BALTIMORE, Maryland, NOV. 17, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops' conference completed its approval of the final portions of the new translation of the Roman Missal for use in its country. It now awaits the Vatican's confirmation.This is news of ineffable joy for English-speaking Catholics! While the precursor to the new translation was probably well meant, there's no doubt that some ignominy of language more profane than sacred crept in here and there; and the whole became suffused with a mundanity completely unsuited to the Holy Sacrifice, as when words like "cup" replaced the nobler "chalice."
The vote took place today at the conference's fall general assembly, which is under way in Baltimore through Thursday.
Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, chairman of the Committee on Divine Worship, explained today before the vote that this was the conference's last chance to send its recommendations to the Holy See. The Vatican has asked for the submission of all input by the end of this month.
The translation has been in progress for the past six years, and the conference has been gradually voting on the various parts of it in their assemblies.
The translation of the Proper of Saints, the Mass prayers for the feast days of saints, was approved by 195 prelates, with 23 opposing and 4 abstaining, thereby winning the necessary two-thirds of the conference's bishops.
Though some bishops argued that the old translation ought nevertheless remain inviolate, wiser heads have prevailed; the new translation rises unvanquished by the voting process. Deo Gratias!
Of course, not everyone will be happy about this. Bishop Donald Trautman recently said the following, during a lecture (PDF file here):
The English translation of the New Missal has intentionally employed a “sacredI suppose the good bishop has a point. It's not like a typical lay Catholic could take, oh, say, five or six of those words and toss them off casually in a couple of paragraphs celebrating the new translation, for example, or anything.
language” which tends to be elitist and remote from everyday speech and frequently not understandable. For example, the Preface of the Assumption reads: “She brought forth ineffably your Incarnate Son.” There is repeated use of the word “ineffable” throughout the New Translation of the Missal. In the Nicene Creed we will pray “consubstantial with the Father” which replaces the present wording “one in being with the Father”. Also in the Creed the new wording “by the Holy Spirit he was incarnate of the Virgin Mary” replaces “he was born of the Virgin Mary”. The vast majority of God’s people in the assembly are not familiar with words of the New Missal like “ineffable”, “consubstantial”, “incarnate”, “Inviolate”, “oblation”, “ignominy”, “precursor”, “suffused”, and “unvanquished”. This vocabulary is not readily understandable by the average Catholic.