11/16/2011 12:04:00 PM Look to texts with open minds
Catholic News Service photo
Catholics should expect some changes to wording at Mass, mostly to priest's parts.
As a liturgical musician who now spends most of the time worshipping from the pew, I have some hopes for the implementation of the revised translation of the Roman Missal. The obvious good news for the laity is that well over 95 percent of the text changes are in the priest’s parts, leaving few modifications in the texts spoken by the faithful in the pews. Granted, the most jarring change is probably “And with your spirit,” replacing “And also with you.”
The real question is how, if at all, the revised translation will change my faith. The new texts will not alter my faith at all. My faith is securely rooted in belief in the Trinity and the communion of saints, and it is not tied to a set of words. However, as one who daily works with words, I have an appreciation for eloquence, clarity of expression, and the power of an artfully formed phrase.
The underlying challenge to the people in the pew is to be open to catechesis and understanding about the new texts and their future implementation. If I approach the revised translation with a negative expectation, I’m sure to find fault with it. Likewise, if I look toward the texts with an open mind and heart, my faith can be strengthened and nourished.
With these new texts, we faithful in the pews would do well to avail ourselves of all opportunities to learn more about the revised translations. Admittedly, once the revised translation is promulgated, there will be minor slip-ups. We’ll probably forget and open the Creed with “We believe” instead of “I believe.” No problem — we will learn the revised texts.
The writer is OCP’s senior research editor. He has served as director of choral music for public and Catholic schools and parishes, has been a member of a parish pastoral council, and serves as a substitute organist in his parish.