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Please read: About the New Translation
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Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Please read: About the New Translation

Words are important: Elevated language indicates that what's going on is out of the ordinary, whereas flattened language tends to evaporate any sense of the extraordinary and mystical. (My theory, to some degree borrowed from Fr. Groeschel, is that a good chunk of the excitement people have over this and that reported apparition comes from their desire for the extraordinary and mystical, which has been more or less unavailable for English-speaking Catholics in the Mass for the past forty or so years.)

As I suggested in another thread, the goal of the original translators was to make the Mass more immediately understandable to listeners. To do that, they flattened out the translation, removing what they regarded as excessive repetition (e.g., "my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault") and unnecessary phrases (e.g., "we humbly ask"), and substituting what they regarded as simpler concepts in place of more complicated ones (e.g., the systematic elimination of the word "grace" from the Collects, replaced by the word "love").

This makes sense as a goal if one regards the chief purposes of the Mass as teaching and interactive experience. It makes less sense if the chief purposes are the worship of God and the elevation of His people. The teaching/interaction mindset was prominent in the immediate post-Vatican II era when the translation was done. Also as I suggested in another thread, this turns out not to have worked out very well. But changing the Mass means letting go of that mindset, and a lot of folks sunk a lot of work and effort into it, and that's hard to take.

There are also some who truly loved the old (now Extraordinary Form) Mass. When the Mass changed to the Ordinary Form and the English translation followed, many of them were told that the Mass they had cherished was bad. They trusted their teachers and turned their backs on it, following what they genuinely believed was the new course of the Church. When you've given that much, it's hard to reconsider.

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