Well, having lived through it once, I have to say that the new Mass translation isn’t so bad; isn’t so bad; isn’t so grievously bad. Of course, I’m not speaking here as a Latin scholar. I already managed to tackle one language — Russian — where nouns come in an unnatural variety of genders. Frankly, the idea of trying another sounds nowhere near as much fun as that of standing naked in front of my bathroom mirror and punching myself in the genitive case.
No, I’m speaking as someone with an ear of average sensitivity who pays way too much attention to the Catholic press. 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.
When you think about it, it’s amazing the process hasn’t worked in reverse, that more liturgical terms haven’t found their way into corporatese. “Life-giving bread” and “saving cup” both sound like they were invented to dress up badly conceived, desperate ideas — in short, to put lipstick on a pig, if I may employ the flavor of a much earlier month.