Stories by S.L. Hansen
(SNR) - After a decade of development
and roughly a year of preparation, the new English translation
of the Roman Missal will now be used in its entirety beginning
this Sunday, Nov. 27, and at vigil Masses on the preceding
Parishes throughout the Diocese of
Lincoln have been preparing in different ways.
Many availed themselves to the
educational materials prepared by a special diocesan committee
led by Msgr. Joseph Nemec, pastor of St. Teresa Parish in
Lincoln. Others found their own ways to learn the new
translation and the meaning behind each change.
Msgr. Nemec is pleased with the
"I have heard about a lot of great
things happening," he said. "I’ve heard from many of my brother
priests who have done this or that…. Some deaneries have
conducted little workshops with the priests giving different
talks about the meaning of the liturgy and the changes."
Sister Mary Agnes, C.K., and Sister
Mary Maximillian, C.K, who teach religious education at St.
James School in Crete, have used several different methods to
prepare the school children and their families.
Sister Mary Agnes has been beginning
or ending religion class by singing the new Mass responses and
teaching the children to sing along. In recent weeks, the
students have been singing these new responses at all school
Booklets, worksheets and posters
displayed in the school hallways have also helped the students
"They are very enthusiastic about it,"
Sister Mary Agnes said. "They love to tell you the new
responses, and they are very interest in hearing where the new
translations are coming from and why."
The changes are rooted in the Holy
See’s policy for more unity among all Catholics.
After the Second Vatican Council
(1962-1965), when the Church permitted Mass to be celebrated in
the vernacular (meaning in the language spoken locally), a new
English translation was developed using a method known as
Rather than being a literal
translation, dynamic equivalency presents the concepts and ideas
of the text. While this made the English Mass easy to understand
in some senses, some of the Scriptural references were lost, and
some of the responses in English became quite different from
what was actually being said in the original Latin text.
For example, when a priest says, "The
Lord be with you," the current English response is, "And also
with you." In the official Latin, the response is "And with your
Father Rudolf Oborny, V.F., pastor of
Sacred Heart Parish in Hebron, was ordained in 1971, so he was
in seminary when this English translation was being worked out.
It was a rather dramatic change from the Latin, but it didn’t
bother him all that much.
"It was all brand new," he said. "I
didn’t have a big long history of saying it in a certain way."
Two of his uncles were priests for the
Archdiocese of Omaha, and Father Oborny recalls one of the older
priests grumbling about the change.
"I remember being really cheeky with
him," Father Oborny said with a chuckle. "Now I can appreciate
what it must have been like for him."
During the Jubilee Year in 2000, Pope
John Paul II promulgated a third edition of the Roman Missal in
Latin. Among other things, the, the third edition contains
prayers for the celebration of recently canonized saints,
additional prefaces for Eucharistic Prayers, and some updated
and revised rubrics (instructions) for the celebration of the
Mass. However, the third edition still needed to be translated
into the vernacular.
In 2001, the Holy See issued Liturgiam
Authenticam (Authentic Liturgy) to provide translators of any
language guidelines for translating both sacred Scriptures and
Liturgiam Autheniticam calls for a
method known as formal equivalency, which lends itself to a more
faithful translation of words and expressions, as well as
Father Oborny cited one example where
the new translation is more Scriptural.
"At the Lamb of God, instead, of
saying, ‘…and I shall be healed,’ we will say, ‘…and my soul
shall be healed.’ It’s more like what Jesus was speaking of in
Comparing the overall difference
between going from Latin to the vernacular and moving from the
1969 translation to the 2011 version, he added, "I think this
won’t be as drastic."
Msgr. Nemec echoes this assurance.
"The changes for laypeople will be
placed on one single sheet of paper, so I think that the
adjustment will come fairly quickly," he said.
Both Father Oborny and Msgr. Nemec
agree that the new translation will encourage everyone to be
more engaged during Mass.
"I think one of the benefits is that
we will be more alert at Mass, we will have to pay attention a
little bit more, and different words might help us to understand
what we are praying," said Msgr. Nemec.
All parishes will have resources
concerning the changes available to parishioners for the weekend
Masses. However, it’s probably a good idea to review the changes
ahead of time.
Msgr. Nemec recommends the United
States Conference of Catholic Bishops website at www.usccb.org.
Once on the site, you can look under "Prayer and Worship" (far
left of the main navigation bar) and follow the "Roman Missal"
link to find excellent resources.
For those who would like to learn the
new chant that was written for the new translation, there are
two links to follow on Msgr. Nemec’s home parish page,
www.thelittleflower-lincoln. Click on "Bulletin" and scroll to
page two to find the links.
Sister Mary Agnes recommends that
parents take a little time to make sure their children are
prepared to say the new responses.
"Make it a game," she said. "Your own
enthusiasm for it will rub off on them. This is exciting."
She added, "I’m looking forward to the richness that the
translation will provide," she said. "I think it will enrich our
prayer life in other ways."
Presenting the New
Missal in Music
(SNR) - One of the major initiatives
for the new English translation of the Roman Missal has been
developing the musical portions of the Mass.
Composers have been working steadily
to supply choirs and liturgists with the required music for a
number of years. Each piece was vetted by local ordinaries and
then forwarded to publishing houses for possible inclusion in
the new English Missal.
Last June, the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Divine
Worship announced that diocesan bishops would be allowed to
permit the gradual introduction of the musical settings of
the people’s parts of the Mass beginning in September.
The idea was to help people become
familiar with a portion of the sung prayers before the full
Missal is implemented on the First Sunday of Advent.
Choir directors like Jessica Happold,
who leads the adult choir of the Cathedral of the Risen Christ
in Lincoln, as well as the middle school choir at Cathedral
School, got a first look at the these new musical settings
during the summer.
"At first, I was apprehensive," Mrs.
Happold admitted. "I wasn’t sure how people would react…. Now
that I know more about the ‘why’ of the changes and I’ve seen
them and worked with them, I am truly excited."
She brought the new parts to the
Cathedral choir in late August. The singers began using the new
music Sept. 11, as did many other choirs throughout the diocese.
"We have been using the new
translations for the Holy (Sanctus), Memorial Acclamation, and
Gloria (when used during a daily Mass) ever since. The Cathedral
choir has reviewed the Creed, as well," Mrs. Happold said. The
translation of the Lamb of God has not changed.
For the school children, she started
teaching them the new parts just after Sept. 11. The children
have been singing the new responses during daily school Mass,
which has helped them master the changes rapidly.
"At first the choir members and
students at school would trip over some words in the Gloria and
the Creed," reported Mrs. Happold. "I would attribute these
stumbles as naturally wanting to resort to what we already
Overall, she’s seen good progress.
"Both the choir and students seem to
be adjusting well to the new words, especially since we have had
so much practice with them. The students even have some of the
prayers memorized already."
Mrs. Happold feels the new wording is
more vivid and poetic than the older version.
"The new translation seems to capture
the beauty and the mystery of the Mass in a different way than
before," she said. "Once people get used to the prayers being
different in wording only, they will become comfortable with the
changes and soon pray as if it is second nature to them."
Mrs. Happold can’t wait for others to
experience the new Missal.
"I hope that the new translations open the eyes of all
Catholics in a new way to the wonderful gift that Jesus has
given us in the Mass," she said.