12 September 2007

Reform of the Reform Update: New English Missal Translation by 2009?

Vox Clara Committee hopes missal translation completed by 2009

By John Thavis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- An international liturgical committee that advises the Vatican reported progress in its work on the new English translation of the Mass.

After meeting at the Vatican Sept. 2-6, the Vox Clara Committee said it hoped the English translation of the Roman Missal would be completed and approved by the end of 2009.

It was the first time a specific date had been anticipated for the completion of the lengthy project. The third edition of the Roman Missal was promulgated in Latin by Pope John Paul II in 2002, and work on the English translation began soon afterward.



This is as good a place as any to insert a note about the previous discussion touching upon the differences in lectionary/calendar/missal between the ordinary and the extraordinary uses. I received an email from a reader whose knowledge on these subjects greatly exceeds mine, whose judgement I would gladly substitute for my own, and whose comments, summarized below, led me to pull the previous post entirely:

1. The Holy Father evidently does not intend immediate changes and adaptations to the extraordinary rite.

2. Regarding the readings, it should not be neglected that the texts of the readings and the rest of the proper cannot easily be separated because they are one unity.

3. The propers of the Mass, particularly the readings, are also reflected in breviary. Changes in the readings would disconnect the Mass of the day and the breviary.

4. For the readings of the weekdays and feasts of saints the situation is even more complicated. The new liturgy foresees a two year cycle for the readings on the weekdays and it is even recommended to follow this cycle also on the feasts of the saints. There are readings for these feasts, but the idea is not to interrupt the continuity of the weekday readings. I cannot see how it would easily be possible to harmonize this with the former discipline.

5. The church has an universal calendar, but in addition to it there exist local calendars of each country, of each diocese of each church or of religious communities (...) and these calendars reflect the local traditions in feast days of saints that have a certain importance for a certain place or of certain particular circumstances (dedication day of a church, patron of the church, of the diocese of the cathedral, saints whose relics are in the diocese and so on, special masses to our Lady under a certain title under which she is venerated at certain place...). Therefore, there has never existed such a strong uniformity in the calendars and it is even against the "spirit of the liturgy". One look at the appendix of the Missale Romanum (edition for the liturgical use) with the local calendar for the US gives already an impression of these problems.

There are without any doubt many more aspects of this problem...

The points above are well made, and in short led me to agree with the reader that the entire post on the subject was, due to my lack of competence in this area, a waste of time at best, and potentially confusing at worst. I apologize for any consternation or confusion I caused.

Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. Amen.

1 comment:

thetimman said...

Rae, JP and Berolinensis, thanks for the comments you made.