Church Life

Address from Bishop Conley on New Mass Translation

You ought to read this address given by the man in charge of implementing the corrected translation of the Roman Missal into English for the Archdiocese of Denver, Bishop James Conley.

This is superb, properly framed in Catholic theology and liturgical tradition, and just down right inspiring.

Sing a New Song with Your Lives

 

Here are some quotes that are illustrative: 

Let me say this: I’m very excited about the changes that are coming and about the opportunities we have for an authentic liturgical renewal. Practically speaking, implementing the new Missal means that all of us will be learning new translations of long-familiar prayers and responses. This makes it a perfect moment in the life of the Church for a new “eucharistic catechesis”.

 

But I think we can also recognize that the way in which the reform of the Mass was carried out after the Second Vatican Council unfortunately has occasioned a lot of silliness and confusion. The problem has never been the Novus Ordo. The reformed liturgy that the Council gave us is beautiful, glorious, and empowering. The problem has been that even good people have misinterpreted the Council badly.

 

From the start of this new translation of the Mass, we sense a new attitude, a new focus on our relationship with God. With the new edition of the Missal, every time the priest proposes, “The Lord be with you”, the people will respond, “And with your spirit”. Now, we know that this is simply the literal translation of the Latin that has been there all along – et cum spiritu tuo.

 

This reminds us that every Catholic liturgy is a cosmic liturgy. The liturgy we celebrate here on earth is always a participation in the everlasting liturgy of heaven, in which all creation glorifies the Creator. This truth, I’m afraid, has been lost or obscured in the years since the Council. We have a great chance now to reclaim it.

Pope Benedict has said, “Liturgy presupposes … that the heavens have been opened; only if this is the case, is there liturgy at all.” This is the truth we need to recover.

 

I began our time together with a quote from Saint Augustine. Let me conclude by finishing that quote. It is really a prayer for all of us:

Let us sing a new song, not with our lips but with our lives.