Catholic World News

Bishop Serratelli defends dignity, beauty of new Missal translation

February 26, 2010

Responding to recent critiques of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, has defended the translation’s beauty and dignity.

“We bishops take seriously our responsibility to provide translations of liturgical texts that are at the same time accurate and inspiring, hence, the sometimes rather passionate discussion of words, syntax and phrases,” he writes. “The new translation provides us with prayers that are theologically accurate, in a language with dignity and beauty that can be understood.”

“Those who have already been critical of the new text, often without having seen more than a few examples out of context, express concern about unfamiliar vocabulary and unnecessarily complicated sentence structures,” he added. “Having been involved in the work of translation with ICEL and with the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, I can attest that the new translation is good and worthy of our use. It is not perfect, but perfection will come only when the liturgy on earth gives way to that of heaven, where all the saints praise God with one voice.”

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  • Posted by: - Feb. 27, 2010 10:34 AM ET USA

    Whether or not the new missal is better or worse, there is a problem no one seems to address. I have a very good friend who is Catholic and is 27 years old. He said that he was born after Vatican II and all he knows is change. As a result he does not take much of the Church seriously. It is time for the constant changes to end and the teachings of the Church made very clear.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 27, 2010 7:26 AM ET USA

    The new translation is a simple matter of honesty and truth concerning the actual wording of the official version (which is in Latin). The original translators produced what they wished the mass said, not what did say. But translators and liturgists are not responsible for determining the content of the mass: they advise, not decide.

  • Posted by: rpp - Feb. 26, 2010 8:42 PM ET USA

    I am so looking forward to buying a new missal. Thanks be to God.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 26, 2010 7:09 PM ET USA

    I have read the changes. Some are good. Some are bad. My question is why the Bishop is ignoring what a large number of liturgists are saying about it. Are the changes new or a restatement of pre-Vatican 2 verbiage.

  • Posted by: Bernadette - Feb. 26, 2010 6:55 PM ET USA

    This has been seven or eight years in the making. Let's get on with it! The latest date now is November of 2011. I, for one, am eager for its implementation and trust that our pastors/priests/bishops will do so - and not begrudgingly...I believe that the new and noble words will give way to greater beauty and reverence in the liturgy and we will see many wonderful results in our worship of our God - results not even anticipated.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Feb. 26, 2010 6:54 PM ET USA

    Indeed the prose is beautiful, and faithful to the original. Those of us who worked to break the "old" ICEL's hold and tendency toward street English in the Mass can only rejoice that we will have it. Now let's see if the music will rise to the level of the texts!

  • Posted by: - Feb. 26, 2010 6:10 PM ET USA

    I've never stopped using the words originally promulgated back in the 60s (before the present abomination got substituted), including "sins" in the Gloria, "I" in the Creed, and "my soul" just before Communion.

  • Posted by: nphawks2354 - Feb. 26, 2010 9:14 AM ET USA

    I am very much looking forward to the new missal. I hope it will be available for the laity within the next few years at most.