a) Fr. Ray Blake of Brighton, England, posts a topic on his blog dealing with actually using the (corrected) translations of the Mass in order to carry out the catechesis which is alleged to be needed before usage. I know that sounds circular, but that's life in the Catholic Church these days. This was known back in the merry old days of liturgical innovations of the sixties as using the texts "ad experimentum". That means "to gain experience" rather than "as an experiment". Fr. Blake's post was dated May 15, 2010, at approximately 7:30 am Central Time.
b) This post from England was picked up on the Midwestern USA blog of Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, on May 15, 2010, at 9:03AM Central Time, and reproduced apparently whole there, under the title, "Using the new translation 'ad experimentum'".
c) Then, after both of these events had taken place, Fr. Blake "took down" (i.e., edited) his post temporarily, and then re-posted it later in [his] afternoon. The reason cited is not exactly crystal-clear. A friend of his who works at ICEL contacted him and said that use of the new texts was not yet approved for England.
Of course, the above narrative is mine, an "outsider" entirely of these presbyteral exchanges, and as usual, that's how things will stand. What does seem clear to me is that there was a "faux pas" committed, a false step, which was then backtracked, but the evidence of this "worm-hole" remains. Of course, eventually, the "delete key" can heal all wounds in the virtual world, and we may see that yet.
Following are both versions, first the "original" as copied at WDTPRS:
Our bishop recently said that some parishes in the diocese were already using the new ICEL translations of the Missal, he said that he had no problem with them being used ad experimentum, as they were now an official text which had received the recognitio of the Holy See.
ICEL wants these texts to be used after appropriate catechesis next year. However, this morning I used new translation of the Roman Canon, as there are the four Eucharistic Prayers in the Missal, plus the two prayers for Reconciliation, the three (is it?) for children, and then those ghastly Swiss ones we can use, I thought that no-one would object, and from the reactions I heard people thought it was a vast improvement.
We had already intended to start introducing the Communion Rite in its sung form, just to get people used to the idea that their responses are going to change too.
Other people have suggested the translations are a bit lumpy, I found them immensely beautiful, so much so that I am going to use them tomorrow at the sung Mass.
The problem I have with then is that it seems so natural to use the rubrics, the signs of the cross, for example at phrases like, "... bless these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices, ..."
I think it is going to be difficult to get people to change their responses, that is going to be the big problem, not what the priest says.
[Version from WDTPRS, i.e., the "original"]
Now, from Fr. Blake's blog:
In a conversation with our bishop recently, I thought he said that some parishes in the diocese were already using the new ICEL translations of the Missal, and that he had no problem with them being used ad experimentum, as they were now an official text which had received the recognitio of the Holy See, I had obviously grabbed the wrong end of the stick because a friend on ICEL, who had read the previous version of this post, told me Rome had not yet given permission for their use in England.
ICEL wants these texts to be used after appropriate catechesis next year. However, this morning because of my misunderstanding, I used the new translation of the Roman Canon. As there are the four Eucharistic Prayers in the Missal, plus the two prayers for Reconciliation, the three (is it?) for children, and then those ghastly Swiss ones, I thought that no-one in the congregation would object, and from the reactions I heard people thought it was a vast improvement.
Some people have suggested the translations are a bit lumpy, I found the Roman Canon immensely beautiful, so much so that I feel deprived not being able to use it tomorrow.
The problem I have is that it seems so natural to use the rubrics of the Usus Antiquior, the signs of the cross, for example at phrases like, "... bless these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices, ..."
I think it is going to be difficult to get people to change their responses, that is going to be the big catechetical problem, not what the priest says.
What amazes me is that "nobody" has had the idea of using the newly corrected translations as of yet. As I write, the entire Missal has been corrected and the changes approved by the Pope. In fact, the Catholic Herald of the UK has written several articles that touch on the following facts. When Pope Benedict visits the UK in September, and beatifies Cardinal Newman, he will celebrate Mass using the corrected texts. The Bishops have commissioned Mr. MacMillan, a Scotch Catholic and renowned composer, to write a setting for these Masses specifically using the corrected texts. So, unless there will be no concelebrations, and no congregations, then in some sense, the corrected texts have been authorized for use in England. And if England, why not the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.?
There are several reasons for my amazement.
a) The "new translations" are actually long overdue corrections of the rendering of the Latin texts into English, rather than the introduction of any new rites. When do we correct ourselves? When we have made a mistake. When are we expected to correct ourselves? As soon as we notice that we have made a mistake. Unless, of course, that merely relates to the creature's relationship with God, in which case we may postpone the correction until some far future date, because it doesn't really matter!
b) ICEL ("International Committee for English in the Liturgy") apparently holds the copyright on the texts, which is what allows them to countermand any desire on the part of priests or parishes to bring their worship up to what it should be, until a grand catechesis has taken place. What can that possibly mean when the only change anybody is talking about is a change of the texts? If the text changes, don't I correct the problem by reading the corrected text? Do I need grandiose catechesis about this? Is not experiencing the difference at Mass catechesis enough?
c) I can well understand why it may take years for the various publishers, and musicians, et al., to revise their books, music, etc., to "support" the new texts. But does that mean that everyone else must mark time while they are getting their paid, professional, services up to snuff?
d) Lastly, though not least. It is a sound principle in bringing people down a "learning curve" to let them have experience of something before explaining to them what they have experienced. This is especially true in growing in our faith. As backup, I have no lesser light than the 4th century Bishop of Milan, St. Ambrose, in "catechizing" the newly-baptized at his cathedral in the week following their baptism at the Easter Vigil:
[All throughout Lent] we have been having a daily talk on subjects connected with morals, while the deeds of the Patriarchs or the precepts of the Proverbs were being read, in order that being formed and grounded by them you might get used to enter the ways of the ancients and to undertake their journey, and to obey the divine oracles. In that way, once made new by baptism, you might hold to the way of life that befits those who have been cleansed. Now the time is right to speak of the Mysteries, and to bring to light the significance of the sacraments. Were we to have been tempted to hint at it to the uninitiated before baptism, we should be guilty of having betrayed rather than having portrayed the Mysteries [i.e., "Sacraments" in modern Latin usage]. Also because the very light of the mysteries itself fills the unexpectant better than if some commentary had preceded their reception. [St. Ambrose, de Mysteriis, 1]And I think that would break the circularity I spoke about at first.