Thursday, June 15, 2006

Vox clara ecce intonat...

The bishops of the latin church have approved a new translation of the Ordinary of the Mass. I haven't seen the full text, but I've liked what I've seen so far. Some changes (from memory so please don't fault me if they're not 100% accurate):

The confiteor: "I confess..through my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault...."

The Sanctus: "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts...."

"And also with you": "And with your spirit."

Creed: "I believe...."

Ecce Agnus Dei: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are they who are called to the banquet of the lamb."
R: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

Overall, it's a pretty exciting time. The propers still need to be translated (prayers for saints feast days and different days during the liturgical year such as collects, prefaces, and other prayers), but the ordinary being approved is a big step. Once official recognitio is granted by the Holy See, the bishops will have to decide whether to implement the changes now or wait until the entire missal is translated which could take some time. The bishops did approve some ammendments to the ICEL text, but the Holy See gets line-item recognitio of those so as long as the ICEL text is acceptable (which I'm hoping it is thanks to the Vox Clara commission), we should have a new ordinary approved within the forseeable future.

These are going to be some of the biggest changes Catholics in the English-speaking world will have seen since the reforms of Paul VI in the 1960's and 1970's (when the vernacular was first permitted). I sincerely hope the bishops and priests enthusiastically promote this new missal and do a good job explaining why this is really a step forward for the vernacular, not a step backward. The new renderings are more scriptural, reverant and more in line with what the church is really saying in the latin originals of their prayers.

All in all, today was a good day. Also, it is the day when the Church would ordinarily be celebrating the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, but we get to do that Sunday instead since we're wimps in America and can't handle going to Mass more than once a week....anyway, I'm excited.


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