Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Advent, 2011

If you're Catholic, and if you've been paying attention, you know that the beginning of Advent next year means that the new, corrected Translation of the Roman Missal will be implemented by churches throughout the world.

What does it mean? Does the use of a translation other than what we use now during the NO Mass mean a step backward? Does it mean that the people attending Mass will somehow be less able to participate in the Mass?

Read the Order of Mass for yourself here, and then think about it. It's not difficult, I promise.

The thing is, there seems to be a huge debate rising about what it means to have this "new" translation. But it isn't a new translation at all--it's a corrected translation. Fr. Z frequently presents to us the beautiful prayers and collects in the original Latin, then with a literal translation, then what has replaced the literal translation, which has nearly always been watered down so far as to change the original meaning. Take a look at his post of last Sunday (Oct. 8th) here.

How does it serve the faithful if the original meaning of our prayers is removed? And how in the world could anyone see anything negative in that original meaning being restored? Does it somehow change the tenets of the faith, the very foundation that the Catechism has laid out for us? It is not an edict demanding a return to singularly Latin Masses being said; it is far more in keeping with the "Spirit of Vatican II" that people rave on and on about. How does this equal somehow moving backward? And what's wrong with Latin, anyway?

To my mind--admittedly rather young, in all things Catholic--the corrected translation is an incredible blessing! The removal of "every day" language from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is something to which I very much look forward. To have Heaven on Earth be brought just a little closer by the reverence of the very words spoken is something the heart and soul ought to long for.

When things are phrased in a particular way, it makes us perceive things in a different way. If the phrasing is crude, choppy, disconnected, then the idea will not be properly conveyed. If the phrasing is smooth, eloquent and refined, would logic not then bring us to the conclusion that our minds would be collected in such a way that we might perhaps be further drawn into contemplative thought? Isn't that what Mass is supposed to be about?