I’ve been waiting for a couple of years for this: the new English translation of the Mass are available for preview from the Bishops’ Conference website.
A couple of years ago, some of the suggested changes were broadcast across the internet. But now, the whole Mass (including Eucharistic Prayers, and with scriptural notations (PDF)) is available for us to see..
This new translation that is available is not yet official. It is just a Study Text that the bishops are looking at. They’ll have to vote on the final translation and have it approved at the Vatican by the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Personally, I’m very happy with the changes. Thanks be to God, I have some facility with languages; therefore, I can understand some (written) Latin. The Order of the Mass is originally written in Latin. The English version we use is just a translation of the Latin. However, even based on my limited knowledge of Latin, I can tell you that it is not a good translation. This new translation is much more faithful to the original Latin.
It is important that we are faithful to the original Latin. The Mass is not a private prayer, subject to the whims of individual priests (or bishops, even). It is the public prayer of the Church. All the faithful participate in the prayer, in the same way. That’s powerful stuff. That’s “universal” or “catholic“.
I haven’t read all the way through the new translations, but let me point out just a few of the changes we can expect:
- The Priest says, “The Lord be with you.” The people reply, “And with your spirit.”
- At the Penitential Rite, we will say (among other things), “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa)
- In the Profession of Faith, instead of saying, “We believe in one God…”, we say, “I believe in one God…”. This is directly from the Latin, “Credo“.
- Also, in the Profession of Faith, we’ll say, “…begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father…”; instead of “one in being with the Father”.
- During the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest will say, “…the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins”; instead of, “for you and for all”. This is a direct translation of the Latin “pro multis“.
- At the Communion Rite, instead of saying, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you; but only say the word and I shall be healed”, we will say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my sould shall be healed.” I love this change. This comes directly from what the Roman centurion said to Jesus before He healed the centurion’s servant. (Lk 7:6-7)
This will be a wonderful opportunity for our priests to do some catechesis for the congregation about the meaning of the Mass.
I pray that we will respond in love and cooperate with these changes.