A new translation of the Roman Missal

For those out of the loop, that would be the Latin Mass. It’s been in the works for some time, but next Sunday marks the beginning of its official use. The controversy has already begun among Roman Catholics, and perhaps not too surprisingly, among Anglicans as well.

Some background and early reactions to the new translation are here. A video providing some in-depth material is here. The full list of changes is here: peoplesparts

It’s interesting that the CNN piece refers to “confusion” in the pews. We’ve been dealing with “confusion” in the pews for decades now, in the Episcopal Church as well as with conflict over the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, which many people call “new” although it’s over 30 years old.

One of the most significant aspects of these changes is that it marks another break between Roman Catholics and other Christians in the English-speaking world who had relied on similar translations of many of the key liturgical texts (the Lord’s Prayer, the creed, et al).

Here is one person’s response to participating in its use in a parish already.

There are some significant changes, like the people’s response to the celebrant’s “The Lord be with you.” It becomes “And with your spirit.” That’s a more literal translation of the Latin, of course, and exactly the same as Rite One in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. Other changes are less obvious, and more controversial: “consubstantial” replaces “of one being” in the Nicene Creed. Again, it’s more literal, but what person lacking a theological education understands it; and what person with a rudimentary theological education will not immediately think of Lutheran Eucharistic theology.

The Bishop of London (Church of England) has had to warn his clergy not to use the new missal in Anglican worship.


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