This week another 175 priests with pastoral mandates in the Archdiocese of Toronto will gather for the seminar. It’s pretty much a repeat of last week. However, I didn’t get around to mentioning two additional excellent speakers at the priests’ seminar. We were fortunate to welcome Msgr. Bruce Harbert, the Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) and Fr. Paul Turner, a world renowned liturgist and pastor.
Msgr. Harbert spoke of the actual transalation process that was involved in the preparation of the new texts for the mass. He reminded us that the english texts are meant to be used around the world. The language has to be international. The expression in English “I am mad about my flat” can mean one thing in the UK and quite the other in Canada. Thus the challenge of translations that cross boundaries.
In Msgr Harbert’s talk I was struck by the fact that the new translations better reflect the focus on “God” of the latin rather than the focus on us. It also makes for more gender inclusive translations. All good things. The most regretable feature is the translation of cup into chalice which does not appear that way in the NRSV bible. It’s unfortunate… but for some of these decisions, it was in the hands of officials at the Holy See. You’ll have to wait for Msgr’s Autobiography for the details.
Fr. Paul Turner’s topic was music in the liturgy. He showed us many of the changes and some of the challenges that they would provide in terms of music. He also reviewed the Easter Triduum under the new Roman Missal.. no huge changes… just lots of clarification.
The talks was quite informative and the experience very positive!