US bishops reject poor english translation of mass

The United States’ Catholic Bishops are having a hard time accepting the new translation of the mass that is being proposed. It’s a good thing! One bishop makes some good points. Read on:

Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., had several times raised questions about the timetable for submitting the liturgical texts and voiced frustration with their grammar, sentence structure and word choices that he said were not suited to contemporary worship.

“I say yes to more accurate Latin translation … yes to a more elevated tone,” Bishop Trautman said from the floor. “But a resounding no to incomplete sentences, to two and three clauses in sentences, no to 13 lines in one sentence, no to archaic phrases, no to texts that are not proclaimable, not intelligible and not pastorally sensitive to our people.”

In an interview with Catholic News Service Bishop Trautman singled out for example a phrase included in the translations for votive Masses and Masses for the dead: “May the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Lord, cleanse our hearts and make them fruitful within by the sprinkling of his dew.”
“What does that even mean?” he asked, citing frustration also with phrases such as “the sweetness of your grace.”

“I don’t think the word ‘sweetness’ relates to people today,” at least not in the way the translation intends, he told CNS.

You can read the whole article at the Catholic News Service.

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8 thoughts on “US bishops reject poor english translation of mass

  1. Ugh, Americans. :p Don’t you speak English? Sweetness works perfectly there.

    Ok the prior one is made clumsy by the location of “within”. Perhaps it would sound better without the within, or by placing the within elsewhere in the sentence.

  2. While the good bishop means well, and while I agree that it is good to render in English some things more generally understood, it is important to safeguard what might seem to some to be useless or meaningless. I’m sure a lot of the faith expressed is meaningless to SOMEONE – does that justify its abandonment, or disregard to the integrity of the liturgical texts as an organic whole? The unity of the liturgy is akin to the unity of scripture. I think the bishops should encourage and EMPOWER the faithful to approach what might seem hard to understand, instead of drying out the liturgical texts.

    But this all essentially boils down to the the issue of intelligibility in the liturgy, which I don’t consider of prime importance.

    I am in favor of developing a liturgical English as a vernacular use. And this could happen if we revered standard translation as much as we could and within due reason (though opinions as to what this reason is will differ)..

  3. “But this all essentially boils down to the the issue of intelligibility in the liturgy, which I don’t consider of prime importance.”

    Your Greek Orthodox roots are showing 🙂 How does one have full, active and conscious participation when the liturgy is unintelligible?

  4. People are not stupid. And even if people are so stupid they can’t understand these things now they are adults, their children will understand due to exposure from a young age.

    But honestly I don’t think Americans are really as dumb as all that. Nothing in there seems beyond their capabilities to me. You shouldn’t treat them like babies or they’ll never grow up.

  5. How does one have full, active and conscious participation when the liturgy is unintelligible?

    Try attending a Traditional Latin Mass. If you do not understand English, listen, feel, pray. That is how to actively participate in Mass. You go to Mass not to listen and understand but to pray and worship the Lord.

    I think some bishops want a watering down of the translation of the liturgical texts and not the literal translation.

    Does this mean that we translate “Pater Noster” as Our Daddy since this is the word that related to people of today as Bishop Trautman is suggesting?

  6. You go to Mass not to listen and understand but to pray and worship the Lord.

    I honestly don’t get how you can say this. Personal prayer… meditation, contemplation… yes. But liturgy… the labour of the people… without understanding what is being said, nor participating? I just don’t get that, and it fails the requirements of full, active and conscious participation.

  7. In Sacramentum Caritatis, what constitutes “full, active, and conscious” participation in the liturgy does not refer to mere external activity during the celebration, which is what liberals desperately wish it to mean. If they cared to understand the true intent of the council, they would be mortifiedto realize that the active participation called for by the Council means a greater awareness of the mystery being celebrated and its relationship to daily life. Part of that deeper understanding means an reverent study and appreciation of the Mass. Regular attendence at a Latin mass is an excellent way to foster “full, active, and conscious” participation

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