost”

    Of course it really should not matter to translators that the word “ghost” is understood differently today then it was say a few hundred years ago. We just would need to teach the unwashed masses who come to Church each week not to think about Casper as they say it.

  9. “one in being” with the Father does not fully express the relationship between the Father and Christ. They are more than simply one in being or existence, they are one in substance. While the Latin consubstantialem is now translated into the unfamiliar English word “consubstantial”, I would have preferred “one in substance”. It would have conveyed what the Latin does but I guess I will learn to live with it.

  10. While we’re starting to hear from the people in the pews about the changes — and I suspect we’ll hear more in the weeks to come — I have to wonder what some of the priests are thinking, after practicing some of long-winded Eucharistic prayers.

    I get the distinct impression that the translators were utterly unaware of how to write for the ear — and that short sentences were anathema.

    Consider the Exsultet — I recently downloaded a recording of it, and it’s more than a minute longer than the previous version. Among other things, it includes this tongue-twister:

    “Therefore, dearest friends, standing in the awesome glory of this holy light, invoke with me, I ask you, the mercy of God almighty, that he, who has been pleased to number me, though unworthy, among the Levites, may pour into me his light unshadowed, that I may sing this candle’s perfect praises.”

    Really? REALLY?? Who edits this stuff?

    Meantime, one priest I know has already said to me: “Dewfall? Forget that. I’m not saying ‘dewfall.'”

  11. Deacon Greg #7:

    Why to people of good will?

    Because it is a literal translation of the words (from the Vulgate) of the Latin Mass.

    “hominibus bone volutatis.”

    I was taught Latin by an Italian woman who used to tell me it was better to translate from Latin to English freely not literally.

  12. Addendum:

    That is my supposition. I do not have a hot line to the mind-set of the people who did this new translation.

  13. HMS…

    Right. I understand that. And I’m sure that’s correct. But her question — and what I couldn’t answer — is the philosophy behind the sentiment that makes the distinction.

    Why, even in the original Latin and even in the gospel, did the angels not say “to all”? Why did they only wish peace to a select group, “people of good will”? Aren’t we supposed to love our enemies, and wish peace on all?

    Dcn. G.

  14. Re: “consubstantial”

    A colleague of mine who knows his way around Greek and Latin told me that “consubstantial” is a bad English rendering of a cumbersome Latin translation of a more complicated concept reflected in the original Greek. And in Greek, evidently, the precise words are closer to “one in being.”

  15. My favorite Eucharistic Prayer is the one that incorporates wording from Gaudium et Spes. It’s the one For Use in Masses for Various Needs III:

    “Keep your Church alert in faith to the signs of the times and eager to accept the challenge of the gospel. Open our hearts to the needs of all humanity, so that sharing their grief and anguish, their joy and hope, we may faithfully bring them the good news of salvation and advance on the way to your kingdom.”

    In the new translation, the wording sounds less formal, even awkward, and the connection to the conciliar document far less obvious:

    “Grant that all the faithful of the Church,
    looking into the signs of the times by the light of faith,
    may constantly devote themselves
    to the service of the Gospel.
    Keep us attentive to the needs of all
    that, sharing their grief and pain,
    their joy and hope,
    we may faithfully bring them the good news of salvation
    and go forward with them
    along the way of your Kingdom.”

    I can’t see how this sort of thing was supposed to be an improvement.

  16. Deacon,
    Regarding the Exsultet – is it set to music? If so how does that sentence work when sung? I loved the singing of the Exsultet at the Vigil Mass and will miss the old version.

    [Yes, there’s music. It’s similar to the previous setting, but it’s still a mouthful. I’ll miss the old one, too 🙁 I’d finally gotten the hang of it! Dcn. G.]

  17. Deacon Greg:

    Helping people to understand the changes in the Mass is challenging.

    In The New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) and also in the latest Lectionary our translation of the words of the angels to the shepherds is:

    “Glory to God in the highest and on earth PEACE TO THOSE ON WHOM HIS FAVOR RESTS.”

    The footnote in the NABRE is interesting:

    “On earth peace to those on whom his favor rests: THE PEACE THAT RESULTS FROM THE CHRIST EVENT IS FOR THOSE WHOM GOD HAS FAVORED WITH HIS GRACE. This reading is found in the oldest representatives of the Western and Alexandrian text traditions and is the preferred one; the Byzantine text tradition, on the other hand, reads: “on earth peace, good will toward men.” The peace of which Luke’s gospel speaks (Lk 2:14; 7:50; 8:48; 10:5–6; 19:38, 42; 24:36) is more than the absence of war of the pax Augusta; it also includes the security and well-being characteristic of peace in the Old Testament.”

    I think we will have the same issue with the new translation of the words of consecration:

    “Take this, all of you, and drink from it: for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and FOR MANY for the forgiveness of sins.”

  18. A couple of Latin scholars (serious Catholics as well) have explained the translation to me as this: it’s as if someone took the Latin texts and ran them through Google translate. Are they technically correct? Well – to the extent that an algorithm can handle any nuance (which isn’t much) – yes. Do they represent a good translation, though? No. Try it for yourself if you’re bilingual; write something in one of the online translators in one language, and have it translate to the other. It’s transliteration, not translation. Of course this was done by people, not machines – but it’s a translation by committee, which may be just as bad.

    I attended Mass last week at a parish that is generally on the more orthodox end of the spectrum, and where folks have been well-instructed about the changes for months now. Last week the Gloria was switched. A few folks made a noble effort to try to sing the thing, but by the end, most were silent, and some were laughing. The experience was painful; the music – terrible.

    I think we’re going to just attend the Spanish Mass for now.

  19. Deacon Greg, thanks for what you posted in #12 (as well as for your blog as a whole). I realize that you are doing your best to acclimate the laity to the changes, and I respect that, but I number myself among those who are incredibly skeptical about these particular changes. The example you’ve provided in comment 12 — the tongue-twister of an ornate sentence the priest must utter, and which he must hope the congregation actually gets some spiritual enrichment from (it’s not God who is in need of fancy words and sentences that never end, certainly) — is a symptom of how badly off track this translation is.

    The advocates of this new translation have privileged the idea of adhering literally to the Latin. As an alternative, they could have tried to capture the essence of the church’s universal prayer, which is what good translations have always been about: the essence and a flavor of the poetic and eloquence when that is possible. But I can’t ever see “consubstantial” as being in the least bit translucent nor poetic language–despite inserts in my parish bulletin in which the word “poetic” was used to describe that change. No, I don’t think we need to “dumb down” the language the congregation hears or speaks, but neither do we need to feel as though we are drawing people closer to God by choosing words that no one (aside from a theologian getting ready to defend a dissertation) speaks in conversation on a monthly, or even yearly, basis.

    The laity DO have a right to wonder what the heck the Vatican had in mind when it forced this on those who have been used to much more intuitive language in the Mass. Yeah, I realize that much effort has been made to publicize the changes and “sell” them to us. Still, people end up feeling they’ve been sold something that was not needed in the first place. And yes, many of us do feel the Vatican should be dealing with other, more urgent matters. I won’t derail the discussion here by naming those matters, but we all know what they are.

  20. “Peace on earth to men of good will.”

    “In every generation, His mercy is on those who fear him.”

    “All things work together for good, for those who love the Lord.”

    I see a unity in these scriptural statements. Yes, God’s love and mercy are universal, but they are not indiscriminate. They require a response from us. We need to engage God in order to access that peace and mercy, much the same as the prodigal son who roused himself and returned home contrite to find his father waiting on the road for him.

  21. In many ways the translation is a vast improvement: much closer not only to the Latin texts (which the former translators treated in an extraordinarily cavalier fashion), but also to the scriptural origins of many of the prayers. That helps us call to mind the links between the scriptures and our worship (eg the prayer Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof reminds us of the faith and humility of the Centurion who originally uttered it, and Our Lord’s gracious response.)

    But we could avoid all of this by doing what the Church teaches: retaining Latin as the principal language of Catholic worship. Then we can have a standard text that is identical and comprehensible the world over, and people can choose missals with a translation they find edifying.

  22. I am sorry that the word “cup” has been changed to “chalice” in the consecration. In describing the Last Supper, the Gospel translation uses the word “cup”, which I believe is a much stronger and more powerful word spiritually. I also think that in the Passover meal, and I could be wrong, that the ritual includes the drinking of several cups of wine. I always looked at the use of the word cup as Jesus’ Blood becoming a new Passover cup in fullfillment of the promise God made to the Israelites in Egypt. “Chalice” has a different connotation to me. I don’t connect a chalice to the Last Supper. The word is more ornate and not at all what I see Jesus using at the Last Supper.

  23. I think one of the best explantions on this entire matter was from Jimmy Akin at this you tube.


    It goes through the history from council on and is very good. These changes are simply further modifications and corrections that have been going on for decades. Many of the earlier changes distorted what was actually said in the scripture. In some instances, these changes caused many to distort the very meaning of the mass and the understanding of the sacraments. I think this received overwhelming support of the Bishops by vote after several modifications, so I would hope the clergy would take the time to learn it and be helpful to the change, not outright dissent.

  24. Gerard Nadal:

    Intersting point for me to reflect on. Yet I can’t get out of my mind the last encyclical of Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) which he addressed “To Our Venerable Brethren the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and all other Local Ordinaries who are at Peace and in Communion with the Apostolic See, and to the Clergy and Faithful of the entire Catholic World, and TO ALL MEN OF GOOD WILL.”

  25. Ben, Latin is a beautiful language to the ears, but as for it being a tool of communication in the twenty-first century…well, not so much. Latin is no longer “comprehensible the world over” — and it really wasn’t decades ago, either. Many folks who attended Mass in the pre-vernacular days barely understood a word of the Latin text and were completely dependent on the translation in the missal — meaning that the translation was an indispensable crutch because the Latin kept them from following the Mass and fully participating in the church’s prayers.

  26. I think we can agree that some word choices are *debatable* and that there are some odd syntactical gambles. Yet overall, we might also agree that the translations should be called improvements, especially when we remember just how much is being re-translated, and when we further remember how nightmarish were some of the old translations. One merely needs to spend ten minutes reading some of the posts Father Z has written comparing the old and new translations of various prayers (Collects and what have you). It’s amazing how often the theologically rich and beautiful prayers had been translated to the effect of, ‘Oh God, you are nice. Help us to be nice, too.’ I’m not prone to cry conspiracy theory, but one would not be unreasonable to cry sabotage after seeing what was done to the original Latin in some instances. Yes, the new translations aren’t perfect. Many reasonable people have pointed out problems. But the new translations were needed.

  27. deacon greg,

    I’m really surprised and disappointed at the substance and tone of your comments, especially at #12.

    In the first place, and above all, as a deacon, you should not be undermining the Church’s liturgy.

    In the second place, you should have familiarized yourself with the reasons behind the revisions rather than letting yourself be shocked at them.

    In the third place, you ought to be aware of how badly the old translation pedestrianized the exalted and exalting language of the official Latin.

    In the fourth place, as Msgr. Wadsworth pointed out at a workshop I attended, the liturgy is something the Church gives us, not something we do for ourselves. Therefore, it is to be received with gratitude.

    In the fifth place, this work has been underway for about ten years. To criticize the work when it is finished and settled is untimely and futile.

    In the sixth place: “Sweet the rains new fall/Sunlit from heaven/Like the first dewfall/On the first grass.” It’s okay in “Morning Has Broken,” and it’s okay in liturgy.

    In the seventh place, obedience.

    Get with the program.

  28. @20 Sarah

    “A couple of Latin scholars (serious Catholics as well) have explained the translation to me as this: it’s as if someone took the Latin texts and ran them through Google translate. Are they technically correct?”

    Well, I am a Latin scholar and a serious scholar and your friends are feeding you a line of horse hockey. The new translations are far more faithful in tone and substance to the original Latin. And they even include stuff the current “translation” left out. If one of my students submitted the current translation of the missal for a grade, i would fail it without question. The new translation would pass with flying colors, maybe not an A or A+, but certainly an A-.

    @9 Joe

    “Why, if the golden era of the Church really happened pre-VCII- do we say “spirit’ in the new translations? If the oh-so-smart translators in the Curia really had the courage of their convictions wouldn’t they have just made the response to ” The Lord be with You!” the proper pre-VCII language ” And with your ghost”

    Do a little research. The translation provided in the missals in the pre-Vatican II days said “And with your spirit.”

    @ 23 Ben

    Of course, your are entirely correct. Maybe if the actual documents of Vatican II were followed, and Latin remained the principal language of worship with only some vernacular introduced here and there, we wouldn’t have to go through all this handwringing.

  29. Naturegestez- I am surprised it took so long for the ” how dare anyone even question” the translations post- that must make them infallible ? eh? Yep, now I am even more certain that it must be a work of the Holy Spirit – after all it is clear that Christ himself and Apostles spoke to the people in indecipherable latin translations. All these “liberals” want the English translation of the liturgy – to be understandable in English. Thank heavens we have Curia untouchables to impose mumbo-jumbo English words like ‘consubstantial’ on us unworthy peons.

    vox- go back further for references to Holy Ghost oh Latin scholar ( I am a simple accountant whom the good jesuits at St Joe’s Prep tried mightily to teach Latin for three years but even I understand when the I look at the king and everyone is saying is isn’t this swell- and he is not wearing any clothes)

    Since my point wasn’t clear let me rephrase.

    Holy Ghost was the common term for the spirit for several century’s in English, I understand it goes back to the King James bible but I defer to the learned Biblical scholars who post here. Several fine church institutions and even liturgical music have retained the words Holy Ghost to this day.

    Back then I would contend that Ghost conveyed what us non scholars would think of as Spirit today – but- and this was my point- the meaning of the word changed over the years. So if we want to go back use capture the Church of yesteryear and the hell with people’s understanding of the translation – lets just be constant and say ” And with your ghost”.

    For a modern exegesis of the term ghost – he is a user ‘friendly’ link 🙂


  30. One could be snarky and say “It’s because RC are clueless sheep”, but that would be both unchristian and inaccurate. As you know Deacon K, here in the old RC heartland where you and I (a non-RC) live, most regular and faithful church goers are of the white-haired AARP generation. Others are recent immigrants. The Sun Belt is a different story generation-wise.

    They may have memory problems or problems of comprehension. Most went to high school (if that) and not to a four year college. Be understanding and of good cheer. More quizzical looks are to follow.

  31. The crux of this translation (which, at my age, comes not as something new but as a near reversion to the first English texts we used for Mass) is that it is driven by theology, not by worship.

    There has been resistance to the current English translation from the beginning, I suspect because ICEL has always been heavily influenced by Cranmer and the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, the most mellifluous liturgical texts I know, but not particularly attuned to Roman theology.

    For the commenter who said “The Church gives us the liturgy; it’s not something we do ourselves,” I do have to say (a) we are all of us the Church, and (b) the *literal* translation of the Greek liturgia is “the work of the people.” But in any case, it is what we have, and we will come to live with it as we talk about it and question it.

    I think Deacon Greg’s question about the “limited peace” of the angelic hymn has been answered from Scripture and theology. Yes, we wish peace to all, but the peace given by God at the Nativity, and praised each Sunday, requires our cooperation. The angelic hymn consists of marching orders to those who must, by proclaiming the Good News with good will, help to make universal peace possible. That peace on earth does not yet exist universally is proof that it was not granted on that night in Bethlehem.

    And I think the Deacon’s concern about the ornateness of the Exsultet text (which I share, though I welcome back some of the bits that were lost in the present translation) comes from the fact that it’s not the priest who has the task of singing these words and making them comprehensible, but the deacon.

    Finally, I do regret “chalice.” Yes, it’s simply an anglicized “calyx,” “cup,” but cup would be better. Chalices, in all our minds, are precious and bejeweled. The bling intrudes upon the Institution Narrative. But I suppose I’ll get used to it. And I look forward to occasions to talk about it. At least the people who are arguing have noticed there are changes! 🙂

  32. @27 Steve

    Latin is timeless and is part of our patrimony. With a little effort and education, the laity could learn sufficient to follow the Mass in Latin: I have done so, so I know. And this IS what the Church actually says we should do. Strangely the increased understanding and participation promised when the vernacular was introduced was accompanied by the biggest falling away of Catholics in the Western world in history, and of the remainder, many who understand the words don;t understand the Mass. Something strange has happened. The vernacular may have seemed a good idea, but the experience has been very very different… And as Sacrosanctum Concilium makes clear, was not the intention of the fathers of Vatican 2.

  33. jkm,

    “For the commenter who said ‘The Church gives us the liturgy; it’s not something we do ourselves,’ I do have to say (a) we are all of us the Church, and (b) the *literal* translation of the Greek liturgia is ‘the work of the people.’ But in any case, it is what we have, and we will come to live with it as we talk about it and question it.”

    True enough. The point is that the liturgy is the work of the whole people of God, not just of the particular part of that people who are gathered in a particular place at a particular time. The local congregation are not “doing their own thing” apart from the whole people, much less is the priest doing his own thing. They are joining with the whole people of God in the whole people’s work of worship. That is why you are right that “it is what we have.”

  34. Not so fast, Gerard #35. I only said I was going to think about your comment.

    Oh, I just noticed the new translation has kept the translation of hominibus as people not men – quite inclusive if I do say myself.)

  35. jkm:
    I agree with Deacon Greg that the translation can appear to be limited. It can also lead to some people interpreting it as only Christians or Catholics have this peace. (That may be a stretch but we have had heresies, e.g., Jansenism, in our tradition.)

    I understand what you meant by “but the peace given by God at the Nativity, and praised each Sunday, requires our cooperation.” But I don’t agree that is what is meant in the biblical understanding from which those words in the Gloria come.

    Whenever I have a problem with a biblical passage, I go back to my OLD (1968) Jerome Biblical Commentary. The explanation there of “men of good will” is the following:

    “men of good will: That is, of God’s good pleasure. The phrase does not refer to the good dispositions of men themselves but to the predilection of God.”

    Now predilection is not part of my everyday conversation, so I had to look up the precise meaning. Since it means “a preference or special liking for something; a bias in favor of something”, it becomes clear to me that the peace meant in Luke 2:14 and found in the Gloria is a gift of God, freely given to all (at the Incarnation).

    But, I’m no Scripture scholar. I depend on people like Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P. who wrote that commentary on the Gospel of Luke.

  36. naturgesetz, while I don’t disagree with a number of your points (particularly #6 – I still remember the glorious sound of a children’s choir singing that song at our wedding) I think it’s also worth remembering that part of a deacon’s role at least as I understand it is to get a sense of the frustrations being felt by the people and from time to time express them. I think this is one of those times.

    As far as Deacon Greg undermining the liturgy is concerned, I think this environment is one in which we as readers can understand that what we as writers express is not meant to destroy, but to examine. Call it constructive criticism or faithful skepticism, the expression of a negative here can often serve a positive purpose.

    While there may have been numerous years’ work put into this project, until very recently (in my case here in Toronto five weeks ago) there was nothing substantial (read: approved by the Bishops) to look at, and most of what was being bandied about was rumour. Personally I love the changes and I can see the richness in much of it, change issues notwithstanding, and I try to convey that to the folks who talk to me after Mass and express THEIR concerns. I sympathize – change is hard – but in the lobby of the church I simply don’t express concerns that I might feel freer to express here. I don’t think Greg does either.

    Your seventh place is correct of course, but I recall the words of one wise faith community leader who could be heard to say “Mumble and grumble but just be humble.”

    God bless

  37. Our pastor keeps talking about the “corrected” translation that we will use. He has had many of the changes printed on the cover of the bulletin each week. We have begun using a new music setting – the one we are using is not so good.

  38. In my parish outside Montreal, Canada, we have not heard ONE WORD about the revised translations. So quitcherbellyachin’, my American friends, and rejoice that you have clergy who actually take the trouble to educate their parishioners about what’s going to happen next month, not try to hush it up. I would be very happy if my pastor were to do even a minimum of what others are doing in the US, but as he says himself, “When anything comes from Rome, we close our eyes” – and we still go on doing the same old, same old.

    Come November 27, I expect it will be business as usual. Bah, humbug!

  39. HMS, I bow to Fr Stuhlmueller, but I have never heard the phrase given the spin you say he gives it. So “to men of good will” means “to everyone because God is good”? I think that takes some contortion to reach. To say that the peace is intended for those for whom God has a predilection–i.e., for those chosen ones on whom his favor rests–is the more likely meaning, even if it does strike our ears as Calvinist.

    I am no Scripture scholar, but it seems to me that to understand this line from the angelic message, we need to look at other proclamations of God’s favor “resting upon” certain individuals or groups: Israel, at Sinai; the prophets; John the Baptist, in the canticle of Zechariah; Mary, hailed by Gabriel as kecharitomene, “highly favored one”; Jesus at his baptism and transfiguration. This favor was believed by many at the time of Jesus to have been withdrawn from the world by God, so the angelic message that proclaimed the return of “shalom” to the world in the persons of those on whom God chose to grant this favor would not have been seen as a narrowing, but as opening wide a door long believed shut.

    This may sound like quibbling, but it is important–and now necessitated by having to look again at the wording–to recall that the first lines of the Gloria are not our contemporary description of what we hope for the world, but a quotation from a specific time and set of circumstances in the history of salvation. Liturgical catechesis can help here. How many Catholics remember–or knew in the first place–that the canticle of praise they sing on Sundays is related to the “Angels We Have Heard on High” they sing on Christmas? This is a teachable moment.

  40. Consubstantial is wrong. Your spirit undermines the emphasis on the Person, not the old Greek idea that the good soul is shoved into an evil body. The good will translation reflects the Augustinian Manichean heresy he never abandoned and interpreted the Fall as humans became massa damnata, that was picked up Luther and company who gave us the same idea and so had to say peace and goodwill to men. The Greek is people of goodwill, same goes for all papal encyclicals, they are offered to people who are already opened tol hearing by God’s Grace and their cooperation. The blessed are those called to the Supper of the Lamb was a stroke of genius, the original Latin which reflects the image in the Book of Revelation. The Vatican should have trusted the English-speaking bishops to TRANSLATE, not TRANSLITERATE the old Latin. For most people under my ROOF will not bring to mind the pagan protest from the miracle of Jesus who was going in to his house for a cure. It will refer to the roof of the mouth.
    They should make a banner to hang on the balcony of the Pope’s window in different tongues IF IT AINT BROKE DONT TRY TO FIX IT- or it will be worse.
    Better give the contract to a local group who know their own language best and are not ideologically driven. Orthodoxy means correct worship, so use a language proper for that not some esoteric words that only Latinists would understand- consubstantial as noted above is one in being, closer to the Greek the original language. Then trust the translators. “Shalom y’all” as they say in Florida synagogues!. All translations are paraphrases to begin with so searching for the purest is not easily found.

  41. Fr Francis,

    This may be making a virtue of necessity, but it seems to me that every bit of translation which somebody finds problematic gives a teachable moment for some valuable education. For example, explain that your spirit isn’t your own soul but the spirit you received through the imposition of hands at your ordination.

    Any priest who just puts it out there without any explanation is highly negligent of his duty, IMO. Priests who take that time (and it can’t all be done in one homily) to explain the new wordings — and maybe some wordings that survive, for that matter — will be serving their congregations well.

  42. Sarah Gregory #20 & vox borealis #30

    To illustrate the point vox makes, I went to Google translate for a translation of the Collect of the Mass of Christmas Day. In the original Latin it reads:
    Deus, qui humanæ substantiæ dignitatem et mirabiliter condidisti, et mirabilius reformasti, da, quæsumus, nobis eius divinitatis esse consortes, qui humanitatis nostræ fieri dignatus est particeps.

    Google translate gives us:
    God, who wonderfully created human dignity and substance, and more marvelous reformasti, give, we beseech thee, to us to be partakers of His divinity, who vouchsafed to be made partaker of our humanity.

    The 2010 Roman Missal has:
    O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and still more wonderfully restored it, grant, we pray, that we may share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

    The 1973 Roman Missal had:
    Lord God, we praise you for creating man, and still more for restoring him in Christ. Your Son shared our weakness; may we share his glory.

    First, I’ll note that it is obvious that the machine translation is a machine translation and that the others are not. Next, note that the 2010 Missal is not afraid to clarify — “restored” for reformasti; “of Christ” for eius — nor does it always go for the archaic — dignatus est does not come out as “deigned” but as “humbled himself.” Finally, when the two missal translations are compared with the original Latin, it seems clear to me that 1973 is inadequate. It changes the subject of the first clause from God to us and loses “mirabiliter.” Worse still, the second clause misrepresents humanitatis as weakness; and worst of all, divinitatis as mere “glory.”

  43. In reference to “people of good will” instead of “all” it is like using the word “many” insted of “all” in the institution marrative used during hte consecration. It isn’t really meant to be limiting to blessing but does reflect that will it is offered for all, not all with accept the gift. At least that is the explanation I have heard in a couple of different presentations on the new translation of the missal.

  44. Deacon Steve:

    I don’t think that scripture scholars would agree with that explanation.

    In the Jerome Biblical Commentary (which is my bible for the Bible) the explanation of “for the many” in the words of Christ at the Last Supper is:

    “for the many: The “many” should be understood in the Semitic sense as designating a great number without restriction. (Edward J. Mally, S.J. – The Gospel According to Mark)

    I am coming to think that the main goal of these recent translators is to make this English translation as literal a translation of the Latin Mass as possible.

  45. HMS

    ‘I am coming to think that the main goal of these recent translators is to make this English translation as literal a translation of the Latin Mass as possible.’

    You are right. The Latin is the normative text. The previous translation was an interpretation driven by a particular agenda. How else to account for Credo being translated as We believe…? (not to mention the removal of we adore from the Gloria, and almost every reference to sacrifice or oblation).The new translation is meant to conform better to the official (Latin) text of the Mass. And a good job too!

  46. Ben:

    I was delighted when we started to say “We Believe” because that is the way the creed from the fourth century Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople had it.

  47. Thanks!

    My kids actually sing it (present version) around the house-it’s so cute to hear my 5 yo belting it out as she cleans her room, because if there’s ever an appropriate time, that must be it! 😉

  48. HMS
    That’s not really the point. The point is that the prayer of the Universal Church in the liturgy is Credo. To translate that as anything other than I believe is to impose an interpretation – possibly a good one, that’s another matter – that breaks our unity with the rest of the Church at prayer.

  49. Ben Trovato #54:

    I know and we have been saying “I believe” in the Nicene Creed for ages in our Mass. Not sure when it started and I doubt that it is said in the singular form in the Eastern Churches. (I have very extensive notes from “The Mass Of The Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development” by Jungmann. If I could find them, I think that it will tell me when and why the Latin translation of the Nicene Creed changed to credo and did not use credimus.) It probably has something to do with liturgical use of “I believe” at Baptism – in the baptismal profession of faith. Come to think of it, maybe we should say the Apostles’ Creed at Mass. After all, that is what is in the Catechism, Part One: The Profession of Faith with elaboration from the Nicene Creed).

    Oh well, it’s a done deal…for now. Doesn’t really influence my faith one way or the other anyway.

  50. HMS

    “Doesn’t really influence my faith one way or the other anyway.”

    You raise an interesting point there. We may not think it influences our faith one way or the other, but we could be mistaken…

    I wonder. I really do wonder: lex orandi and all that…

  51. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” – Joshua 24:15

    No matter what the bishops do to change the liturgy and the symbols, at the end of the day, this is what matters to me. That we serve the Lord in all ways and in all things is much more important than words. I used to think that the symbols and words mattered – but then I realized that most of the congregation isn’t even really paying attention. Sad but true.

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