Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Obligatory “New Roman Missal” Diatribe

Why, oh why, our devoted readers must wonder, have we not joined the others who have, over the last year, beaten into the ground the news of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal?

Indeed, this subject has been hashed and re-hashed in the Catholic press over the last year, not to mention the Catholic blogosphere. Our more recently-arrived readers wouldn't know this, but it's old news here at man with black hat. We were researching this subject in the late 1980s, when all "conservative Catholics" wanted to do was whine about not having the "Tridentine" Mass. Closer to the present, we were reporting on it way back in June 2006, and again even earlier in September 2005 -- here and here.

There is a series of articles in the works, but among what we hope to accomplish here at The Black Hat Corral, is tell you what some others are NOT telling you. For example, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wants you to believe that ...

In 2002, Pope John Paul II introduced a new edition of the Missale Romanum (editio typica tertia, the "third typical edition" [since the Second Vatican Council]) for use in the Church. Soon after, the complex work of translating the text into English began.

... when in fact, the process actually began nearly twenty years earlier. That's because then they would have to admit, that they were stupid enough to let the aging-hippie academicians and liturgical iconoclasts loose on the project, to the point where the Holy See had to finally step in and make them start over. Now I ask you, have the Usual Suspects in Catholic blogdom taken time away from ring-kissing long enough to you that? Of course not. Most of them don't know jack about liturgy, beyond what they've read in Our Sunday Visitor in the past year.

There was a "final" version in 2008, but some of the texts were translated from the original rather awkwardly, and there were also hundreds of typographical errors* -- with a publishing job this big, it can happen -- so some of what you read in the above links was tweeked a bit for the absolutely final version in 2010. The entire magnum opus becomes effective on the First Sunday of Advent this year -- Saturday evening or Sunday morning, the 26th or 27th of November. (Wanna take a little peak? Go ahead, click on it. You know you want to.)

At the rate we're going, our series could look something like this:

I: Introduction
II: The (Short Version of the) Low Down
III: The Penitential Rite
IV: The Gloria
V: The Liturgy of the Word
VI: The Nicene Creed
VII: The Presentation of the Gifts (Offertory)
VIII: The Eucharistic Prayer (Consecration)
IX: Communion: The Lord's Prayer
X: Communion: Agnus Dei
XI: The Blessing and Dismissal
XII: Critical Issues

Right now you're thinking: “O Great Black-Hatted One, we read all the stuff from the other blogs. What could you possibly bring to the table that isn't already sitting there?” Ah, dear minions, once again you assume the Usual Blogospheric Suspects have something unique to say when they all say the same thing, and only in the last year when everybody else was saying it. Why put yourselves through that again, when you know how we consistently shed new light on various and sundry topics here at mwbh? This writer has been studying this subject for nearly thirty years. That's so long ago, some of you weren't even born. In fact, that's so long ago, Father Zuhlsdorf was still a Lutheran! (And here you bought the party line from the bishops that this only started in the last decade. It is to LAUGH!)

Then there's another thing they don't tell you. It is not the entire Roman Missal that has been re-translated, but that which is known as the "Sacramentary," the book used by the celebrant on the altar for the Mass. What we know as the entire Roman Missal also includes the Lectionary (book of readings), and the various occasional services for the other sacraments. Those are all in separate books. But they had to call this one the "Roman Missal" so you could tell it apart from the old one. You see, dear reader, it's all in the packaging.

We ask so little, and we give so much. Stay tuned ...

* This did not stop the South African bishops from implementing the 2008 version early. Now they still have to change it again. Real smooth move, guys.

(PHOTOS: Exterior and interior previews of the edition to be produced by Liturgy Training Publications, provided here without permission or shame.)


mrsdarwin said...

David, do you have any recommendations for finding a pamphlet or a booklet with just the new translation? I want to work on memorizing it with the kids before Advent, but most of the resources I've seen are explanatory in nature, rather than just providing the words.


David L Alexander said...


This one.