Blame it on the Boss in Roma

Bully pulpit takes on a new meaning

May I have a word? Mass mumbled as masses muddle

What if we just said: WAIT?!

Sunday was a day of confusion and verbal chaos ans parishoners tried to get with it…

NY TIMES_ The Rev. Anthony Ruff, a scholar of Latin and Gregorian chant at St. John’s University and seminary in Collegeville, Minn., was the head of the committee in charge of writing the English chants for the priests, but was removed in November 2010, he said, after he became “increasingly critical of the clunky text and the top-down secretive process,” by which the new English translation was created and refused to promote it.

“The syntax is too Latinate, it’s not good English that will help people pray,” he said in an interview. “Rome got it’s way in forcing this on us, but it is a Pyrrhic victory because it is not bringing the whole church together around a high quality product.”

Columbia University

Many Catholics, including hundreds of priests, have reacted with resistance and even anger to the new translation. They charge it is slavish in its approach to the Latin, resulting in labyrinthine sentences and hard-to-understand vocabulary. It does not use gender-neutral language and appears to be, they say, a retreat from the ecumenical goal of a shared liturgy with other Christians that influenced the last translation. All eyes will be on the pulpits Sunday to see if priests adopt the new language wholeheartedly.

But for one Mass at Corpus Christi, the parish church of Columbia University, little if anything is expected to change. That is because this small church, with its intellectual history and fierce stubborn streak, never fully adopted the more modern version of the Mass that the church’s hierarchy is now ordering replaced.

For example, starting this weekend, all parishes will be saying, “And with your spirit,” as Corpus Christi’s has been saying for decades. And where there are small differences between the new translation and Corpus Christi’s version, which stems from the 1960s, Corpus Christi is expecting to stay with its own words.

The Rev. Daniel J. Merz, associate director of the secretariat of Divine Worship at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is in charge of putting the new liturgy in place, was surprised this week to hear of the small parish church that was already saying some of it.

“Sometimes,” he said, “it’s more important to have peace in the church than uniformity.”

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