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SMC implements new Mass translation

Alison Winstead | Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday marked the first use of the new translation of the Roman Catholic Mass, and Saint Mary’s Office of Campus Ministry said the transition went without a hitch.

Regina Wilson, assistant director of campus ministry, said she hopes the new translation will help students think more about the meaning the words they recite during the Mass.

“I feel the change in the translation of the liturgy gives all the faithful a new and rare opportunity to reflect more carefully on what we are saying in our worship,” Wilson said.

Wilson said her office began preparing for the change and practicing the new translation in October.

“From what I observed on Sunday’s Mass people are paying more attention,” Wilson said. “They’re noticing new phraseology and words as the liturgy went on. The liturgy seemed to progress smoothly with a few little mix-ups as people spoke the old responses they all knew so well. It will take several months for all of us to internalize these changes.”

The changes were made to unify the Masses more and for a better translation for the original Latin text. In the new translation, for example, the congregation will say, “And with your spirit,” instead of “And also with you.”

“Over time, we will grow more accustomed to this new translation, and it will feel more comfortable to us,” Wilson said. “We have the added benefits of some rich new texts to contemplate as we pray which should benefit to our faith and in the end, our relationship with God.”

Sr. Amy Cavender, a political science professor at Saint Mary’s, said the ritual editions of the Roman Missal typically arrive at parishes in October.

Among other things, the revised edition of the Missal contains prayers for the observances of recently canonized saints, additional prefaces for the Eucharistic prayers, and Masses and prayers for various needs and occasions; some updated and revised rubrics or instructions for the celebration of the Mass.

“After all we’d been using the previous translation for approximately 40 years,” Cavender said. “Adjusting to a new translation will just take time.”