7 Nov 2011

6th November 2011 - 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Reflection on the Revised Translation of the Mass with Noirin Lynch

On this weeks show we were joined by Noirin Lynch from Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre to speak with us about the new revised translation of the Mass and how it is being brought in and introduced in the diocese of Limerick.

We must apologise for the fact that last weeks programme didn't go out on the regular Sunday morning slot due to technical difficulties at the radio station. We understand that it affected all the prerecorded programmes that go out on a Sunday morning. For anyone that wishes to listen to it as it was a special programme for All Saints and All Souls it is available on our podcast page.

Podcast of this weeks programme is now available.

Revised Translation of the Mass

We discuss during the entire programme with Noirin various aspects of the changes and what is happening as we gather for liturgy. The following is only a synopsis and doesn't really do justice to Noirin's reflection and presentation so we would encourage you to listen to the full podcast.

What is happening and why?

In the first Sunday of Advent, 27th November the entire English speaking world will be starting to use a new revised translation of the missal used during Mass. In Ireland we have already began using the people's parts in some ways in parishes around the diocese.

It is not just something happening in the Irish church, it is all English speaking parts of the world including the Philippines, India, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, UK etc. It is a continuation of the process of praying in our own language which we started only a mere 40 years ago from the Latin originals following on from the second Vatican Council. It is all part of the learning process which is still ongoing as we come to grasp with the depths of scripture and the language used to express our faith and our prayer as a praying community. The revised translation that we are now starting to use has taken 10 years to prepare since 2000 which included consultations with all the bishops conference who have English language usage.

What has changed?

Since the middle of September parishes have been using the new text. There is no change to the structure and readings of the Mass (unlike what happened when we originally changed from the Latin) some people will find that the postures (standing, sitting, kneeling) have changed slightly as we come more in line with the way it is done around the rest of the world. But the main thing that has changed are the words we are using.

The People's parts have not changed dramatically, in some places where we had courses to introduce the new texts in May the response has been "Is that it?"

The biggest challenge will be in the priests parts which requires that we support our clergy to get used to using these new translations. There are huge changes in the language used which will require practise and preparation. We will need to allow our clergy to pray and prepare the new language being used, and we need to support them in their role to preside and lead at the liturgy.
And with your spirit - the most common response in the Mass as it is used four times. In every other major language it has been translated correctly as opposed to what we had been using in English. It is not an every day greeting but rather is a recognition of who we are and the place we are in liturgy. We are gathered in God's name to pray the Eucharist together. It is inspired by several of Paul's letters in the New Testament.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. - It is taken directly from scripture and the story of the Roman centurion who sought Jesus' healing for his servant. The response seeks to take us back to our roots right back into scripture and how it interacts in our liturgy and our lives.

We need to engage and start to relearn about Eucharist and our faith. In Ireland we tend to associate learning with children and school but there is no need for any more learning especially with scripture. But we are learning and relearning things in our lives every day for example the way what we eat to become physically fit. The revised translation provides us with an opportunity to engage and become more spiritually fit and go deeper in our prayer and encourage us to explore scripture.

The Creeds - the creeds are the summary of the beliefs about who Jesus is and what we actually believe. The Nicene creed has a couple of textual changes the most challenging is the term consubstantial. Consubstantial is the word created at the Council of Nicaea where the church fathers struggled to express a unique thing. a word which is used to describe the nature of Jesus Christ and is used to describe this only and nothing else. What it is trying to express is a term created at the council to describe that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine.

Noirin also discusses the changes to the Gloria which has been rendered more true to the hymn of the angels sung over the crib in Bethlehem. We also discuss the changes to the memorial acclamations.

Impact of Change from a practical point of view

We gather as a welcoming community when we come together to celebrate Eucharist. But it can't just consist of giving out the leaflets and leaving it at that. What about people who have sight problems, or maybe people who are illiterate and have managed to hide that from the community, people that only turn up for special events, people who don't come to church very often except for Christmas and Easter, how do we ensure that they are all included in our Eucharist and are not afraid of the changes and what it all means for us as community. It means we need to be aware of the changes and including people right up to Christmas and the New Year.

We are also reminded that singing ministry in the community need to work on their repertoire and be able to use the new texts.There will be a greater challenge to sing the Mass parts, we can survive without the hymns but we need to sing the parts of the Mass especially the Alleluia and the responsible the psalm. For those in music ministry there are many new resources available including "Sing the Mass" which has taken three Masses which we know very well and put the new text into these familiar music for us. 


The main resource page for people interested in reading and learning more about the revised translation is from our own Limerick Diocesan Website which has many links, resources, PowerPoint presentations and guides for you to read and reflect on.

Saints of the Week

November 7th - St Willibrod
November 8th - St Martin Tho
November 9th - Dedication of the the Basilica of St John in Lateran (Feast)
November 10th - Pope St Leo the Great
November 11th - St Martin of Tours
November 12th - St Josaphat

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