Bishops Ready Faithful for New Mass Translations

Comparison Chart Denotes Changes

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 26, 2009 ( In a few months time, the customary chorus of perfectly synchronized voices at Mass promises to be disrupted: A new translation is almost ready and various texts said by the congregation are set to change.

To prepare U.S. Catholics for the word shifts, the nation’s bishops have offered a side-by-side comparison chart of the liturgical changes.

And though the new translation is bound to cause some tongue tripping — and probably make Mass-goers more alert — the bishops’ site is aiming to minimize discomfort by already publishing some of the changes.

So, for example, catechists, parents and ordinary faithful can begin to prepare «And with your spirit» as the response to the priest’s «The Lord be with you.» (The answer will no longer be «And also with you.»)

Form B for the Penitential Act is also getting a makeover. It will now go: Priest: «Have mercy on us, O Lord.» People: «For we have sinned against you.» Priest: «Show us, O Lord, your mercy.» People: «And grant us your salvation.»

In one of his weekly columns posted on his diocesan Web site, Bishop Arthur Serratelli, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad hoc Committee for the Review of Scripture Translations, explains why the Church is making these changes.

«Because the words used in liturgy bring God’s revelation into our present moment and because they lift our prayer to God in worship, there is always a special care to choose the right words,» he wrote. «But there is a second reason why the Church cares so intensely for the proper words used at liturgy. As Pope Paul VI stated, the liturgy is ‘the primary source of the divine life bestowed on us, the first school of the spiritual life.'»

Different look

Changes that promise to take longest to become familiar are those that affect prayers said by the congregation at Mass: the Confiteor, Gloria and Nicene Creed will have a more faithful translation.

«I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault […]» the faithful will now pray at the beginning of Mass.

And in reciting our common faith, Mass attendees will say the Nicene Creed this way: «I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.»

The changes are a «marked improvement over the translations with which we have become familiar,» Bishop Serratelli wrote in another of his weekly columns. «They are densely theological. They respect the rich vocabulary of the Roman Rite. They carefully avoid the overuse of certain phrases and words.

«The new translations also have a great respect for the style of the Roman Rite. Certainly, some sentences could be more easily translated to mimic our common speech. But they are not. And with reason. […]

«Liturgical language should border on the poetic. Prose bumps along the ground. Poetry soars to the heavens. And our liturgy is already a sharing of the liturgy in heaven.»

— — —

On the Net:

Examples of coming translation changes:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation