Review of Missal translation may be on the way
A little piece of good news on a review of the English translation of the Roman Missal, although details are scant! Fr Paddy Jones has just finished 21 years of service secretary for liturgy and director of the National Centre for Liturgy, now located at Maynooth. New Liturgy is a bulletin for the National Secretariat for Liturgy. In the current issue (Summer/Autumn/Winter 2013), the editor, Paddy, writes From the Editor’s Desk on pages 8 – 13. The following are a few short extracts:
“During my 21 years as secretary for liturgy, the main preoccupation has been the Roman Missal … the Congregation for Divine Worship was very dissatisfied with the structures and work of ICEL … the structures of ICEL were radically changed …
“The translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal was produced. Its merits and demerits are well known. It is a fuller and more literal translation but its style often has an awkwardness that in many cases can be overcome by careful preparation – a very good thing in itself. A review is promised, though the mechanism of such a review is not known. However, such a review is necessary if we are to listen to what is being said and what is happening, the scholarly and pastoral criticism of the translation and the instruction on translation but also including its non-acceptance by some, the use of a mixture of old and new translations by others and the disturbing quietness of congregations to the new responses and other parts …
Several have commented very favourably on the (English language) texts for the Irish Proper in the Missal … they display a freshness that comes from their composition in the vernacular. Such composition is needed if the vernacular is to be the ‘praying voice of the Church’, to use the words of Pope Paul VI.
“One regrettable loss, including texts like ‘Christ has died’, is the ecumenically accepted texts such as the Gloria and the Creeds.
“The change (in ICEL) from being a commission mandated in its work by eleven Conferences to a newly constituted commission in 2002 is a story to be told elsewhere, but it will make unsettling reading.
“I am grateful to have been and to continue to be a part of the story of the National Centre for Liturgy.”
Thanks to Paddy for his comments. To me perhaps the most striking comment is his phrase “the disturbing quietness of congregations.”
On the change in ICEL, the reflections of Bishop Maurice Taylor (ICEL chair of the Episcopal Board 1997 – 2002) can be found at http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2010/06/11/a-cold-wind-from-rome-by-bishop-taylor/ – “A Cold Wind from Rome.” You will see here whyPaddy Jones can describe the story as “unsettling reading”.
The current translation of the Missal is very recent. For this very reason, and not despite it, it is important that the review commence, so that the ‘praying voice of the Church’ can be freed from ‘the disturbing quietness of congregations.’